What’s in a Challenge, anyway?

Motivation. Heartbreak. Accountability. Discouragement. Achievement. That’s what.  I don’t think I’m doing it quite right.

I told myself I was not going to get on the scale until the end of the month. From October 31 – November 30: no weigh-ins. I didn’t make it.

I joined Coach Jenny Hadfield’s Holiday Challenge. It cost me 15 bucks.  I wanted to see how much, if even just a little bit, my weight would change by staying faithful to a plan. I restarted using My Fitness Pal to track my food, water and exercise. (This one is free, and has a mobile app to make tracking easier. Bonus!)

I have learned (re-learned?) what I already knew.  I do not make the healthiest food choices. I do not eat enough protein. Refined sugar is my enemy. Even so, I was hoping to see that increasing my activity and being mindful of my diet would have some — SOME — positive effect. Not yet. The number didn’t budge.

Now I want to eat my way through a pint of gelato. Mmmmmm, gel-ahhh-to.

I’m doing this alone — no personal trainer (can’t afford one), no support group, no dietician.

But, back to the Holiday Challenge.

I joined because I usually take some time off to rest and recover after a long season of training. My season officially started the first weekend of January this year, and basically went through the marathon October 23.  That’s 10 months. For me that’s a long time. Usually this “time off” ends up being 9-10 weeks of total couch sitting, holiday feasting, hot chocolate sipping (guzzling?), birthday cake eating, ice cream indulging slothful abandon. Did I mention birthday cake? We have three birthdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas in this house.

In addition to using the Challenge to keep me moving I was using it as a way to stay accountable to finishing a different challenge on MayMyRun.  The challenge was  You vs the Year and the goal was to finish 1,000 km walking or running between January 1 and December 31, 2016.  After the marathon I had about 225km to go thanks to a twice-sprained ankle.  To reach the goal and “win” the challenge I would have to average about 26km each week.

I had done that the first two weeks of November and reached my distance goal.  I was hopeful about losing a bit, even one pound. I would have been happy with a half-pound.

Earlier I resolved that I wasn’t quitting.  And I’m not.  I’ve gotta say I want to. The sun sets at 5:20 now. It’s getting colder each day. The motivation for being and getting outdoors is waning

What am I saying?  I want to see some progress. And it’s not visible. So no more scale until November 30 as originally planned. Maybe by then something besides the sunset time will have gone down.

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