The challenge is officially over as of Memorial Day. While I didn’t win, we all walked away with something – no seriously, we did! I came in fifth with 407 out of 450 possible points – the winner finished with 418 points. Our challenge master has been putting these little challenges together for a few years and has really fined tuned her craft. Surprisingly the challenge master also has a decently demanding day job as a family attorney, so I don’t know how she even finds time to make these things possible. The last adventure of the challenge culminated at one of the participants home for a little afternoon pool party and awards ceremony. Again, the challenge master did not disappoint with fun awards ceremony! Our winner chose a charity of her choice to send the challenge purse of over $500. She chose NPR (aka National Public Radio for those of you lame-o’s that don’t know what NPR is). In addition to bragging rights of winning the entire challenge, her award is the tax write off at the end of the year. #bruteyogi and I took home the Couple Champions award with that giant bottle of sparkling wine pictured above. Basically we are a power couple and you shouldn’t fuck with us.
One of the participants (2nd place winner) plays a great game at Thanksgiving each year with her family where the entire family participates in something similar to a family superlatives ceremony. As the superlative is called out everyone nominates a family member (that’s present) and the person with the most votes wins the award. We did something similar to that as part of our challenge awards ceremony and the winners picked a prize out of the prize basket. This blog nominated me for the most inspirational during the challenge, and I must thank all of you for reading my posts – this blog has been therapy for me and a way to hold myself accountable during the challenge. It’s humbling to know that there are readers out there. I believe this blog also showed my competitive side, a side that I didn’t really think was as prominent as it seems to be, so I grabbed some skittles for that award. Mmmmmmm skittles! That 20# DeadLift PR grabbed another treat, and my perpetual state of sobriety (I don’t really like alcohol at all) grabbed another treat. Notice the Jack in the pile over there…the wifey gets those.
Other awards included the most likes in our private FaceBook group, no grain cheats, biggest complainer, person that never had a perfect day, best transformation, best adventure activity, surviving a birthday during the challenge (we had TWO!), and a few others I can’t remember.
The best part of the pool party was being able to sit around and talk to the people that I don’t normally see on a daily basis beyond our virtual community. Community, there’s a lot to say about that word. A group of misfits that may not have been together had it not been for the challenge, was together for an afternoon sharing in conversation and getting to know each other on a more intimate level beyond the virtual community that our challenge created. We shared in a common goal and that common goal broke the ice allowing the inherent diversity that we all bring to the table to come together. It’s a beautiful thing to find commonalities between people that on the surface can be as different as apples and oranges. We really are all the same, just in different vessels.
After the challenge I find myself still acting as if I am preparing challenge compliant food remaining on the challenge in some aspect. When it’s not convenient, ie we were in DC for the Mid Atlantic Crossfit Regionals this weekend, it wasn’t as much of a pain in the ass to remain compliant. My coworker asked me if I went off the deep end after the challenge, and I can honestly say I didn’t. I did have sushi (with some mutha fuckin’ rice), ice cream, and that fantastic Oprah chai tea latte at Starbuck spread over four days…but really I kept the indulgences to a minimum. We worked too hard to get to this point to throw it away completely. And I’m finding that I don’t really crave the cheats like in the past.
If you’ve done a diet and fitness challenge, what have you done to stay on the challenge indefinitely so that you don’t have to go back on the challenge the next time they come around? What’s your motivation to remain clean? Here’s the scoop – I know how I feel when I over indulge. I know how I feel when I eat whole foods. I also know how I feel if I don’t work out and when I do. When I make choices that include cheetos (I LOVE those damn things), my practice will be to not have food remorse. What will that accomplish but unhealthy self pitty (for my yogis out there does Ahimsa come to mind?)? This has been a lesson in practicing self love and acceptance for the choices that I do make – good or bad. And, well, it was a good practice because it seems to be sticking.