Monday, January 14

I won the Healthy Holidays Challenge!

I won in the Muscle Building category of the Healthy Holidays Challenge! :) It was a real boost--reaffirming my workout goals, reclaiming my nutrition goals, and renewing my basic commitment to myself. The Healthy Holidays Challenge was just the beginning, though. I'm committing to a more focused approach to my physical health in 2013, and I look forward to sharing my journey with you as I continue to learn!

Becki over at Fighting For Wellness ran the Challenge via Facebook. It was a pleasure to get to know the group of ladies and gents that came together to be part of the challenge. Some were working towards weight loss, others towards losing inches off their waistlines, and then there were a few like me who weren't looking to lose weight or inches, but, instead, to build muscle. Whatever these folks were working towards, they did it with grace, perseverance, and humility. We all patted each other on the back and cheered each other on, but we also encouraged each other when we "fell off the wagon" or even got run over by said wagon, haha... and kept everyone going. It was a great group of people.

Each week of the Challenge, we emailed Becki our measurements. Sometimes I was reluctant to measure myself because I wasn't sure I was going to like the result... But I knew that my fellow participants were probably facing that same struggle, so I did it for solidarity when I couldn't do it for myself.

During the Challenge, we tweeted and posted pictures to Instagram and Facebook to share our healthy habits. (Search hash tag #healthyholidays.) I posted workout data, sweaty post-workout pics, plates of healthy food, tubes of Nuun, race pics, bottles of Drink Chia, washed and cut fruit and veggies, and attempts at new recipes.

I introduced new types of exercise into my workout schedule (especially when I was injured). My weight lifting routine is more regular and more invigorating than ever. I'm excited that I think I've learned how to do it correctly so I don't get hurt. I'm seeing definition I've never had...

My biggest struggle during this three month time period was nutrition. I started using eMeals to learn how to do meal planning and shopping more effectively, and I'm enjoying it. But I'm on some medication that I need to stay on and it messes with my appetite... making the problem with food especially challenging for me. I'm not really "over" this issue yet, but I'm getting much better at managing it.

The best part about incurring this problem during the Challenge was that I received such great support. I posted to the Facebook group out of desperation, and the responses I got were wonderful. They suggested new food to try, new recipes, patterns to look for in my eating behavior, and lots of other great tips that have helped me sort out some of this frustration.

The reality is that during these three months, I wavered in nutrition enough that my physical health wasn't affected... but I need to make sure that my eating habits match my exercise habits. I haven't gotten to that point. I'm getting there...

My continuation plan is still coming together, but helping me so far are the coaches in the running group I am training with. Also helping is the prize package from winning this challenge--I received a shipment of Drink Chia the other day, and I anticipate my Chobani any day now. Those, in addition to the PowerBar prize package I got from participating in @nycrunningmama's Race for Recovery on December 8th in support of the victims of Hurricane Sandy, are helping me get a handle on how to fuel myself around my workouts. I'm using my eMeals subscription to help me figure out my meals outside of my workout time... and I'm committing to a minimum number calories and a four small meals per day to keep myself on track.

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