Well…I did it. It's day 21 and I am patting myself on the back for finishing something I started. I thought I was going to get eye rolls when I started posting about the Advent Health Feel Whole challenge…because how many times do you see people posting online about this challenge or that challenge? I knew this challenge was different for me. Since I started it and finished it for me and no one else, I feel really good about it. And, no one has rolled their eyes at me…at least that I know about.
This post is sponsored by AdventHealth. All opinions are mine.
And even if there are eye rolls, that's OK. This was a win for me and, even though I've finished the 21-day challenge, I feel like it's more of a beginning than an end.
About the 21-Day Feel Whole Challenge – What I've Learned
First things first: you don't have to buy anything. You're not swayed to change your thinking or your belief system to a different way. You don't even have to give your email address, although you can sign up for email reminders if you like. There's really nothing to lose and lots to gain.
I've learned to prioritize my wellness because if I let myself burn out, I'm not really much good to anyone else. I've learned to put myself first a little bit more, which is hard for a mom. It's worth the effort to try, though. It doesn't have to be perfect.
I've learned that my mental health and my spiritual health are just as important as my physical health and that I should deliberately make time for all three. It's not any kind of shocking revelation but having the challenges to guide me drove those points home.
I've learned that change is continuous. I'm not the same person I was five years ago and I won't be the same person in five years as I am today. Embracing change is hard for me but I the process of continuing to improve, adjust, and evolve is appealing. Maybe I'm not even the same person I was 21 days ago. I'm so much more focus on what is good for me and what I need to be good for other people in all areas of my life.
What I'm most proud of about the 21-Day Feel Whole Challenge & What I think I'll carry forward
The thing I'm most proud of is how much I've upped my water intake. I am TERRIBLE about drinking enough water, or at least I was. I'd drink water during and after exercise. Sometimes, I'd pound the water just before I knew I was going to work out to try to catch up quickly, which resulted in me feeling sloshy with a belly full of water, which doesn't feel good when you're about to exert yourself.
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#ad Do you drink enough water? I don’t but I’m really working on trying to change that. . I’m doing the AdventHealth 21 Day Feeling Whole Challenge and today’s prompt is “Drink More Water” but y’all probably guessed that already, right? . I feel so much better when I’m fully hydrated but you know what? I don’t really like plain water. I’ve passed that on to my kids, unfortunately, and I see them reaching for juices or other sugary drinks all too often. #MomFail . What’s working for us is a pretty simple, inexpensive and good-for-you fix: cut up fresh fruit and put it in your ice water. It makes drinking water seem like a treat and we’ve done a much better job at getting our water in this week. . Hop on to my profile and learn more about the AdventHealth 21 Day Feeling Whole Challenge. It focuses on feeling whole and paying attention to your mind, body, and spirit. And…although it IS a challenge it isn’t intimidating or difficult. . . #FeelingWhole #AdventHealth #FeelWholeChallenge #21DayFeelWholeChallenge #hydrate #drinkwater #summertime
The thing is: I don't really like water. I'd rather drink other things which don't necessarily contribute to my overall hydration, or even dehydrate me. I've tried flavor additives that you put into your water bottle and I don't really like those either. For whatever reason, cutting up fresh citrus fruit has worked for me. It adds an element of color to my water and just enough of a zing to make it interesting, while not being too sweet.
I'm also proud that I've moved an exercised more consistently during this challenge than I have all summer. I can find all kinds of excuses to skip workouts in the summer. We're traveling more. It's hot outside. My kids are home. I've got a whole pocket full of reasons. I've done really well with consistently exercising and getting my family more involved. I feel like I've got a good momentum and that I've reinforced that working out is really something I need to do for my physical and mental well-being.
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#ad Day 9 – Exercise with a friend . If you've been following along for the past week or so, you know I'm doing the AdventHealth 21 Day Feel Whole Challenge. It's been a really positive experience so far. I've moved more, eaten better, drank more water and reflected more about my mind and spirit than I have in a long time. It's been a good thing and I encourage you to try it if you think it might be a fit for you. . So…the Day 9 Challenge is “Exercise with a Friend.” I've had in my head for a long time to do a “mommy and me” workout. I run, walk and bike with my kids regularly but I've always wanted to do these fun, two person exercises. . There was a little bit of working out. There was a lot of laughing..mostly we laughed because Z had a case of the toots during our workout. Laughing is good, y'all. . You should do this challenge. It's fun and it's bringing me closer to my family. #Winning . #AdventHealth #FeelWholeChallenge #FeelingWhole #21DayFeelWholeChallenge #workoutpartner #kidswhoworkout #familyfitness #fitfamily #activefamily
Mostly, I am just proud that I stuck with it, even on days where I felt like ignoring the challenge. My shoulder has been bothering me – I have a pinched nerve that shows up every now and then to say hi – and there were days where I felt like doing a lot of nothing. Because I'm doing this challenge, I did more stretching and took more of a self-care approach early on.
What I still need to work on
There were a couple of challenges that focused on sleep and the bedtime routine. I am making the tiniest bit of headway here. I'm trying to focus on the fact that I am doing a little bit better versus beating myself up for not getting enough sleep. I've set a bedtime for myself and although I haven't been that successful at keeping to it, the seed has been planted in my head that I owe it to myself to get more rest than I've been getting.
I always have good intentions of getting to bed at a decent hour and then remember at about 10 o'clock that I need to do all the things. Part of this is time management and part of this is just knowing when to prioritize sleep over “all the things.” This Instagram post explains more of my struggles in this area and my plans to do better:
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#ad Day 12 of the AdventHealth Feel Whole Challenge is “Analyze Bedtime.” Just so you don't think I'm completely nuts or start feeling bad about the laundry piled on your bed, this is my bedtime as I wish it to be. Nice PJs, doing a little reading before I turn in at a reasonable hour. Not a screen in sight. . HA. . These are my actual PJs and this is my actual bed. I made it to take this picture and you can't see the laundry pile because I moved it. I don't go to bed at a reasonable hour. I realize at 10: 30 p.m. that I've forgotten to do ten zillion things so I stay up until at least midnight and then I try to get into bed without waking my husband. That book I want to read? Well…I'd have to turn on the lights and that would really wake him up so why don't I just play games on my phone. Oh hey…that kid in my seventh grade science class? What happened to him? Is he on Facebook? . Please say that's not just me. But I can do better. WE can do better. I'm taking a hard look at my bedtime routine and how it impacts the rest of my day. I'm up late because I'm unorganized. I can be more organized. I play games on my phone and look up weird stuff online when I should be sleeping because I can't turn my brain off. I can't turn my brain off because I didn't do anything to relax and to ease myself out of my day…like read this book that actually makes me feel good about myself and makes me look forward to tomorrow instead of getting wound up over all the things I haven't done. . I've made myself a list of the things I HAVE to do before I climb into bed tonight, and no, internet stalking someone from middle school isn't a “have to.” I've set myself a bedtime. I've even laid out my pajamas and my books. The laundry basket? Eh…I'll deal with that tomorrow. #FeelingWhole #AdventHealth #FeelWholeChallenge #21DayFeelWholeChallenge
This has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. It's challenging enough to be a real…well, challenge, but the tasks are easily attainable and leave you feeling good…and ready to keep on focusing on taking care of yourself. At least that's been my experience.
If you want to know more about the AdventHealth 21-Day Challenge, check out this link.