Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Changing or Cheating

Some ward members started a fitness challenge, and I'm joining in. I do much better at keeping myself in shape when I have someone other than myself that I'm accountable to. The chance at winning cash doesn't hurt either. I've done well at a few of these challenges done through work or with family.

The funny thing is that I see the same behavior in some participating in this challenge as I've seen in previous ones. The behavior I'm referring to is nitpicking the rules of the challenge.

The point of a challenge like this is to spend a 2-3 months following more healthy practices with the hope that you'll stay in the habit after the challenge is over. So it's strange when a challenge barely starts and everyone starts immediately looking for ways to bend the rules.

The rules are things like eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, not eating late at night, drinking lots of water, and laying off the sweets. It's pretty simple.

One good brother justified his willingness to bend the rules and eat things he shouldn't, because he claims that cutting out certain foods simply isn't sustainable. I'll give him that. Making a change for a few months and then picking the habit back up after it's over is probably less than useful. On the other hand, going cold turkey and dropping something that you never thought you could forgo can actually show you it's possible and reduce your cravings for that particular food or drink.

I know, because I've done it myself, going a year without carbonated drinks just to see if I could. I drink them occasionally now, but not near as much as I used to. If you're so hooked on a food or drink that you don't think you could ever give it up, that's probably a signal that you do need to give it up.

I'm okay with him cheating, though, because it's less competition for me as I go for the big prize.