Monday, April 17, 2006

The End of the Challenge

Rhonna's 21 Day Challenge officially came to an end yesterday. I'll have to admit that it didn't quite end the way I had hoped. Last week was my toughest week yet. The birthday party planning, Easter, and other priorities pulled me away from my commitment. Although I did attempt to do some yoga every day I think there were only a couple of days last week that I actually completed the initial 21 minutes/day commitment. It was hard to find the time or the motivation. But, if I compare the time dedicated to yoga over the past few days to the time dedicated to it prior to the challenge I'm still coming out way ahead. So all in all I think I did really well with the yoga portion of the challenge. I feel stronger, leaner, and more flexible. And, I definitely have a desire to keep my practice going.

I had even less success with the eating portion of the challenge during this last week. Well, more specifically, during the last couple of days. Over all I did excellent. I reduced my sugar intake, reduced my portion sizes, increased the amount of fruits and vegetables in my diet, and didn't eat a single fried food over the entire challenge. That was exactly what I was wanting and my body could feel the difference. But then this weekend sneaked up on me and reeked some havoc. The anxiety over the party planning, the overwhelming number of priorities, and my immense fatigue finally caught up and I found myself eating to calm and re-fuel. Added to that is the typical crazy family dynamics that occur around any holiday. The craziness usually always drives me to eat. My family's get-togethers always revolve around food...and lots of it. I gave in to the habit of overeating and by the time the weekend was over I had eaten more than my fair share. As much as I love my family and enjoy their company being around them for any extended period of time always results in a binge. As much as I've tried to analyze the dynamics to figure out what triggers the binging I have yet to pin point an exact cause. All I know is if you put me in a room with them for more than a couple of hours I'll binge. There is some emotional turmoil that gets stirred up and before I realize it I'm eating to pacify the chaotic feelings. And I'm not just eating--I have an intense urge to have something in my mouth at all times. If it's not food then I'll chew on my fingernails...and I'm NOT a nail biter. After a day of binging I woke this morning feeling bloated, gassy, and disgusting, and with a couple of nails bitten down to the quick. Needless to say I was very disappointed in myself and I've spent the day trying to get back on track.

The art journal is still a work in progress. With all the busyness I fell a few days behind on it as well. I still need to work on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I have the ideas in mind; it's just a matter of getting them put down on paper. I hope to complete the last few pages over the course of this week and I'll try to post the final week's creations with my Grateful Friday post. I have no intention of giving up the art journal. I have loved it. If Rhonna offers another challenge I'll get on board. In the meantime, ArtsyMama is starting a Book of Dreams group and I'm definitely joining that. If you're interested in starting an art journal or want to continue with the one you started with the 21 Day Challenge you might be interested in this group. It's an opportunity to learn and experiment with different techniques while creating a book of dreams--however you decide to define that. I've decided my book of dreams is going to feature bits and pieces of my favorite poems.

Now with the challenge over I'm feeling some anxiety about keeping the newly formed habits going. I remember when ArtsyMama finished up here first challenge she voiced similar desires and concerns. At the time I had encouraged her to trust the foundation she had built over the past 21 days. Here I am, at the end of my first 21 day challenge and I find myself feeling the same way she did. And I guess all I can do is give myself the same advice: trust the foundation.


Blogger Michelle Fry said...

I think you're going to do just fine now that the foundation has been laid. I missed the challenge and have hardly been up on my favorite blogs but it sounds like it was a good experience.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Deb R said...

It sounds to me like you did quite well overall and Yay You that you're planning to continue incorporating some good habits.

I love the photo!

9:13 PM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

I hear you girlfriend. The emotional eating (especially of sweets)has been a killer for me. But each time I re-lapse, I get back up and start again the next day. I think it's amazing when you can recognize the gross feelings that those habits create, it used to be that I'd wake up feeling gross like that and not be able to identify it or even acknowledge the source. Hurray for you and good thing B's birthday is just once a year.

3:42 AM  
Blogger melba said...

