The New You Challenge: Week 1

I’ve been told twice this week in regards to my weight loss; New Year, New You. I like it. It’s catchy. It also makes a great theme for my New You challenge. I call it a challenge because I don’t have a better word for it. It is not, however, a competition. It is a personal challenge that I am starting up, and of course will be participating in as well, in order to help get me to the ‘new you’ I am hoping to find in 2012.

When I first started my journey it was focused solely around weight loss. I needed to lose weight because the excess I carried with me was impeding me from living my life. Not too long after though I realized that I needed to be taking actions that would work towards improving my health and I had to make my health my number one priority. Yes, getting to a healthy weight will reduce your risk for illnesses (diabetes, heart disease) but it doesn’t necessarily make you healthy. It just makes you less of a risk for a weight –related disease. I like to say that weight loss (if needed) is a byproduct of living a healthy life but a healthy life isn’t necessarily the byproduct of weight loss.

Gauging health is difficult, not all of us have access to frequent diagnostic medical exams, so I base my daily/weekly progress on my weight loss (knowing I am lowering my risk levels) as well as how I feel physically. The scale is an easy indication of progress but it’s not the only one and not always the best one either. I like to monitor my energy levels, amount of uninterrupted sleep, regularity (yes, I will talk about poop during this challenge) and my overall wellbeing.

The premise of this challenge is to supply myself, and my readers, with guidelines that will help transition us into living a healthy lifestyle over the next two months. Each week I will present a new challenge and it is up to you whether or not you choose to accept and incorporate it into your routine. The only thing I ask of you is that you start to journal daily. You can write it down or do an online journal- whatever works best for you- because I want you to be able to reflect day to day and through the weeks on your progress and how you feel physically. It doesn’t have to be lengthy either- just enough to answer the few questions I pose with each challenge.

You do not need to check in weekly, although I would love it if you did, but I do hope you come by every week and check out the new challenges. Maybe you don’t want to participate but please come back- you might find some useful tips or advice that can help you on your path to healthiness.

This first week’s challenge is one that requires no special equipment and one that everyone should be able to do. When people ask me what they should do to get started or what changes I have made that got me to where I am today I always tell them to drink water. Lots and lots of water. I told my mom just the other day when she asked what she should do I said work your way up drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every day. I am not sure where I heard that you should drink half your body weight (or the minimum 64 oz, whichever is larger) idea but I like it and so I adopted it months ago. So, for me, I would want to drink 91 oz of water a day. I weigh 182 pounds, 91 is half that so that is my goal every day. I’ve been doing this for ten months now so I am pretty good at getting the water in but I will tell you on the days where I am struggling (usually the weekends) I feel it. There are days when dinner time rolls around and I can tell I haven’t gotten in enough water. At that point I try to amp it up but I am not always able to. Recently though I have gotten better and am so used to drinking lots of water every day that it has become second nature. Just like any new habit, it takes time for that to happen so please be patient.

For this challenge, the only thing that counts as water is water. Coffee, tea, soda, juice do not count. If you are not a current water drinker take this next week and work up to the goal amount if needed. Don’t feel like you need to be perfect every day. Don’t stress, just try your best. You need to make these changes work for you so they stick, become habits, and you are able to continue doing them long after these two months are over. This might be an adjustment for you so let your bodies adjust.

This is why I want us to journal. Journaling will give us the time daily to reflect on how we feel physically. I know that this was something I did not do when I first started out. Now I try to be more cognizant of body every day and it has helped tremendously. Our bodies want to heal themselves we just have to let them. So everyday write down how you feel. Did you notice any differences from the previous day? How does drinking water make you feel? How were your energy levels? Were you drinking consistently throughout the day or did you find yourself drinking more at certain times? What else did you drink? Were you annoyed that you had to pee every hour? 😉 Ok, you don’t have to answer that last one.

The journals are private, for your own introspection, but please feel to share any changes or anything you learn along the way and I will too. I have a new journal that I am going to use. I actually got three journals for Christmas (my friends know me so well) so I am so excited to start this challenge.

