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What I get from the 5% Challenge

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The 5% Challenge is a group of Sparkers who are assigned to different teams for the purpose of a competitive "race" to a new location each week. Points are earned through exercise minutes, and one or two "Living the Good Life" goals. Note, there are no points earned for weight lost. Teams earn bragging rights and participants earn badges based on their participation.

But what do you really get from the 5% Challenge? What I was looking for when I joined Spark People was the support of others on the same journey. Spark People has thousands and thousands of members. It can be hard to interface with that many people. The 5% Challenge teams gives you a much smaller support group to interact with. My team has under 50 people and it is much easier for me to give and receive support and encouragement from my teammates.

You also get an accountability system. Weigh-ins are required weekly. Reporting your exercise and Living the Good Life goals are required daily. If your team is to succeed, you must participate, which means exercising daily and acting on the Living the Good Life goals. Other than that, no one tells you what you MUST do. You decide what you can do.

The challenge is 8 weeks long which is long enough for some of those Living the Good Life goals to sneak into being habitual behavior. If not, some are repeated in the next challenge. 8 weeks of consistent exercise. 8 weeks of focusing on exercise and good health habits. I can do 8 weeks.

At the end of each challenge, you get the chance to sign up for the next challenge, and you get a break from required participation, although my team chooses to keep an informal weigh-in and Living the Good Life challenge going during the breaks.

Do I slack off between challenges? Not on your life! The challenges reinforce the benefits of daily exercise and healthy habits. Exercise is a daily commitment now, as is getting that water in, and I'm almost where I need to be on getting adequate rest each night. Other habits are still works in progress.

Every challenge, my goal has been to lose 5% of my body weight. Have I done that? No, I have not yet met that goal. However, I have ended each challenge weighing less than I did when I began. I count that as a win.

Everyone has an end game in mind. However, reaching goal weight is not the only victory. It's the lifestyle change that has to take place to get there. It's the shift in mindset that occurs on the journey. That's where the true victory lies.

I believe the 5% Challenge helps me to build the lifestyle change and mindset muscles that I will need to get me to goal weight. That's what I'm getting from the 5% Challenges.
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