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Saturday
May102014

Transformative Takeaways: 90-Day Wisdom You Can Use

As the 90-Day Challenge comes to a close, thousands of individuals are doing their final weigh-ins and celebrating their success over the past three months. Out of the thousands, we’ll choose 4 national winners who have acheived the biggest success through their weight loss results and full body transformations. But what do these finalists - along with the other thousands of successful participants - have in common that got them across the finish line and to their goals? Read on for the most common commitments and pivotal strategies that create our 90-Day success stories, and see how they can transform your journey!

There is power behind the “90.”

"Why 90 days?" is a question I often get around Challenge time, most often from folks who think it’s too long. On average, it takes about 12 weeks to make substantial behavior changes and stick to them – an essential factor for long-term weight loss. Ninety days also gets people in the right mindset to set an achievable goal and find solutions that they are comfortable making for the long haul rather than for dramatic, quick fix "dieting." Most of our Challenge winners have maintained their losses and transformations because the 90-Day helped them achieve genuine behavior change they were able to maintain over time.

Get buy-in - from yourself and others.

One thing most 90-Day Challenge winners have in common is the belief that they were going to win right from the start. Once you’ve identified your goal, take the time to devise your no-lose plan, and share it with others (whether a coach, family members or friends) who believe you can do it just as much as you do. Whether you set your sights on winning an entire competition or achieving a personal goal, believing in yourself has proven to be imperative.

A little competition can go a long way.

The leaderboard is one of the most popular features of our 90-Day Challenge. Posting updated results each week, participants find it provides a little friendly competition and motivation to keep them engaged on their journeys. This idea can be repurposed in many other ways – whether you're competing with friends and family on how many steps you get in each day or on who’s drinking the most water! The idea is to use the tool for motivation and to provide positive reinforcement amongst you and your other participants. 

Compete with the person in the mirror.

Although friendly competition can be essential, at the end of the day, most of our winners reflect that their biggest inspiration came from trying to be a better version of themselves. Throughout your journey, it’s imperative to reflect on how far you’ve come and the changes you’ve made and stuck to. You are unique in the fact that no one else has your metabolism - or your life. Time and again, I hear my clients compare themselves to others on similar weight loss journeys: “Well, it’s easy for them: they don’t have kids….” or “She’s always been skinny....”. Although you can gather tips from others regarding what works for them in their weight loss success, most often you have to dig down to your core to discern your personal barriers and overcome them.

Structure is crucial. 

You need to have a plan. Part of our winners’ assurance that they were going to be successful in the Challenge stemmed from having a plan at the very start. Life happens to all of us. So often, we can easily deviate from new changes and behaviors we are just beginning to practice. You may devise a perfect workout and meal plan for success but get to a point where perfection won’t be possible. Make a plan on how to overcome common barriers that get in the way of making change and achieving success. I often coach my clients to develop routines and checklists that help them stick to a plan. If mornings are best for your workouts, laying out your gym clothes and packing your lunch the night before will help you stick to that plan the next day when you have little time.  

Have some sort of weekly check-in for accountability.

The 90-Day Challenge offers weekly weigh-ins for all participants as an opportunity to monitor progress but also to engage with a fitness professional about where they are in their journey. This weekly touchpoint not only provides accountability towards your goal, but it can also make sure you stay in the competition mindset. Although weigh-ins are popular for most weight loss journeys, this weekly check-in could be with your coach, co-worker or some other trusted individual to see how you are doing compared to your plan. It could also be a designated time and day for you to journal on your own to explore how you feel you're doing. Whatever the case, plan to have frequent check-ins of some sort to keep you on track.

Define a community.  

We know having the right support is crucial for long term weight loss. Having a supportive network around you is a common factor our 90-Day winners connect with their success. Having a gym buddy to work out with, a supportive partner and family, and a healthy work environment can all contribute to your community that keeps you going on your journey. Many past winners have used social media and discussion forums as ways to connect with others who are on similar journeys.  

Congratulations to all our 90-Day participants and thank you to all who have supported them! What wisdom above do you identify with? What strategies have made a difference for you during this Challenge? Offer your tips, feedback and good wishes to all those wrapping up a fantastic 90-Day journey. Thanks for reading, everyone!

Written by Anika Christ, Senior Program Manager of Life Time Weight Loss

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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