The Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge

Proposals are wonderful! They are the lifeblood of our business. They are our calling. They are fun! (Mostly).

But I don’t need to tell you that proposals are also highly stressful, work- and time-intensive.

They take you out of your normal routines of eating well, exercising, getting proper sleep and self-care in general.

You have so much to do, and so little time. So you HUSTLE, HUSTLE, and then HUSTLE some more. You get so caught up that soon— your healthy routines fall by the way-side. You sprint to finish the proposal and completely deplete yourself. But unlike an actual sprint, you’re not contributing to your overall health— you’re detracting from it.

Do a proposal 1, 2, 3 or more times per year, year after year, and you begin to accumulate and reinforce unhealthy patterns. Without even realizing what just happened, you form a new unhealthy lifestyle — one that you never set out to have.

I’m not a nutritionist or a trainer. I’m just another person, in the same industry as you, struggling with the same challenges that you are— trying to prioritize time in my schedule to exercise and attempting to make good food choices during a proposal.

The truth is, there are no more “secrets” when it comes to staying healthy. There’s an abundance of information about health and nutrition just a Google-search away.

It is certainly easier to simply admire the problem. Thinking about getting in shape or having great intentions to start tomorrow is easier than actually doing the right thing in the moment.

RESISTING the cookie (or chip, if you like salty) is SO HARD—especially when faced with the choice of eating the cookie now or hunkering down on a mentally-taxing task like writing a compelling section.

(By the way, is it my imagination or has the average cookie size increased at least 3x over the years? Seriously, even our cookies look like they’ve been eating too many cookies! Can I put my cookie on a diet?)

Namvar’s Principe: (You + Daily Proposal Food – Daily Exercise) x 3 months = You + 15 lbs 

Solutions to the “Proposal-15” – How I plan to NOT gain 15 lbs on my next proposal

Head Space

If it’s so hard to resist the unhealthy proposal food and fit in a workout during a proposal, why even bother? Why not just give in and get back into the routine when the proposal is over?


It is much hard to start a new habit than continue something you are already doing. By the time you finish with the pre-proposal, proposal, proposal extension, ENs— months have gone by. If you’ve done nothing in that time period, it is going to be very difficult to start over again.

No matter if you are fit right now, or even if you’re not — you owe it to yourself to take the utmost care of yourself. There is only one YOU in this world. There will never be another YOU. You only get ONE BODY, so love the one you have now and take care of it! Even if you are not happy with the way you look, you need to find a way to love yourself and care for yourself right now.

For me it’s about my sense of identity, being the best version of myself so that I can be a great wife, mom, daughter, friend, and professional.

I still struggle. Things get busy — especially during proposals.

My routines gets out of whack. I miss workouts. I eat and drink the wrong things. I overwork myself, fail to go to bed on time, and get exhausted.

But I always turn back to my basic identity as a “healthy” person. I remind myself that a big part of my identity is being a “fitness enthusiast.” That simple phrase serves as a powerful reminder to helps me get back on track.

I remind myself that “fitness enthusiasts” do not eat unhealthy food day after day because food is fuel for workouts… And we certainly do not skip workouts for multiple days in a row. I’ll be deadlifting until they put me under the ground.

Having a healthy self-identity that you can put into a catch-phrase can serve as a very powerful reminder for you too. If you identify as a “health-food junkie,” an “avid runner,” a “Crossfitter,” a “yogi,” a “Zumba-lovin’ mama,” or even a “dog-walker” — all of those can help center you again when you get off track.

The next time you are in the throes of a proposal and don’t feel like doing the healthy activities you love that pump your heart and make you sweat, just remind yourself of who you are. “Hey wait a second, I’m a ‘fill-in-the-blank.’ I don’t live this way! I need to pack a healthy lunch for myself tomorrow and get out of bed an hour early to go workout before work.”

If you are not used to moving or eating healthy at all it can be tough to self-identify as a healthy person today –even if you want to be healthy someday. If this is you, please don’t give up! When you are tempted to make a bad choice, you may find the strength in your resolve by reminding yourself, “I am becoming a fitter version of myself.”


I have a well-used bag of tricks that I go back to throughout the year. Late winter is the season where each year, I harden my resolve to stay on track. I use these tactics and they tend to help during proposals.

1. Exercise in the early morning before work. 

2. Bring lunch and healthy snacks into the office whenever possible and avoid proposal food and stress eating.

3. Carry an over-sized, reusable water bottle to make it easier to drink more water throughout the day.

4. Identify the other “gym rat” or “health nut” on the team. Use them as your accountability partner on your proposal team by casually asking about their workouts or runs that day. If one of you misses a day you can start playfully giving each other flack.

6. Join an exercise class or running group where you make new friends and foster friendly competition.

7. Resolve to move every day—even if there’s not enough time for a full workout. You can take a mid-day walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park further away from the entrance. Every little bit helps.

8. Go to bed on time so you can sleep a minimum of 7 (preferably 8) hours.

The most important takeaway from this is to put yourself first. Put your health first. Nothing is more important. The labor and sacrifice in doing so is well-worth the rewards you reap.

What about YOU?

What are your tips for staying healthy during a proposal? 

Will you strengthen your resolve to stay fit today or will your procrastinate?

When you fast-forward 3 months, how will you feel about yourself?