Friday, December 30, 2011

Weight Loss Challenge 2012: Let's Do This!

Okay! I am ready to share with you the Challenge I have put together for the new year! I am very excited to get started and hope this helps all of you as much as it will me.

This is something I had been planning to do for *myself* for some time now. I wanted to make these healthy changes, which will (in combination with not eating junk) lead to weight loss *without* focusing heavily on the number on the scale. The real focus here is on better health and a happier life. Weight loss is a side effect, even though it is also a goal.

This will be a two-part challenge: the Superfoods Challenge and the Fitness Challenge. You can choose to take part in one or the other or both. I will be doing both!

Part 1, the Superfoods Challenge

Back in 2007, right before I started this blog, I got a book called SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life. It's a simple book, with a simple premise: focus on getting in as many of these superfoods each day as you can, and you'll be healthier and lose weight. A friend of mine had told me that when she did this, she was so busy making sure she ate the superfoods that she neglected to eat junk, sugar, fatty stuff, and other less nutritious food. She was so focused on what TO eat that she didn't really notice what she was NOT eating, and was never hungry. I tried it, too... not a DIET, not a PROGRAM, but just making a list of the 14 superfoods, posting it on my fridge, and eating them at every meal and snack. Oh, you can have other foods, too, but the superfoods are the main focus. And lest you think you'd get bored, each superfood has what the author calls "sidekicks" which are healthy alternatives. So, for example, you can eat the superfood broccoli, but if you are getting tired of broccoli you can have one of its sidekicks which have a similar nutritional profile: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, turnips, cauliflower, or collard greens. Serving sizes are listed and it is really very simple. For the challenge, I will post a new Superfood each Monday that we will try to incorporate into our diets that week. All you have to do to join this challenge is commit to TRYING each Superfood (or at least one of its sidekicks) each week when it is posted. I will post preparation ideas and recipes for each one during that week. Sound easy? It is! *There will be an accommodation for low carbers like myself who may not be eating from certain food groups at this time, so don't worry :)

If you want to get started right away, you can order the book (linked above and very cheap on Amazon right now) and start reading. Otherwise, hang in there until Monday and I will post our first Superfood, explain its nutritional value and how to shop for it and prepare it, and list its sidekicks. This should be fun!

Part 2, the Fitness Challenge

This one is as hard or as easy as you make it. If you join this challenge, the goal is to become more fit in 2012. You will need to make a plan for fitness, including a schedule of when and how long you will exercise. Put it in your planner or on your calendar like an appointment and stick to it. Figure out NOW how to ease into activity if you're sedentary (clear it with your doctor first) and work up to the level that gives you optimal health. So, right now, answer these questions for yourself:

1. What kinds of activity do I enjoy? What kind of exercise WILL I do and not put off? What do I like to do? Consider lots of ideas, such as walking, biking, skating, boxing, classes, weight lifting, dancing, jogging, swimming... whatever you LIKE and will DO.

2. How much can I do without hurting myself or hating it? If you're not sure, ease in gradually. You can pick more than one activity and add them in, one per week or one per month, as you are able. You can start with 5 minutes if you need to.

Write it down now and plan a start date... today if you like, or January 1 or 2. Then DO it. We will have a post for reporting our activity and progress once a week, probably on Fridays. I will post my activity plan and ask for you to post yours in the comments (and on your blog if you like) on Tuesday. So get it ready!

That's it. Real, simple changes you can make gradually in your eating and activity. You might think it silly for a challenge to be to eat a certain food every week, but time goes by quickly and the results are cumulative. In 14 weeks we will be eating ALL of the Superfoods each day, and our bodies will thank us. Give it a try, it's easy!

For those who want even more of a challenge, there is always the Habit-A-Week Challenge archives at the top of my page, which you can start anytime and do at your own pace. Small changes yield great results.

Let me know in the comments section which challenge(s) you will be participating in! I am here to help you, and will try to answer questions left as comments on each challenge post and help with any struggles you're having. I also encourage you to check out my BlogFrog community; we can chat there on the message board, you can ask questions and discuss how things are going for you, and we can even try having a live chat sometime! Let's help each other get healthy!


A said...

I am in!! I have been reading for a couple of years and growing stronger from your example. I am ready to make the changes. I love the idea of incorporating a super food each week, and focusing on what you can eat instead of what you can't eat. I am also ready to get moving!! This is going to be great!! Thanks for the challenge!

spunkysuzi said...

I'm in for both challenges. Friday works out well because I've made it my weekly update day :) I'm looking forward to trying new things.

Sara said...

Thanks! I'm in for both challenges... Sara

Bobbie said...

This sounds like something that I have talked to the other 3 ladies I work with about. We have committed to each other to set small doable goals and be accountable to each other. So to have another accountability partner I would like to join both challenges with you. Thanks for the help.

Human in Progress said...

I will join in the fitness challenge because I have come to a complete standstill in that area.

And while I won't be doing the Superfoods Challenge exactly, I will be watching and learning with interest. I might adapt it for myself; I can see myself attempting to get all the superfoods (except soy) in each week, but not each day, for example.

Thanks for doing this!

Jennneil said...

I want to be in both the Superfoods Challenge and the Fitness Challenge. I'm going to order the book off Amazon right now. I'm very excited. I had just blogged about not knowing how to get into a challenge.
Thank you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, okay. The superfood thingdoes sound like fun and the perfect accompaniment to my own "focus on health" plan I've been tinkering with for 2012.

(OK. I tinkered with it all of 2011, I just didn't consistenly DO IT. Now, to do.)

The activity It doesn't feel so much like fun, but postomg a plan AND being expected to report on how I did with it will be a good tool to keep me focused. (I tend to drift off and before I know it, I've lost a week...month...year.)

