Fall Challenge Pregame Huddle!

The 10 Week Fall Challange begins on Monday and I am so thrilled with the signups! I wanted tot take today for a pregame huddle and talk about why I am doing this first ever type of event in the history of Rainier Medical, how it is designed, and what you can do to get the most out of it.


A transition is defined as the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. Transitions can be difficult, and managing change is important. Transitions are like a fork in the road or a birth process when things that used to be constant have forces or pressures act upon them pushing them in a different direction. Transitions are an opportunity but also a risk. Manage them well, and you can get back on course, but they are also a risk, when you can get pushed onto a different track than you want.

Right now is a transition time for many people for several reasons. Children are trying to go back to school, jobs are changing, people are moving, friends are changing, the season is changing, and it seems like many things in the world that we used to be constant are anything but. Transitions happen many times during the day, like getting out the door in the morning and coming home from work, and many times during the year, like holidays, family visits, and vacations.

The Fall Challenge gives support for your healthy habits while many other things transition around you.


The Fall Challenge is an engagement challenge, not just a weight loss challenge. The parameter being measured is engagement on Color My Day on HealthTrac. Color My Day is 5 questions that ask about following you program, nutrition, sleep, activity, and exercise. I recommend doing this at a specific time once a day. If you weigh yourself in the morning, do it then, so the app is open and your scale syncs. It is a ten second Mindful Moment to think deliberately about how you are caring for yourself as you juggle your other demands. These five things are your basic health needs. By addressing all of these, you are taking a holistic approach to your well-being. Each person will use Color My Day a little differently. Your “green” for activity will be different than someone else’s. Using this system allows you to flex your goals for yourself depending on the situation. The goal with the challenge is to practice habits, rituals and work to establish or preserve health habits that will persist beyond the ten weeks. I liken it to the short term memory and long term memory. You can memorize something the night before a test, but you will not keep it long term until you really use that knowledge over and over again. The weekly drawings will reward consistency that builds long term habits, rather than a simple short term weight loss goal.

Goal Setting

As you prepare for the Fall Challenge, be sure to use our Goal Setting approach to challenge yourself. Set a “need” goal and a “want” goal that is a reach for you. For goals, there are process and outcome goals. Set a process goal that is nutrition, habits, activity, exercise, or medication adherence. Ask yourself what the outcome is that you want from this. Is it weight maintenance, a 5, 10, or 15% weight loss? Is it better blood sugar or blood pressure control, or increased physical fitness, better sleep, increased sense of well-being, decreased anxiety, less alcohol use, better interpersonal relationships? Remember, when you care for yourself first and feel well, you are more likely to be able to care for others or to be a successful partner. Each week, look back at your Color My Day. Evaluate your progress towards your goal. If you are making good progress, keep doing what you are doing. Interim evaluation that is honest is needed to make sure you are headed in the right direction. If you are not making good progress toward your need or want goal, then you need to change your process goal or your strategy. If you do not know how or need support, ideas, or medical treatment, I am here as your resource. Importantly, remember to celebrate the small victories on your way. We keep doing the things that are positively reinforced, so always focus on the positive things that are working. Think about these things, and the others are more likely to fade into the background. When you have a bad day, give yourself grace, think abut what it is that you need, and give that to yourself. We all have basic needs, and if they are not met, we can not tend to other things. Pause and think if you need rest, joy, personal connection, reassurance, or love. Once your need is met, then you can move on. The optional interactive forum online is there for support. If you are comfortable sharing any successes or encouragement, your allies will benefit. Remember, this is not HIPPA secure, so please post appropriately.

Goal Setting

Create your vision for this ten weeks. Think about what are your keystone habits and priorities, set your goals, and get underway! Whether you are doing the Expeditions, Summit, or Peak program, your journey will be unique, it will never happen the same way again, and it will set your course. Here are some resources that may be helpful for Goal Setting.

To sign up for the Fall Challenge, click here and let us know if you want the Expeditions, Summit, or Peak program assigned to your nutrition plan in HealthTrac. The office will be open Monday from 9 am to 11 am. You can do an InBody composition analysis as your baseline and purchase and pick up food. Please wear a mask and respect social distancing.

Take Back Your Journey,

Valerie Sutherland, MD

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