Routine: Experts say it takes 28 days to break or make a new habit. I’m not quite at 28 days, but I’m glad to report working out and eating right have become a new routine. The days I don’t work out (thankfully there’s only been 2 so far), it seems like something is missing. God had truly blessed me by giving me a desire to keep going and endure though pain.
Cravings: Macaroni and Cheese. Mashed Potatoes. Meatloaf. Corn Bread. They all sound amazing. I crave them… but not as often as you might think. I’m finding the more I eat right and stick to my healthier diet, the easier it is to forgo the fatty Southern favorites. I think the one thing that has helped in the fight was back in Week One: getting rid of all of the bad, unhealthy foods and replacing them with nutritional, guilt free snacks. I’ve been surprised how many healthy options there are out there. CONFESSION: I did break down this week and give into one of my cravings: Mozzarella sticks from Sonic. After the first few bites I stated having visions of my arteries clogging up, quickly robbing me of the joy I one found in devouring them.
Cheat Meal and Snack: But there are rewards. Once a week (on different days), I allow myself one “Cheat Meal” and one “Cheat Snack.” Lately it’s been a Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Chick-fil-a (swapping the fries for a fruit cup and having diet lemonade to drink) and the world’s best cupcake from Cupcake on Lincoln Street in downtown Columbia. I try to choose something that I’ll enjoy but at the same time won’t sabotage my diet and the progress I’ve made. It’s a reward to me for making it another week while at the same time helping me practice self-control with my eating habits. If you’re on your own 180, I highly recommend incorporating the “Cheats” into your diet.
Traveling: I went to NC to visit family for the week of the 4th. Before I left I packed up a lot of my healthier staples (organic oatmeal, humus, organic peanut butter) because I knew mom and dad wouldn’t have my new favorite things at their house. It actually ended up being a really good chance for me to teach my mom some new, healthy and organic recipes. When dad and my stepmother did go out to eat, I chose healthier options. The hardest part about traveling was the interruption in my workout routine. Probably before I leave town next time I will see if there is an Anytime Fitness around and be much more disciplined about exercising while I’m traveling.
Medication: When I first started this journey I was about to be put on blood pressure medicine. I’m glad to report that after 3 weeks of exercise and diet, my blood pressure is not only in the normal range, but in the perfect category. I’ve also been able to stop taking Ambien for sleep because at the end of the day I am naturally tired and fall asleep without the need for medication. I definitely consider both avoiding medication for blood pressure and being able to quit taking Ambien huge progress!
Summary: The past two weeks have been challenging. Thankfully I’ve been blessed with desire and motivation to continue working out and eating right. I’ve got to experiment with new foods and new methods of cooking. Traveling to NC took discipline to stick to my diet and avoid my hometown favorites. I’ve continued my exercise routine and am blessed to have such an amazing friend and mentor during this journey. Mark truly has been a motivator and encourager during this. Some days I think he’s more driven and believes in me more than I believe in myself. I would definitely appreciate your prayers that my motivation would continue and that ultimately I would give God glory for the results I am seeing.