Week #1 Focus FULLY

First a sad disclaimer! I broke my right arm skiing in Utah last week and am incredibly slow at typing with my left arm. Consequently I will be recycling some of my past blog posts! I hope you won’t mind the repeats and we can still accomplish great things together!

I was listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio some time ago. For those of you not familiar-- he is a radio talk show host that speaks on the subject of frugal living to achieve independence from debt. Folks routinely call his show for advice on eliminating debt from their lives and he recommends a hyper focused "Rice and beans, beans and rice" strategy. Listeners are encouraged to focus wholly on their goal and eliminate ALL extra spending so that they can become debt free in record time. Many of his broadcasts feature successful listeners that phone in to give a debt free yell "3, 2, 1-- We are totally debt free!"

The other day a caller phoned in to ask was it OK if they slowed down their plan to eliminate their debt from 7 months to 12 months so that they could take the children to Washington DC for Spring break. Ramsey advised they NOT take the vacation but instead take a staycation and postpone the trip until their debt was eliminated. And then he said something I wanted to share with you today. He said they needed to keep a GAZELLE APPROACH to debt elimination. That he had found that when people became more casual and less intensely focused on their goals the goal tended to slip away from their vision and fade away into nothingness.
 That got me really thinking about gazelles. Did you know a Gazelle can run 60 m.p.h. and can run at a sustained speed of 30 m.p.h.? What do you think might inspire a Gazelle to run so fast?

When I was on a trip to South Africa with my youngest daughter our guide shared that "Gazelles are the Mcdonald's of Africa" He pointed out the M on their behinds and said they are the preferred dinner menu for lions.

Seems like if I had a Lion or tiger were chasing me at top speed I might become very inspired to focus everything I had on my efforts to run faster. It would definitely NOT be a time to be casual about my goal to escape.

In life we have times when we feel a renewed desire to improve ourselves and to give our goals an extra effort. I am excited you have decided to join our healthy living challenge. This is a great opportunity to think in detail about the reasons you want to develop some new healthier habits. Can you focus on this desire like a Gazelle?

For those of you that are new to our challenge you may feel overwhelmed by how many behaviors we track daily and weekly. Really?? You have to drink a lot of water, and cut back sweets to once a week, and write down every mouthful you eat on myfitnesspal.com, and exercise 6 days a week for a full hour and eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and complete a weekly challenge? How overwhelming, how all encompassing, how Gazelle like! For those of you that are returning have you been getting a little lax in your healthy habits? Are you thinking 2 sugar days in a week are OK? Bites and nibbles don't need to be entered in myfitnesspal? Cleaning house or walking to your car can count as exercise? I challenge you to see how exacting you can be on following the program. NOTE THAT I  HAVE NEVER HAD ANYONE FOLLOW THE PROGRAM TO EXACTNESS THAT DID NOT FORGE WONDERFUL HABITS AND IF THERE WAS A NEED ALSO EXPERIENCE BIG WEIGHT LOSS. DURING OUR LAST ROUND MANY OF OUR FULLY FOCUSED LADIES LOST 9, 12, 15, 19 AND EVEN 24 POUNDS.
However I have seen many folks fudge a bit here and a bit more there and discontinue entering their numbers part way through our 8 week competition and generally lose focus and experience little change-- They GOT EATEN BY THE LION. 

As we begin our first week of competition you must:
1. Read the Rules page and Frequently Asked Questions page on the blog site (yes even if you are returning to the competition) 
2. Start an account on myfitnesspal.com and seek at least 3 "friends" from our competition (search for them by e-mail addresses in my e-mail headers).
3. Weigh and measure yourself and include these numbers in the weigh in tab of myfitnesspal.com (you might also want to take note in a personal notebook).
4. Contact your partner DAILY to remind and encourage. You can hang out in person, work oit together, text, phone, e-mail but contact EVERY DAY. 

If you complete the above assignments you can claim 5 bonus points for every day of week #1 that you remember to contact your partner. Have a great week! 

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