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10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Whole Life Challenge

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The next Whole Life Challenge starts in:

You look in the mirror and want to see a healthier you, inside and out. You hope someday to complete a marathon (or walk up three flights of stairs without puffing). You’d like to cut out the processed foods and start cooking (at least a few nights a week). And you know you would benefit from sounder sleep, better hydration, and a deeper look at your overall well-being.

Unfortunately, the worlds of fitness, wellness, and “self-improvement” are so saturated with alternately hardcore or quick-fix solutions that it’s overwhelming to figure out where to start when it comes to changing your lifestyle. And it’s easy to lump the legit approaches into the same category as the gimmicks. The safest bet is for us to assume all these programs either won’t work or will require too much from our busy lives.

Not so with the Whole Life Challenge. While we are indeed about to start a “New Year’s Challenge,” it’s because we know you’re thinking about a healthier you, and we know we can help — not because we’re into the fitness industry hype that permeates this time of year. In fact, we’re pretty much the opposite-of-boot-camp, the non-quick fix, and the there’s-no-wrong-way-to-do-it-people here.

Sound interesting? There’s more. Here are ten things you didn’t know about the Whole Life Challenge – and why you should consider participating in it this year.

1. Our Nutrition Levels Are Not About “Hard” and “Easy”

We don’t believe in “hard” or “easy,” as if those were the only choices in life. Instead, the Whole Life Challenge offers three levels of nutrition: Kickstart, Lifestyle, and Performance. Whether you need a lifestyle shift or want to take healthy living to a whole new level, our program has an option for you.

Truly, it’s not about which set of nutritional guidelines you choose. It’s about making a choice to create positive change — whatever that looks like for you. That’s why, even though we use a tiered approach and a point system, everyone who sticks to our program ends up a winner. (Sound a little too third grade? We don’t care; it’s true.)

WLC Nutrition Rules Explained

2. You Can Pick Your Well-Being Practice

You cannot reach total well-being without focusing on mental and social health. That’s why we integrate Well-Being Practices into our Challenge. While at first these practice might indeed feel like a challenge, you’ll soon realize their power for transforming your life. Taking ten minutes a day to focus on the spirit makes it much easier to follow through on goals, eat right, and get moving.

We also know not every Well-Being Practice works for everyone. (Why would they? Not every form of exercise is right for everyone.) So, while we do recommend a specific practice for each week of the Challenge, we ultimately let you pick your own.

3. We Have Nutrition Guides for Vegetarians and Vegans

Whole Life Challenge Co-founder Michael Stanwyck spent three years as a vegan and six more as a vegetarian. For this reason, and many more (including science), we know that veg(etari)ans are not simply meat-eaters minus the meat.

You have nutritional needs and requirements that are not met simply by altering an omnivore diet to exclude animal products. So, to help you on your journey to health and wellness, we created nutrition charts and food lists for meat-free and animal-free eating habits.

4. Mobility Is Not Just “Stretching”

Mobility is not just about doing a few downward dogs when you wake up every day. It’s about being able to get on the floor with your kids, sit cross-legged, and move your body in all three planes without hurting yourself. That’s why we specifically separate mobility and exercise, because the two are not the same.

At the same time, “mobility” can mean different things to different people. And you may find different practices more or less motivating. So, we provide follow-along videos for everything from yoga to natural movement to morning routines to foam rolling. Because, ultimately, adding mobility into your routine is a great way to ensure that you get the most out of exercise and stay flexible for life.

10 Things You Didn't Know About the Whole Life Challenge

5. Andy Petranek Has a Follow-Along Workout for Every Day of the Challenge

Speaking of exercise, working out is hard enough; finding your own exercises and following through can feel nigh impossible if you’re not used to the routine. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

WLC Co-founder Andy Petranek is a workout machine — and he specializes in workouts that require little space and no equipment. All you have to do is load up his videos and hit play every day of the Challenge.

6. We Help Businesses Create Happy, Healthy Teams of People

Research increasingly shows that when businesses step in on behalf of employee health, the results can be amazing. The research also shows, however, that most corporate wellness programs don’t work. They target the wrong goals, offer the wrong incentives, or focus on only one subset of people.

We read that research and decided to do something about it, designing a business program that reaches the entire population and encourages total health. With a focus on all-around wellness and simple lifestyle changes, our new approach meets the goals that old approaches couldn’t.

10 Things You Didn't Know About the Whole Life Challenge

7. We Love Imperfection and Failure

Humans have been conditioned over millions of years to fit into the group at all costs. Without a pack, your average caveman was destined for starvation, predation, or lack of medical care — getting cast out was typically a death sentence. Today, even though we know that messing up won’t prove fatal, our lizard brains are still terrified of failure.

But research shows that failure is a critical component in self-improvement and growth. A failure-free life is a life within the comfort zone, where nothing new happens. Boo to that.

That’s why we embrace the philosophy of imperfection wholeheartedly, and encourage you to do so as well. Our Challenge isn’t all or nothing, win or lose. Instead, it’s a forgiving approach that gives you the flexibility to make the healthiest choices you can in the moment. If, occasionally, you need to eat the cake, drink the wine, or take a complete rest day — go for it. Just don’t do it most of the time, and you’ll be fine. Progress, not perfection!

8. We Have Hundreds of WLC-Compliant Recipes Available for Free Online

Finding the right meals to complement a new lifestyle can prove challenging, whether you’re just starting out or already cook from scratch but get stuck in a rut. We fix that dilemma with hundreds of recipes designed specifically for the Whole Life Challenge. You’ll find recipes for every occasion and every amount of time you have (or don’t).

10 Things You Didn't Know About the Whole Life Challenge

9. We’re Really Proud of Our eBook Library

Real change comes from motivation, and motivation usually stems from having the right information at the right time. We’re not about telling you what to do and expecting you to accept it; we’re about giving you real science and actionable tips to change your life — and letting you chart the course from there.

Which is where our comprehensive eBook library comes in. Our collection includes titles such as:

  • A Beginner’s Exercise Plan That Works
  • Sleep Hacks: 5 Proven Ways to Fall and Stay Asleep
  • Learning to Meditate: Find Out What Works for You
  • The Sweet Treat Lover’s Recipe Book
  • 10 Bodyweight Workouts to Add to Your Training Program

…and many more. So make sure you check out our library today.

10. We Play the Game, Too!

You’ve no doubt heard the old expression, “Put your money where your mouth is.” This philosophy underlies everything we do here at WLC headquarters. Every time the Challenge comes around, we play it ourselves, lead teams, and work together side by side to ensure your success and our own.

This, too, is a critically underserved need today. You can find boatloads of advice from doctors, athletes, and influencers — but many of them aren’t following it. They may still lead healthy lives and have lots of knowledge to impart, but they’re not in it every single day the way we are. Our belief is that if we’re going to ask you to play it, we should as well.

Because really, it’s not a game. It’s a new way of living, and that’s what the Whole Life Challenge is all about.

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Becca Borawski Jenkins
Becca earned her MFA in Cinema-Television Production at USC’s famed film school, and her first career was as a music editor. Becca found her way to career number two through martial arts. She trained in BJJ and muay Thai and worked with professional MMA fighters, building websites, organizing fight promotions, and producing videos.

In 2005, she became a student at CrossFit Los Angeles where she met WLC co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck. In only a couple years, she became CrossFit Level III Certified, left her entertainment career, and dedicated herself full time to coaching, serving as the Program Director of CFLA and founder of the CFLA CrossFit Kids program. After seven years as a music editor and then eight years as fitness instructor, Becca segued to her current career — full-time editor and writer.