Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
FAQ #1: "What diet should I choose?"
This is intentionally left open-ended because this challenge is not about any specific diet. This challenge is not even about "fat loss" or "muscle gain" or anything like that. It's about building habits to improve your health and your life.
"A better diet" means different things to different people, and the longer I work in this field, the more I see that THERE IS NO ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL prescription for diet. For one person, it may mean switching to diet sodas and low-calorie sauces/toppings, while another person might be ready for full-on Macro Counting.
If you're not sure where to start with this one, let's talk. Send me (Michael) a text and I'll set up a time to chat with ya. I need to ask some qualifying questions before I give ya any recommendations.
FAQ #2: "Does "this" count as my EXERCISE?"
There's an ancient Greek word "Phronesis" that is translated to mean: "Implying both good judgement and excellence of character and habits."
Now that you know the definition, use your "phronesis" to determine if that counts as your exercise:-) This challenge is to improve YOUR future life, not to check a box or skeet by on a technicality.
FAQ #3: "What the hell is "mindfulness?" I don't even know here to start here!!"
If you're brand new to this concept, I think the easiest way to get started is to download the app called HEADSPACE. It's a great way to get started with the practice of meditation.
It gives you a very beginner-friendly introduction, lets you know what to expect, and is very easy to follow along with.
Plus, it grows with you. I've actually been using the Headspace app for about 5 years off and on. I used it regularly for about 2 years when I was a "new business owner" to help me clear my mind because I was having trouble sleeping, but then I got away from the practice for a couple of years when things smoothed out. Now 2020 has gotten me back to needing the practice. hahah
Whatever you choose, just know that this practice MIGHT be very difficult at first. It can be VERY hard to stay alone with your own thoughts, so just be aware of that going in. Give yourself plenty of room for errors/mistakes, and just keep coming back to it every day.
This takes practice. You just have to get the reps in. They won't be good reps in the beginning. They will be sloppy at first. But they get better over time when you keep doing them. "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing poorly at first. So get started"
FAQ #4: "Seriously? No alcohol at all?"
Yes! Seriously! This is the best time of year to give yourself a chance to step back and prove that you are in control of your actions! The holiday parties are over, and this challenge ends well before St Patricks day, so give it a break.
Think of your favorite wine, whiskey, or beer as a TREAT that you will savor and enjoy at the end of this challenge.
If you're drinking too often, then you don't really enjoy it anyway...you're just doing it out of habit or impulse. So use this as a reset button to get back to where you do it for enjoyment or celebration.
--Personal experience: I had a VERY hard time with this one a couple of years ago. I realized pretty quickly that I had developed a bit of an emotional connection with alcohol as a "wind-down" at the end of my busy workday. The act of pouring myself a drink and just sitting and sipping had become the ritual that signaled my workday was over and I could switch gears to home/family life.
Long story short, I had to find a "replacement ritual." I started brewing hot tea as my "sit and sip." Some days it was decaf coffee. And there were a few occasions that I actually bought a can of non-alcoholic beer to keep me from jumping off the cliff. Be clever:-)
FAQ #5 "I've been seeing this thing called 75Hard...is this challenge better or worse?
I've actually participated in the 75H challenge before, and I've got two major issues with it.
1. The "all-or-nothing" mentality around it is one that I really don't agree with. This life is LONG. And the better you get at it, the longer it will be. And the longer you stick around, the more mistakes you're going to HAVE to make! It's just a numbers game! We need to stop demonizing "mistakes," and start working WITH THEM instead of against them if we are going to navigate a long, healthy, and productive life.
2. The entire program is framed as "a war with yourself," and I just don't think that's a useful attitude for long-term well being. Certainly there are SOME people who indeed thrive on self-flagellation, but MOST of the people who think they do well with "negative reinforcement" don't actually do well with it at all...its just the only thing that they're used to.
Anyone who has participated in the 75H will certainly see some influence here in this challenge, but just as CrossFit takes influence from all the different exercise modalities and puts them together into a program that makes sense for us normal people, I'm doing the same here with this challenge.
I pay attention to the things that work for the long-haul, and try to dispose of the things that might get in the way of long-term success.
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