The Whole Life Challenge is winding down, and I’ve been doing great. Before when I’d log in my scores, I’d get a bit frustrated seeing that I was ranked 4th/10th/12th (depending on the time that I logged in) even though my score was the same as the person ranked in 1st place. It’s just the log in order that seemed to be recorded (so on a day that I logged in late, I may be ranked 15th place even though my score was the same as the person in 1st).

This system has now changed. Now, all the people with the same points are ranked the same, so I am now ranked 1st because I have earned the full amount of points possible to this point in the game.

I’m definitely pleased about that. Even though this isn’t really a competitive challenge like that, the competitive nature in me comes out. If I’m tied for first, I want to see a 1 next to my name!

Here’s something else that’s considered in the score — we have bonus points that we can use. They do not give you surplus points. They’re ‘banked’ so that if you need them, you can use them.

I haven’t used any bonus points. I chose not to use any bonus points, partly because I didn’t want my ranking to go down.

With this new system, even if you use bonus points, you can still be ranked first because those bonus points go towards your total score.

So let’s say I have a score of 500 using no bonus points and another person ‘strayed’ from the challenge 10 times (e.g. didn’t follow the nutritional guidelines 10 times) but used 10 of his bonus points. That person would also have a total score of 500 (instead of 490).

So we’d both be tied for the first place ranking.

This is where I started to over-think things.

I felt a bit frustrated and annoyed at first. How come my ranking is the same as someone who used his bonus points? Technically, I should be ranked higher because I had no faults in my game at all.

I was frustrated because I’ve been SO sick lately, and despite that illness, I didn’t stray from my diet at all, and I even made sure I made the effort to exercise though it was exhausting.

It was my choice, right?

That’s what the challenge is ultimately about — making a choice. The challenge hosts actually encourage us to use our bonus points because that really represents real life. Sometimes things come up … just because you skipped one day of exercise doesn’t mean you’ve fallen off the healthy bandwagon at all.

I know this, and I fully agree with this. However, I was still annoyed. I felt like my extra effort should be acknowledged in some way — the fact that I haven’t used bonus points at all even though I could have.

So I was whining about this yesterday thinking – man, I’ve got 18 bonus points, since my ranking won’t change, I might as well have some dessert right? (I’m going on my 8th week of no sugar here!!).

That’s when I thought to myself — what is it that I want out of this challenge? With the amount of bonus points I’ve accumulated, I guess I could pretty much write off this last week of the challenge and ‘splurge’ a little.

However, that’s not in line with my goals at all. I’ve been doing this challenge because I needed to ‘reset’ myself. I wanted to see if I could break through the stupid weight loss plateau that I’ve been struggling with for the past 8 months.

I’ve made really good progress. I’ve broken through that plateau (finally), and now I know that I need to keep at it in order to make sure that my improvements stick.

Though the challenge may be temporary, I want the results to be permanent (in terms of moving in the right direction). I want the health and good habits that I’ve gained through the challenge to be life-long changes. Sure I may have a craving for something sweet, but that’s not what I want for myself right now. I’m doing this challenge to see improvements in myself. Cheesecake does not go along with that goal at all.

So even though everyone else at home had frozen yogurt for dessert last night, I had a few pieces of papaya and that was it. I didn’t need anything else. The benefits I’ve gained from the challenge have to do with so much more than just a first place ranking.

There’s one week of the challenge left. I’ve already reached the goal that I had told others I set for myself; however, I set a different goal for me personally and I’m really, really close. I want to end this challenge with a bang. I want to be super-happy and proud when I step on the scale next Saturday and know that I worked hard for 8 weeks straight.

So, I’ve decided that I want to be the person who gives it her all despite bonus points and rankings. The numbers don’t matter in that sense. I’m not a person that is going to give up when I’m so close to the end just because technically I can. I’m going to see this through until the end. There’s just one week left.