This is round of three of the Whole Life Challenge (WLC) for me and by far the most frequent question I get asked is: “Why do you do it?” Contrary to Cindy’s belief that I truly enjoy removing things from my world regardless of the pain created, the simplest answer is I like how I feel when I’m in the Challenge. It holds me accountable to do the things I aspire to do on most days anyways. Exercise, stretch, drink more water, sleep better and eat healthier. I’m confident when I don’t do one or more of these things I feel notably worse than if I had done them.
My reasons for participating in the WLC have shifted since my first round. Initially my reason was to dump my ridiculous sugar habit. Once and for all. A habit that I know I came into through only the best intended genetics. Generations of chocolate pies, scratch-made chocolate chip cookies, coconut cakes and even Publix-baked sweets left me a mere hapless victim. Unleash me into the freedoms of college and where found I could buy and consume frosting by the tubs as reward for a completed paper or exam. Then see me through marriage and early child-raising where homemade cookies and sweets were reward for running mileage goals met and less sleep than I ever thought imaginable. While still a side-benefit, detoxing from sugar is no longer my sole focus. I found after about 2-3 weeks into the first round that I felt really good. Alert during the slow part of the day. More rested when I woke up. More efficient when I worked out. I can tell whether I had a good day of food or a bad day of food when I wake up each morning. The difference is stark.
Why do I WLC? For the feeling. Sure the challenge is what I like too and truth-be-told, I do like the simplicity that a life with less offerings. It is probably a big part of the reason why I stopped eating meat. Being a veggie vastly simplifies eating out in the days of multi-page menus. The challenge of the WLC is worth exploring a bit more in a different journal entry. For now, just trust me. If you work to eat better, drink more water, exercise a little and sleep with higher quality the benefits on how you feel are right around the corner, just past the sugar detox shakes and sweats.