I'm in for both. My curiosity requires me to try to find out what all 14 foods are, tho, so I'm off to do a search.


Anonymous said...

Okay. so... We're to post our week's activity goals as a comment on your Tuesday post, then do a mid-week update on how we're doing on Friday--also in your comment section?

I assume that every Tuesday, we'd write a post on our own blog doing a full "week in review" update on how we did with the last week's goals and, then, state our goals for the next week. Or not?

And is this lasting 14 weeks?

Couldl my prize be that I lose all of the weight I regained in 2011, please? Not that I'm focusing on a number rather than health, mind you...


Jaclyn said...

This is the PERFECT kind of challenge for where I'm at in my weight-loss progress right now! Count me in - and thanks for doing this. :)

Karen said...

Ok. I'm in for the fitness chellenge. fitting in 2-3 light strength training sessions a week, along with my aerobic walking will be key to maintenance in 2012.

I'll follow along on the superfoods, but no formal updates.

Will there be separate blog links or tabs for each challenge? KarenP.

Lyn said...

Deb & Karen~

Monday I will start the Superfood Challenge by posting about a specific food and its sidekicks, and that is the food(s) we commit to try for the week (more than once would be a bonus!) I would LOVE it if each person in the Challenge would come back and leave a comment on that post, sharing what you tried and how you prepared it, and whether you liked it or not.

For the Fitness Challenge, I am posting the start on Tuesday simply because I want to focus on it on a different day than the Superfoods, so that is the day we can all share our plan. If you have a blog I think it would be great if you post your plan there and then you could share that in my comments. Each week on Fridays we will post how we did for the week, so Friday will be the regular "how I did in my Fitness Challenge goals this week" update day. Maybe I will set up one of those Linky things so you could link to your Fitness post each week. If I can figure it out maybe we can do that for people who share Superfoods recipes as well.

If you don't have a blog or don't want to share about this on your blog, that's okay! you can still do the Challenge(s) and share your progress in the comments here on Mondays (for Superfoods) and Fridays (for Fitness).

I am thinking 14 weeks, yes, and I will put up a Superfoods tab at the top of my blog once we get rolling!

Cathy said...

I am notoriously bad at challenges but I would like to try this one. I am in.

lisa~sunshine said...

I am in for both.. I already eat a lot of superfoods but I also have issues with digestion of some.. so I"m happy to see the side kicks and i'm sure with all that I will figure out something.. I do try my hardest to stay away from soy so I hope there are side kicks during that which will fit me..
Fitness.. I've not done much the last week and I really feel yucky about it.. I'm happy to see this challenge

I'll be starting a blog for the New Year so I'll be ready.. THanks Lynn for doing this and inspiring us..

Karen said...

Okay! Sounds good. Count me in for the superfoods challenge too. Will fit into my Medifast transition and then my modified Paleo trial in 2012. :). Thanks, Lyn.

Wishful Shrinking said...

I am in. I have never done a challege so this will be something different!


SG said...

i absolutely love the idea of trying a new food every week!!!! and focusing on what TO eat instead of what NOT to eat!

Kat said...

I'm in for both challenges!! Thanks for putting this together!

Anonymous said... We're posting our fitness plan for the week on Tuesday, but three days later, we're going to post how we did for the week?



Lyn said...


you should be forming and writing down your fitness plan now. You can start it today if you're ready, or you can wait and start on the first or second if the holidays are getting in the way. I just picked Tuesday to post about the Fitness challenge because it's a convenient day for me to post it on my blog, so that's just the day we can all *share* our plans, even if you've started it earlier. Does that clarify a bit?

Lyn said...

Also, the Tuesday
post your plan" thing is not a plan for that WEEK, but an overall plan for the whole 14 weeks (or longer if you choose). the only updates on my blog will be on Fridays, sharing how we did in the past week.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhhhhh. The Fitness Challenge plan is for the whole 14 weeks! Ohhhh. Well, that makes more sense. :}

I thought that we were to adjust the plan every week--and post that on Tuesday--and then update how we did on that revised plan.

Ohhhhh. chuckle. sigh. hahaha.

Thanks, Lyn

dsbride said...

I am definately in for the fitness challenge and probably for the superfood challenge as well but that one I have to learn more about. This is going to be my year of accomplishment and hopefully getting to my goal!

Taryl said...

I'm afraid I can't d either challenge, my current plan is very strict on what foods can be eaten and I'm not exercising due to an injury right now, but I'm totally cheering everyone on!

Lisa said...

I'm in for both too Lyn!! I am looking forward to trying the super foods and I will be exercising right along with you. Not sure what I'll do in that department yet but I will write down my goal and stick to it. Thank you for all you do to help us along in this journey! 2012 is the year I WILL get to goal!! Thank you!!!.....Lisa :)

Rosalinda Fairypie said...

I'm in for both of them. I've been exercising throughout 2011 but not consistently and my eating as been terrible so this is the perfect way to start and become better :) This challenge(s) should be great!

Carbaholic Mama said...

I'm in for both! So excited!

Kylonaa said...

I'm in for both of these. I've added a lot more veggies this year but they tend to be the same ones over and over again so some new ones would be great. I think it will be really helpful to write down my baseline fitness goals so I have a way of quantifying each week how I'm doing. Looking forward to it!

Tammy said...

I'm in for both!!:) I will have no problem with the fitness section. I will do my best on the superfoods part.:) I have limited money, so as long as nothing costs TOO much, I should be good.:)

HaLaG said...

great idea! well done :) hope it goes well for everyone. Once my own challenge is over i might have to join in myself :)

Mel's Blog said...

I am up for the fitness challenge, and I have bookmarked your community board and Habit a week.