Although I didn’t set any major goals this April, somehow it’s turned into a pretty serious health and fitness project ever since I posted my article, How Bad Do You Want It, followed by My Body & My Budget.
I started thinking, well if I’m going to do this super healthy eating thing, I might as well take it seriously and go all in!
Have I done that? For the most part, yes! Have I noticed any changes? YES! Has the process been hard? Hard, but doable and not agonizing.
Embrace the Suck
In the book I’m reading, The Way of the Seal: Think Like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed, there is something that the author mentions called embracing the suck. That is, going to that uncomfortable edge and pushing yourself to new limits and embracing how challenging that can sometimes be.
In building muscle, the fibers tear when you strength train, and as it rebuilds and repairs itself, your muscles grow.* So in essence, you have to break down before you can build up!
Does this apply to many facets of life or what?!
Based on what my friend and personal trainer friend Dara wrote to me about some of the dietary things I might want to consider changing, here is what I have worked on:
I cut morning OJ from my breakfast. Brian from Luke 1428 commented on my post that he could never do that because he is pretty sure it’s what kept him from getting sick this year, but the truth is I was ONLY drinking 3oz’s a day, which is essentially almost just a shot of OJ. But still that little amount contains a lot of sugar, and I’m already eating tons of other things with plenty of vitamin C, so this was an easy change.
I cut drinking alcohol at home. I was drinking a glass of wine at dinner just about every night (usually very inexpensive wine). Truth is, I just enjoy the taste. This cut was easy, however, I need to be careful not to go overboard if and when I do go out. I had 1.5 beers and a glass of wine last Saturday, so I was not able to drive right away, and that once again led to eating out (burger & sweet potato fries-doh!).
I cut bananas as a snack except for long endurance days when I play beach volleyball, but I’m eating lots of berries…usually with my afternoon snack of Fage greek yogurt and chopped up raw almonds, because I like crunchy texture with my yogurt.
With the exception of my usual sandwich at lunch, I haven’t had any grain type carbs like pasta, potatoes, or rice. It’s not that I will never eat this, but I’m just not including it as something I do daily. I also all but cut out any kind of processed snacks, like granola bars, and definitely no chips or crackers.
One thing I’m not giving up: dark chocolate. Fuggetaboutit! It’s the one thing that satiates me as I’m cutting back on everything else. Thankfully, one little piece (ahem, or two) of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate (73%) goes a long way!
I feel leaner and a whole lot stronger! The interesting thing is I have not lost one single pound. In fact I’m on the high side of my normal weight range, and I’m totally OK with that because my clothes are fitting great and I feel healthier. My goal is not to be waif thin…it never has and never will. The bodies I admire are strong, toned, and athletic. And by the way I’m budgeting 1500 calories, plus any calories I earn working out.
My typical workouts per week are: 3 days of strength training at Bionic Body**, 2 days of cardio (like beach running or the sand dunes), one day of beach volleyball, and one rest day.
My meals are frankly quite boring. I hate cooking, so it’s just easier to make the same meals over and over again because it’s less of a headache to track in Myfitnesspal.com. Luckily I’m not too bored with it yet, but I really need to stretch myself a little more, so I’m going to attempt to make pulled pork in a slow cooker this weekend. Normally my dinners are a salad, grilled chicken (using my trusty George Foreman grill), and some kind of veggie.
Has it positively affected my budget?
The short answer is no. Between me being a boring cook (meaning I buy the same stuff whether it’s on sale or not) and choosing the highest quality foods possible, it hasn’t slashed my grocery bill, but it hasn’t raised it either. Below is an infographic on how it’s possible to eat healthy on a budget. Perhaps I need to try some of this stuff.
So tell me, what is an area of your life you need to get a little more uncomfortable with? What are you avoiding trying because it’s too hard?
*Or something like that. I’m not a doctor or personal trainer. Here is a better explanation.
**I’m doing work in exchange for a membership, which I’m unbelievably grateful for. Otherwise I’d strength train using free or cheap apps.