THREE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE BIG 8 CHALLENGE ANALYSIS
I decided on three takeaways tonight as I analyzed the Big 8 Challenge I just wrapped up. This gorgeous sunset was the perfect inspiration to start my analysis!
I’m always purposing to move toward healthy lifestyle habits because I’m convinced they play a huge role in how well my RA (rheumatoid arthritis) is managed. The Big 8 Challenge was something I spontaneously embarked on 8 days ago in hopes it would kick my awareness of healthy choices into high gear. It sure did and it was a fun way to engage myself in the process.
It seemed I was referring to my FRESH acronym all the time. Way too often for my liking as I don’t need to refer to FRESH if my joints are happy and not giving me signals, or more like sensations, there may be inflammation brewing. I have learned how to read my body and if I step out of line with my diet or the Food I’m eating, being stressed in need of Rest and Relaxation, not Exercising, lacking Sleep or not Hydrated I experience a weird sensation in my joints. The BIG 8 CHALLENGE was the result of my desire to focus on making healthy choices become a habit.
By challenging myself to get 8 hours of sleep each night, eat 8 different fruits and vegetables each day and drink 8 glasses of water every day for 8 days I’d be able to perhaps identify some weaknesses in my personal FRESH life story! And it did!
There is nothing like a challenge to bring out the best in man. Sean Connery
THE THREE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE BIG 8 CHALLENGE ANALYSIS
Number One: Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices Become a Habit is a Process
Making healthy lifestyle changes involves trial and error and a whole lot of learning. My goal is that I am continually learning what helps my body function the best it can. I figure that will give me the best opportunity to manage my RA and prevent any further health problems. Heart and Lung disease come to mind! Then take that information and incorporate it into my lifestyle. I am satisfied as long as I’m on a healthy lifestyle trajectory. In other words, as long as I am moving toward a healthier day-to-day living, I am satisfied. By doing the 8-day challenge I realized I wasn’t always drinking 64 ounces of water every day. I also need to make sure I’m getting a wide variety of fruits and vegetables every day. One day I only got five. This is making me do more detailed menu planning and taking a bottle of water everywhere to sip on. It is okay to live and learn what works for you remembering developing healthy lifestyle habits is a process.
Number Two: What I Thought Would Be the Biggest Challenge Was Actually the Easiest to Accomplish!
I thought the sleep part of the challenge would be hardest to hit my goal, but it was the easiest. In fact, one night I got 10 hours of sleep. I think I was able to get my sleep was because I planned ahead, knowing it would be tricky to sleep at least 8 hours each night. I looked at my schedule and identified two nights I had evening commitments, so prepared in advance so I could get to bed on time. I also am training my four-legged friend to “sleep through the night”, just like a baby! I learned not to predict what may or may not be doable. Make a reasonable plan and give it a try. Like me, you may be pleasantly surprised! And that feels oh so good! It also makes me confident to challenge myself again to keep on that positive healthy lifestyle direction!
Number Three: Challenges Work for Me!
I learned by doing THE BIG 8 CHALLENGE I became very engaged in meeting my goals each day. I didn’t end up quite where I wanted to be with the fruit, vegetable and water consumption every day, but I am more aware and have already made changes to meet the goals going forward. WIN!
I will work on what I’ve discovered doing the challenge for awhile, then I will be ready for another one to advance my healthy lifestyle even further!
And that is using Arthritis Wisdom!