A Family Health Challenge Recap

For 8 weeks, Brett and I participated in a health challenge with several family members. I really liked the challenge we did, because it really focused on making healthy habits and healthy lifestyle changes.  I'm not a real advocate of cutting out entire food groups and I also liked that this health challenge was able to be customized for each individual and what works best for them.  We did the 8 Week Health Challenge from Six Sister's Stuff.  I seriously think it is a great one for people to try out!  Like I said, it can be customized to encourage weight loss, or just to create good habits.

After the Family Fun Run

For instance, any exercise would qualify, so that was up to me!  I have really liked blogilates.  She has awesome work outs, and an excellent beginner's workout calendar.  She also releases a new (free!) workout calendar every month.  Honestly, I have seen some incredible results for the limited amount of time I dedicated to doing her workouts.  I have improved the strength in my core, legs, arms, and feel so much more toned.  I also am improving my flexibility, which is great and makes me feel better.  The first time I did some workouts, it was embarrassing how quickly I tired, and how poor my form was.  But I love going back and doing the same workouts and realizing how far I have come.  I also liked having the option of doing this at home during nap time or later in the evening, especially if I couldn't make it out to run during daylight.  There is no way I am running outside in the dark.  Besides the fact that it is pitch black most places, there are wild packs of javalinas, snakes, rats, and endless amounts of creepy crawlies out there.  I prefer to have bright light to have the best use of all my senses.  (I still sometimes run by tall grass and think I hear rattling, and think of a rattlesnake all coiled up, but it is most likely my imagination...however, it makes me run faster!)

I combined some blogilates with running 2-3 times a week.  Usually I run in the late morning and push the kids in the jogging stroller.  Also a good workout.  I don't run too far, usually between a mile and a half and two miles.

Some days I did a run and workout video the same day, sometimes I did one of the activities in a day.  And many days I didn't do any workouts.  It's still a work in progress.  However, I feel so much better now that I am more active and it is motivating to get up and do something, since I know I will feel so good the hours and days following.

For food, it was also up to us to decide for ourselves!  I think all of us wanted to lose weight, especially since a handful of us have recently had babies and wanted to get back down closer to our pre-pregnancy weight.  But since I still breastfeed, I wasn't interested in counting calories or cutting back on them too much.  So the way I approached the food portion, was eating "clean" and less processed foods.  Trust me, I still cheated a lot, though.  It is eye-opening to realize the small bad habits you have, until you are forced to pay attention.  I didn't realize how often I reached for a bite of chocolate, or skipped breakfast, or didn't quite pack as many veggies into a day as I should.  That's why I liked this challenge, it increased my awareness.  I started eating multiple helpings of green salad and steamed veggies at dinner time, if I wasn't full, instead of loading up on the pasta that I made as an entree, I tried to push through cravings or not have a midnight snack before crawling into bed.  Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I did not.

Most importantly, I got to drinking a lot more water.  I invested in this water bottle, and I am obsessed with it.  Unfortunately, so is Landon.  I should probably get another one to rotate with, since I often turn around and see too much toddler slobber all over my water bottle.  If I drink about three of these a day, I am doing excellent in regards to water intake.

End Results
At the end of the challenge, Brett weighed in 10 pounds lighter and I weighed in 8 pounds lighter.  We were really excited about that!

A couple weeks following the challenge, we did an Allred Family 5k/10k.  I came in last, but it's okay.  Hopefully it will be an annual event and I can set goals to improve.  I did run the whole time and I had had a rough week in regards to kiddos, so I'm considering it a success.

I plan on posting a few meals that we liked during our health challenge. They aren't earth-shattering ideas, but they are the kind of ideas I like to stumble upon.  If a recipe is too weird or complicated, I won't even attempt making it.  Hopefully I will get around to posting them soon!