June Weight Loss Challenge: Grand Finale

That’s A Wrap!

It is the last day of the month and that brings to a close The June Weight Loss Challenge. Let’s take a deep dive and see how much weight I lost, how I did it and why weight loss was only a secondary benefit.

Did you miss any of the previous posts in this Healthy June Series? Don’t despair here are all the links.

 

So What Was The Fitness Challenge All About

On the surface, the goal was to lose weight. Why weight you ask? Because weight is an easily quantifiable objective. Who doesn’t have a scale laying around their house somewhere? You weight yourself at the beginning of the month and the end of the month and you have data to show you improved your health. Anecdotally you may see other signs indicating you have lost weight, like baggy pants or shirts.

While I did not want to expose the audience of this blog to before and after pictures of my Healthy June Fitness Challenge, you’re welcome. I can attest that after 30 days of crazy healthy eating, I can visibly see the change in the mirror and the way my clothes fit.

The American Heart Association says that for every Kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight a person loses he/she lowers their blood pressure by 1 mmHg.

 

Weight Was Not The Real Goal

When you peel back the layers of this challenge it was about so much more. In one word this challenge was about health. Physical and mental health!

I only made two changes in my life in June for this challenge. Diet and exercise. I increased my activity level and I ate healthy, nourishing, whole foods. Nothing processed, real food with real ingredients. Those two seemingly simple changes improved my mood, gave me more energy and most importantly increased my happiness. Along the way, I lost some weight.

This was a 30-day fitness challenge to improve health and happiness.

Exercise

When I started this challenge I set a goal to hit 500,000 steps in June (16,667 steps per day). This was a far more difficult objective than I had imagined. As a Registered Nurse, I have a very, walking intensive job. I work in a busy pediatric emergency department. On a busy 12 hour shift, I average about 14,000 steps (7 miles). This leaves me with a 2,667 step deficit for each day I work.

The dreaded 8-floor stairwell. It never gets easy!

At work this month, I tried to increase my steps by running an 8-floor stairwell, a couple times per day. Also on all my breaks, including lunch, I would go for a 10-minute walk around the hospital. This added an additional 20 to 30 minutes of walking to my daily work routine. There was always a fine line I did not want to cross between a light perspiration and drenching sweat. Returning back from break, dripping in sweat would have been unbecoming. Ewww!

A man with a plan

To make up for the workday step deficits, I would run on my days off. By mid-June, I realized I was going to have to up my running game if I was to reach 500,000 steps for the month. In week 3, I was running 9 miles a day on average to get in all my steps.

In the end, I conquered. 509,371 steps in June.

Diet

I am pleasantly surprised at how much weight I lost in June. I had a goal of 5 pounds and I crushed it. While I believe that the increased exercise played a role, I believe that the change in my diet contributed more.

My original plan was to count calories in June. I wanted to stay under 2000 calories per day. Within the first week of the challenge, I quickly scuttled the calorie counting plan. My type B personality found it too cumbersome to keep track of calories.

Pivot

After failing at calorie counting, with a quick pivot, I changed to low carbs. No, I’m not talking about drinking bacon grease and eating a 2-pound block of cheese for dessert. I simply cut out white carbs like bread, pasta and any sweat baked snacks all while drastically increased my vegetable and fruit consumption. These two diet changes contributed to my nearly 8-pound weight loss for the month.

I have always been tempted by baked sweets. Donuts, cake, and brownies, I can’t say no. I was able to shun these foods, especially at work, where there is always some tasty treat in the break room.

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t crave something sweet from time to time. My go-to snack for filling the sweet tooth craving was an apple with homemade almond butter.

A quick fix for any sweet tooth craving. BTW it must be a Fuji apple.

One meal I ate every day in June

I had a two egg scramble with riced cauliflower, every morning for breakfast.

Homemade riced cauliflower is a miracle food. Super nutritious and very versatile. Quite frugal too. I was buying a head of cauliflower at Trader Joe’s for $2.25 per head.

It can be a placeholder for replacing many carbs in your diet. With a couple teaspoons of olive oil, I would cook the cauliflower in my trusty cast iron skillet and then add a couple scrambled eggs. Voila! A low carb breakfast to fuel me up for the first part of my day.

I worked 13 days in June (12-hour shifts). For every one of those days, I ate a salad packed with lettuce greens, fruit, and vegetables. Salad dressing can spoil the calorie count of a salad. I was able to cut down the amount of vinaigrette I put on my salad by adding fresh fruit and berries.  On two occasions, I forgot to bring salad dressing all together.  Eating the salad dry with the fresh fruit, I hardly noticed the missing vinaigrette. To my salad, I would add grilled chicken breast or hard boiled eggs for added protein to fill me up.

The Challenge

I want to give a big shout out to all of the other bloggers that participated in this challenge. I hope it was as beneficial to you as it was to me. There were a couple times this month, where my resolve weakened, but thanks to you fellow bloggers, I felt accountability to stay the course and rise above the temptation. For that, I say thank you.

Meet the members of the 2018 June Weight Loss Challenge.

Thank you to all of you who joined the challenge. There is some serious F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Retire Early) power here in this list. Take a minute and check out a few of these awesome personal finance blogs. The links are all provided. Reading a couple articles from a few of these blogs is better than taking a course in personal finance. And it’s FREE.

Tread Lightly Retire Early 

Angela blogs about sustainable, frugal living. She is working toward financial independence for freedom of options, not to quit her job.

