Challenge One is in the Books!

Well it is almost in the books!  12 weeks.  6 mini challenges.  One 5K walk.  Several interesting and informative presentations (and many more that I was unable to attend).  Well done Calgary Co-op – and I’m very impressed with what was made available to our city!

I had intended to write about this more often, but I didn’t.  Here’s a summary, and if you live in or around Calgary, there’s always next year!

The challenge started at the end of January, just when resolutions might be flagging! There was an information fair with lots of treadmill reading available.  Our TOPS chapter quite enjoyed the “Little Books of big health tips” presented by Pfizer.

One of the challenges (Number 5) focused on family meals.  But for those of us who are single, these meals are just as important.  Meals and meal times keep us from grazing mindlessly because we don’t feel like cooking.  This challenge reminded me that it’s a good thing to take the time to roast some asparagus once in a while!

These were my goals:

  • Break into a sweat more frequently!
  • Do one or two 1 hour workouts on the elliptical machine.
  • Eat less in the evening.
  • Increase vegetable consumption.
  • Eat meatless meals twice a week.

The final challenge is to write a short essay type of response to the challenge and how it made a difference.  Here’s sort of what I’m submitting!

My Whole Health Challenge actually began on January 3, 2011 when I joined the gym down the street.  I weighed in that day at 253.5 pounds.  Now, 15 weeks later I weigh about 232 pounds.  I’ve lost over 20 pounds, at least 14 inches and I’ve got my first “event” t-shirt of the year!  But…I’ve gained so much more!

I’ve gained a cheering section.  Every morning when I show up at the gym there are people who are glad I got up and out of bed – important when you’re a single gal!  They notice changes before I do.  The same goes for my friends.  They’ve sent me red envelops of encouragement.  They ask me how I’m doing – and I know I couldn’t keep it up without their support.  People are reading my blog and that encourages me too.  I have a much larger circle of encouragement – and I’m going to need them as I keep on going.

I’ve also gained  the acceptance that “sweat happens” and it’s a good thing.  I do NOT  like to sweat.  But rare is the day that I don’t use my towel to wipe my perspiring brow.  It wasn’t that way at first.  I didn’t even need a towel in my gym bag until the day I decided that I was going to do an elliptical mile in 12 minutes!  Did I ever sweat then!  It hasn’t stopped since.

While I’ve not been able to do the hour long work-outs on the elliptical machine (Too boring – I’m one of those people who really needs change)  I have developed an hour long routine that fits my style.  I start with the mad dash on the elliptical, where I sweat profusely and move quickly (11 minute milestone is achieved).  Then I head over to the stationery bike and pedal at a moderate pace for another 15 or 20 minutes.  I get a good bit of reading time in here when I’m not stretching my arms and upper body.  Then it’s off to the treadmill where I spend most of my time adjusting speed and incline so that my heart rate stays around 110.  And after these twelve weeks, I can say that my speed, distance and endurance has increased!  That too is a good gain!

I do plan to participate in other challenges along the way.  They are motivational.  They focus your attention on the matter at hand – in this case health.  They are also a bit of a diversion – and add some fun to getting up and getting to it!

Have a wonderful evening and a restful Sabbath day.



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Filed under RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas, WHITE: Thoughts, mostly of a spiritual nature

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