I just spent some time looking through my old blogs, in search of one in particular. I didn't find it, but I sure had fun looking at past blogs. Kind of makes me wonder why I stopped doing them. Anyway, as I was reading them, it reminded me of how much better my life is now - especially due to team challenges and the things I have learned about myself along the way.
I first started doing team challenges in 2013, a year after joining SparkPeople. At that time my sole exercise was walking. I got a lot of benefit from those walks, putting in at least 4 miles a day. The challenges encouraged me to try new exercises. After 5 years, my weekly exercise now includes 2 water aerobic classes, 2 days of weights/ST, a boot camp class, riding my stationary bike, walking, and yoga. I absolutely love the variety. I still enjoy the walking, but I am so much stronger now for having added in the other exercises. One thing I found is that I love taking classes, plus I have met some great new friends.
My diet 5 years ago was Atkins, which I still use sometimes. Now I am mainly doing the Mediterranean Diet, which I see as my long term way of eating. I only started this 2 weeks ago, so I am still doing a combo of diets until I can transition into eating more whole grains. I have to be careful for now. Again, the challenges encouraged me to try new things. For example, I had never eaten kale. Now one of my favorite salads is kale. I tried new, healthier ways of cooking. I found new websites with healthy recipes. All these new ventures made my husband a believer, plus he saw how much happier I felt. He is now also eating better and getting more exercise, joining me at the gym 2-3 times a week.
I have an issue with yoyo dieting, but am still better off now than when I first joined SP. When I do gain (usually due to extensive travel), my swings aren't as wild as before. I'm really hoping that I can keep improving. However the one thing I realize is that I have never felt more hopeful or better about myself, even if I need to lose more weight. I can feel proud of what I have accomplished, and I look forward to exercise and healthy eating every day.
So, here I sit with a big smile on my face, very thankful for having found SP and my various teams. My life is so much better now.
If anyone is looking for a team challenge, the 5% Summer Challenge is taking sign ups now. It is just an 8 week commitment and so worth trying.