Monica’s Birthday Challenge: Week 7 Results and Week 8 Challenge

Another week has come to an end for Monica’s Birthday Challenge. We now have just one week remaining in the challenge. Crazy!

Are you happy with your progress so far? If not, know that you have the power to make this week different. You can change your path starting now so do it. No excuses!

The results are in and our current leader is still Alexis A. (@divaonadiet) with a total loss of 8.29% so far. I am not even kidding, that is really her number. Woo hoo! Congrats Alexis! That’s pretty amazing! Would you care to share your secrets? 😉

I am so proud of Alexis and the progress she has made but if there is one thing I have learned by watching her weight drop every week is that this challenge, this competition, is personal and unique for each of us. I cannot compare myself to Alexis and wonder what I am doing wrong, why I am not getting the same results as her. All I can do is to be honest with myself, make the best choices I can and try my hardest and whatever the results are is how my body reacts to those choices. I cannot change that. We can only do our best and have to be satisfied with the outcome regardless of whether that number is 8%, 4% or .50%- if we gave it our best we have to be happy with the results. Each day we chose to put our health and wellness first is a victory. I am so proud of all of you for making the choice to do so!

Are you ready for week 8 and our last challenges?

Challenge 1: Minutes…Make them count!

Can you dedicate this week to exercise? I hope so. I hope each of you can carve out some time every day for yourself. It’s important. We need it.

This challenge has two levels; you pick which one you would like to attempt.

Level 1: 200 minutes of fitness. That is roughly 30 minutes a day. For those of us that are super busy, work, kids, travel, etc, 30 minutes a day is still doable. Take a walk on your lunch break. Pop in a DVD after the kids are asleep. Anybody can take 200 minutes out 10,080 minutes in a week for themself, right?

Level 2: 300 minutes of fitness. This is roughly 45 minutes a day. This is a little more intense of a challenge geared to those who have a more flexible schedule and like to spend a bit longer at the gym/working out. Still totally doable for a busy person. It’s only 300 minutes out of 10,080- that’s not even 3% of your week. Yeah, you can do this!

Challenge 2: H20 Baby!

It is only right that if I tell you to bust your butt this week on the fitness side that I also challenge you to make sure you are drinking enough water. This because even more important when you are working out because you need to replenish what you sweat out. Also, this is just something I do and I am not 100% sure if I am correct in doing so but I do not count the water I drink at the gym/immediately after as part of my intake since it is replenishing what was already in my body. For me I do a minimum of 2 liters a day in addition to what I drink working out.  A good rule of thumb for water intake is drinking half of your weight in ounces of water or 64 oz, whichever is higher. Can you drink that every day? I think we should try to reach our recommended water intake every day this week.

Challenge 3: No Crap!

There are certain things that I think are just crap for our body. Meaning they either do more harm than good or no good at all. The reality is, if we eat calorie dense food with no nutrients (think fast food) that our body won’t feel satisfied. It is why we can eat an insane amount of calories at a meal and still feel hungry a few hours later. It is why obesity is out of control in this country. We are over fed and nutrient deprived. It’s SAD- the Standard American Diet.

Choosing to eat foods that are full of nutrients satisfy our bodies, leave us feeling full and decrease our chances of overeating while also giving us the nutrients we NEED to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Foods with vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids in addition to fat, carbs, protein and fiber. All of these things are imperative for our health.

Without me going into foods I think are crap that may be more difficult for people to eliminate from their diet I will just pick some of the key players and let you decide which one you would like to eliminate this week.

Soda– I haven’t drank soda in I don’t know how long. Maybe 10 months. I used to be a junky (I only drank diet soda all day long, like easily a 2L a day) but now soda disgusts me. Filled with high fructose corn syrup (or other nasty chemicals if you drink diet) and caffeine and whole slew of bizarre shit we probably shouldn’t be putting in our body. It provides us with zero nutrients, it dehydrates us, and it adds in bad chemicals that we work so hard to flush from our system by drinking water. It does nothing good for our body at all.  And if you care to know, I feel the same way about pretty much any flavored beverages like Crystal Light or any artificial sweetened drinks. I drink herbal tea and water only but I wasn’t always that way. I am just saying it is possible to break the addiction, if you want to.

Chips/French Fries– the result of following the Standard American Diet shows that half of our fruit and vegetable intake (which is only 12% of what we are eating, very sad)comes from one vegetable in particular. POTATOES. My guess is that the 6% potato intake comes from crappy fries and chips not healthy baked potatoes. Potatoes are not the enemy. Well not until you strip away all the nutrients they provide (like fiber from the skin) and then deep fry them adding in fat, usually the bad kind. Or maybe just as bad, take a healthy baked potato and load it up with bacon, cheese, butter, sour cream. Yes you get some protein from bacon but really you just added in fat, fat, fat, and fat. Yes, we do need fat to survive. Fat intake is important but in the land of good fats and bad I lump butter, cheese and milk in the bad fat category but I understand if you don’t feel the same. Everything in moderation, right? I eat baked potatoes and sweet potatoes pretty regularly and when I add in my fat it comes from avocado or beans (both of which provide more than just fat) and am completely satisfied after I eat and never feel deprived. So, this week I challenge you to give up potato chips and french fries and try swapping them out for healthy baked potatoes with yummy and nutritious toppings.

Candy/Cake/Cookies-sugar, especially white seems to be the number one enemy of the Standard American Diet. There is sugar in everything. EVERYTHING. That’s how I felt when we did the sugar challenge a few weeks ago and realized it was added into almost every packaged food I bought. Crazy. Another junk food item I feel we could all do better without is sweets. Again, when you look at what it is you are eating and how much sugar is in it maybe a week without sweets is a good thing. Not all sweets are bad, I know dark chocolate has antioxidants which are important but it doesn’t mean to eat a whole cake just because it has dark chocolate frosting. I think a piece of dark chocolate now and again isn’t a bad thing. It’s the bags of candy, cookies and cakes that we eat too many of too frequently is a bad thing. Too much sugar is no bueno so take a week and try to live without it. If you want sweets eat a piece of fruit. I particularly like to keep frozen white grapes on hand in the summer for a cool, sweet treat.

So there are three food items I consider crap. Pick one and eliminate it from your diet this week. There are healthy swaps for all three so you don’t need to feel deprived. Deprivation is never a good thing but finding healthy items to replace the junk is.

Good luck and thanks for reading!


April 15, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Monica's Birthday Challenge, Weight Loss. 2 comments.