My friend announced not too long ago that she was undertaking a series of 30 day challenges. It all started with a mini intervention over her excessive salt use. Her friends, believing she used WAY TOO MUCH salt on her food decided one day to tell her.
Her response (like anyone in denial) “no way do I use too much salt, its regulation amount”.
Her quick witted friends then set her a challenge “If you’re not addicted, then surely you can go 30 days without it?”
After a slight panic attack and the realisation maybe she uses salt like its going out of fashion. Challenge accepted and ultimately life changed.
She described the first week as the hardest. But once she got to day 8, things became a little easier. And each day that followed, a little easier and easier. Until one day, she was totally satisfied with the flavours in food. On day 31, she did use salt but in a significantly lesser amount. She now only uses it with some foods.
Now this one 30 day no salt challenge had her thinking – what else am I missing out on? She then conquered 30 days without bread and rice. LESSON LEARNT: She actually gets sick when she eats bread now and thinks her body operates better without it. She also learnt that its really hard to dine in Sydney when you don’t eat bread or rice.
She’s also smashed 30 day’s no booze and 30 day’s no sugar. Both challenges resulted in her pushing past 30 days and continuing on for a lot longer than that. No booze allowed her to make friends with early mornings. Early Saturday and Sunday’s were spent running, followed by adventures in the sunshine. Instead of stumbling in the door and sleeping the day away. The no sugar challenge has also opened up her world to superfoods, raw cacao (that’s raw un-processed chocolate) and beautiful sweeteners other than the plain old refined white sugar.
But not all of us humans love a challenge. Chatting about the vegan diet last night. It always seems to be the guys who freak out “no way could I live without meat for 30 days, I would die”. Slight exaggeration? Yes. But you know what, maybe they do just operate better with some meat in their diet. Although how are they or you ever going to know that if you don’t give it a go?
This one point is being hammered into me at my nutrition school at the moment – try everything. Try different diets, sports, jobs etc and know that not everything will work for you. But make sure you do more of the things that work well and less off the things that don’t.
And even if you think you had absolutely no gain from it. At least its a conversation starter, right?