8:00 am Blood Panel #2
*Come in and make-up that WOD you missed earlier in the week, work on your Oly lifts, improve your gymnastics skills, create a WOD, pick from the “hopper”, or play with some equipment you’ve had your eye on. Today, the choice is yours!
So, you did it (well, not quite, Sun is day 30)! I know many of you have had a tough and rewarding adventure these past 30 days, so a big congrats to those of you who dove in to the challenge this year. Just participating is a big deal. With well over 100 athletes at the gym, it’s exciting to see the elite few who are willing (and daring enough) to say, “I want to eat better.” However, we now face the daunting task of eating in the real world again. This challenge is temporary (which is why it’s doable), so we need to ask ourselves. Where do we go from here? How can I maintain a healthy diet (really it’s a lifestyle, not a diet) now that the points are gone and it’s a lifetime ahead of us, not 30 days? Here’s a few things to ponder.
So, when thinking about life after the challenge, it’s important to think about why you did the challenge in the first place. So, why’d you do it? Was it to test yourself? Was it to say “no” more often to temptations? Was it to learn to cook tasty Paleo recipes? Think about your goals going in and during the challenge. It’s important to reflect on these and to be mindful of them when thinking about what to do next. Your goals in 30 days of a challenge should be vastly different than goals for the remainder of your life. However, these goals, during the challenge can serve as a starting point when thinking about what to do next. You’ve learned a lot throughout the challenge and reflecting on these gems of knowledge can help steer you to success now that the challenge is over.
So, what are those new goals? It’s not a daunting task at all to attack this question. It’s just the rest of your life. The way I think about it is, as long as you are constantly progressing, that’s all that should matter. Consistency and progress are the key, in my opinion. For instance, if you change a small aspect of your nutrition (i.e. take out the Poptarts) and this becomes consistent, think of another area to fix (i.e. drink 1 more cup of water a day). Little by little, your nutrition improves and remains constant over time. The rest of your life is a long time, so if you treat it like an 80 year timeline, it’s not crazy to think that taking 3 months to dwindle away the Poptarts until you are consistently not eating any is what you needed to do. Slow, steady progress.
One aspect we cannot ignore regarding constantly improving your nutrition is to allow yourself to enjoy food. That’s right, food isn’t just for the body. It can serve as a pick-me-up on those “hard days” (I’m a teacher, trust me, I know hard days!). So, do not call it “cheating”, it’s a treat. It’s a good thing. Just don’t eat crappy food just to eat crappy food. Have a good reason and enjoy it. When we can stop looking at eating healthy as “eating healthy” and start to look at it as “they way we eat” we will stop eating for the wrong reasons. Have that Starbucks on Fridays, bring donuts to your co-workers, take the family to Chuck-E-Cheese, and enjoy life with food. Just don’t let food control you and your diet. YOU control that, and that also means having a treat once in a while. Don’t plan it, let it happen.
In conclusion, welcome. Welcome to the rest of your life (or at least until next year’s Paleo Challenge). So, fill that pint, grab another slice, cut one more piece of cake, and toast to yourself. To your accomplishments made in the 2013 Paleo Challenge, to the rest of this year, to the goals you will meet in the future, and to a better you. You were brave enough to give it a go, and we are all proud of your accomplishments. Let’s keep the momentum going, and be sure to let us know how we can help!