Friday, September 14, 2012

Whole Life Challenge

Here we go! I've registered for the Whole Life Challenge with Jenn, and I am super-excited to be competing in this challenge alongside her as well as thousands of other people. I'm representing our CrossFit Box (CrossFit Q8 - the only official CrossFit Box in Kuwait) this year - hopefully we'll have more participants next year.

So, what is the Whole Life Challenge? 

Well, it's an 8-week challenge where we're all required to do 4 things:
1) Daily workout for 10 minutes (purposeful, active workout) [worth 1 point]
2) Daily stretching for 10 minutes (deep stretching) [worth 1 point]
3) Daily intake of fish oil [worth 1 point]
4) Follow the nutritional guidelines [worth 3 points]

The nutritional guidelines are:
- no grains or starches
- no corn or soy
- no sugar or sweetener of any kind
- no dairy
- no alcohol, soda, or juice

Breaking any of those nutritional guidelines results in a 1-point deduction with a maximum of 3 points to lose/day.

Of course there are other details, but these are the basic guidelines. There is also an opportunity to earn bonus points through specified workouts and daily reflections.


I've been trying to mentally prepare for this challenge for the past two weeks. I'm not worried at all about the first three components. I pretty much already have them as part of my daily routine (now I have to make sure they are part of my daily routine). It's the nutritional component that worried me.

Upon reading the list of forbidden foods I thought - seriously? How will I do this?

Over the past two weeks I've been watching what I eat to see how much would change over the next eight weeks. I didn't realize I consumed so much diary (especially cheese) or how much sugar was in so many foods (even something like canned crab in water contained sugar).

That's really what this whole challenge is about - AWARENESS. 

I know I've tracked foods before, but I never looked at them in that much detail.

Something that Michael said during the Challenge Kickoff really struck me:

“It’s not about losing weight as much as it’s about becoming the kind of person who gets to say how it goes all the time. That you say what the results are gonna be and you can easily make the choices that come with getting the results that you want.”

After reading that, I no longer felt afraid. This is all about choices. Life has always been about choices. When it comes to food, I am always in control of my decisions ... there is nothing to fear. This has nothing to do with deprivation -- I see it more as empowering.

I am so excited for the challenge to begin!

We officially start tomorrow with a universal baseline workout and then entering our measurements and other stats.

Let's Do This!


  1. I know you will succeed at this. Anyone with the mental discipline to earn their Ph.D already has the upper hand, IMHO:)

    1. Thanks Marc! I hope so! It's all about staying focused and being disciplined. I'm going to do my best!

  2. I am excited to cheer you and Jenn on... Have fun and good luck! I know you will rock this challenge.

  3. Woohhoo!! Even though I have been crabby about this all day today, I'm getting excited! Glad we are in this together!

    1. I'm glad we're doing this together too! Thanks so much for the invite :)

  4. You can do this and I'm glad you are excited about it. I did a challenge last year around the holidays called the Sweet Tooth Challenge and it helped me so much to leave off the holiday "crap." Keep us posted. :)

  5. Good luck, challenge sounds exciting, you are far braver than me!

    1. Thanks Sarah! Parts of it are intimidating, but I'll try my best!

  6. I can understand why the nutritional component makes you nervous - you totally have the fitness piece down, you'll rock it!!

    I found, attempting Paleo, that the hidden grains & sugars in foods was the hardest part. Sugar in turkey breast? Roasted chicken? Who knew? It made me much more conscious of the food I was eating, and feeding my family too.

    Good luck!

    1. I know! I'm amazed at how many things have sugar added to it. I'm sure this will be quite a learning experience.


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