Saturday, December 10, 2011

Up for a Challenge?

I have been blogging for almost four and a half years now, and I have never (to my memory) joined in any of the "challenges" that bloggers do. They seem pretty popular; you set some kind of goal, whether it is walking a certain number of miles, working out a certain number of times per week, or losing the most weight. People add their names and say "me too!" or "I'm in!" and everyone encourages each other to stick with it. A little competition and the accountability of publicly saying you will do something can be very motivating. I just have never done it. The closest I ever came was the Habit-A-Week Challenge which I made up and posted on my blog some time ago as a way for people to change their lives slowly and for good. But there wasn't really an official check-in or sign-up or any interaction between participants or anything like that.

Lately, I've been thinking about doing some kind of a challenge. I like the camaraderie and support that you get from trying to do something important *together.* I know this blog reaches a lot of people; I wonder if there is some way I can help YOU get motivated and *stay* motivated and feel supported as you change your life. I am sure it would help me as well.

I'd like to figure something out to take advantage of the new energy and big surge in desire to lose weight/get fit/become healthy that comes with January first. I'd like to find a way to harness all that positivity in a way that will help us all move forward as a group. I don't want you to feel alone. I don't want you to drop out after a couple of weeks. I want us all to have *significant* changes in our health and weight by, say, summertime. You can do a lot of work on yourself and truly change your body for the better in six months.

I know fitness is important, and there is much more to health than just losing weight. But I am thinking of creating a challenge that does focus mainly on weight loss as a desired outcome, even if the challenge is not focused only on numbers on a scale. I mean, if there was a challenge to eat 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day while limiting junk food, a side effect of that would be weight loss. That could even be one of the main goals of changing one's eating. But it also would affect your health for the better. And, in a lot of cases, when one is obese or morbidly obese, weight loss can improve one's health.

So, for now, I am just mulling it over in my head. I have thought about what might be helpful to a lot of people wanting to do something about their weight or to get off a plateau. I thought about having a sign-up and maybe a weekly check-in as well as ramping up participation in my community. We could use BlogFrog to talk to each other about how we are doing, and have threads on various challenges we are facing. We could even have a weekly live support chat if people were interested. I think having a bunch of friends who are working on the same goals and getting to actually talk to each other in chat might be motivating.

So, what do you think? I am totally open to suggestions. Would you participate? What would YOU like to see in a challenge? I want to change our lives.

21 comments:

lisa~sunshine said...

I would be interested.. I would love to chat.. and be held accountable..
I have joined other challenges and I do enjoy the motivation they offer.. and also the online friendships I have made from them.. Great Idea Lynn...
I'll be curious to see what others think because you do reach a wide range of people here

Jaclyn said...

I don't really have any ideas about what the challenge should be, but I would love to take part! I'm trying to lose the last 14-15lbs, and I'm slowing down/losing motivation. This might be just what I need!

Princess Dieter said...

Challenges ended up being integral t my success. I think it was the communal accountability. One got me kicked into losing (albeit slowly) summer 2010, and I started that at 266 lbs... and then it made me be accountable weekly on a new blog. Shortly thereafter, I joined a series of challenges...then hosted two of my own. And am hosting another in January. Took me from 266 to 178 so far...and helps me get through plateaus, cause I still have to be accountable. No non-blogging despair. I gotta blog and post my weight and make goals. So, for me, they work. That's why I host them.

I think you should do this. It might end up being great for you.

I find that the ones that work best are the ones that require up front honestly, clear goals, and total weight accountability. No fudging. I think you know, being a WL blogger as long as I have, that when folks DO NOT want to post a number, it's bad news. :) So, posting a number weekly was a form of really focusing for me.

The other two things that mattered were caloric control and hydration and exercise. I've added a support component to mine (you HAVE to comment supportively on at least X number of blogs in the challenge per week).

This time, we're offering some small prizes. 1 for most supportive blogger in the challenge. 1 for most enlightening.

I am working on the rules for the next one. I plan to make it...more demanding of the bloggers, not in terms of calories, etc, but in posting accountability and supportiveness.

I like the camaraderie, frankly, and I need the accountability.

Happy planning, Lyn.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, and I love this idea. Actually, I just looked through your habit-a-week challenge, and it looks fabulous!!! I tend to get overwhelmed by all the habits I am trying to change, so maybe focusing on one a week (with support) would make a big difference for a lot of us! Would you have any interest in doing that again?

Andrea said...

I want to participate with whatever you chose to do. This is a great idea! I'm new to reading weight loss blogs and I'm kind of addicted. They help me focus on things I need to change about myself.

Sara said...

Hi Lyn -- I really enjoy your blog and frank discussions about the ups and downs of weight loss. I would love to take part in a challenge. I read weight loss blogs, rarely comment but think it would be a good thing to add to my plan... I don't have a blog though, would that be required to participate? Happy Holidays!

liz said...

After a total binge day after my weight was up (what sense that makes I don't know). I would like a little challenge to motivate me : )
Love your honesty Lyn and you will reach goal in 2012 I can feel it.

Tiffany said...

I would be interested in a challenge. I am doing my own personal 30 day challenge right now but it is not the same as having other people online do it with you.

Not only does it help with motivation but for some one like me it who is quite competitive it helps give me the kick in the butt I need.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn
I'm a long-time reader and rarely comment, but I would love to see you lead a challenge.
Marianne19

spunkysuzi said...

I would definitely love to be in a challenge. I know I don't comment a lot but I do read every post!

Kat said...

I would be up for a challenge!!

Elizabeth said...

I am interested. I am fairly new to your site and I enjoy reading it. I would LOVE to join some sort of challenge to help keep me accountable with starting an exercise routine. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Anonymous said...

hey im for it,i love your honesty in your blog and think you are an inspiration to us all, one because you have regained and trying to get back on track and its not just following a diet, its all about lifestyle...

amy_joy81 said...

How about a challenge that helps all of us reach a goal and stick together...and would help others too? I'm thinking of a charity walk. Lyn, you could pick your favorite charity and see if there is a charity 5k or 10k in your area coming up in the next few months. Try to pick a charity that holds walks all over the country. Then challenge all of us to finish a charity walk too....preferably the same charity as you pick so that we can all feel as though we are "walking together" even though we are all scattered around the country/world.

Kyle Gershman said...

I'm plannning on doing the PCRM 21-Day Vegan Kickstart beginning on January 2nd...that is an idea.

Anonymous said...

Good idea, Lyn -- what if everyone participating just commits to something that will help them? I'm thinking a challenge right now would be good though, to get through to Jan. 1 as best we can...

For me, the challenge would be journalling food, eating only at the table when I'm alone & weighing daily.

I do aim for lots of fruits and veggies, little to no simple carbs, lowish carb in general but the above is always very helpful to me.

Arabella

Anonymous said...

Great idea ! Holiday season is coming so maybe eating wisely these last 3 weeks of the year. Or whatever you like. I will be in.

Anne H said...

I don't do challenges.... but I love to play along!

SG said...

sounds fun!

Amy said...

I love a challenge! I am new to your blog, and looking to find some more inspiration. I bet a community that is able to motivate each other would be a great way for us to benefit from each other. Congrats on sticking to it and loosing the 100 pounds! It is nice to see that you don't have to be on The Biggest Loser in order for that to happen!

Anonymous said...

Great idea! My work held a pedometer challenge - you wore a pedometer every day and whomever had the most steps at the end of 4 weeks won! It was really motivating to get moving more. The marathon runner won, though (not fair! LOL)