Whole Life Challenge

2014 Whole Life Challenge

About two weeks ago, my sister Brandy called me and challenged me to the 2014 Fall Whole Life Challenge.

At the time, I did not know what this was. Also, I was in the throes of the worst depression I’ve ever experienced. There was a lot of whining and moping and obsessing.

I lost 15 pounds in 11 days. There were stretches of 2-3 days when I ate literally nothing. That should tell you a lot about my state of mind when Brandy called me originally.

But now, I am getting better. I am spending far less time obsessing on what is missing right now and way more time focusing on what I need to do. I still miss the girl I love and I will do so until she’s back in my arms for good, but there is a fire burning in my belly and in my heart that is driving me to use this time to get myself ready, not just for her but also for the rest of my life.

I am resolved to take this time to fix myself and to make myself better in every area of life. I have already accomplished several things that I consider to be big wins in my life. For example, yesterday was my 21st day of no alcohol. This may seem like nothing to most of you, but for someone who has more or less had at least one drink five days out of every week for the last five years, it’s a win. I’ve never been what I consider to be an alcoholic, but I certainly have been someone who drinks to get drunk, even when I’m alone, and I decided not to do that anymore.

So, continuing with that train of thought, I accepted Brandy’s Whole Life Challenge.

Essentially, the Whole Life Challenge is a contest where you completely change the way you eat and work out and live your life. It is a gamification of eating healthy and living a clean life. You earn points for staying on the meal plan, and points are deducted when you eat something that is not on your list of approved foods. The same thing goes for working out; you earn points based on the amount of activity you you do each day. Stretching for ten minutes twice a day earns you points. Drinking the right amount of water earns you points. Sleeping and supporting others and writing reflective blog posts about your daily experiences earns you points.

1. Nutrition—worth 0-5 points each day

2. Exercise—worth 2 points each day

3. Stretching—worth 2 points each day

4. Water—worth 1 point each day (20 ml per kg of bodyweight)

5. Supplement—worth 1 point each day

6. Lifestyle—worth 1 point each day (sleeping, talking to others, etc)

Note: my supplement will be fish oil

So you form a team (my sisters and I formed the Whole Botter Challenge squad, where our motto is “All Botter, No Butter (Okay, some Butter)), and you go through these daily activities, and you keep track of your points. Being honest is crucial, obviously, because this contest is not about winning. It’s about changing your life. Of course, my Mom also upped the ante a little bit by offering a prize to the winner between my two sisters and I, but that’s beside the point. The point is that this is going to help me accomplish goals that I would like to reach by December 1st.

What are my goals? I’m glad you ask, even though you did not ask.

My official starting weight for the contest will be measured on Saturday, the first official day. But today, I am 202.4 pounds and 34% body fat.

My goals: 190 pounds by the end of September. 180 pounds by the end of October. 170 pounds by the end of November. And by the time the contest is through, I would like to be under 20% body fat. The contest only runs 55 days, but I’m going to stick to it until the end of November. I have things to get ready for, after all.

I can accomplish anything when I set my mind to it. This is something I am re-learning about myself throughout this whole heart-wrenching process. But what makes the Whole Life Challenge different, for me anyway, is the cost. Sign-up was $50, and that adds a whole new level of importance for me. I don’t like spending money on things, and spending $50 on this wasn’t easy. But it gives me a reason to wake up every single day and stick to it. And the $50 also gives me access to great resources from the WLC team.

There are three nutrition levels available to choose from. I decided that since I paid $50, I’m going to go all out. I selected the Performance nutrition plan, which is the most difficult one available. In reality, it’s just hardcore paleo with no bacon. I love bacon, but I haven’t had bacon in months, so that won’t be difficult at all.

Here’s what I am allowed to eat: Fish, poultry, beef, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, oil and sweet potatoes. Yeah, that’s it. It’s not going to be easy. But it’s absolutely what I want to do. I have eaten this way before, and for extended periods of time, but never super-duper-strict. I always cheated once or twice or thrice a week. This time, it’s lasting for at least 55 days.

So, yeah. Today, I am going to start getting ready. I have to print out all of the supporting documents and food lists and shopping lists. I’m going to get some refrigerator magnets and hang them where I can see them. And this week, I’m going to get my mind right and get myself ready to take on this challenge, to beat my sisters and cross another thing off my list that I want to accomplish.

I won’t be blogging about this every day here on my blog, since we are required to actually blog on our WLC profile pages on a daily basis. But I’ll do a wrap-up each week for all five of you who still read this thing. And here’s my WLC profile for those who want to keep up.