The Let's Get Off Our Lazy Butts Challenge --Or-- The L-GOOLB Challenge.
l_points - Keep track of your L-Goolb points here! l_ring - The L-Goolb Mini-Challenge Ring
I don't know about you, but when it comes to my health, I suck. I eat nothing but crap and I don't get nearly enough exercise. I stay up too late at night and I consume pounds and pounds of Doritos when there are perfectly good salads to be eaten. I've made attempts to get healthy in the past, but they always fall through.
However, in recent years, I've discovered two really cool programs that have motivated me to do stuff (completely unrelated to health): NaNoWriMo, and The Legacy Challenge. The first of these forces you to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. The second of these is a challenge for the Sims 2 game, where you build a strong family over ten generations.
What do these things have to do with getting healthy? Absolutely nothing. But they each taught me some very important things about myself, things that could aid in the seemingly never-ending battle to get healthy. And those things are:
1. If, given a goal, a deadline, and a crazy group of people battling along with me, I can achieve things I used to think were impossible.
2. I am more motivated to do things if they are in the form of a game, with specific rules, and points awarded for completing certain tasks.
It is with both of these things in mind that I came up with the L-GOOLB Challenge. Basically, the L-GOOLB Challenge is an on-going challenge that starts a new chapter each month. For one month, your goal is to accumulate at least 1,000 points.
You get one point for every 5 callisthenics you do. In our example, you'd get one point for every 5 crunches.
You have the chance to earn additional points during the month for practicing healthy eating, exercise and living habits.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: The L-GOOLB Challenge rewards NO points, nor incurs any penalty, for weight loss or weight gain. This is not a challenge about losing weight. This is a challenge about living life in a more healthy way! If you change your unhealthy habits, eventually, weight loss will follow. But it's very depressing (to me, anyway) trying to gauge progress by something that fluctuates as much as my weight. I'm happy enough to not grow out of my size 14 pants.
The L-GOOLB Challenge instead rewards you for making healthy choices. There are penalties for making unhealthy choices, but that should motivate you to at least try to curb these tendencies.
It also sticks you in a community full of people doing exactly what you're doing, trying to stay healthy! You can challenge yourself by trying to beat other participant's daily point totals, and also get lots of support from an encouraging group of people that understand what you're going through.
Okay, so how exactly do you take part in the L-GOOLB Challenge?
1. Pick a trouble area. Major trouble areas for most people are: Tummy, Upper Body, Legs, Butt, and Arms. Picking your trouble area will set up which calisthenics you will try to do for the month. Feel free to pick more than one, or even all trouble areas if you like.
2. Make a list of your "weak foods". Everyone's got their weak foods. You know best what yours are. Your weak foods are the stuff that you know you eat too much of, and you know it's bad for you, yet you constantly crave them anyway. My weak foods include chips and fast food. My mom's weak foods are ice cream and chocolate.
You can list as many weak foods as you like.
3. Commit yourself! Once you decide to sign up for a month of the L-GOOLB challenge, commit yourself! You may request weekly encouraging e-mails if you like, full of encouraging pep talks, if you're afraid you may get weak halfway through.
4. DO NOT GO OVERBOARD. As with anything, do not go overboard with this just to get extra points. Don't exercise yourself to the point of pain, don't starve yourself, don't do anything extreme.
NOTE: This challenge is geared towards people like me who tend to be lazy and unhealthy, who are looking for a way to kick start good habits. If you are a heath nut or a devoted aerobicizer, this challenge may not be what you're looking for.
5. Keep track of your points!NOTE: Please DO NOT post point totals in the main community. Post them in l_points. Here's the bit you've been waiting for. What exactly do you get points for? Here's a breakdown:
Basic Scoring: 1 point for every 5 callisthenics done toward your trouble area. 2 points for every 8 oz of water you drink. 1 point for every 5 minutes of exercise (other than your trouble area calisthenics) 1 point for every hour of sleep. 3 points for every serving of fruits or veggies you eat.
Bonus Points +1 points if you drink a full 64 oz of water in one day. +1 points if you eat 5 servings of fruits or vegetables in one day. +2 points if you exercise in the morning. +2 points for getting a full 8 hours of sleep. +2 points if you're craving one of your weak foods, but you eat something healthy instead. +3 points for excercising for 30 consecutive minutes.
Penalties -2 points for giving in to a weak food craving. (EXCEPTION: No penalties will be given if you give in to a weak food craving on Saturday. You've got to have at least one day to indulge a little bit!) -5 points for going three days without exercise. -2 points for skipping breakfast.
So, what's a good score? The absolute best score would be if you kept to your healthy habits all month, and it would look like this: 100 calisthenics every day: 20 points, 20 x 30 = 600 points 8 glasses of water a day: 16 points, plus 1 point bonus (17 points), 17 x 30 = 510 points 30 minutes of exercise three times a week: 6 points, plus 3 point bonus (9), 18 points per week, 18 x 4 = 72 points 8 hours of sleep each night: 8 points, plus 1 point bonus (9 points), 9 x 30 = 270 points 5 servings of fruit and veggies every day: 15 points, plus 1 point bonus (16 points), 16 x 30 = 480 points TOTAL: 1,932 points
Why are these things being scored?
