dinner cruise 003Last July program dietitian Vicki Bovee and her husband, Bill, committed to do a weekly challenge for a year to improve their health and lifestyle. Vicki and Bill decided to tackle a variety of challenges to eat better, eat more mindfully, and improve physical health and emotional well-being because there is always room for improvement. Hopefully, over the past year some of the challenges have inspired you to make healthy changes.


Challenge #52 It’s a wrap, maybe

After completing our year of healthy lifestyle challenges Bill and I should be the healthiest people in Reno. Physically, we are pretty much the same. Our weights have remained stable. We haven’t developed any new health problems. Our aches and pains are still there. But mentally a lot has changed. We sure look at what, how much, and how we are eating much more so than before. We are also aware of what we need to do physically to take care of ourselves whether it be dealing with stress or keeping a positive attitude.

I think I can speak for both of us on this benefit. We didn’t start doing the challenges as a relationship-building technique, but along the way we noticed the positive affect it was having. We were working together towards the same goal and holding each other accountable. It gave us quality time together in the kitchen, at the dinner table and at the gym. We reviewed our successes and learning experiences and helped each other out. It made our marriage better and stronger.

Vicki’s reflections:
• Life happens. We went on vacation. We went through the holidays. We had crazy, busy weeks. We socialized with friends. We went out for dinner. We had the grandsons stay with us on some weekends. Bill had his gall bladder out. And we carried on with a challenge every week. Life doesn’t stop just because you’re working on being healthier. The trick is to learn how to be healthier while dealing what life throws at you.
• I know for myself I have a more relaxed attitude. I don’t sweat the small stuff too much anymore. I learned how to calm myself down and step back.
• Having success makes me feel good. That makes it easier to build on the next step. As they say, “Success breeds success.”
• If we were to do most of the challenges at the same time, it would be a full-time job with overtime.

Bill’s reflections:
• I know I will miss the weekly challenges. It gave me purpose and it brought us both closer together as we were working on our goal each week.
• I learned a lot about myself and how to take better care of my body and my mind.
• This was a lot of work and effort and it constantly made me aware of what I was doing…how much TV I was watching and if I was eating in front of the TV, getting in my steps every day, practicing relaxation techniques, and the food I was eating.
• Vicki and I have incorporated many of the challenges into our daily lives and they have become a way of life for us. It does make life interesting.
• The challenge that I really want to master but I just continue to struggle with is drinking enough water each day. I want to drink 64 oz of water each day but I just haven’t mastered it. You would think it would be easy just drinking water but not for me. I will continue to work at it.
• The biggest thing now is finding something else to fill the void of not having a challenge to do together. I do miss it!!
• Life will never be the same for me or for Vicki. I believe I am a better person for doing these 52 weeks of challenges.

So where do we go from here? Are we finished or are we going to carry on? I can tell you this…focusing on something for a week doesn’t make it a habit. We will repeat some of the challenges that continue to need our effort and do them for longer than a week. Even with an entire year there were challenges on the list we never got to do and during the year I was continuing to add to the list. Building and maintaining healthier habits never stops.

It has been a rewarding, educational, fun, productive, and interesting year. It has also been a lot of work but the rewards have made all the effort worthwhile. So stay tuned. We won’t be doing a weekly challenge but I expect we will do one or two a month. Neither of us is ready to stop and I suspect my list will never end.

Thanks to those of you who sent me emails with your comments and updates news of your attempts with the challenges. Thanks to the patients who came to WBI for your appointments and let me know you were following along. Thanks to those of you who liked us on Facebook and the WBI website. Your support and encouragement is, and was, much appreciated. Bill and I didn’t do this alone!

Eat Smarter…
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD

Want to catch up on our challenges?

The road to success is always under construction. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-weekly-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #1 Eat everything sitting down. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-weekly-lifestyle-challenge-week-one/
Challenge #2 Eliminate cheese as an ingredient. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-two/
Challenge #3 Walk sideways in your home. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-three/
Challenge #4 Include a fresh herb in your daily meal plan. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-four/
Challenge #5 If there is food in your mouth there should be nothing in your hand. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2443
Challenge #6 Eat the MyPlate recommendations for fruits and vegetables. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-6/
Challenge #7  Stand (and walk if possible) while talking on the phone. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-7/
Challenge # 8 Don’t eat out of the package. Put your food on a plate or in a bowl. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-8/
Challenge # 9 Keep a food record. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-nine/
Challenge # 10 Power down while eating. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-10/
Challenge # 11 Eating to reduce inflammation. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-11/
Challenge # 12 Eating to help our environment. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-12/
Challenge # 13 Switch it up. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2576
Challenge # 14 The road to success is still under construction. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.comp=2583
Challenge # 15 Little bites. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-15/
Challenge # 16 Drink your water. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-16/
Challenge # 17 Count your chews. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-16/
Challenge # 18 The 100 Bite Diet. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-18/
Challenge # 19 Start your day right. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-19/
Challenge # 20 Holiday moves. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-health-lifestyle-challenge-week-20/
Challenge # 21 Limit TV time. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/limit-tv-time-wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-21/
Challenge # 22 The Paleo Diet: Eat Like a Caveman. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/eat-like-a-caveman-wbi-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-22/
Challenge # 23 Sweet dreams. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/sweet-dreams-wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-23/
Challenge # 24 What color is your plate? https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/what-color-is-your-plate-wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-24/
Challenge # 25 Six month reflections. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/six-month-reflection-wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-25/
Challenge # 26 Retro-walking. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/retro-walking-challenge-26-of-our-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge # 27 Gimme a high fiber. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2861
Challenge # 28 The Half Plate Rule. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/the-half-plate-rule-challenge-28-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #29 Feel Good Week. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/feel-good-week-challenge-29-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestye-challenge/
Challenge #30 Try one new healthy food a day. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/try-one-new-healthy-food-a-day-challenge-30-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #31 It’s a stretch. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/its-a-stretch-challenge-31-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #32 TLC for heart health. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2933
Challenge #33 The sounds of silence. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/the-sounds-of-silence-challenge-33-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenges/
Challenge #34 10,000 steps a day. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/10000-steps-a-day-challenge-34-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #35  35/350. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/35350-35-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #36 Have a super week. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/have-a-super-week-36-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #37 Stress buster. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/stress-busters-37-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #38 Walking the tightrope. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/walking-the-tightrope-38-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #39 The 7PM cut off.  https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/the-7pm-cut-off-39-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #40 Primary eating.  https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/primary-eating-40-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/

Challenge #41 We’re gluten free. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/tiptoe-through-the-tulips-with-miss-vicki-46-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #42 Do what you gotta do. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=3133

Challenge #43 Fighting sitting disease. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=3146
Challenge #44 Slowing down mealtime. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=3160
Challenge #45 Practice makes better. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=3170
Challenge #46 Tiptoe through the tulips with Miss Vicki. http://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=3180
Challenge #47 DASH your way to better health. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/dash-your-way-to-better-health-47-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenges/
Challenge #48 First leg of our Triple Crown. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/first-leg-of-our-triple-crown-48-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenges/
Challenge #49 Second leg of our Triple Crown https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/second-leg-of-our-triple-crown-49-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenges/  
Challenge #50 Third leg of our Triple Crown https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/third-leg-of-our-triple-crown-50-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenges/
Challenge #51 Fork it over https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/fork-it-over-51-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenges/

Vicki Bovee is the Registered Dietitian for Western Bariatric Institute and leads the non-surgical weight loss program, “Health and Lifestyle Program.” Contact Vicki at vbovee@westernsurgical.