You remember that post we did a while back about the Whole Body Whole Mind Challenge? Well, I sat down with Monica to hear how it all went, how she did with her goals, where the Whole Body Whole Mind efforts are carrying her now that the her 30-day challenge is over.
NoFilter: So before we get into this, tell me about the two biggies! Your anniversary and weaning.
Monica: We did indeed celebrate our 5 year anniversary. Having regular date nights was wonderful, but that night was something special- more special because of the challenge and the mindful cultivation of relationships. More on that to come.
I have fully weaned my daughter and it was a mutually smooth transition. This is huge especially as I start into school again. The downside: my C cup went to a B. I just can’t win it all.
NF: I saw your post at the end on FB, and I think you look awesome! What did you love most about the challenge?
Monica: I loved this challenge for its ability to help me quantify my goals.
To recap, Monica’s specific goals were:
- Clean eating, more veggies and protein. 6 days a week.
- Working out by running or weight training. 5 times a week at least 45 minutes each time.
- Mindfully commit to a gratitude self-check and thank God. Daily for at least 5 minutes.
- Improve relationship with my husband by putting away my phone after 8:30pm daily, showing more blatant affection, and communicating appreciation with positive affirmations 4 times a week. Also, I’ve planned a date night each Friday for this month
NF: Well then let’s talk about those goals. Let’s start at the top. Tell me about how eating clean went for the month.
Monica: I found the clean eating challenge to be difficult only during the 1st week. Since the inception of the challenge my sugar and bread craving have almost disappeared. They’ve been cut completely except one day a week. I still push my grocery cart through the bakery to get a smell of those simple carbs. Don’t judge me. My cheat day usually involves ice cream of some sort and I’m not prepared to ever give that up.
NF: You know we don’t judge! I’m with you on the ice cream too. Now, how do you generally feel about working out? Is that one of those things you enjoy doing?
Monica: I look forward to working out. I know that for a maximum of 2 hours a day, I have someone that will watch my children at the gym as I whole-heartedly focus on myself. As a stay at home mom, taking time for yourself can be a challenge, but it helps so much mentally and physically.
NF: So how did it go this month?
Monica: According to my gym app I visited 23 times during the month of July. That’s pretty legit, and I’m proud of myself. Endurance and strength are increasing from the strength classes, kickboxing, and Sprint intervals. I have yet to try yoga though.
NF: Tell me more about that.
Monica: I know nothing about yoga, but it looks glamorous and is praised for its relaxation and mindfulness. As I go through this journey of becoming a better me, it only seems right to try it.
NF: I find yoga to be challenging because it’s both physical and mental. I bet you will enjoy it when you try it, even if it’s not your go to gym activity. What about your next goal- mindfulness?
Monica: Of all my goals the mindfulness and gratitude was my biggest struggle. I sometimes forgot to pray and acknowledge God’s greatness in the midst of days filled with tantrums, chores, and problem-solving. I’m grateful to be home with my kids. Grateful my husband provides for and loves his family. Grateful to have healthy children that make messes. Grateful for life in general. Because I was doing the challenge I noticed pretty quickly that this was hard for me, so I moved my gratitude self checks and praying to first thing in the morning. It has really made a difference in my day.
NF: That shows through. Now, you alluded to the relationships part back in the beginning of our interview. Can you tell me more about how you did with that goal?
Monica: This was my favorite part of the challenge! Date nights this month have included: bowling, dinner, bar hopping, and a dessert outing. It honestly felt like college dating all over again. It was already planned so it increased the anticipation throughout the day. I was genuinely excited to date my husband.
NF: Well, that’s awesome!
Monica: It’s not like I’m ever bummed about it, but I do like Netflix and chill w/ UberEats delivery too.
NF: I hear you on that.
Monica: We had such an amazing time WITHOUT the kids. Also with this part was the phone cut off. I ended up moving this to 9pm instead of 8:30. It seemed more reasonable. Plus, if my husband fell asleep I’d Google, Pinterest, Facebook, or whatever for a few minutes.
NF: So it sounds like you found the challenge to help with self- awareness.
Monica: Self awareness definitely increased and also my awareness relating to my marriage. When it came to showing my husband blatant affection I increased random hugs and kisses which was fine and easy. I also started to tell him how much I appreciated him and thanked him for random things that he does for me and our family. He looked like he’d seen a ghost. He even asked, “what are you trying to get me to pay for” and “what have you done with my wife”. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry because obviously me being blatantly appreciative and kind was out of the norm for him.
NF: I can imagine that would have some mixed emotions. It sounds like the Whole Body Whole Mind challenge was good for you and your whole family though. If you had to sum up your results and feelings about them what else would you add to anyone thinking about taking on the challenge themselves?
Monica: Overall I lost 10 pounds as tracked by Fitbit
Monica: I feel better physically and mentally. Just having a reminder to focus on yourself sometimes can do a wonder for you. I look forward to continuing everything next month, but our date nights may be more sparse as nursing school takes over my free time.
I love the increased confidence that I have in myself and marriage after just a month. This confidence translates into the bedroom, workouts, and happiness. I have not reached my final goal, but I’m certainly closer. I’m grateful to Cheryl for starting such an awesome challenge. It is well thought out and doable.
NF: So if anyone is inspired to try the challenge, I just started a round for September (but you can start anytime!) and I’m feeling pretty excited about it. You can find all of the information including the get started sheets here.
Do you think this was a one time thing, or do you think you may try it again sometime?
Monica: I will definitely try this again next month. I want to reach my goals and be content with my body, mind, and relationships. Next time, I’ll take measurements and also do a fat analysis to show the true impact of my hard work. I recommend this challenge to my friends and send the free link to get started frequently.
NF: What a great plan! Thank you for taking the time to come back and share your experience. I know I can’t wait to try it out myself. It sounds like a total win win for everyone.