Today is the last day of the challenge, now what? Great question and I think most of you already know the answer, but we will tease it out in a little more detail with this post. First things first, Congratulations! Whether this is your first time attempting the challenge, your first time completing the challenge after several attempts(yeah Lindsay!), or just a reset for some of you grizzled challenge veterans, you should be proud. We said at the outset, that the change in behavior is, by far, the hardest aspect of this challenge and you have taken steps to not only improve your health, but also to set a goal and achieve it. Be sure to fully appreciate the difficulty of what you have accomplished and embrace the power you have in controlling what happens in your life. The last 30 days of self denial and self discipline, will have lasting effects on several areas of your life, not just your physical health. Remember, at the outset, we also said this would be life changing.
"The first and best victory is to conquer self."
Before we jump into how to come off of the challenge in a way that will make the last 30 days as productive as possible, we first want those who are competing in the contest for the gift cards to finish up their homework. If you are not competing, the following exercises would be a great way for you to reflect on what you have gone through and strengthen the results of the challenge. In order to be considered for the prizes, you must do the following. Here is a link to the first blog explaining in more detail the measurements and writing requirements.
- Put pen to paper, or fingers to keys. Write up a brief reflection of your experience. Again, we have found through our own experience that self-reflection is a powerful learning tool, it helps you to appreciate all that you have accomplished and reinforce what has been learned. Be honest, if the experience has not been as profound as we billed it to be, let us know that as well, you will not be punished.
out the tape measure again and hit all of the measurements you did at
the beginning of the challenge. Be sure to measure the same spot and in
the same way as before (ie flexed or relaxed). Make
sure you do this before your first post challenge binge as the
inflammatory response is quick and could negatively effect your results. What the hell, we will even let you jump on the scale and check your weight since you have not weighed yourself since this started ;).
- Get the camera out and take those after pictures. If possible, use the same clothes as in the before pics.
- Send it all in to us by Sunday May 20th. We will review all responses and announce a winner by Wednesday of next week and if the participants are willing, we will share results.
Now for how to come off of a challenge.
We know that most of you have in your mind already what post challenge indulgence you are going to partake in, possibly at midnight on Wednesday. We have found from previous challenges that making the mindset shift that you can actually survive without bread, sugar, dairy, and alcohol seems enough for some and they go whole hog back into the way they were eating before. Within days they feel like crap, are mad at themselves, and begin a series of emotional, crappy eating until the next challenge. Don't let that happen this time. Use the effort of the last 30 days to find out what foods really bother you.
Introduce each of the eliminated foods one at a time and pay close attention to how you react to them. Pay attention to everything, how your stomach feels, your mental clarity, your mood, your bowel movements, your energy levels, your complexion, etc. Food effects everyone in different ways and coming off of this 30 day cleanse gives you a unique opportunity to isolate each of the eliminated foods and see how you react to them.
We want to thank everyone who joined us on this challenge. It is our goal to spread the word on clean eating to as many people as possible and we had our largest group yet participating in this challenge. We will continue with posts over the next few weeks to recap others experiences with the challenge.
We have a lot in store for the coming weeks. We are heading to the Warrior Dash this weekend with a group of friends. We are planning a Memorial Day weekend workout in our neighborhood and trying to get as many people to come out and participate as possible. We will also start to include a series of corrective exercises for common movement problems and focus more on the training aspect of what we do in the blog.