The Outlier 30 Day Challenge Part 3 - Ryan Just Says No to Junk Food

by: Kathleen Martin

Recently, I, along with the rest of my Outlier co-workers (well ALMOST all of them) decided to embark on an Outlier thirty-day challenge where we pledged to do, or not do, a specific set of things for thirty days. It seemed not only a fun team-building exercise, but a way to break habits that had been formed over the years with the support of my co-workers.

For my challenge, I decided to break a couple of habits, as well as start a couple new ones which would lead to a healthier self. The rules were pretty straight-forward; for thirty days, I would not consume alcohol, fast food, or eat out for lunch. I would also eat breakfast and workout for at least thirty minutes a day.

The whole intent of this undertaking was to break bad habits and start good ones. I had fallen into a slump of eating fast food rather then making the effort to cook something at home, as well as eating out for lunch rather than bringing something with me. This was not only unhealthy, but hard on the wallet. In addition, I was looking to give my workout habits a kick, and create a healthier eating pattern, so I decided to add the thirty minute a day workout and breakfast requirements to my challenge.

Initially I was worried about taking on multiple objectives, and the first week was pretty rough, and I had to be very meticulous to make sure that I came to work armed with breakfast and lunch, and that I got myself to the gym. There were a couple of nights where I didn’t get home until 11:30 at night and had to put in a very late night 5k run.

The one everyone seems to ask me about, however, is the no drinking alcohol rule. Being a fan of going out and bar hopping and socializing, there were more than a couple doubters that I could go thirty days without drinking anything. Oddly enough, it turned out to be one of the easier parts to the challenge, especially when I discovered that a night out with friends drinking only diet cokes never costs more than four dollars, and was sometimes even free! I certainly did get some teasing from my friends, who thought the whole endeavor was wildly out of character.

In the end, I made it through the challenge without a ding on my record. The overall experience was really enjoyable, and I even had some pretty startling results. I lost almost 10 lbs of weight, all of which was fat! I enjoyed the process so much that I am just about to start a new challenge, this time sixty days, which incorporates a ramped up workout routine. I can’t wait to see the results!

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