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Why I join a Challenge

Sunday, April 22, 2018

CERIUSLY Wrote to the members of the Spring 2018 5% challenge: “I've been doing these challenges from the first one, Spring, 2010, (I think anyway), and became an OAL in 2011. As I watch the Team Leaders strive and sometimes struggle to inspire their teams to motivation, challenge after challenge, I am puzzled by something. Why do people join this challenge then refuse to participate? I'm sure everyone has their own reasons. “

She asked us to answer some questions about joining and participating in the challenge. I have been participating in the 5% challenges for the past 3 years.

1. Why did I join this challenge? Why do I return?

I have been participating in the 5% challenges (Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall) for the past 3 years through surgeries, vacations, aging parent, family events and just daily life. Getting to maintenance for the third time was a struggle and I knew from experience that the weight would come back if I didn’t do something different.

The 5% challenge means that I have a place where I record my exercise minutes, the food I eat, the healthy habits I develop and find support from others when I meet my goals or fall short. I stayed out of one Fall challenge and gained weight which scared me. The challenges are for 8 weeks with a break in between each season. I find that I can commit to 8 weeks and it carries me through the break to the start of the next challenge.

She asked us to think about Week 1 exercise and other challenge goals:

1. Am I satisfied with my finish?

I had lost weight before the Fall 2017 Challenge but gained some back during holidays before the Winter 2018 challenge. I had some health challenges during the Winter challenge and never was able to lose the extra weight. But I didn’t gain any more.

The 2 weeks before the start of the Spring challenge I set up an exercise schedule and started tracking my food (yet again). During week 1 the prep paid off and my weight went down a bit and I could feel my jeans fitting better.


2. Did I participate to the best of my ability?

Some challenges come at a bad time with vacations, stressful events, illness or commitments. The Spring challenge includes some of this so I have been planning on how to keep up my exercise and to schedule time to plan food and track it. It really helps being prepared because I did get in a my exercise minutes and did lose some more weight. During week 2 I was visiting family and connected with a local gym to keep up my exercise routine. I find vacations and being away from home really hard.

3. Did I read and take advantage of the fun activities my Leaders work hard to provide for me?
I try to keep my online time to a certain amount because it is so easy to spend hours lost in the computer screen. The Challenge allows me to put in as much or as little time as I can commit. I did not have time to do the extra activities but they looked fun.

4. Did I read a blog, visit a page or send a Goodie to someone on my team?

Yes I did visit a blog, I visited an individual page and I posted several times on the chat thread. It helps me to keep connected to the other active members in the challenge. I did not have a lot of free time in week 1 and then in week 2 I was visiting family so not a lot of goodies sent. Staying with the challenge during the time away from home really helped me to make good food choices. It is so easy to let myself have a “treat” because I am away from home.

5. How can I improve during Week 2, and 3, and ... until final weigh-in?

I have a checklist that I posted at my desk which helps remind me of the commitment I have made to myself. The challenge has a group component but the real value is giving me a structured way to keep up my healthy habits and a place to record my good choices and think about some not so good choices.

I am thinking about how I can add more exercise minutes in for the rest of the challenge. I did well during the first 2 weeks but I want to increase the amount of exercise during the next few weeks. The challenge ends right before a vacation in Hawaii and I want to have a lot of energy to do water activities and look decent in my bathing suit.


CERIUSLY asks why people join and then do not participate. Sometimes an activity or event holds out the promise of some reward but when faced with the actual requirements it is hard to take the first step to action. How often have I procrastinated until it was too late to join in some activity? How often have I not gone through with a commitment because I didn’t feel confident that I could do it perfectly? Each of us has our own demons and personal challenges which help or hinder in getting to goals.

Right now I have three goals for my health that the SparkPeople help me achieve, 1. Exercise 5 to 6 days a week to have energy and flexibility, 2. Keep my weight within my maintenance range by reminding me to make good food choices most of the time, and 3. Provide an easy place to get information and share the ups and downs of living a healthy life.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JSTETSER
    Thank you for your blog today! emoticon
    607 days ago
  • JSTETSER
    I join challenges for the focus.
    Thank you for your encouraging blog today!
    emoticon
    633 days ago
  • NANCYPAULINE
    Great blog and a good summary of why these challenges work for many of us. emoticon
    635 days ago
  • CERIUSLY
    Thank you for taking the time to blog your thoughts. I applaud you.

    I realize that people are different but we are all on Spark People to learn to live with healthier habits. I think self-reflection helps us to make necessary adjustments to our plan.

    May you continue to be blessed with success!
    635 days ago
  • JEANKNEE
    Glad you are finding what supports you and your process.

    I came to the 5% challenges at the time of a pelvic fracture diagnosis. I feel strongly that participating in those challenges helped me get through the 22 months of activity restriction and remain able to maintain my weight. I have found the LTGL (Livign the Good Life) challenges particularly supportive.
    637 days ago
  • KBME22
    Challenge are wonderful and keeps you focus
    637 days ago
  • MORTICIAADDAMS
    I have joined challenges in the past and then could not keep up. So I don't join them any more.
    637 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.