photo credit: =-.0= from Flickr

I circled around the idea of the #7daychip challenge for a long time, maybe a month, before jumping in. First, there was that association with AA. Personally, I tried OA a long time ago and 12 step programs just do not work for me. (although I acknowledge that they do work for millions of other people!) I was leery of using a tool that has long been utilized by alcoholics and addicts. For one thing, it’s a lot more straightforward for them. They stay away from alcohol or drugs. (I said straightforward, not EASY) For people dealing with food or health or fitness issues, it’s a lot more complicated. We can’t just STAY AWAY from food. Unless we want to, like, die.

Then there’s the issue of staying away from a particular food. This has always been an unsavory idea for me. I am not a vegetarian or vegan. I am not at all a fan of eliminating entire categories of any food from my repertoire. (more on that later)

Anyway, I watched lots of people getting their beautiful 7-and-30 day chips from Mr. Brad Gansberg and I started getting more curious and maybe a little envious. And y’all know I was kind of struggling.

So 13 days ago, I made the decision to chipify (<<<my word!) my goal of getting at least 30 minutes of exercise in per day. I can’t even describe how it has felt to do this.  I had told myself I was “too busy” and “too stressed” to exercise, and was jamming it all in on the weekends. That wasn’t working so well.

The first week, I started by exercising when I got home in the evening, which meant WHILE my family was eating dinner. I felt like, if I waited till after dinner, I was sunk. It was good in that it got me into the groove. It was bad in that I never saw my family. But on Friday I earned this:

How awesome was that!! I am such a sucker for rewards like this, just like I loved getting stickers and doodads from Weight Watchers. It might be “just” a little star sticker but it is an emblem of a real success. This #7day chip acknowledgement was huge!!

After I realized I had gotten kinda slippy with my diabetes, I decided to start myself on a second chip challenge. On Sunday I decided to start testing my blood regularly again and to lay off the sugar. (not including fruit) It’s amazing how I thought, “oh well, my diabetes is just progressing. I’m just getting worse and this is one of those inevitable things.” Um, NOT. Within a couple of days my levels went right back to normal.

This chip has not been so easy. I keep “forgetting.” In fact the other night I had an epic forget. It was after dinner, when I often like to have something sweet. I’d gotten into the habit of having a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich or a Weight Watchers bar. I noticed an almost-empy bag of chocolate chips on the counter. I scooped a few into my palm and popped them into my mouth, thinking, oh, this is probably only 1-2 points worth. And then I remembered!

I ran right over to the trash and spit out all the chips. It was such a moment. I did not want those chips to be ruining my chip, you know? I felt such a sense of relief when they were out of my mouth.

So now I am on Day 13 of the 30-minute-exercise chip, and on day 6 of the No-Sugar chip. I feel a billion percent better. I can’t even describe

Will I never eat sugar again? Well, I’m thinking about what my endocrinologist told me last year. She said that if my blood levels were in good control most of the time, then a little brownie now and then (ie maybe once ever week or two) would be OK. But that’s the key. So I am going to go for 30 days and then re-assess the whole thing.

For anybody out there who wants to accomplish a goal of any kind, I so strongly recommend trying the #7daychip. The support is unparalleled really, the community is amazing, and just taking it like that – yeah, one day at a time – really works.