I try not to twist arms around the Whole Life Challenge (WLC), but sometimes, like today, I just can’t help myself. If you aren’t ready to address nutrition, hydration, sleep, and stress in your life, you just aren’t ready. And that’s okay—well, sort of okay. But I am a HUGE believer in the twin powers of community and accountability. As a matter of fact, those make up the very foundation upon which Catacombs is built. I’m also a huge believer in incremental change. You see, crash diets and nutrition fads don’t work in the long term. What does work? Showing up and putting in the work. Every. Single. Day. Which is exactly what the Whole Life Challenge sets us up to do.
Let’s examine some myths around the Whole Life Challenge and hopefully answer some questions.
The best resource for all info WLC is their website (www.wholelifechallenge.com). But I want to clear up some misconceptions and hopefully convince a few more of you to come on board.
1.) The WLC is too restrictive and not sustainable.
That is a load of burpees if I ever heard one. The WLC lets you choose your level of buy in. They have a level (kickstart) that should be the baseline for nutrition for the rest of our lives. It’s just not that hard and it is how we should all be eating pretty much all of the time. Additionally, you get indulgences along the way (if you want them) and there is NO REQUIREMENT FOR PERFECTION. You basically give yourself a score on how you did each day. It isn’t all or nothing…just progress.
2.) The WLC is a diet and I don’t need to lose weight.
While nutrition is the component on which we focus the most, it is only 1 of 5 components. Many people do use the WLC to lose weight, but that’s a by-product of the main goal which is to live healthier, happier lives. Unless you have nutrition, sleep, hydration, exercise, mobility, and lifestyle dialed in, there is something for you to work on.
3.) What if I fail?
Okay, so there is a lot wrapped up in this, but let me start by saying progress is more important than perfection. The only way you fail is by quitting. The WLC is set up to allow you to use the Catacombs community for support and accountability. We all check-in every day and that helps us keep going when things get hard. Also, most of us fail at some point on some level during the challenge. The forum allows us to be honest and begin again if things go off the rails. It also helps to bond us together. I love getting to know the folks in the challenge each time and sharing my own ups and downs.
4.) It’s too long and costs too much.
Complete nonsense. If you can’t spend $50 over 6 weeks on improving your life, I can’t help you. I bet you’ve spent $50 on a single night out in the last month. Plus, you will save money by nixing bad food and booze from your lifestyle for 6 weeks. And too long? Let’s be real. Six weeks is the minimum amount of time required to see a real shift…and it isn’t that long. We will be done long before Thanksgiving. It will absolutely take commitment and will NOT be easy…but it is most definitely NOT too long.
5.) I’m new to the gym and probably not ready to focus on nutrition yet.
If you are new to the gym, this is hands down the best way to get plugged in to the magic of community. Give it a shot and I promise you won’t regret it.
And let’s talk about the realities of what participating in the Whole Life Challenge looks like.
1.) Commit to focusing on nutrition for 6 weeks in whatever form that looks like for you. They have 3 different levels but you can pick any focus you want. I only ask that you name it, commit to it, and stick with it. No changing the rules after you start though…that isn’t how commitment works.
2.) Follow the guidelines of the challenge. Don’t eat things or drink things that are not allowed on your challenge. Drink the number of ounces of water to which you commited. Same with sleep, exercise, and mobility. Pretty simple.
3.) Spend 5 minutes in reflection at the end of each day to record your progress and encourage another participant. Really? Five minutes at the end of your day is too big of an ask? Most of us spend 5 minutes on social media every hour. I think you can figure this one out. It’s a great way to process the day, get ready for sleep, and prep for tomorrow.
4.) Be patient and watch the magic unfold. Incremental progress can often only be seen upon reflection. You won’t magically feel better on Day 3 or Day 7 (in fact you probably won’t like me very much). But if you stick with it and do the work, you will be in a better place in 6 weeks.
Still have questions? Ask Tracie, Suz, or Marty. We will be your guides for this edition of the Whole Life Challenge. Ready to commit? Sign up here.