Sunday, December 21, 2014

60 days no rice challenge, my experience

Just a few days before deepavali this year I started learning and practicing goal settings. Setting up your goals and achieving them step by step. One of the ideas about goal setting is that you can learn to get used to setting goals and achieving them. The more you are used to setting goals and achieving them then the more you would be able to set and achieve. Something more the less like that...

Quite a coincidence around that time I saw on my facebook feed the hashtag #60daysnoricechallenge. I thought, "Well, that's a good way to practice goal setting and getting my mind and habit into it. I'll give it a shot". So that was the reason I started the 60 days no rice challenge. Not really to lose weight or anything, but just as a way to practice setting and achieving a goal. But a lot of people didn't know that at the time and when they started to see the hashtag #60daysnoricechallenge on my feed assumed that I was doing it for weight loss. And here's where it gets interesting.....

As part of the 60 days challenge, I would post on my feeds (facebook, instagram, twitter) a picture of the meals I'm taking everyday that was proof that I didn't take rice. And in the first few days when I started posting I got a lot of feedback... a lot.... Most of the feedback was of the kind that gave some moral support, but there was some that gave "advice" on how to lose weight, and some others were just "well, that's made out of rice flour too so you are technically eating rice"... :/ I thank you all who took the time to give feedback on my posts. It was heart warming for me to see so many people are quite concerned about me and my health. But yeah, technically I wasn't doing it to lose weight. And thus my avoiding of rice was limited to only things that "look" like rice including pulut and others and not including things that doesn't look like rice at all even though it was made of rice flour like kueh teow and such. But as expected the amount of feedback started to dwindle down after a few days. I guess there was only so many things one can actually say about those posts. But in less than 10 days the feedback almost died out except for a few likes (which was an easy thing to do, just click the icon) and a few people who was really persistent and I should probably give them an award or something... :P So that was interesting, my goal setting practice became some sort of social experiment.

So apart from just practice settings goals, was there any impact? Well... there is some.

First off, I've lost a few kilos. I'm not sure exactly how much because since I didn't do it to lose weight I didn't actually weight myself just before I started and kept a tab on my weight. But the heaviest I've weight myself before the challenge, I was around 148kg. And just as of yesterday, I was around 142kg. Now I don't really consider that as loosing much (just 6kg) because I could easily gain all that back within just a few days (experience from many ramadhans before this.. :P) But still, I do feel a bit better about myself. My belt notch has gone down by 2 holes and I do feel a bit more awake and energetic than before I started the challenge. So yes, even though I started the challenge not to lose weight and stuff, there is some real physical benefit of doing it.

But for me, more than those physical benefit, it's the mental impact that was startling. Yes, I didn't do it to lose weight so I didn't mind eating more of everything else to "compensate" for not eating rice, but since I'm watching to make sure I don't eat rice, I am so much more aware of what I eat. And the thing is, we eat so much rice every single day. And we don't feel it, we are not aware of it. For example, after having kueh teow goreng for breakfast for almost 3 days, I got sick of it and tried to look for something else. But with rice, we don't get sick of eating rice. Today it might be nasi lemak, tomorrow nasi dagang, the next day nasi goreng, the next day nasi bubur. All that is just the breakfast menu and we don't get sick of it ever. Heck, even nasi lemak you can have it in a variety of ways by mixing and matching the lauk you eat it with. You can have all kinds of variety of nasi 3 times a day every single day and you still would not be sick of it. Amazing... So more aware of what I eat is a good thing.

Another mental impact is just the amount of effort it takes to not eat rice. This has a lot to do with the first point of us eating so much rice that it is on the menu all the time. In some places they only serve rice so finally you end up just eating the lauk. And it tickles me that some of my friends would start considering the places to eat and thinking "but what would dollah eat there". My answer to that is "I'm just not eating rice, not going vegetarian or anything. So it really doesn't matter". In the early days of this challenge, I was really reeling back from the mental effort of avoiding rice. I was thinking on the 61st day I'm so going to get my revenge. I'll eat all kinds of rice meals 3 times a day and probably more. But once I got more and more used to it, the urge is no longer there. So now it is the 61st day and I've decided that I'll continue to avoid rice as a personal choice rather than because of a challenge. So once in a while I'll partake in a rice meal if it's some sort of special occasion, but I'll try my best to avoid it at normal times. With regards to that, I'm reserving my first rice meal for the wedding of my good friend Darmawan. So it'd better be awesome Dar.. :P

And finally, another impact of the challenge was, at least 2 people I know off actually started the 60 days no rice challenge too because they were inspired by me.. :P Good luck guys.. insyaAllah you will find it beneficial.

So that wraps up my thoughts and experience of the 60 days no rice challenge. It has been pretty good and I'm glad I did it. 60 days no rice challenge, accepted and DONE...   :D


Haiya ala Solah