Thursday, February 10, 2011

Family Health Challenge

            Since I’ve been on this whole healthy lifestyle band wagon, I’ve wanted to get my family motivated too. I think the more weight I was losing, the more motivated they were getting, so I said to my mom one day that we should do our own Biggest Loser competition at the beginning of the year.

            I never liked the Biggest Loser competitions that would be hosted by my job. They wanted everyone to donate the money and weigh in once a week or so, usually with the P.E. teacher. I didn’t like that I had to weigh in with anyone. I didn’t want anyone that I worked with and saw on a daily basis to know what I weighed or how much I was losing! Also, not everyone has to lose weight. I wanted to see a competition that everyone could join. So, I didn’t want to design something that would track weight loss only.

            Of course, I had help from my family and Janelle. We had to make our own rules because not everyone in my family needed to lose weight, but we all had things we could do to be healthier. After a few months of thinking, planning, and a PowerPoint presentation I finally had it nailed down of what I wanted to do. And yes, I did make a PowerPoint and send it to my family to review. I love making PowerPoint presentations. It’s the easiest way for me to present information and it really turned out like a lesson I would teach in class. I later heard my mom talking to someone about it and she was like, “Oh yea, we’re doing a family health challenge. Sarah even made a PowerPoint and emailed it to all of us.” Then she giggled to herself.

Here is the break down of what we are doing:

  1. Objective: To make healthier choices in your daily life
  2. Time frame: 8 weeks. Sunday, January 2 to Sunday, February 27
  3. Buy in: $10/person
  4. How it’s done: Set 2 goals for yourself. One goal is a daily goal and the other is a weekly goal. You will earn points for meeting your goals. The daily goal is worth 1 point per day. The weekly goal is worth 5 points, but you have to meet your weekly goal in order to get the 5 points. With the points from both goals, there is a possibility of 12 total points per week.
  5. Winning: The person who has earned the most points at the end of the 8 weeks wins the challenge and collects the buy in money from all other contestants.

Here are some sample goals. These are the goals of some people in my family and my goals.

Sample daily goals; 1 point per day:

  1. Saturated fat – 20 grams or less per day
  2. No fast food
  3. Pack lunch every day
  4. One energy drink per day
  5. 16 ounces of coffee per day
  6. 20 minutes of physical activity per day
  7. 10 or less cigarettes per day

Sample weekly goals; 5 points for the whole week:

  1. 90 minutes of activity per week
  2. Have dinner at the table 5 times a week.
  3. Eat dessert only once a week
  4. 5 or less energy drinks for the week
  5. 5 of less alcoholic drinks for the week
  6. Go to the gym 4 times each week
  7. Run 5 miles per week

       So, as you can see some of our goals are focused on different healthy living objectives. Again, not everyone in my family has weight to lose, but we all have other vices. We all drink too much coffee, some too many energy drinks, eat too much fast food, don’t exercise enough, etc, etc.

       Currently, we are more than half way through the challenge. Some people keep changing their goals because they have been too easy or too hard, but for the most part it’s been successful. We all keep track of our own points and tell each other each week how many we earned. I’ll have to let everyone know how it turns out when we finish.

        Once we knew what we wanted to do, it was easy to get started. Maybe other people will try it too. 


  1. what a great idea! It's awesome to get your family involved like that. I may have to steal your idea! :)

  2. Ummm, maybe I'm just a distrustful bitch, but how do you know what people do what they say they do? ;-)

    Polar's Mom

  3. Polar, I'm the same way. That's why I limited this to my family. I wanted to see if it could be bigger with more people and then I thought of how competitive some of my friends are and I really thought they would be dishonest. I know that sounds bad, but whatev.
    We all picked our own goals and we report to each other. I really just wanted to do it with the family the first time to see if it would work. I can pretty much trust everyone in my family. We've all been honest. No one has been perfect; we've all lost a few points here and there.