Whole Life Challenge

I started the Whole Life Challenge on Saturday 20th May.

Let me state now that it’s not a diet.

Instead, the challenge focus’s on 7 daily habits.

These habits work together to help you become a healthier and happier version of you.

The Whole Life Challenge helps you to focus on what you eat and drink, how you move, your sleep and your mental well-being.

The 7 Habits

Each habit is rated 5 points.

Don’t complete a habit, you get 0 points.

Nutrition

There are 3 different levels when it comes to nutrition.  Kickstart, Lifestyle & Performance.  You pick the level you think you can maintain during the 8 weeks.

I chose Lifestyle.  The performance level I found just a little bit too restrictive for my liking. Think extreme paleo.

In my nutrition program, I ditch dairy, wheat & sugar.

If I eat a non-compliant food then I loose a point.  For example, if I go for a run, and drink tailwind (it has dextrose, a type of sugar in it), then my score would drop from a 5 to a 4.

Nutrition is the only habit where you get adjust your score from 0-5.

Exercise

Simply be active for 10 minutes every day.

As an already active person, this habit is super easy.  Even on my rest days, I go for a 10-minute walk.

My current exercise routine looks like this;

  • Monday – Low heart rate run
  • Tuesday – Nike Training Club (NTC) workout
  • Wednesday – Speedwork day
  • Thursday – Active recovery, walk & stretch
  • Friday – Long Run
  • Saturday – Club Run
  • Sunday – Free choice, Yoga, Pilates, NTC

Mobilization

I’m the type of person that will stretch for 5-10 minutes after a run.

One month into this challenge I have come to realise the importance of this particular habit.

Regular stretching has made my body more relaxed, released tension and improved my physical and mental well-being.

The stretches I do vary each day.  Some days I do my own thing, other days I pick a Yoga with Adriene video on youtube.

Sleep

To help with this particular habit, I decided to download the app Sleep Cycle.

The app is free and does give you the option to upgrade to premium which gives you more options and statistics.

This particular app has a 30minute alarm period, where it gently wakes you up.  This option is great for weekends and holidays, but for me at the moment, useless.

Which is why I use the native bedtime alarm on my iPhone instead.

Over the last 30 days, I have averaged 8 hours of sleep.  Not bad considering I set my sleep habit to 7h30m a night.

By monitoring my sleep patterns, I’ve been able to see the days where I have slept well, and how bad sleep effects my mood and energy levels.

Hydration

Now, this particular habit will be different for everyone, as it’s not based on drinking 2l of water a day.

The amount of water you drink is in accordance with your weight.

This means for me I need to hydrate myself with 1.8l of fluid a day.

I’m using water and green tea’s to do this.

Lifestyle

Every week we are given a new lifestyle practice.

These small actions are designed to help improve and enrich our life.

During week 1 we had to journal for 10 minutes.

To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy this. More so that we had to hand write in a journal, and well I got hand cramps. Everything I wrote in my journal would have been something I would have spoken to Tom about anyway.

Ten minutes seemed like forever! Everything I wrote in my journal would have been something I would have spoken to Tom about anyway.

Needless to say, that habit never stuck.

Week 3 had to be the most challenging with a social media outage.  We had to cut down our social media visits to the big 4; Snapchat (never use), Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.

We were allowed to go on them once a day, but once we navigated out of the app, or page, that was it, our time on it was over.

I like this particular aspect of the challenge, as it makes you focus on different areas of your life.  While some lifestyle practices are easier for some, they are challenging for others.

Reflect

At the end of the day you write down your thoughts for the day (via the app or pc).

You can write whatever you want.  What worked, what didn’t, what you hope to improve etc.

Overall

While this challenge is only halfway in, I’m happy with how things are tracking.

If I slip up and have a cookie one day, I know it’s not the end of the world and I’ve only lost one nutrition point.

Going for a walk even if it’s just 10 mintues really does help to clear my head.

Regluar stretching has really helped with tightness in my back, and it’s also helped to ensure I don’t get re injured.

I feel like I’m finally getting some structure and routine with my life.


The next Whole Life Challenge starts in September.