“Sacrifice who you are for what you can become.” – Jordan B. Peterson
If you’re in a hurry and want to read the challenges, scroll down. If you have a few minutes to spare, read on.
Congrats on getting this far through the challenge! It hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t been impossible either. Cheers to you. In the past 6 months, my hobby has included devouring a wide range of psychological literature from Viktor Frankl, Nietzche, Joseph Campbell and Jordan Peterson, and would hope to shed some light on the script of the inner battles you are having with yourself. You are not alone.
-Week 1. Day 1.
In the brain, neurons are slapping hypothetical hands faster a than non-rhythmic child at sing-along dance party. You’re excited about the possibilities of the future and what you could become. Most of all, you’re excited about dem abs!!! AB-raham Lincoln? Downton AB-bey? AB-solutely! The groceries have been bought, meals prepped and the water runs through you. Eight hours of sleep got it. Five meals devoured. Mobility smashed. Training, floored. Reflection, written….and in the mirror. Selfie. #fitnesssingles Post. Challenge, a piece of cake. Metaphorical cake, that is.
-Week 2. Day 1.
After finishing the first weekend of clean eating and ignoring the beer, desserts and cloud-like gluten-filled meat bookends, you start to see that you really are going to crush this challenge and snort the rewards. You check the scale and see that 5+lbs have been peed away. Meal prepping isn’t quite as exciting as at it once used to be, but you know it’s crucial to success. Sacrifice now for later and dem abs!! AB-dominable SWOLEman. Princess LEANa (Best I could do for a Star Wars reference) Sleep, mobility, training, reflections and weekly challenges are great, forcing me to organize and break out of my comfort zone to become the best version of myself.
-Week 2. Day 6.
Hello, Saturday. Hello, chicken, kale and ever-so-sweet sweet potato. 10am gym time. Ruling the workout like a Fitatorship and striking down reps left and reich. Every point accounted for excluding meals because the day is yet long. You have a dinner party to go to that night and it is your favorite restaurant. Surrounded by friends who have no clue the internal struggle going on inside your head and mouth. A friend calls upon you, “Blair, are you going to order spaghetti with no meat and extra parm again?!” You smile, an uncomfortable giggle and a nervous sweat breaks out through your gray top. All you can muster is, “You’re welcome.” and smile awkwardly again. Then you order……
-Week 3. Day 7.
Standing beside the halfway point mile-marker and three more weeks to go to sit atop the mountain. Just as the middle of most things, Wednesdays, 2k row, the round of 15 and life: these weeks are the hardest. You know this and you also know that it will be easy to have some sort of cheat and get off the wagon. Do you choose the dopamine cocktail of instant gratification, ice cream and guilt? Or, do you choose to see what you are capable of and stick it out for three more weeks and ride the serotonin stagecoach to fulfilling lands undiscovered?
-Week 5. Day 1.
Two weeks to go. Clothing seems to be fitting better in the good and bad areas. Cravings aren’t as bad as they once were after adding another meal. Water is more enjoyable #RIPdietcoke Not as many aches and pains. The extra sleep is making annoying things tolerable and the brain is firing off like fireworks at a 4th of July parade. That night you go to a work party and a coworker has made their world famous caramel cake and offers you a piece. A small slice of heaven to the obnoxiously flavor-deprived taste buds. You indulge. Your taste buds explode with flavors the likes of which may only be recreatable by riding a unicorn across Candy Mountain and diving into the caramel wonderfall. Point deducted.
-Week 5. Day 1. Two hours post caramel goodness.
WTH. After your stomach sounding like a cow gnawing on a rubber ducky, eyelids heavier than a 3-pood kettlebell and motor functions running on turtle speed, you decide to go to sleep. Lackluster sleep, that is. #insulinrollercoaster
-Week 5. Day 2.
Back in the Habit like Whoopi and avoiding the downward spiral, you’re back to the new normal of health and happiness halfway through the day. Falling off is easy. Getting back on is noble and hard. Work hard.
-Week 6. Day 1.
Head down, eyes forward. Determination has never been so high. The battelplan for the week is laid out like an organizational masterpiece that any Colonel would admire. This will be the easiest week yet. You make one final push to get some extra workouts in, cut back on the portion size, slumber like Sleeping Beauty and rack in the challenge points to ensure the highest possible sum.
-Week 6. Final Day 7pm 10Experience Culmination Party.
Weigh-ins, pounds down, scores and reps are recorded. Socializing with the like-minded group of fellow members, you catch yourself thinking back on all the struggles between mind and training, mind and food, mind and sleep, mind and PVC, mind and mind, and smile. The path to success isn’t a straight line or a perfectly paved road; it has pot holes, wrong turns and lots of counterbalancing to get where you want to be. Don’t flood the house to put out a match. To get here you have to kill your old self and be born again from a challenge to a lifestyle then, ultimately, sharing health with the ones you care about to raise the collective whole to a new level. Be the inspiration and the star which people follow.
WEEK 4: Leave Everything on the Paper
This week we have two challenges. The first will make your life better and the second will improve someone else’s.
Challenge 1: Take time to write down (on paper, no phones) what you accomplished that day OR take time to write down a to-do list for the next day. Why? Sleep is one of the Four Pillars to health and wellness defined by Robb Wolf (and many others), but if our minds are racing while laying in the bed, then inevitably it will make it more difficult for us to fall asleep and flourish the upcoming day.
Challenge 2: Handwrite two letters to two different people you deeply care about and tell them how they have impacted your life in a positive way. Gratitude can have many healing powers and always leaves us with a happier and more fulfilled life. Ask for their address and let the heart do the writing.