It was the second week of January, and as the faint echoes of our New Year’s resolutions started to disappear into the back of our brains, our Training and Implementation Officer, Brooke Caddy, laid down an 8-week challenge.
The healthy 56-day challenge proved to be popular and saw even partners and family members joining in. The challenge started on Monday 14 January and finished Sunday 10 March. It was a long and arduous 8 weeks, but everyone made it through, more or less unscathed.
We celebrated our completion of the challenge, the only way we know how…with glorious and delicious food.
At Definitiv, we are very supportive of our team members and encourage them to organise healthy, sociable and inclusive ways to engage everyone.
Brooke’s 8-week challenge was about getting everyone reinvigorated into eating healthy and exercising after the Christmas and New Year splurge. The challenge wasn’t about dieting or getting “bikini body ready”, it was about creating some friendly competition to keep everyone motivated, to eat a little healthier and to move a little more often; and to do it as a team.
As our spiritual leader and life coach through the challenge, Brooke sat down to answer some questions.
What made you decide to create the 8 Week Challenge?
During the festive season, I felt really sluggish. I was training less and with an endless list of social and family events, I always seemed to be eating and drinking. After chatting with the team, it became pretty clear everyone felt the same. Through some good old banter, the competitive side of us began to show. Therefore, I thought why not propose a healthy challenge to keep us all accountable to one another.
How has the 8-week challenge made a difference in the office?
It has certainly been a topic of conversation between the team. Different team members had little competitions within the larger competition, taking on one another head-to-head. There has been a couple of occasions where we have met outside work to climb Jacobs Ladder, a popular workout at Kings Park, or go for a walk. Unintentionally, the challenge has encouraged more social engagements between colleagues and has helped to build stronger personal and working relationships. I had no idea it was going to have such a positive impact on everyone, but it was such an awesome outcome.
I mean, even our Chief Executive, Roy had committed to joining the gym and working out 3 – 4 times per week, so you know it’s made an impact.
What has been the outcome of the 8-week challenge?
Some interesting stats from the 8-week challenge is that each challenger in the weight loss component lost an average of 3.8% of their body weight with the highest weight-loss percentage being around the 8% mark.
Most challengers committed to at least an extra hour of low to moderate exercise per week, with the higher scoring members almost doubling their exercise commitments. Most importantly, we got the Chief Executive as well as all of the management team involved; joining gyms, going on hikes and getting back into running.
What has been the feedback from the challengers?
In all honesty, 99% of the feedback has been positive. Whether it’s our Projects Manager, Tracey telling us that Shane (her husband) keeps sending her sweaty post-workout selfies to add more points to his tally, or our iOS Developer, Malik sharing photos of him and his very pregnant wife, Ally, working out at the gym.
Everyone seemed to really enjoy getting involved and loved being able to include their family members in the fun.
If you could do it again, or next year, would you do anything differently?
100%, hindsight is always an amazing thing! Getting an understanding of the different fitness levels and what outcome each individual wanted to achieve, only arose throughout the challenge. Knowing that now, means next time I can better customise the challenge to meet the needs of all team members.
Even this year, the challenge was continually evolving as we led up to the start date thanks to participant feedback, which really helped to make the challenge inclusive to everyone. For example, with this challenge, not all of our team members wanted or needed to lose weight. Therefore, the challenge was centred around exercise and healthy eating, rather than just weight loss.
Next time, I will also review the points from exercise and weight loss separately, so I can better refine a fairer points system with greater detail on how to score points. However, it was a great starting point and we can grow further in the next challenge.
So, who was the winner?
It was an extremely tight finish, but our very first 8-week challenge winner was Trinette Gullotta. Trinette is our other Training and Implementation Officer. I want to give a special shout out to her while I’m here. Trinette is one fierce competitor and really stepped it up! A single Mum, looking after 3 teenage boys, she used the time in the gym to connect with her sons and educate them on a healthier lifestyle. She has truly been a motivator for all of us!