Here I am again, setting myself a new healthy living challenge. Actually, it is a diet and fitness challenge but I am trying to keep away from the word “diet”. It’s a horrible word and encourages people to think that once the “diet” is over they can go back to what they were doing before and everything will be OK. It won’t be! If you want to lose weight and keep it off, it is a lifestyle change and you need to keep it up for the rest of your life. In my case though, it is a diet and fitness challenge to give me a boost as my lifestyle is healthy enough most of the time to keep me within a normal BMI range. However, occasionally, I do put on weight (or maintain) at the higher end of the normal BMI range and I need to try to bring it down so that I have that little bit of leeway.
On January 1 2011, I wrote a blog on SparkPeople setting out my goals for the year. One of those was to lose around 16lbs before my 40th birthday trip to Walt Disney World in September. Up to the end of March 2011, I had lost 4.5lbs. This was a great start for me as my realistic goal (for me) is to lose 1lb per month and get to 147lbs (10st 7lb) by the time I go on holiday.
So, after a “bad” month food wise, I am setting myself an 8 week healthy living challenge to start on Sunday 1 May 2011 and run until Saturday 25 June. I am calling this my “Step In To Summer” Challenge and is based on small changes and baby steps each week:
Week 1: 1-8 May 2011 – log all food and exercise. I don’t have to stay in a calorie range or meet a minimum exercise goal, just log everything. Take starting measurements for chest, waist, hips, belly, thigh, calf and bicep as well as weight, BMI and body fat percentage.
Week 2: 9-14 May 2011: continue to log all food and exercise PLUS set an exercise goal.
Week 3: 15-21 May 2011: continue to log all food and exercise (with an exercise goal) PLUS water. Aim to drink 8 cups of water per day. If I have any diet coke then I have to drink an extra cup of water for each cup of diet coke OR reduce the number of cups of water by the number of cups of diet coke drunk.
Week 4: 22-28 May 2011: continue to log all food, exercise (with exercise goal) and water PLUS stay within calorie range.
Week 5: 29 May-4 June 2011: continue to log all food, stay in calorie range, exercise (with exercise goal) and water PLUS have a minimum of 5 servings of fruit/veg (freggies) per day.
Week 6: 5-11 June 2011: continue to log all food, stay in calorie range, exercise (with exercise goal), drink water and have 5 servings of freggies per day PLUS stay in range for protein, carbohydrates and fat.
Week 7: 12-18 June 2011: same as week 6
Week 8: 19-25 June 2011: same as week 6 PLUS take measurements at the end of the week to see how far I’ve come.
During my 8 week challenge, I am also taking part in the Race for Life and will be training for that. I hope to finish the 5k event on the 19 June 2011 in less than 35 minutes. I can’t remember my previous time from 2006 or 2007 but I think it was around 37 minutes. I am going to follow the Race for Life’s 5k jogging training plan. After that, I will then be training for the Run for All 10k which takes place on 31 July 2011.