(Disclaimer: We were provided access to the Whole Life Challenge free of charge. As always, we only participate in events and support ideas we are passionate about and genuinely want to share with you.)
Last Friday I asked team aSweatLife if anyone would be interested in doing the Whole Life Challenge with me. Not 30 minutes later I had a long email chain full of the word, “YES!” and we had ourselves a full team. So, I guess that means we’re actually going through with it.
What is the Whole Life Challenge?
The Whole Life Challenge is an eight-week challenge that focuses on building healthy habits in multiple areas of your life all together: Nutrition, Exercise, Mobility, Sleep, Hydration, Lifestyle Practices and Reflection. You sign up with a team, which can consist of co-workers, friends, family or some other community of your choosing. The online portal and the mobile app then become where you track your score (you get up to five points each day for each of the areas of health) and a forum for encouragement throughout the process.
The next challenge starts Saturday, September 17.
What do I have to do?
Here’s what the seven daily habits look like (from the Whole Life Challenge quick start guide)
- Nutrition: Eat nutritious, healthy foods from your food list
- Exercise: Be active 10 minutes a day
- Mobilize: Stretch 10 minutes a day
- Sleep: Sleep for a duration you select, one that leaves you feeling rested
- Hydrate: Drink ounces of water equal to your body weight (in pounds) ÷ 3
- Lifestyle: Learn weekly practices to help you feel happier and more connected
- Reflect: At the end of each day, write briefly about how the day went
But, is it hard?
My immediate hesitations about the challenge were put to rest when I read more in-depth about what the scoring looks like. You can ultimately approach the challenge in any way that you see fit. It’s less about a competition or sticking to any strict diet for an eight-week stint only, and more about building healthy lifestyle habits little-by-little and reflecting on how those help you live a better life as you adopt them into your regular routine. This outlook sets challenge participants up to maintain better lifestyle practices even after the eight weeks are over.
What may start as a task that requires concerted effort to complete or the added element of scoring based on nutrition choices to keep me from “indulging” could potentially turn into a lifestyle choice I make with less conscious thought.
There are three levels of intensity an individual can prescribe to for the challenge: Performance, Lifestyle and Kick Start. Your personal decision doesn’t have anything to do with what your team members choose or put you at a disadvantage or advantage. The levels simply dictate your leeway within each food group’s nutritional guidelines.
Is this thing a diet?
You can read about each nutrition level here, but performance is much more restrictive, eliminating most dairy, many legumes and bacon.
The last thing any of us want is a diet challenge. That’s not how we view it and it’s not what it’s about. Am I looking forward to a little extra accountability to not eat dessert every single night (#chocolateloverprobs)? You bet. But am I going to obsess over what I can or can’t eat every day for eight weeks? Absolutely not. (The Whole Life Challenge has tips for prepping your kitchen for the challenge, though)
My goal is to meal prep more in order to not get stuck eating granola bars for meals on a regular basis. Other writers are taking on their own personal goals.
What should we expect?
I’m most excited about sharing this experience with the full team so that we can cheer each other on and connect on a daily basis about how things are going.
And, hopefully, I’ll find some balance amidst the craziness that is my schedule these days.
With 15 of us participating, no doubt there will be a vast array of unique experiences with the challenge. We’ll share those with you along the way. At the end of the eight weeks, we’ll pool our collected lessons learned together to give you the tools to be able to complete the challenge the next time it comes around. It’s also not too late to sign up to take this journey with us this time around. You can add yourself to our team too! Our team name is “asweatlife.com.”
A full detailed guide of the challenge’s rules can be found here.
Ever participated in the Whole Life Challenge? How did you stay on-track?