All too often, clients eat “clean” for a period of time, but during that time are so restrictive that they feel deprived and dream of nothing but finishing the challenge so they can take some pictures to document their abs and then binge on whatever they were avoiding during the challenge, quickly undoing any positive change they may have achieved.

This deprivation/indulgence cycle is short sighted and the reason we approach things with a different mentality during the healthy habits challenge at Arena Ready. Our goal is to help you find tools which contribute to the long-term goal of a healthier lifestyle. 

As we stated at the beginning of the challenge, we didn’t want you to choose any category, or any form of nutrition overhaul, unless you were curious about whether you could incorporate at least some aspects of that new approach into your ongoing lifestyle. Hopefully, after having committed to introducing the new habit, you’re now in a place to evaluate how that change affected your body, energy levels, and mindset throughout the month. If you’ve experiencing positive results, there’s not much reason to go back to the old lifestyle, thus no reason to binge, stay up all night, or turn yourself back in a dehydrated desert now. If you didn’t experience positive results, you probably are among those without stickers towards the end of the month!

That’s not to say it’s “bad” to occasionally enjoy something you’ve learned through this approach that you’re generally better off without. Sometimes it’s important to eat the birthday cake someone made you, even if you’ve decided to generally avoid sugar or gluten. While eating that cake (or whatever treat you choose), I think it’s best to savor every bit, knowing that it’s a special treat you can enjoy without needing to to revert entirely to old habits.

On a personal note, this was the first January in a long time that gave me an opportunity to really evaluate the way my habits had changed in the past year, and to recognize places where setting a new habit would make me a healthier, happier person. Until last year, January always preceded the Open, so my focus was already on doing everything in my power to be as fit and healthy as possible to prepare for that competition. This year, Rob and I have been in new parent survival mode, and it’s been a win to be able to attend class even a couple times a week. Our diet has been ok, but mostly healthy takeout because we’re very seldom home to cook. We chose to enter the No/Less Sugar challenge together, and while I insisted I wanted to continue my pint of Nada Moo a day habit, that wasn’t good for Rob, so we both said adieu to nada moo for the month. In addition, we signed up for Imperfect Produce and Tara Firma Farms CSA, and started forcing ourselves to find time to cook and prep food. With our little one ready to actually eat whole food meals, we used this habit January to consciously move in the direction of the people (and parents) we want to be.

It’s funny, now that January is over, and we were actually successful in building (and re-building) some healthier habits, I feel like I can start to win again. Through choosing to make the effort to do the little things, the everyday things I actually CAN do today, I’m taking the opportunity to recognize that this new era doesn’t have to be one in which I don’t do any of the things I’d like to be doing to promote my own health and happiness. My workouts look different, my meal planning looks different, my schedule looks different, but I’m still a person who values showing up to do what you can, with what you have.

Onward friends. I hope that your January gave you a few insights as well, and if so we’d love to hear about it.

Please finish your stickers (if you got behind) by this coming Wednesday (2/6) so that we can tabulate our winners! (We don’t take bribes, but we’ll give solid extra points for success stories).

WOD For 02-02-19:

In Teams of THREE Athletes…

AMRAP 27 Minutes:

10/7 Calorie Row

10 Dumbbell Snatches @ 50/35 lbs (alternate sides)

5 Burpee Box Jump Overs @ 24/20 in (must face the box)

*Only one athlete working at a time.

*Athlete MUST COMPLETE ONE FULL ROUND then switch.

*The next athlete may start on the row as soon as the previous athlete completes his/her final burpee box jump (tagging is not required).