Sometime last week, my brother-in-law sent an e-mail around to our extended family (my parents, my siblings and their families) with some articles about health. In the course of some e-mail conversation, the suggestion came up that we as a family do some type of “Biggest Loser” health challenge.
We all loved the idea and spent some time together on the 4th of July talking about it. We came up with a basic plan and the competition began yesterday.
“To Increase health, fitness, stamina and happiness in each family member.”
We’ve divided the 6 families into 2 teams, 3 families on each team, trying to make both teams equal with abilities. (We decided to keep whole families together because we want to promote family unity, not pit husbands and wives and siblings against each other.) Each family tallies their points and reports to a team captain their family’s daily total.
The competing teams keep their points secret from each other…so Team 1 doesn’t know the total points of Team 2, and vice versa. This will be revealed in September.
The time frame:
Ongoing—but the first “checkpoint” will be in September at a Labor Day gathering.
We’ve decided on a list of “tasks” we can do each day to eat better, exercise more, and improve our general health and fitness. Each task is worth a certain amount of points. I created a simple chart (example here) that each family member can fill out each day. We tailored it to the needs of the youngest and oldest and to our personal values (including “outside time” for older people that don’t get out much, and “spiritual tasks” for those who are already pretty fit and want more of a spiritual challenge).
Even those of us who don’t need to lose any weight can work harder on healthy eating, drinking more water, and getting to bed earlier.
The Basic Tasks:
* Exercise 30 minutes (worth 5 points)
* Drink water (1 point per 8 ounces)
* Eat fruit/vegetables (1 point per serving or 5 points for 3 servings)
* Use portion control during meals (1 point per meal or 5 points for a whole day of good portion control each meal and healthy snacks)
* For adults, be in bed with lights off at 10pm (5 points). Kids in bed by 8pm (5 points)
* 1 whole day with no sugar or junk food (5 points)
Since money is tight for everyone, we decided that the losing team will give the winning team services: knitted items, photo shoots, baked goods, housecleaning, babysitting, and so on.
We haven’t decided yet what exactly will happen at the September checkpoint…we’re still figuring this out as we go.
Of course we don’t know yet what the results will be, but we hope they will be great: increased family unity and love; better health and fitness. I’ll report on our ongoing progress. One thing’s for sure—we are already seeing a lot of motivation to “beat the other team” and work hard to get healthy (it’s a lot easier to make a salad, have some fruit as a snack, or make yourself exercise even if you really don’t want to when you know your whole team is counting on you). And it’s already a lot of fun!