tai chi 2Welcome to our healthy lifestyle challenge lead by our program dietitian Vicki Bovee and her husband, Bill.

Because we can always do better to live a healthier lifestyle Vicki and Bill decided to work on a weekly challenge together to provide support and accountability for each other and hopefully inspire you to make healthy changes. Follow along with them as they tackle a variety of challenges to eat better, eat more mindfully, and improve physical health and emotional well-being. Vicki and Bill invite you to participate and accept the challenges to improve your lifestyle too. Some of them may be difficult and please feel free to modify the challenges to accommodate your dietary needs and physical abilities.

Challenge #45 Practice makes better
The Golden State Warriors have finally made it to the NBA play-offs after 40 years. That took a lot of practice. Taylor Swift has won at total of 278 awards. That took a lot of practice. Barbara Blackburn can type 212 words per minute. That took a lot of practice. So this week we are turning it over to you. Whatever you want to be better at, practice it every day be it chewing your food more, playing the piano, scrapbooking, or learning a foreign language.

Practicing a skill actually does rewire your brain. You can have the knowledge to perform a task or change a habit but just knowing doesn’t make it happen. Practice requires action. You have to do it. The more you do something the easier it gets because your brain’s nerve impulses get better at sending out signals. But it isn’t just the quantity of the practice that’s important; it’s also the quality of the practice. If you keep practicing something incorrectly, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to correct it to get it right. You need feedback early and often to get your brain firing the right signals.

Vicki’s practice:
I decided to practice my Tai Chi every day. I have been taking classes for about three years and it has become a part of my life. It’s not just the physical exercise, but the essence and spirituality is something I strive to improve in my life. I quickly learned that this form of exercise was great for leg strength, balance, and flexibility. As we say in class, “Tai Chi is simple but it’s not easy.” Amen to that. Over three years I have gotten better but believe me, there is PLENTY of room for improvement. The more I have practiced the form, the more I wanted to learn about the form and study the Tai Chi philosophy. I went to a workshop in March and that lit a fire under me. My practice now includes the basic exercises, the form, and reading Tai Chi classics.

This was a busy week and my schedule didn’t allow me to attend any of the three classes at St. Mary’s Center for Health and Fitness. Going to class is definitely a better way for me to practice. I have skilled and knowledgeable teachers to help me correct my mistakes and as a side benefit, I have made some really good friends from class. I had to practice at home and that required discipline. It’s easy to say you’ll do something but actually doing it is another story. I did practice the form every day and I did the basic exercises four days. I found it easier to practice in our backyard than in the house. Outside I could hear the birds, enjoy the trees, and I had more room. I didn’t read nearly as much as I wanted to.

Bill’s practice:
I don’t practice Tai Chi like Vicki so I had to choose something else this week to practice. I am going to be 65 in August and I read recently as you get older you lose your balance more often and you are more prone to injury from falling down. I thought it would be beneficial if I practiced having better balance. I laid out a program to practice my balance three different ways. First, Vicki has placed signs at both ends of the hallway listing which way we have to walk down the hallway each day. Our challenges always begin on Saturday so that day it is sideways. Then on Sunday it is backwards, Monday is regular, Tuesday is heel toe, Wednesday is regular, Thursday is tip toe and Fridays is regular. I know…..we are a bit crazy but it keeps us thinking and moving in different ways.

I also brought my Bosu Ball into the front room where I have my office so I would always see it and get up and use it during the day. For those who have never used a Bosu Ball it is a half dome rubber device attached to a solid platform. When you stand on the ball it makes you really concentrate on your balance. There are all types of exercises you can do with it.

The last piece of exercise equipment I used during this week was Vicki’s balance board. It is just a square piece of wood that has two half dome pads on the bottom and you rock from side to side or front to back as slow as you can or try and balance it in the middle without touching either side to the ground.

I had a good week of balance exercises and walking down the hallway in different ways (which we do every week), and I do feel it was very helpful and improved my balance. I want to continue my routine of balance exercises as it is more critical than ever to keep agile and flexible.

No matter what you do, if you want to be better at it you have to practice. These challenges have been all about practicing lifestyle habits to make us healthier.

Every week we focus and practice our challenge and some have been easier than others, but one week of focus doesn’t make a habit. We both want to practice some of the challenges again to turn them into habits. “Stop thinking and start doing”- James Clear

Next week come tiptoe through the tulips with Miss Vicki.

Eat Smarter…
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD

Want to catch up on what you’ve missed?

The road to success is always under constructionhttps://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.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-weekly-challenge-week-five/
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.com/?p=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 busters 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


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.