One thing I will try not to do is preach to you. As the weekly challenges come up you will see that not only are they not restrictive (especially when it comes to food) but they are going to be totally on your terms- not mine. I do eat a vegan diet but that is a choice I came to on my own. You will never be told to do something you don’t want to do (aside from drinking water) because the basis of this challenge is learning about YOUR body and what it wants. I cannot tell you what to eat or how to work out; those are decisions you will have to come to on your own. I can, and will, tell you how I got there and what I am doing now to continue learning and share that with you for each weekly challenge.

With that being said I do want to say one hypocritical thing. Please try to cut out soda. It is so bad for you. I gave up soda early on in my WLJ and it was rough. I had a strong addiction to diet colas but now I don’t touch the stuff. It’s just sugar (or artificial sweeteners) and chemicals. Try unsweetened tea instead. Or water J I drink green tea every morning during the week and on the weekends I allow myself a cup of coffee. I will drink herbal teas or even regular unsweetened tea once in awhile too but for the most part I drink water. 95% if not more of what I drink is water. I look at it this way: water helps to cleanse the body and remove toxins. Why counteract that by adding more in? That’s just my opinion. Do with it what you will.

So there you have it; our first challenge. Let’s spend the next week, through Saturday the 7th, getting in our H2O. Oh, and one more thing before I go. These challenges are cumulative. Meaning week 2 I will post a new challenge for week two that will be done along with the water challenge from week 1. Week 3 we will be doing a new challenge and week 1 & 2’s challenges. Make sense?

Normally I will post new challenges on Saturday but being that it is a holiday I thought I should put this one out there early so that you can read about it and start on Sunday, or sooner if you like. The water challenge is also a great way to undo some of the New Year’s Eve damage you may have done J Good luck and I hope to see you back here next week. If you want to you can comment, tweet, message me on FB or email me (axid200@gmail.com) if you would like to let me know you are participating.

Thanks for reading!

*Disclaimer * These ideas are my own, based off of what has worked for me so far, just presented in a new format. I am not a medical doctor and I do advise you consult with your doctor before making any changes in your diet/exercise routine.

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December 30, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Fitness, New You Challenge.

23 Comments

  1. jamesandjax replied:

    Of course I’m participating! 🙂

    I have also heard the rule of drinking half your body weight in water. For me, that would be a mere 60 ounces, which I surpass almost every day (yay). I find that on days I’m at work (and stuck at a desk), I drink at least 64-80 oz of water just from 8-5. On weekends, I struggle to hit 60. I have to be better at filling up my 32-oz water jug and keeping it close to me all weekend. It helps to think that I have to fill it only twice to hit my daily quota. That sounds manageable, right?

    Love the challenge & hope I can keep up!

    • Dacia replied:

      That is very manageable! I always get thrown on the weekends because I lose track of how much I’ve drank and sometimes I don’t know the size of the glasses so I have to guess. I say drink more than you think you need and you will be ok 🙂

  2. Caryn replied:

    I really need to participate in this challenge. I don’t drinkn sodas at all, but for whatever reason I am so bad about drinking water and I have been trying to be much better about it this last year. I especially noticed this when I started working out in the fall — I was getting such bad headaches after workouts, especially ones that involved a lot of weight training, and once I started drinking more water before the workout (not just during), they went away. I keep water by me at my desk, but I just forget to drink it! Thanks for the challenge. Happy New Year!

    • Dacia replied:

      It’s so crazy how much hydration or dehydration can affect us. I keep a big jug of water at my desk (2L) that I use to fill my drinking cup throughout the day. I know that I will get my minimum number of ounces at work if I drink at least 1 cup and 1 jug so that is what I aim for. Glad to have you in this challenge!

