Thursday, October 3, 2013

Whole Life Challenge Day 26

Wednesday, October 2nd

1) What did you consume?

Let's see–Had an apple, a handful of almonds and coffee for breakfast; chicken salad from Chipotle for lunch; an afternoon Larabar and, for dinner, rotisserie chicken, 1/2 a sweet potato and some salad. A banner day after about 4 straight days of docking points.

2)  Were you active and what did you do?

Yes, I went to a great 7:30PM CrossFit class with many of my favorite WOD buddies. We did heavy power cleans on the minute for 10 minutes followed by Elizabeth (21-15-9 power cleans and ring dips).

3) Did you complete the lifestyle challenge and how do you feel?

Yes, but my work schedule this week is making me extra tired, and I require more coffee in the morning.

4) Did you cheat/lie?

Okay, so, the salad dressing that I found at Jewel after reading approximately 3,761 labels was the only one without sugar. All of the ingredients were fine, but the label said "canola oil or soybean oil," whatever-the-hell that means. Do they switch it up at the factory so that people don't get  bored? They like to spice things up on Fridays and go a little crazy with the soybean oil instead? Anyway, I put my bet on the canola oil and ate it without regret.

5) How do you feel?

I'm in a little upswing, thankfully. I've felt pretty good the last few days, minus being exhausted all the time. My fitness is continually improving, which is nice, and I felt really strong on all of the cleans yesterday.

In reflecting on this challenge, I've determined that an issue I am encountering has to do with the psychology of its structuring. I'm not a psychologist, but I moonlighted in more than a handful of classes in college and consulted with one of my best friends who's completing her PhD in psychology, so I'm basically an expert.

The issue for me is that it is mostly based on a conditioning model of punishment (mess up, lose a point) versus positive reinforcement (do well, earn points–the Weight Watchers model). There are instances of positive reinforcement, as in the bonus points for journaling, but not in the nutrition component, which is my arch nemesis. And those bonus points are positioned to correct screw-ups and reverse punishment. So, before you get to use bonus points earned out of positive reinforcement, you first have to get punished. Operant conditioning research consistently shows that positive reinforcement is more effective at shaping behaviors than negative reinforcement or punishment. Here's some more info on that.

Now, some of you may be thinking that I'm missing the point of the Whole Life Challenge. That it's about finding a balance and developing sustainable behaviors. But I'm following the rules, and the rules do not reflect that goal. If they did, bonus points wouldn't exist to fix screw-ups. The WLC would instead build in 1 cheat meal a week, and 1 totally missed day of working out with no punishment–Variables to achieve a goal of balance and sustainability. There are probably some small changes the WLC can make to reframe their conditioning model in a more positive way and I hope they consider it in the future.

Cumulative Deductions: Still -12

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