30-Day Accountability Challenge: Final Thoughts & Takeaways
30-Day Accountability Challenge: Final Thoughts & Takeaways
Team! So a full month of accountability.
We did it. 🙂 Everything consumed written down and reported back for the entirety. Even though it wasn’t a rule and I could eat whatever I wanted, making healthier choices was definitely an implied goal of this experiment. So that’s what I did, and this is what I learned. All the major takeaways from the bigger picture of these last 30-days:
1. Consciousness. This one is pretty simple, but because I had to tell everyone everything I was eating, I became aware of everything I was eating. No more unconscious shoveling of the movie popcorn. No more taking one of everything on the table and cleaning my plate. Instead I thought about what I was putting on my plate. Instead I saw the long list of items written in my phone over the day and thought twice about adding more to it in the evenings. I feel like we all want to eat well and choose wisely, sometimes we just have stuff going on and that stuff takes priority in our mind. Unconsciousness. That most definitely used to happen to me. I’m highly highcomms focused, haha, and would unconsciously eat often. Now, I feel like I have new mental muscle memory in play that automatically goes off when it’s time to eat. Now when I’m hungry, I’m triggered to actually consider what I’m going to eat instead of just grabbing the first thing I see in the cupboard.
2. Moderation. Per the rules I set for myself in this accountability-only challenge, I could still eat anything I wanted. I could have cheesecake. I could be a full-on booze hag. I could down the mac-n-cheese. I could have it all, I just had to tell you. Knowing that my choices would be displayed for the world to see and knowing that the sub-goal of this challenge was to also make healthier decisions, I was motivated to simply eat less if I did allow myself something “bad.” I would have one piece of the bread from the basket instead of three. I would have one bite of Nick’s cheesecake instead of a whole piece. The coolest thing about having these smaller bits of bad was that I didn’t feel deprived. I didn’t have massive cravings for tons more, I had my little bit and I was happy. Because I was fueling myself with better stuff that kept my body from screaming more more more…
3. What I’m eating. Given the sub-goal was to actually choose more wisely and not just spend 30 days typing down all the crap I ate so you guys could read it, I wanted to achieve that goal too. (I’m an over-achiever, so be it.) Over the course of the experiment, I wanted to see if I could learn any new lifestyle-changing things, so I started to read Enter the Zone per a trusted friend’s recommendation. As a result, I feel like for the first time I really know why “bad” carbohydrates are actually bad. I’ve heard a million times to steer clear of the breads and pastas, but I just never really connected to why physiologically that mattered. I never knew how that physiological impact of consuming those things is sooooo damaging to a health goal like mine of losing weight, gaining energy, and beating the classic cravings. With this a-ha moment I got a jolt of motivation, and immediately started cutting out “bad” carbs for the most part, and aiming to get my carbs from good sources like fruits and vegetables. I started to read up on Paleo, and I’m still learning now…
4. Mental machinery uncovered. In the midst of truly wanting to make healthier choices and lose weight, I made a point to really investigate what my brain was saying to drive me toward the unhealthy options. In really looking for why I was justifying eating poorly, I discovered that one of my most major core values was in conflict with my goal of good health. I have a HUGE inner value of freedom. I want to do what I want when I want. I want to be free. Period. As such, in moments of weakness, my freedom wiring would take over at the wrong time, mistaking that cake for life experience. Effectively I’d justify eating crap by saying to myself, “I just want to live my life.” Because that freedom is such a massive deal to my most core self, no wonder I always ended up “failing” at healthy living! I highly encourage you to take a look at what your brain tells you too. What are you telling yourself at decision time that pushes you toward the thing you originally said you didn’t want?
5. Sleep is a big freakin’ deal. I almost always forsake sleep for other things. I’m a lover of life and people, as such I hate missing anything that sounds fun or any QT with QP (quality time with quality peeps). I also completely love my business and care a great deal about writing our daily posts, keeping my word, and rocking my other work with my awesome clients, etc. All this comes before sleep in my world. I get a lot of energy just from raw happiness and life alignment, but then there comes that day when you get a simply superb night’s sleep, and it’s like Aladdin on the magic carpet. After a good night’s sleep, it was literally like a whole new world.. full of energy, zero cravings, motivation to eat awesome, and conviction to essentially kill at everything. Without sleep backing me up, it’s WAY harder. Just because I can do it, doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way. My commitment to sleep is a work in progress for sure, but I’m happy I’m working on it at all. It’s 7:22pm right now as I type this section and I’m hoping to really be in electronics-off rest-mode come 9pm.
6. Drinking = cheating = feeling like poop. Vegas, baby. This most certainly falls under the “special occasion” category, and there is no judgement on my choice to booze it up with my pals. I’m glad I did. I’m merely aiming to let you know that feeling less awesome physically and mentally is the reality with the consumption of alcohol. What’s changed me from a more regular drinker to the more deliberate and sporadic drinker I am now is the self-reminder that I have tons of fun without booze. In fact, I often have more fun without booze. I also have practiced saying time and again as a friends are trying to hand me drinks, “No thanks, I’m good,” and then proceed to have a fun awesome sober time as my fun awesome sober self. If you’re a person who always curses themselves after they’ve gotten hammered “again,” I challenge you to try this. Commit to it for one night, or one weekend to just see what happens. See how much fun you still have saying, “no thanks.” Sure, you might get crap from your friends because sometimes that’s what friends think is the cool/nice thing to do, but I can assure you, anyone cool will never actually care you’re not drinking.
7. Accountability inspires action. There is no way in hell I would have done this for an entire 30 days had I not committed to you guys. If you have a goal, tell someone you don’t want to let down to hold you to it. And make sure they follow up with you. For me, accountability really works. I care about keeping my word to you all, as such, I’m going to do what I said and I’m going to stay the course. Accountability is one of the most powerful parts of life coaching too, so if you’re like me and accountability works for you, drop me a line for a Sample Session and we’ll get on with revamping your life, one to-do at a time.
8. It’s not enough. Yes, this was a great experience, but for my ultimate goal of truly molding my body into it’s healthiest, sexiest, strongest shape, it was only a start. I weighed in on October 1st and had lost just shy of 5 pounds. Not bad. I’m glad. My goal is 10. My super booyah goal is 15. I see now just how important what I eat actually is and I’m considering doing the Whole30 challenge recommended by a couple of my people. I’ve been reading up on it and it sounds pretty hard core, and as we all know, I love hard core. Another friend suggested I take a little break because I’ve earned it, and I agree… that said, I can see how slippery that slope really is even in just the two days since I finished. If I decide to do the Whole30, I will definitely let you know… maybe we can do a double-whammy of accountability and hard-core healthy choosing… maybe we can do it together…… hmm.. gears turning! I think next time I’ll write a post a week instead of everyday so that I can sleep more! See, totally learning! hahaha 😀
So that’s my take. I hope you guys learned along side as I traversed this fun experiment. As always, any feedback is 100% welcome and appreciated, as is your time and energy to keep reading. Thank you.
Here’s to the next challenge however it forms, and being in bed by 9pm tonight!
Booyah touchdown we make miracles happen!!!!
PS. Because it’s awesome… sewed my JT patch on my jumpsuit, yay! I’m totally domesticated, Jonathan would be so proud. Hahaa 🙂