  3. the RA Vegan replied:

    I’m in! While I have made a lot of positive changes in my life over the last year, drinking enough is not one of them. In fact I probably am dehydrated most of the time. As a resource teacher I am in and out of classrooms all day long. I rarely stay in one place more than a few minutes and I never ever ever drink enough of anything. Back when I ran a marathon I was fabulous about drinking enough but that has just gone by the wayside. I’ve been thinking I need to work on this so this will be the perfect opportunity. I’ve also got a beautiful journal sitting next to my bed that I could use so there we go! Time to get out of my comfort zone and on to living an even healthier life!

    Jen

    • Dacia replied:

      When I was writing the post about the challenge I thought about how hard it must be for teachers and nurses to get in their daily water intake. It’s easy for me just sitting at a desk but I recognize in a different career it would be quite challenging. I hope you are able to find a way or build up to your daily intake. Water is truly amazing!

  4. yerttle replied:

    I’m in! I’m in!

    I’ve Seriuosly plateaued since Halloween. This will help kick start my motivation! Yay!! Thank you, Dacia! You’re amazeballs!

    • Dacia replied:

      Yay!!! I hope you like this challenge! I am so looking forward to week 2 and hearing what people have to say. I am so glad you are doing this with us!

  5. Rose D (@RoseD78) replied:

    so funny you mention these two things as your new you, new year challenge…i was starting the same thing. Started a few days ago, when my dreams just got stranger and stranger, and thought i need to capture them.
    And the drinking of the water was something i’ve always done, but removing sodas from my diet all together was something i resolved to change as well. I too have heard about drinking half your body weight in water- in a WW meeting i do believe. So i’m gonna work on these things with you. I resolve to make 2012 a different year.

    • Dacia replied:

      That’s awesome Rose! I hope you can kick the soda habit too! I am a water junky now but when I do crave soda it’s usually the carbonation I crave so I will have some sparkling water instead and that satisfies my craving. Good luck to you!

  6. Looking back and Looking Forward « The RA Vegan replied:

    […] am joining Dacia from thirtythreeandcounting for her New You Challenge in order to try and give myself a little accountability.  The first […]

  7. Laura (@LLBean75) replied:

    I’m in, though ill be honest – I’m not much of a journaler!

    • Dacia replied:

      You can do it Laura!!! I know you can!

  8. jakennicksmomma replied:

    Me too! I always have been a big water drinker, lets see if I can drink half my body weight in oz. It seems like a lot… 😀

    • Dacia replied:

      It’s manageable and I think all those trips to the bathroom should count as some AP’s. Lol! Glad you’re in!

  9. New You Challenge | jakennicksmomma replied:

    […] friend Dacia, over at thirtythreeandcounting.com is hosting her New Year, New You Challenge.  It is a series of weekly challenges for the first two months of the year, to help get people on […]

  10. the Jilb replied:

    What a great idea! I’m definitely in. 🙂

  11. mommasmeals replied:

    I’m going to try my hardest to do this challenge. I don’t drink nearly as much water as I should and when I do, I am reminded of the week I had to drink 130 oz of water a day, not for weight reasons but because I had kidney stones, I felt water logged from the inside, I didn’t even know that was possible LOL! But I’m doing a challenge as well on my blog and I think this is a great way to help me! Oh and the running to the bathroom a lot, yeah that got annoying too! 🙂

    • Dacia replied:

      Yeah, I do understand the waterlogged feeling, especially if you just suddenly increased your water intake. Hopefully this isn’t too bad and remember you can work your way there slowly- whatever feels best for your body! Good luck! Glad to have you here!

  12. December Monthly Update « thirtythreeandcounting replied:

    […] hope you were able to read my post from Friday about the New You Challenge. If you are interested in participating you can start at any time. This is a personal challenge, […]

  13. Clawing My Way Back | The Busy Crab replied:

    […] I’m pretty sure @DaciaLee’s (she’s a great blogger at thirtythreeandcounting.com) New You Challenge has something to do with my accelerated success this early. Check it out, and give her a whirl. […]

  14. New You Challenge: Week Six « thirtythreeandcounting replied:

    […] on finding balance don’t neglect the other parts of this challenge; staying hydrated (week one), mindful eating (week two and week three)and fitness (week four and week five) as these are key […]

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