• 24Life Editor’s Challenge: All In

    By Lashaun Dale

Spring is the season to up our game—to understand our potential to go the distance and realize that we don’t have to go it alone. I have had the good fortune of working with incredible teams my whole life. It started with a family that was beyond supportive, tolerant and expectant of my drive for unique experiences and achievement. My fellow college students in international relations taught me that ideas discussed with others take root far more quickly than concepts imagined alone.

Today, my tribe of mentors and story warriors instill in me faith that my story matters and that my potential is real, especially if I am willing to run the miles. My current team at 24Life teaches me daily that together anything is possible and that knowing someone has your back is the most rewarding experience of being human. As we gear up for the changing season and move our goals and dreams forward, this issue of 24Life explores what it means to go “all in”: how it is that we feel more human in relationship with others, and how we can trust our community to support us when we are eager to do something big.

Your tribe is waiting for you

Joe De Sena, our cover story, knows a lot about this phenomenon. He’s the creator and CEO of Spartan Race, which started as an idea and now brings together diverse communities globally for unique and challenging obstacle-course races that deliver a compelling and challenging human experience. (If you have yet to try a Spartan, give the workout a try and then grab a friend or, better yet, build a team and register.)

There’s much more about fitness and lifestyle in this issue, from a reader-requested interview with Dr. Jackie Mills—the creative director of Les Mills International and the acclaimed “mother” of Les Mills International, whose programs move and inspire millions every year. Try our Springtime Six-Pack workout, which humbled many bodies at our corporate office. Then finish up with a quick tutorial video from Elle Penner and make her spicy sweet potato chickpea stew for a simple, tasty meal that you can share with friends after training. And if you need a reboot this spring, check our four experts’ springtime renewal habits so you can tap into the natural energy of the season to propel your goals to the next level.

Feed your life

This month’s Editor’s Challenge comes with support for changes that many of us need to make to our nourishment in order to move toward our goals.

How we nourish ourselves determines our energy and our vitality. Nutrition is a critical part of a fit and healthy lifestyle. When combined with daily movement, workouts and increased physical activity, nutrition helps us reach and maintain a healthy weight, increase our muscle mass and body composition, reduce risk of chronic diseases (like diabetes, heart disease and cancer) and generally foster overall health.

But it’s not just what you eat that’s important. It’s also when you eat, how you eat and why you eat that all contribute to the overall state of nourishment. Making changes begins with two critical habits.

Gauge your activity

Making change requires understanding the current state of affairs. This is particularly true in crafting a healthy approach to eating and a plan. We measure our food portions and calories—but the real key is to use measurement to build awareness and understanding that can lead to lasting behavioral change. Are you aware of what and how much you consume each day, why and what the environmental triggers are?

For 30 days, become a data scientist and record everything that you eat, the time and the place, and your emotional or mental state. You don’t need a fancy journal unless you want one. You can even record this information in your notes app on your phone or computer, whatever works. Just make it a rule that anything that goes in your mouth gets written down, no exceptions. Don’t change your diet or behavior—just record it for now. A sample record could look like this:

Date & Time:

  • May 1, 7 a.m.

Location & Activity:

  • At-home office while reading emails

What & How Much:

  • 2 cups of coffee with cream
  • Small bowl of yogurt and granola with honey and berries

Current State:

  • Feeling tired and nervous for the day of work ahead

Be consistent and be specific.

Chart Your State

The next step is to begin to understand the impact that your nutrition has on your physiology and well-being.

One tool that Paul Chek trained me to use—which I also use with my holistic life coaching clients—is the tachometer diagram. A tachometer diagram helps you understand how the food you’ve just eaten is affecting your body. It helps you understand what happens when you eat too many carbs versus too many fats and proteins, and it enables you to refine your personalized approach to food.

It works like this: Draw a tachometer dial turned sideways. Create a scale of 1 to 8, ranging from feeling lethargic, sleepy, depressed and craving sweets and caffeine to feeling full but still feeling hungry, all the way up to feeling satisfied but then quickly hungry again and craving sweets, caffeine or other stimulants.

Fifteen minutes before eating, reference the chart to better understand how you feel after eating. Just take note and refer to the tachometer diagram for much more information on how to use this new, profound and empirical result. (Even more information can be found in Paul Chek’s book “How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy” (C.H.E.K Institute, February 2004).)

Record how you feel after eating as part of your daily food log, and you’ll begin to see patterns emerge and actions you can take that will have lasting effects. You deserve to feel great, energetic and willing to greet the day and all its challenges. You matter, and so does what you eat.

Photo Credits: UberImages, Thinkstock; Cynthia Magana, Unsplash; Astarot, Thinkstock; Abbie Dyer, Unsplash; Courtesy Paul Chekx.

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Author

Lashaun Dale

Lashaun Dale loves yoga and fitness and finds magic in movement, music and mobs of people. She holds degrees in International Relations, Philosophy and Applied Anthropology, as well as an MPH from the School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. With two decades of group fitness programming experience, Dale currently serves as vice president of content & programming for 24 Hour Fitness and editor-in-chief of 24Life magazine. A regular contributor to SELF and Women’s Health and Fitness, as well as popular blogs and podcasts, she’ll teach yoga anytime she is given an opportunity to get her om on.

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