Congrats to our Whole Life Challenge participants!! And especially our winners, Paul & Diane Bailey who prove the importance of teamwork. Not only did they have the most points, but they played on the highest level!
Here are some other notable achievements, as well as athlete testimonials and results.
MIA Award: Eric Smies who pretty much disappeared early on. Good intentions!
No Excuses Award: Monica Tobler who finished third despite numerous work trips and a vacation to Paris.
Most Improved Award: Mike Rancourt played last year and increased his points and participation this year.
Mindful Cheating Award: Adam Greenberg who embraced that the challenge is about balance not perfection.
Stayed in the Game Award: Lydia Cannaday had consistent participation all the way through despite some missed logging days.
Comeback Queen Award: Andi Brown who did a great job reflecting on choices and actively remedying shortcomings. She was never too frustrated to give up!
Cheerleader Award: Julie Rancourt always had positive and encouraging words for her teammates.
Silent but Deadly Award: Gayle Sullivan was very quiet during this challenge, but a consistent player all the way through.
Positive Reflections Award: Janet Murphy always focused on the positive parts of her day.
Good Advice Award: Heidi Prom knew we were all going through the same thing and provided advice from recipes to acupuncture to help out her teammates.
Best Indulgences Award: Tim Brown represented our team weaknesses – pizza, wine, and chocolate – and often in the same day!
Successful Non Compliance Award: Rob Stenander’s total points made me think he went MIA. However, not only was he in in consistently (although with few points a day), he lost weight and lowered his cholesterol during the challenge.
Paul – Lost 2.75″ from waist, and over 16 lbs of fat while adding approx. 4 lbs of muscle!
Andi – Lost 6lbs!
Lydia – Lost 1.5 inches and 6lbs.!
“WLC is great because it’s about balance and progress and not perfection. With WLC, it’s ok to have a low point day because you can just pick it up tomorrow.” –Lydia
“Along with CrossFit, this challenge has really changed my body composition! I was very fortunate that my wife, Diane, and I did this together. Having a partner to encourage you and help with preparing compliant meals was a big help. The Challenge was long enough so you can experience the changes in eating and activity and see the results. Plus, you will feel better getting the sugar and processed foods out of your diet. Di and I would do this again in a heart-beat. In fact, by living according to most of the WLC Principles, we sort of already are. Don’t be intimidated. Commit the to process and feel great. It’s that simple.” –Paul
“I loved the camaraderie of the challenge. It was really great to come into the gym and hear people talking about the positive changes they were making. The people on my team kept me going!” –Andi
It was a long 8 weeks of daily point tallying and online logging for all of us. Competing against each other to keep our point values up was a lot of fun, and actually ended up being a good motivator. During times of frustration (too much water!), it was important to remember that the challenge was not about having perfect point day every day. It was about finding balance and creating new healthy habits.
The point system did tease out our bad habits. Afterall, we sabotage ourselves with things we do everyday, not the things we do here and there. It’s our daily habits that make a difference to our overall health and happiness.
I did some research on habits and the positive effects of changing them and how to maintain the positive change. Charles Duhigg, a New York Times Reporter, wrote a book called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life. He argues that to achieve change in your life, you simply insert new routines into your day and stick with them until they become habits. These habits can snowball into other seemingly unrelated parts of your life. Ideally, one small change leads to a lot of other small changes, which can result in bigger changes like better health, happiness in your career or social life, stronger relationships, etc.
We all embrace a habit through reward. For example, if you see cheese (cue), resist eating it (routine), and in turn feel a sense of accomplishment (reward), you are likely to continue to avoid cheese. Same thing if you drink water (cue), increase your intake (routine), and in turn feel more refreshed and less hungry (reward).
Duhiggs equation: cue + routine + reward = habit
Now we just need to insert that feeling of accomplishment as our reward, instead of the points, to keep the healthy habits going past the challenge.
Some of us succeeded in creating new habits that will last past the point reward system, others fell short, but we all learned something about balance and the value we place on our daily nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle, mobility, and fitness routines.