September 15, 2014 by Lauren Grider
Autumn, my favorite time of year, is quickly approaching. Months of intolerable heat will soon give way to brisk night air and brilliant leaves. I’ll wear sweaters and scarves and tall boots. Even the angle of the fall sunlight will make me happy. There will be fire pits, football, and fresh apple cider. Halloween will give way to Thanksgiving, when I’ll gather with my family for the Iron Bowl, Christmas nipping at our heels.
I find it’s important to slow down and take a deep breath as fall approaches. We’re headed into a season packed with activities, celebrations, and feasting. Personal time will be at a minimum as we try to squeeze time with friends and family into the 7 weekends between Halloween and Christmas. Yes, only 7.
So, I’m participating in the Whole Life Challenge yet again. I like this lifestyle of intermittent wellness game-playing. I have some chances to take a break, then it’s right back in with scoring. It’s almost better than “scoring” yourself year-round because it becomes less important when you do it everyday for the rest of your life. There’s something about competing over a set period of time that really appeals to me.
The levels of the game have been completely restructured, and after agonizing over it for a few weeks, I finally selected the intermediate “Lifestyle” level. I did this because, even though this level is more relaxed than it used to be in several ways, I found that the Rx level was just too insane for me. I need bacon in my life. And wine. And though I don’t think I should necessarily drink a glass of wine every day, as the Lifestyle level allows, I do want some on the weekends.
I did the same workout I’ve done before, and I have regressed some. I have actually taken a couple of weeks off of heavy activity because of a weird tailbone soreness I’ve had, but I’ve been cleared to return to my normal activities. I have also gained a few pounds back since the end of the last challenge, a combination of cheese-eating, alcohol-drinking and birthday dessert in combination with decreased exercise, I’m sure. In the larger picture, though, progress is always being made. And that’s incredibly important to understand. The scale does not make or break me.
Auburn football has started up again, and I found a great comparison that I’ll leave you with. The first photo is from the fall of 2008,
my last year of veterinary school (my husband reminds me this was the weekend after we got married, oops). The second photo is from the first game of the 2014 season. War Eagle! What a difference 6 years makes.