We're about to start the official BL challenge for this fall, which means that I will probably fold my hand for the personal challenge and concentrate on the group effort. It has been an interesting experiment to try and push myself a little in the time between challenges. As always, the reflection process has given me a little more clarity about where I'm really at in this process.
One epiphany is that, despite the 10 weeks of the summer challenge, I really am not ready to go on autopilot. That means that planning meals, cooking, tracking (and tracking everything too) and focusing on The Diet are all things I have to make a conscious effort to do. No way can I just wing it. I found out how easily I fall off the rails without that extra accountability that the challenges provide.
In addition to focus, another epiphany is about endurance. Losing weight is hard work, am I right, folks? These past 20 days have shown some pretty inconsistent performances, and a lot more days that I went over my calorie range, compared to other weeks. I struggled to avoid the negative self talk about my (lack of) willpower, laziness about exercise and so on. Instead, I tried to think about what is realistic. How can I make some rules about fitness and nutrition that will actually stick in the long term. After all, at the rate I'm losing, I'll still be dieting for at least another 6 months, if not a year. seen from that angle, 2 or 3 weeks is just a blip in time. That stops me from beating myself up too much, but it also gives me some insight into how deep some of my habits run. I hope that the Fall challenge includes some activities to help build up good habits, since for me this part - the long term part - is the most daunting.
Tomorrow starts the challenge with the weigh-in .I will be posting the same weight as I ended with 3 weeks ago (unless I miraculously lose or gain in the next few hours). I was hoping that my personal challenge would have given me some loss, so I'd be starting a bit lower, but it didn't happen that way. From all the tracking data, I know exactly why (namely, I ate too much), and I know that I have to focus on finding those strategies that will keep me within my calorie range. Cooking and planning meals is going to have to be a regular routine, and not an ad hoc activity.
Looking forward to starting afresh with my BL companions and the rest of the Spark community. Good luck!!