It’s Friday afternoon and you know you’ll be hopping in the car in a few hours to go away for the weekend. You realize that you won’t get back until late Sunday evening and all the supermarkets will be closed. How will you get your food prep done for the week if you can’t get to the shops to buy your groceries?

You take a moment and come up with a plan. You realize that the only way to make it happen is to buy whatever you need today so that you’re all set for meal prep time when Sunday rolls around.

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At the supermarket, I looked for produce that had the latest expiration date and was happy to find everything I needed for the upcoming week’s food prep. Now that that was taken care of, I thought about what I could take with me on the road trip that would travel well, be satisfying, and be compliant while on the Whole Life Challenge. Bananas, dates, nuts, and some sweet potato crisps — those would have to do. I’d have to decide everything else once I go to my destination.

Normally, I wouldn’t have thought about all these things in such detail. I would have just gone to the grocery store on Monday after my road trip and prepped for the week from that day. I probably wouldn’t have bought fruit and nuts to take along with me for the weekend away. It was being on the Whole Life Challenge that had me going the extra mile.

After returning home to a fridge full of produce ready to be chopped up and turkey ready to be cooked, all I could think of was — I just want to go to sleep!

The four hours of jiu-jitsu earlier that morning followed by over 4 hours in the car for the drive back had me exhausted. The last thing I wanted to do was stand in the kitchen and chop those vegetables. Despite my best intentions to prepare my food for the week, it wasn’t going to happen. In the battle of food prep vs. sleep, sleep won.

Just before closing my eyes, I set my alarm for 5 a.m. I told myself, if I’m really too tired to get up, then I won’t wake up that early to do my food prep, but if I’m ok, then I will.

5:00 a.m. rolled around and I felt rested and ready. I went down to the kitchen, turned the oven on, and got the chopping boards out. It was at that moment – standing in the kitchen in my pjs, glasses, and fuzzy slippers – that I realized — this is what the Whole Life Challenge is all about — Going the extra mile.

Would it have been ok to have grabbed a pre-packaged salad from a café for lunch instead of taking my homemade quinoa salad? Yes. It would have been ok. However, I really didn’t want to, and I knew a bit of extra effort would make it possible to follow my plan and stick to the challenge.

Once it was done, I was happy. That’s it. Lunch for the week was ready.

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The Whole Life Challenge isn’t about figuring out a way to quickly lose weight or putting you through a rigorous workout routine to get you ‘shredded quick.’ It’s about making you stop and think about what you can do to be healthier.

When the challenge rolls around you suddenly realize you can take 10 minutes out of your day to stretch. You can drink more water. You can make smarter food choices.

It’s not about being perfect, but rather about putting in continuous effort. It’s about experiencing hiccups in your routine (weekend away, out of town visitors, social engagements) and learning how to navigate them in a way that keeps you healthy and happy. It’s about learning to enjoy the taste of fresh whole foods and not rely on packaged products, powders, or pills. It’s about discovering a stronger, more empowered you. It’s about going the extra mile.

WLC Day38.2