Basic Scoring: 1 point for every 5 callisthenics done toward your trouble area. Callisthenics are excercises that work using the resistance of your own body. I like them because you can do them without having to buy any expensive equipment, and there are a wide variety of callisthenics for practically every part of your body. If you're like me, and don't have the money or the drive to go to the gym, callisthenics are simple excercises you can do in the privacy of your own home, and no one will have to see what you look like in a leotard.
2 points for every 8 oz of water you drink. See the bonus points for drinking 64 oz of water per day.
1 point for every 5 minutes of exercise (other than your trouble area calisthenics) See the bonus points for 30 consecutive minutes of excercise.
1 point for every hour of sleep. See the bonus points for full 8 hours of sleep.
3 points for every serving of fruits or veggies you eat. See the bonus points for eating 5 servings of fruit and veggies.
Bonus Points +1 points if you drink a full 64 oz of water in one day. 99.9% probably aren't drinking enough water. We're sucking down sodas and coffee, giving little thought to the fact that these are not providing us the benefits that only water can. But what are those benefits, exactly? According to BetterWayHealth.com, some of the benefits of drinking a steady dose of 64 oz of water per day include: An improvement in energy, an increase in mental and physical performance, removal of toxins and waste products from your body, aid in losing weight, reduction of headaches and dizziness, and aid in digestion. I don't know about you, but that's motivation for me to give up on soda and coffee altogether.
+1 points if you eat 5 servings of fruits or vegetables in one day. The health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are crazy. There's tons of them. To name just one, they help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. The benefits of eating 5 servings a day are such that the government has even begun a program encouraging people to get their full 5 servings, called "5 a Day". Read more about it at http://www.5aday.gov/
What is a Portion of Fruit and Veg? -1 apple, banana, pear, orange or other similar sized fruit -2 plums, satsumas, kiwi fruit or other similar sized fruit -1⁄2 a grapefruit or avocado -1 large slice of melon or fresh pineapple -3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables, beans or pulses -3 heaped tablespoons of fruit salad or stewed fruit -1 heaped tablespoon of raisins or sultanas -3 dried apricots -1 cupful of grapes, cherries or berries -1 dessert bowl of salad -1 small glass (150ml) of pure fruit juice (portion info from www.weightlossresources.co.uk)
+2 points if you exercise in the morning. Exercise is great for you any time of day, but starting your day off with exercise will actually kickstart your entire day. It gives your metabolism a boost right away, which means you'll burn more calories throughout the day. Read more infomation here: http://www.weightlossforall.com/burning%20fat%20time.htm
+2 points for getting a full 8 hours of sleep. If you're like me, you aren't getting nearly enough sleep. I like to stay up late and enjoy the free time I have at night. Unfortunately, in doing this, I'm actually crippling myself. Lack of sleep can cause a number of heath issues. Getting your full eight hours can help in focusing, improving your memory and improving your immune system. To see a whole bunch of stuff you may have never considered regarding sleep, check this out: http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm
+2 points if you're craving one of your weak foods, but you eat something healthy instead. This is just because I know how I am. I am so addicted to my weak foods that denying them to myself in lieu of something healthy feels like a punishment. But from now on, think of it as a bonus! 2 extra points, just for doing the right thing. How cool is that?
+3 points for excercising for 30 consecutive minutes. Any exercise is good, but it's recommended that the best results come from getting 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week. Admittedly, the largest motivator for exercising regularly is to lose weight. But I encourage you to think about it the l_goolb way: Exercising for 30 minutes three times a week is good for your health! Keeping your body in shape will help you live better and longer. Plus, it just feels great to be in shape! For a more specific list of benefits, go here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aerobic-exercise/EP00002
Penalties -2 points for giving in to a weak food craving. (EXCEPTION: No penalties will be given if you give in to a weak food craving on Saturday. You've got to have at least one day to indulge a little bit!) This is just a little extra push for not caving in to those weak foods. Don't worry, we'll all be suffering with you on this one. BUT YOU CAN DO IT. Be strong!
-5 points for going three days without exercise. See the bonus points for 30 consecutive minutes of excercise.
-2 points for skipping breakfast. You've heard it said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, they say that because it's true. Eating a good breakfast gives your body the nutrients to make it through the rest of the day. Skipping it leads to sluggishness and increased snacking throughout the day. I personally have a hard time sitting down and eating breakfast, because I am usually in a rush to get to work. But make a point of eating SOMETHING. Even if you have to prepare it the night before! For more information on the benefits of eating breakfast daily, go here: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Breakfast?OpenDocument
And you can always get extra points for staving off cravings, doing extra calisthenics, drinking more water, exercising in the morning, etc.
The next run of the L-GOOLB Challenge will take place starting February 1st, 2006. Feel free to join the community and get pumped to Get Off Your Lazy Butt!!!
If you would like to become affiliated with l_goolb, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org