I was away completing an 8-week group challenge through a reputable wellness agency on Facebook. Group challenges and group accountability are indeed useful interventions regarding weight loss and behavior change.
For some of us.
I think it gets a little tricky when the group gets too large and it is easy to get lost in the crowd. It gets less important that you post your workouts and nutrition because your individual posts are hard to keep up with in the masses. As far as a behavioral tool, large-group accountability can fall short on the appropriateness of the intervention depending on the individual.
I started off in this challenge with a good mindset and was fairly hopeful. This particular challenge is run by a behavior analyst who uses some of the principles of behavior throughout the challenge. And she really does get results for many of her challengers. I even had an opportunity to possibly do some behavioral coaching for her in the future! I was pumped to get this opportunity and put a lot of pressure on myself to measure up throughout the challenge.
And like I said, it works for some of us.
Read on to see why I might not be one of them.
I think the idea of accountability works, but there is an art to it that I don’t think is addressed in a larger challenge. I think it takes a more “ready” mindset for someone to use posting to a larger group as their accountability measure. For me, I need a smaller group so that I KNOW these people can keep up with my posts and hold me accountable!
Another part of this challenge that didn’t agree with me in the long run was the counting. It was based on the macros diet which I have tried on and off for 6 months and am finally admitting defeat. Every time I try to count every fat, protein, and carb that enters my body, I become obsessive. It is not sustainable for me in the short or long-run.
Yes, I can lose weight this way. No, I cannot sustain it.
On this particular plan, I was crazy (er than usual). I didn’t have a period. I was crabby (er than usual). It just didn’t and doesn’t work for me. So about 6 weeks in (yes 6 weeks), I decided enough was enough.
Although I was super excited to be a part of the challenge and to have the chance to learn from someone who has the same interests as me, I just couldn’t put myself through it. I also couldn’t coach people exclusively on a model that I couldn’t do myself.
I CAN provide macros and I can coach someone on that program IF THAT WORKS FOR THEM. However, it is not my personal model and I am upfront with that on my coaching page.
So, what does work for me?
Color-coded portion control and choice menus! I love the flexibility of my new diet plan and can’t wait to share the results. I am all about the self- love and empowering groups of women I have joined who use some of the products I have used on my journey. Smaller challenge groups and success partners work better for me. I also love satisfying my sweet tooth with my new favorite protein-packed superfood shake while getting all the micronutrients I need in a day which curbs my cravings for other, less-healthy options.
And finally, balance. Balance works for me. No obsessing. No “us vs. them” or “healthy vs. unhealthy” mentalities.
Here are my pictures from the challenge. Again, I had some progress, but it was such a struggle and not sustainable for me.
**Let me stress, it is a good plan for some people and our preferences can be different.**
Ok, the pics.
Can’t wait to continue to share my progress with what is working for me long-term. 🙂