 

Physician on Fire 

I’m a financially independent family man and anesthesiologist, working part-time at the age of 42 as I wind down my clinical career. I’m spreading the message of financial independence and helping people optimize their financial lives via my website physicianonfire.com.

 

OthalaFehu 

OthalaFehu is a personal Net Worth blog that spills out into the rest of my world through snippets and anecdotes. I am looking to stack chips and get out the game by age 50.

 

Ms. ZiYou

Feminist Blogger at MsZiYou.com.Lover of running, cats, pizza and wine.‍

 

Sunburnt Saver

Melissa is a freelance writer and editor who, along with her husband, is on a mission to pursue FIRE within 5 years. Melissa is a big believer in 5-year plans! She also blogs about personal finance and financial freedom for millennials at Sunburnt Saver.

Fetching Financial Freedom

Felicity is an engineer set to achieve financial independence at age 29 with her husband Fergus and dog Fluffster. Twitter: @FelicityFFF and Instagram: @fetching_freedom for food, nature, and gratuitous dog pictures. Yes, yes she has plotted daily weigh-ins and calculated a trend line for this challenge.

 

Steveonomics

I work in technical sales in Silicon Valley. My wife and I are trying to save 75% of our incomes. We’d like to reach financial independence by the end of 2020 so that we can work on our extensive travel bucket list.

 

Baby Boomer Super Saver

I blog about creative ways to boost retirement savings, with a bit about herbs and travel thrown in for fun.

 

Traveling Cents

Hi, I’m Jeannie from travelingcents.com. I’m a wealth focused, Disney loving, foodie & travel addict.

Dr. McFrugal

I am an anesthesiologist, husband, and new dad. Trying to reach financial independence through frugality and minimalism. I am also a travel aficionado and follow a whole food, plant-based vegan diet.

 

Our Financial Path

I am a young Canadian, working in finance and new father. I aim to save over half my income and reach financial Independence before I turn 35.

 

Financial Lion

“I am a CPA in Raleigh, NC, finding the “why” behind financial habits to accomplish our goals. When I’m not blogging, you can find me on the golf course or gaming with friends.”

 

Countdown to Tranquility

I am a very busy mom who also passes as a software engineer during the day. We plan to retire in about 5 more years, hopefully after we get to financial independence. Hoping that retirement will get me the peace and quiet I am looking for.

 

Zero To Fire

I’m a disabled Special Ed Teacher-turned-IT professional, saving a little over 50% of my income every month in NYC in an attempt to build up enough assets to fly off the corporate ladder at some point.

Let’s See how much weight we lost in June

The ChallengersStarting Weight (pounds)How many pounds do you want to loseFinal Weigh-incumulative wt lost in June
The Smart Fi183.45175.87.6 pounds
Physician on Fire169.65165.64 pounds
Othalafehu222102193 pounds
Sunburnt Saver10
Fetching Financial Freedom2236216.56.5 pounds
Steveonomics19161874 pounds
Baby Boomer Super Saver1615-101565 pounds
Traveling Cents15251502 pounds
Count Down To Tranquility2.4 pounds
Zero To Fire13921400
Dr McFrugal1463146.20

About 40 pounds of cumulative weight lost

The changes I have made to my diet and exercise routine in June are maintainable. I might ease up on the food restrictions and add back in some whole wheat carbs, like bread, brown rice or pasta on occasion. In large part, I plan to preserve the positive changes I have made as part of a healthier lifestyle.

I still have my year long challenge of 5 million steps for 2018 (hosted by mysonsfather.com) that I have to keep plugging away at. I will try for another month of 500,000 steps for July.

Do you have fitness or financial goals for July? Share with me in the comments section below.

 

There it is, the June Weight Loss Challenge is in the books. A crowd-sourced, motivational challenge to increase our health, happiness and fitness. Thank you again, to everyone that followed our month long journey. Who knows, maybe we will do this again next year.

Now we can return to our regularly scheduled message of Financial Independence.

You can sign up for my email list where my posts will come directly to your email inbox. No Spam, I promise.

 

 

9 thoughts on “June Weight Loss Challenge: Grand Finale

  1. Well done everyone! Thanks for hosting the challenge Shawn, was a great way to get moving again.

    Think I will focus a bit more on diet this next month now that I’ve gotten back into a routine. Need to cut out a few beers here and there haha.

  2. Nice work Shawn! Losing 7.6 pounds is impressive. You’re the biggest loser!!! 🙂
    (I guess does that mean that me and Zero To Fire are tied for the biggest winners?)

    And your food look great. Especially that apple! 😉

    Maybe my fitness goal for July should be to keep my weight stable, but for every pound of fat I lose, hopefully gain some muscle. My baby daughter is requiring less maintenance, so maybe I can get to the gym more often this coming month!

    1. You are definitely a winner.😄 Everyone won. I was just the crazy guy eating cauliflower for every meal. I had a blast though. There is something exciting about pushing myself to the limit. I might have problems😂

  3. This was a fun challenge, congratulations to everyone striving to increase their health! I’m glad I was able to lose 5 pounds, and I think I’ll continue my efforts in July to hopefully lose the full 10 pounds.

    Really enjoyed seeing all the photos of healthy food & the recipes, thanks.

    Congratulations, Shawn, for surpassing your weight & step goals!

    1. A half pound per week is really good, Angela. I had to get a little crazy to lose 7 pounds. At times, it took the fun out of eating and turned it more into an exercise of fueling. Had the challenge been longer I could have progressed at a more measured pace. We were all winners in this challenge. Thank you so much for being a part of it.

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