IT is so difficult for me to seperate the need to eat with eating to fill up some void or for comfort. ISometimes when I am home and I am putting food in my mouth I try to figure out why I am eating. I think emotional eating is hard... to pin point what exactly the emotion triggers are. So I relate.
I loved when you share your journal so I am glad you will continue. This was a great challenge and I am looking forward to ArtsyMamas as well.

4:55 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

i'm proud of you
for doing what you did!
all in all
that was alot really,
even if things fell off a bit at the end
when you look at the big picture...
thats awesome!

good for you

6:00 AM  
Anonymous beansprout said...

Congratulations! Just keep building that foundation brick by brick. 21 days is really such a short time in the scheme of things. I know it feels like forever when we're doing something different but really it is just practice. I love that implies we are only trying our best to get better.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Tickled Pink/Nicole said...

Congratulations! I'm a devotee and love when she encourages her members to surrender their need for perfection. It's fabulous that you did you're best everyday no matter the circumstances!

Would chewing gum help you with the family stress? It really works for my husband.

Blessings, Tickled Pink/Nicole

7:29 AM  
Blogger Swirly said...

I have found that it usually takes discipline and baby steps, but over time - without my even realizing it - I wake up and suddenly it is a new habit. Something I can't live without.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Breathe breathe breathe

Think of it all as beginning steps, moving in the direction you want to be in.

you took on SO MUCH!! SO much! Please cut yourself a lot of slack and give yourself major kudos for all you have done in the past 21 days INCLUDING the fabulous birthday party you threw!


8:10 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

You should be so proud of yourself for accomplishing so much!! I admire you for trying to change, so many (me included) sit around and complain about stuff instead for actually trying to change it. Go easy on yourself, be motivated by the postive feelings you've gotten from your challenge.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer (she said) said...

wow. it sounds like you have had a very very full week & i can say, from reading your writing over the past 21 days, some big moments of thinking and doing and reflecting. food/body issues are not fun or easy to understand or resolve. i would be worn out.

trusting the foundation is a good idea. probably tricky, but worth trying. and being gentle with yourself seems important too.

8:28 AM  
Blogger M said...

Congratulations! This is a big deal! Well done! You can do it, just like you said- trust the foundations and the good feelings its brought you these past few weeks. Life sent you the birthday party and family dinner to test your resolve and it sounds like you are still eager to take care of yourself. I hope Rhonna does another session, I'd love to join the next one!

9:20 AM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Congratulations on keeping the journal so well, for eating better and for the yoga practice.

I fell off the journal a week ago and then felt too far back and didn't try to catch up.

I understand the family=binge. I also emotional binge, so I too am feeling pretty yucky.

Reading your post has given me a little support to step back up to the plate.

I think my Just do it theme for the 21 days was a success in many ways but I also may try to narrow the goal a little next time.

Thank you for being open and honest~


11:10 AM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

The overall direction was forward, right? Seems to me you did very well within the 21 days as a whole, which is probably the point, rather than each single day, is it? Things will knock us off-kilter, and the important thing is to pick up and not let that knock us off-track entirely, no matter what the goal we're aiming for. I love that the picture you use shows the end of the challenge represented by an open gateway to a brighter place. Really lovely image.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Josephine said...


At my heaviest, I weighed 170. That was many years ago, and I lost the weight the hard way. Diet and exercise.

Take it one day at a time. I know it's cliche, but habits are formed one day at a time. Good or bad.

Oh, and just so you know, almost every one I know has a hard time spending time with family. The pressure is intense. Isn't that wierd?

I cope by drinking tea and going for a daily run. Plus, it doesn't hurt that I've trained my family to expect me to go for a drive at least once a day. They've come to grips with my alone time, because I've forced them to!!

And, thank you, Michelle, for all of your kind words during the last few weeks. I am so very grateful for your presence.


12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll be fine...your journal pages are a part of you now. They'll call your name.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Kitty Kitty Peacock said...

Way to go! Fantastic job. I'm proud of you.

I hope you're doing well. Take care of yourself and enjoy those pinto beans! :) YUM!

5:31 PM  
Blogger kelly said...

oh girlie...i am a nail biter and my nails are terrible!

i love the trust the foundation advice!

7:10 PM  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Way to go! Strong foundation is what you have created!

10:53 AM  

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