Darcine Morris: I wouldn't go so far as to say the challenge is easy, but I have developed a routine now that makes it much easier. In the beginning I was always paranoid that I was forgetting something but now I can check each goal off in my mind without having to go look at my list 3 or 4 times before I finally go to bed. I am sure I will keep up most of the challenges, but not 6 days a week! Thanks Anissa for challenging me.
Stacy Johnson: It has been more of a self reflection on what my strong and weak areas are. I am weak when it comes to sugar and my diet pepsi. I don't choose to eat out as much anymore, and am starting to crave more veggies. The desire to exercise my physical body AND my spiritual body has increased, and even though I have only (only? the number just sounds small to me) lost 6 pounds, I can't believe how much stronger I am, how much happier I am, and how much better I feel about myself in general. I knew from week 1, that I would not win, but the accountability has helped me try to keep on track. Regardless of the fact I didn't actually win the contest, the reality is that I won in so many other ways:)
Leah Fowler: Water-I hadn't been fully hydrated since expecting my last son almost 5years ago, so I noticed a huge difference the first week of the challenge. My workouts weren't so exhausting or painful. My skin felt better, my digestive system felt so much better. It still is something I have to keep in mind almost always but each week it has gotten so much easier to get down. I will definitely keep doing this after the challenge!
45 min workout-I am an active person which means I try to keep moving all day. I was really good at getting my workouts done in the morning the first 6 weeks but I was burning out fast with inside workouts. Luckily for me the weather was kind and became warmer so I could get outside but the weather wasn't warm enough to get in a morning workout so I was frustrated. So that is when I made it a point to spend 1 hour playing with my kids everyday to get my workouts in. That was the best thing I could have done. Playing tag, jumping on the trampoline, having jump rope competitions all made it so much more fun for me and my kids were getting fun time too. I do feel that for me 6 days a week of 45 min workouts is excessive for me. 3-4 days a week of actual work outs is a better fit for me, the rest of the week I spend playing or go for walks.
Not eating after 8pm-This was my easiest point. I just don't eat after 8pm so this took no work at all to get. The only time it was ever hard was when I realized that I hadn't gotten all of my fruits or veggies in so I was cramming last minute.
2 fruits and 2 veggies-I was usually pretty good at getting my fruits and veggies in but it was usually more fruits or more veggies, it was never balanced. Fruits also helped me get past my sweet tooth. Once again my digestive track has benefited from this one too.
No soda or fast foods-I rarely have soda anyway so that wasn't hard to omit. We don't eat out except for maybe once every 3 months so this wasn't hard either. I did have to change how I made a couple of my favorite foods such as stir fry so that I wasn't frying anything and started to crockpot more of my chicken instead of frying it like a recipe suggests. Pizza I didn't have to give up because my husband makes awesome pizza from scratch and I don't usually like pepperoni on it. My favorite is leftover ham and pineapple so it worked out great. Tortilla chips was my biggest challenge in this one.
No sugar or sweets-This was a hard one for me. My hardest thing to give up was my cereal (frosted mini-wheats, great grains, honey nut cheerios). I missed my chocolate too but having it once a week was good. I stocked my pantry with sugar alternatives (honey, molasses, maple syrup, agave) and used them often in baking or cooking. Kept raisins on hand too for a quick sweet shot. This once again made me feel so much better. I didn't realize how much until one day I took a sweet day and ate some pancakes with a berry syrup, I felt sick almost immediately. It was amazing how different your body feels when you eat complex sugars instead of refined sugars. Then when you have refined sugar you feel sick because your blood sugar rises so fast and drops just as quickly. That was huge! When I did have my treat days I tried to make good decisions, if I wanted chocolate I got dark chocolate bars. If I wanted a cake (we had 3 birthdays during the challenge) I made it from scratch and used a healthier recipe so I didn't pay for it (feeling sick or dragging) the next day.
Appreciation-This one was easy for me too. I didn't have to think about it because I already do this.
Journal-This was really hard for me. I haven't journaled since I was in junior high because I didn't feel like I had anything important to share. I had a few really mind opening entries but for the most part I had a hard time getting past my list of tasks. It is getting easier but I would much rather write in my journal once a week so I can reflect more on what I learned or special experiences that week.
15 min scripture-This was already a habit so it was encouraging to continue. Last year I read the Book of Mormon 2x so I needed to do something different. So I started reading all the books from the apostles or Prophets that we have in our collection. I have been reading "Jesus the Christ" for the first time and I was able to have a better Easter because of that.
Personal goal-This was a hard one too because I had been busy doing things for other people that I would neglect things that I wanted to do. I spent weeks reaquainting myself with the piano which was wonderful. Then I made a checklist of my spring cleaning and checked off 2 a day for a couple of weeks, then I spent one week focused on finding a home for everything in my home (I would tackle one room a day). Then I didn't want my hard work to disappear so I made a goal of putting the house to bed before I went to bed. That was something that I included my family in so we could make a habit of it. Because of that one goal, I have been able to keep my house clean without much effort on my part. AMAZING!
Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed doing the wellness challenge. I am healthy and strong so I feel like that I could physically do anything I want to do and I can enjoy life with my family. I make better choices about what I put into my body and by me doing that, my family is healthier too. My spirituality has grown because I took the time to read books that helped reconfirm my testimony of vital principles of the gospel. I took time to rediscover myself and figured out how to live a lifestyle that works for me for the rest of my life. I am proud of myself for sticking out the hard weeks so that I can be a better me. I lost the prize on my first week and I knew that... but continuing to try, learning from my mistakes and finishing is my first goal. That I can do!
Sallee Hansen: Im really ready to be done!! I think 6 or 8 weeks is long enough, but I guess its more of a challenge to go longer! I made it through in-laws visiting and going to work every day last week, so I think I can go 4 more weeks...I hope!! Ive really learned how to have more self control through this challenge, which will definitely be good for me in the future! Maybe I wont eat a whole pan of brownies by myself anymore...
Heather & Phil: We are actually really enjoying the change and are glad we did it. We had our free sugar day yesterday and found that we can't hack the super sweet stuff anymore, a little does us just fine now. Never thought I would be that kind of person, I usually can handle my sweets very well! There are times when we find it inconvenient but it is mainly the eating after 8 bit or whatever. We plan on continuing the plan with a bit more flexibility as to time of eating or something if the day has been hairy. And yes there have been times we may have cursed you under our breath or out loud! But only because you are the face behind the master plan, we still love you and really it is our own dang fault if we left exercise til the end of the day and just want to go to bed. Also finding guiltless treats has helped! SF choc pudding with sf coolwhip mixed with a bit of peanut butter feels indulgent and satisfies. If I just don't think about all the crap in there to make it sugar free! :)
Anissa: well, well, well...what can I say?? I told myself I wasn't going to stress about getting a perfect score this time, and here I am, with a perfect score. I guess I just love the accountability of the whole challenge...it makes me feel so much better about myself physically and spiritually. Although I have days where I just wanna say to hell with the whole thing!!! But, I'm glad to be doing it again!!!