In this, my last Madison Challenge column, I need to set one thing straight. The Madison Challenge is not a weight loss program. In the last couple of weeks I have had at least three people ask me if I had to weigh in every week, and if I, in fact, did lose weight over the ten week program.
Weight loss, if you need it, certainly is a byproduct of living a healthy lifestyle. Eating right, exercising, keeping your body and mind in tiptop condition will result in a better body image. So if you participate in the Madison Challenge and immerse yourself in all the suggestions you will probably either maintain or obtain your perfect weight.
I must say I fit into the latter category. Years of raising children, trying to do too much and stressing out more than I should have added unwanted pounds to my petite frame. During this ten-week period I have successfully lost 5 ½ pounds. Putting the weight on is easy. I am here to say that taking it off is definitely a challenge.
Over the last ten weeks I have really focused on eating right, exercising and getting an optimal amount of sleep. All of these elements have really helped me stay on course to lose unwanted pounds and ultimately feel better about myself.
There are actual studies out there that say you burn fat while sleeping and that getting 8 hours of sleep really does burn more fat. In addition, when I am tired I tend to eat more--and it is usually not the healthy food I crave, it is the junk food, which is not good anyway you look at it!
The program has also really brought our family together. I must say I am pleasantly surprised on how amenable everyone has been keeping on track, encouraging each other and keeping up-to-date scorecards.
The girls were just having a discussion the other day about Lenten obligations and the Madison Challenge. Sophia said she was going to give up soda for Lent. Ana argued that Sophia was not drinking soda for the Madison Challenge and therefore that was not really a “fair” thing to give up for Lent. I say this is just fine. Sophia can just continue what she started 10 weeks ago and in about 40 days when Lent is over she will not even want any soda.
I would like to add here that soda in our house is really reserved for special occasions anyway. Usually the girls will order it when we are eating out, but it does not flow freely in the house. Water and milk are the usual drink of choice.
Now that we have warmer weather and outdoor exercise is again easy and enjoyable I will not miss the cold, snowy weather we endured this past winter. We are all on track to meet Spring and, ultimately summer, with a positive attitude, leaner bodies, smarter minds and a healthier lifestyle.