Thursday, 15 September 2016

Two weeks in to the 8 Week WW Challenge

So two weeks ago, myself and The Skinny Doll challenged ourselves (and anyone else who fancied a kick-start) with an eight week challenge. The rules were simple, if you were down weight on the scales, the other has to cough up some money (€5). If you are up on the scales, you cough up more (€20). All money goes into a pot for Breast Cancer Ireland (you can donate here if you'd like to help:

For me, week 1 was a great re-start. I've always believed in the power of small changes so I set myself the mini goal of tracking everything for the month of September and so far, I've stuck to it. Tracking keeps me accountable to myself as I have an uncanny knack of forgetting the sweet treats I eat along the way and that 11am coffee break biscuit followed by the 4pm half a twix and the post-dinner square (or two) of chocolate all add up! I've decided not to cut chocolate/treats out as I find sometimes this backfires when I snap, so by tracking I can have my cake and eat it too (so to speak).

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard...

My Week 1 result was down 2lbs. Doll was down a seriously impressive 6.5lbs so between us we've clocked up €10 for Breast Cancer Ireland and lost 8.5lbs.

For Week 2, my little change was to be more active. Now, I already do a good bit of running but I wanted to vary my exercise routine so I started yoga at work, brought the dog on more walks than usual and started back at Bootcamp (which I've been neglecting all Summer). It's easy to make excuses and complain about the weather/how dark it is in the mornings/evenings but we are going into Winter and a little rain/darkness never stopped me before.

Office Yoga/Snoozing (snapped by a work colleague)

Walking in Renville Woods

Saturday Morning at Oranmore parkrun

My Week 2 result: Down 4lbs! Skinny Doll was down 1.5lbs. That's another €10 in the pot for Breast Cancer Ireland and in the battle of East vs West, Boy vs Girls, Doll vs JQ we are down a total of 1 stone in two weeks. Our battle plans drawn up, we both advance on into Week 3 with guns blazing!

I'll leave you with this thought - I was visiting a friend in hospital (UCHG) last week and the lobby area there really is some amazing thought-provoking artwork. A great Galway artist (Finbar247) has painted many positive mental health messages all over the walls there, its impossible not to feel inspired walking by. This is probably my favourite and sums up a lot of what this challenge is teaching me - Start today (Day 1), take baby steps repeating your positive actions (track, walk, be accountable to yourself with what you eat) and within three week, you'll have formed a new habit/routine. That's the essence of the eight week challenge to re-ignite lapsed ways and get back into gear!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Its John v Doll - Our 8 Week WW Challenge

Myself and The Skinny Doll (who you all know from her amazing blog - The Skinny Dolls Journey) came up with a master-plan to kick both of our one-too-many-summer-BBQ arses back into gear as we head towards the Winter months. I'd be telling Doll about how I've found myself losing and gaining the same half stone all year and I can't seem to just keep on a good wave once I get on it. Back in June I was at the lightest I'd been in over two years and something just switched off and I'm back at where I was in March of this year. With me it's like two steps forward two steps back. I'm going nowhere and its getting frustrating.

So we decided we'd fuel each others fire for the next few weeks with a spicy little challenge. The rules are simple - for every week I'm down, Doll throws €5 into the pot and vice versa. For every week I'm up, I put €20 into the pot. At the end of this, the pot could contain anywhere from €80 (if both of us lose for 8 consecutive weeks) to €400! Doll then came up with the great idea of putting our money where our mouth is and donating our challenge winnings to charity, specifically Breast Cancer Ireland. 

Why BCI? Well the one thing we agree on is that week by week we get so much support from our Weight Watchers leaders, and a good friend of ours, Catherine Ryan (who is the brilliant WW leader in Gort/Ennistymon) is just about to start her treatment for breast cancer... and we can't think of a better way to let Catherine know that we are all behind her and wishing her the speediest recovery to full health. So in the mean time while Catherine isn't around to kick our asses into gear, we'll just have to kick each others asses!

So, its John vs Doll but we are encouraging everyone else to get on board and start their own one on one challenge. Start from this week. Don't worry about what has happened before or how many weeks you've been off the wagon. There is a great quote I love which says: The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now. So if you've had a bad day/week/month/few months, start back on it today just grab a friend - all you have to do is be accountable to each other. Your prize can be whatever ye deem suitable: Free Babysitting, Money, Gift Card etc. My leader in Oranmore told me about three women who put money into a kitty and whoever losses the most by the end of the year gets a handbag from Brown Thomas. What ever you decide to use to motivate or incentivise yourself, working in a pair will add that extra spark of competition which will keep you on your toes.

Its September now (Hello Autumn) and I'm not going to get caught up in what went wrong this summer or how I put back on that half a stone I'd lost, I'm just going to look forward and concern myself only with what I can do NOW and thats look forward and smash this challenge! Have a look at Doll's post introducing the challenge and see what you think (link here), we'd love if more people came along with us on this challenge and let us know how they are getting on each week.

Just to give a quick background - myself and Doll are old-school WW veterans we've been in the game so long at this stage. I remember a time when a banana was half a point. I also remember a time before SmartPoints when a Curly Wurly was like a gift sent from the Gods at only 3pp. Neither of us have felt the glistening Gold Card between our fingers but despite the many ups and downs both of us have been through, neither of us have thrown in the towel. Remember, quitting is always the easier option but strength comes from deciding to try again/try harder instead of walking away.

The Skinny Doll has lost 133lbs (yep, that's 9st 7lbs) and really wants her 20th Silver 7 in time for Halloween. At my lightest, I'd lost 99lbs (7st 1lb) and was 1lb off Goal - that was when I decided to quit smoking. I'm over three years off the cigs (yay!) but quitting derailed me at the time and I never fully recovered. I've been playing with the same stone for the past three years but never stuck my head down and focused on reaching goal. I'd love for this challenge to get me back within reaching distance of goal.

The Skinny Doll - Now vs Then

Me - Now vs Then

Here's the tally sheet if anyone wants to take part themselves, just right click on the image below and click 'Save Link'. Pop in the two names and let the battle commence... See you next week for the Results of Round 1 *eek*