A new thing I’m trying to help me move more and eat well

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life24 Comments


One of the things I try to do in my life is move more and eat well. I think I’ve made that pretty obvious over the past several years.

One of the things I don’t always do in my life is move more and eat well. I think I’ve made that pretty obvious as well.

I recently got my ass handed to me by my therapist as I casually mentioned last week, “Well, I’ve put on about 40 pounds and some change since I lost it all back in 2010.” I plan to get into that conversation in a future post, but what needed to happen immediately was some responsible action on my part.

Enter the Whole Life Challenge.

I saw my friend Stephanie post on Facebook that she was gearing up to do this new health and fitness thing and curious, I messaged her and got enough details to pique my interest.

SO WHAT IS IT? Their website says, “The Whole Life Challenge is the 56-day online game that allows you to affect lasting change in your life.”  You can read all about it here. It’s essentially a game  you play and you have several areas to focus on daily: nutrition, exercise, stretching, supplements (whatever you decide is right for you), and reflection on your daily experience. There are three levels of play: Performance, Lifestyle and Kick Start and yes, you guessed it, each one has slightly different nutrition guidelines.

If you are familiar with Whole 30 plans, it has some similarities: bread and most sugar are off limits, but each chart has different restrictions and it’s not as bad as you might think. The bottom line? Eat real food every day and you’re golden.

Except for cheese. There’s no cheese. But you can’t have your cake—er, cheese—and eat it, or the word ‘challenge’ wouldn’t really apply now, would it?

DOES IT COST MONEY? Yes. And for me, paying for something adds an extra layer of motivation. I got an early bird rate of $39, but the regular price to join in and play is $49.

CAN I JOIN IN NOW? I think you technically could, but I’m not completely sure. I actually emailed the folks at WLC to get their advice and am still awaiting a reply. The next official Whole Life Challenge runs from January 17 to March 13, 2015.

HOW’S IT GOING SO FAR? I’m in the second week and I have to say, so far, so good. One of the things you have to do is drink water daily, half your body weight in ounces [edited: actually, it’s 1/3 your body weight. But I’m still shooting for half!]. I’m sure those of you who do this know how good it is for you, but for people like me who would rather drink their weight in coffee, it’s a bit of a challenge. But I’ve been drinking 94 ounces a day (yeah, go ahead and do the math on that one) and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t change a person’s hunger and cravings. Seriously. This challenge has also got me moving again, every day. I’m walking, doing Jillian Michael’s Beginner Shred (oh, hello stomach muscles… there you are!), and working my way into a Couch to 5K plan (not all simultaneously, mind you.)

I need to be a healthier person and if that ends up being a slightly lighter person, I’ll take it.

The most important thing to me in all of this is that I keep my health in my conscious mind. This is harder to do at certain times than at others. But for today and the next seven weeks, I’m all in.



Cathy ZielskeA new thing I’m trying to help me move more and eat well

24 Comments on “A new thing I’m trying to help me move more and eat well”

  1. #1
    Holly Corbett

    Lots of luck!! I wish I could have joined this time around, but it just wasn’t feasible. Maybe next time.

  2. #2

    I read your first post on WLC and joined in, too! Actually, signed my sister and two nieces up ~ so we’re a team! Like you, the idea of “no cheese” doesn’t fit well into my definition of eating, so I’m weighing my options on that little ‘off limits.’

    I think the best part of the program is the daily record, especially the reflection piece.
    Thanks for sharing and keep on MM-EW!


  3. #3

    This is awesome, Cathy! I am having a setback currently (sprained ankle), so no exercise or walking, but I could totally be drinking more water and eating more vegetables. Duh. Palm on Forehead. Thanks for the wake up. It’s all about moving forward, whatever that looks like today.

  4. #5
    Cathy G

    I’m all in too, and was after reading Stephanie’s initial blog on WLC. Am loving it (and hating it a bit) so far – am sure your therapist would have plenty to say about why I get cross at my hubby for eating ice cream and pizza in front of me but then can’t chose what to spend an indulgence token on! How’s the ‘to do’ list going for you this week?

    1. #5.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Good. I’m on target and picking things that need to happen, even though I’d rather push them off. Today? Squeeze in a run to Good Will to drop off many bags of stuff. 🙂

  5. #6
    Chris H

    So glad you are trying this. I have been doing CrossFit for nearly 2 years and WLC and Paleo Challenges are big in that community. I did whole 30 a couple years ago and it has changed the way I eat permanently. Eating good, real food is so key to so many health issues resolving themselves. The best part is once you realize what you tolerate and what you don’t, it’s actually quite easy to eat going forward. Breaking the cycle of need for processed foods is liberating. You’ll just feel better. Add in some heavy as you can strength training/barbell work and you’ll be shrinking in no time!
    Good Luck!

