I probably could have spent a little more time on my chart, but I let it go to the Google gods and they came up with the following:
I think if you say “30 Days of Challenge” in a Russian accent it makes it more interesting. And by Russian I mean 80s Soviet Red Dawn Russian. Anyway, its been over a week now, I guess. I’ve already thought about giving up. The negative thoughts have already started. This is stupid, you’re not going to finish anyway, blah blah blah. Admittedly the challenge has some holes. I actually had an unusually busy weekend including a kid’s birthday party, and my kid’s birthday dinner with my family. All these events had really unhealthy food, the latter menu was even my decision, but according to my challenge, that’s okay because I’m only focused on the meals I have during work and when I’m eating alone. Social events are off the table.
So, what’s the point? There a saying “what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get managed”. If you asked me before starting this challenge, I would tell you I eat pretty healthy. What this exercise is teaching me, is that is very far from the truth. I eat pretty poorly.
When I’m out on the road, I’m still hearing the calls from Dunkin Donuts, Panera, and even the dreadful McDonald’s. Having the challenge keeps me from stopping. Even thought I feel like I really want a sweet treat or something to just fill my stomach, and feel like I might not be able to make it if I don’t, when I resist, I actually survive and the craving passes and everything is fine. Having some trail mix and some water in the car really helps also. I know trail mix isn’t the best option as it is fairly high in calories and fat, but it’s better than a Big Mac or Coffee Roll.
And the other thing this challenge is teaching me is that I don’t eat vegetables. Even when I brown bag it, I’m bringing a meat like a Drumstick or a Sandwich. I’ll also bring a fruit usually, but more often that not, no veggies. I don’t like them. Maybe I can learn. I just listened to a podcast and they were talking about adding legumes, namely beans to your diet to add fiber and other health benefits. I think the quantity was 3 half cups a day. That may work. Maybe some chick peas or red beans or something. Wait, are chick peas legumes? Ever hear the joke about chick peas and garbanzo beans?
I’m also learning that looking at it one day at a time is a big help. Instead of thinking about sticking with a 30 day challenge, though relatively short, can be daunting. When I think about just doing it for the day it seems more manageable.
I’m also learning some good habits around the logistics. I need to take my cooler in every day, clean it out, and get it ready either at night or in the morning. The night before is better I think. I’m also collecting some new Tupperware and containers that will be a big help going forward.
Having the challenge in place also helps avoid the “f@#k it’s”. For instance, I’m late for work, “f@#k it” I’ll bring my lunch tomorrow.
My hope is that this challenge, even though it’s very basic, will start a framework for a better eating lifestyle. Once I’ve got the habit of shopping, preparing, and packing down, choosing better foods should be a lot easier. I’m not trying to go full vegetarian or use any of the fad or crash diets to lose weight. I just want to improve my nutrition so I can have a better quality of life.
Earlier this year, I was having some real trouble with fatigue after some of my group mountain bike rides. I found that paying closer to my pre and post ride meals, hydration, and stretching went a long way in alleviating some of that fatigue. I’m hoping I’ll notice better energy, focus, and mood by the changes I make in this challenge.
I also decided getting on the scale might be a good data point to collect as well. I certainly should have done that before the challenge and maybe collected some other data points as a baseline pre challenge, but I didnt, and, now I know.
Anyway, any comments are appreciated. It helps me to have feedback because then I feel more accountable. Let me know if you have any ideas for me or if a chick pea is in fact a legume or even a garbanzo bean.