I just completed an 8-week 'getting healthy' challenge. The outline is found here. There were 7 of us that took part in this challenge which entailed drinking lots of water, eating lots of fruits and veggies, no sugar 6 days a week, exercise 5 days a week, etc, etc. We earned points for everything and also for our weight loss.
It was a great motivator for me! I've been working out consistently for years now but my dieting goes up and down depending on how motivated I am. It was really hard only eating sugar once a week. I'll admit there were a few weeks that I ate treats twice. But really it was so great to not have something sweet all the time. I was to the point where I needed it every single day. But this taught me that those cravings go away quickly. I really looked forward to Sundays where I would make a really yummy treat and make it special. I think David's coworkers enjoyed them on Monday since I had to get them out of the house on my non-treat days! :) Of course there were times it was really hard and I wanted a little treat but for the most part I felt great. We all know sugar doesn't make us feel good but it's hard to say no. Knowing that 6 other people were saying no to sugar and not eating after 9 p.m. made it really easy for me to as well!
The results: I lost 10 pounds and ran a 5k! I have not been able to run a consecutive 3 miles since I was in college. It feels so good to be able to do that again. I trained with my good friend Alison and we ran in a race on St. Patrick's Day morning. Now, it was this organization's first time hosting a 5k so there were some course misunderstandings. Because of that I actually ran about 3.45 instead of 3.2. I felt like I was going to die! The only real frustrating part about that is that I had a certain time in mind and since I ran longer I didn't make my time. My goal was under 40 minutes. When I'd been training in my neighborhood I'd done it in about 38 minutes so I was anxious to see if I'd make it faster than that in the race. Anyway, since I ran longer, I finished at 40 minutes. Oh well, I know I would have met my goal! :)