  6. #7
    Tracy L

    According to the site registration is closed for this session….darn it. Let us know when you hear back from WLC if it’s possible. Would love to follow along on this.

    1. #7.1
      Chris H

      Hi Tracy…
      If you look into Whole 30, you can start that anytime. I like that aspect of it because if I do one, I can line it up so I can be more successful…ie, if I have travel or out of town guests, it’s a little less ‘easy’…kwim??

    1. #8.1
      Karen Grunberg

      didn’t mean to have that sound rude, i hope it doesn’t. just thought it might be helpful if you’re having trouble with so much water. as it turns out i end up drinking about half each day since i had to walk away from diet coke and have no choice but water now. coffee bitter is just making me cry each day a bit.

      1. #8.1.1
        Cathy Zielske

        Oh, weird. I swore it was half. OH, I have an app where I track water, and they suggest half! Ha! I’ll change the working in the post. Didn’t realize I had it wrong.

        I’m so glad I love black coffee, though! LOL!

        1. #
          Karen Grunberg

          i bet. i wish i did too. i had to give up lattes and diet coke, leaving me with pretty much nothing but water and tea. and black coffee which still to me tastes like eating cigarettes.

  7. #9

    Interesting – I’ve looked into Whole30 due to health reasons, but could not get my body to agree to no soy (having gone mainly vegan a few months prior) and no grains (we’re heavy into rice & whole wheats here) – but it looks like the challenge (at least the Kickstart portion) is a lot more “ease into this” than the original Whole30. Good luck with the water … that’s something I have a problem with too. And, yes, 1/3 of body weight seems a lot more do-able than 1/2 … though I’m sure over time you’ll be upping it to 1/2 and not even aware of it.

  8. #10
    Beth H.

    Good luck to you. Keep blogging. Did you join a team. Could we have a CZ community team? I joined in too about 5 days after the start. It’s going okay so far. I need the nudge to stretch and be active everyday and take supplements. I’m not giving myself a hard time on the eating and have only had a 3/5 or a 4/5 most days. I’d like to know more about the rational behind some of the nutrition rules. I doing the lowest Kick Start level. I don’t understand why all cheese is banned yet we can have unsweetened yogurt and milk. I try to limit cheese eating anyway — but I love feta and always considered it healthy cheese. I also have to have something a bit sweet after dinner and while I am fine with not eating the huge amounts of ice-cream I was eating I can’t give up my couple of squares of dark chocolate. Do you know where I could find more info on the food/nutrition philosophy?

    1. #10.1
      Cathy Zielske

      There is a Move More, Eat Well team you can join if you like! It’s made up of students from my class.

      You can always email me them for more info. They have responded to one of my inquiries! 🙂 I’m not quite an expert to answer your questions just yet. 😉

  9. #12

    It’s amazing how paying for something can motivate you, isn’t it. I’ve done a couple of rounds of 12WBT, and whilst ‘doing’ that I can eat well, more more often etc, etc. I KNOW what I have to do, however it seems that unless I’m paying for it, I just don’t. It’s crazy and, in all honestly, a bit pathetic. So I’m trying again, by myself. I signed up for SC’s Agenda class earlier in the month and have been getting my planner ready for when class begins in October. I have included a food tracker section in my planner and for the last 3 weeks I have been truthfully recording everything I have eaten. Workouts haven’t been awesome, but they do say that it’s 80% food and 20% workouts – so it’s a start. The thing I’m loving is that I always have my planner with me so it’s so much easier to at least write what I’ve eaten, even if I have to work out the calories later.

    Good luck with your journey – you can do it 🙂

  10. #13
    Madeline St Onge

    Uggh Cathy I think I need to do this, battling so hard to drop 5 more pounds and I can’t do it. Going to check it out Thanks girl

  11. #14

    Thanks Cathy! I’ve been wondering about your recent posts. I’ve done the whole 30 (inspired by your class). This sounds intriguing. GO CATHY GO!!!!

  12. #15

    Congratulations! I look forward to hearing about your progress. I love that the goal is to be healthier and then by default probably lighter. Life changes baby…not diets!

  13. #16
    Linda Greer

    A little late seeing this, so I hope you see this comment. I went to the link to check out the Whole Life Challenge, so I am definitely thinking about it. I have a question that I didn’t see on there. I know “coffee flavored” drinks aren’t allowed {booooo}, but how about just regular brewed coffee? I didn’t even see it listed. That may be the deciding factor – hahahaha

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