Things I’m not good at: keeping track of days/weeks. OOPS!
Things I am good at: learning SO MUCH about myself this past month!
I’m combining the last two week updates of the February Challenge because I honestly lost track of the days. Working random days like I do means no consistency which means I usually don’t know what the day or date is!
Anyway, here’s how the past two weeks went:
I did NOT stick to the plan 100%.
And I am SO okay with that. I pretty much followed the plan to a T in my first week, and that definitely gave me the reset I desperately needed. The following weeks I noticed that I continued to make healthier choices without thinking about it, just because I knew I would feel better without x,y, or z.
The most important thing I learned was BALANCE. It is absolutely okay to have coffee if it makes you feel good and cozy and relaxed. It’s also okay to have a glass of wine on Valentine’s day, and it’s okay to enjoy a donut (okay… 2 donuts) when you go to the NASA Space Center with your family and watch a rocket launch.
I used to really beat myself up about those types of things. Then would start a vicious cycle; first I would adopt the “well I already messed up today, might as well screw the rest of the day up!” and go on an all-out binge. Then I would feel guilty. Then I would overexercise and deprive myself, but that would only last about a day or two, and then I’d start over. Not a healthy place to be.
This month I found that I was much more gentle on myself when I was making good choices regularly. So when those occasions did come up, I didn’t feel guilty about them. I’m not sure if that makes sense… perhaps it’s something you just need to try, too!
Let me break down the past month:
Diet and food habits
I feel like after I went on my extended vacation and did my cross-country move, my diet habits never really improved – in fact, I’m pretty sure they worsened over that time! I just couldn’t seem to get it together, and for some reason, I couldn’t stick to making good choices.
Like I said, I think that first week of elimination of EVERYTHING was what I really needed. Yeah, it sucked; day 3 and I was pretty much ready to kill anyone who smiled at me. However that first week passed, I realized that I actually felt GOOD, and so making the better choices came easily. That continued for the next 3 weeks (and is continuing today, too!)
Limiting my meat intake definitely helped me refocus on incorporating more plant-based foods into my life, so I’m thankful I did that. So often I was building my meals around my meat/protein source. Now instead I find myself building meals on more veggies, and meat as an after-thought. I’m also making an effort to make sure that ALL meat I do eat is organic, grass-fed, antibiotic/hormone free, cage free, and humanely raised. Yes, that means it is a LOT more expensive. However I feel much better about what I’m putting into my body, animal welfare (seriously factory farming is horrendous), and I’m eating much less of it. That translates to an even lower grocery bill, believe it or not!
This was soooo brutal that first week. All in all, I’m not going to lie – that first week was HELL. But it was the best thing I could have done. I’m happy to report now that I can easily go through my 15-16 hour work days without a cup of coffee (or 2 or 3) AND stay awake on my drive home. I sleep a lot better, and I notice that I’ve been waking up feeling really refreshed.
I’ve learned that a great way to kick that coffee habit is to drink 32 oz of water within the first hour of waking up. It’s super rehydrating and makes me feel a little more energized, and it is a lot of water (I usually drink it within 20 minutes or so) so I kind of feel full and like I don’t even want coffee.
I’m NOT going back to my morning (and afternoon) coffee habits. I’ll drink it as a treat now and then, maybe 2 or 3 times a week, but because I want to, not because I need to.
My time without wine
For a while, I was having a glass of wine probably 4 or 5 nights out of the week. I thought it was helping me sleep, and I just enjoyed it and it was a good way to unwind after a stressful work day.
However I also know that it’s not the best habit. I’m happy that I kicked that to the curb, and much like with the coffee, I’m actually sleeping better without it! Now I pretty much have a drink on special occasions or when I go out with friends, maybe once a week.
Did I lose any weight?
Yes – about 2 pounds. Now I know that doesn’t seem like much, and honestly I don’t really care – I didn’t do this because I had a lot of weight to lose. But before you write off doing something like this because you want better weight loss results, just think about this: if I were to consistently lose 2 pounds a month for a year, that would be 26 pounds lost in one year! And I would still be able to go out with my friends, enjoy sweet treats, have the occasional drink and coffee, and I wouldn’t be miserable.
Patience, my friends!
Where to next?
I’m going to be keeping a lot of these principles from my challenge in my daily life, as I explained above. I’ll keep playing with my diet to find out exactly what suits me best, and in March I’ll be focusing more on intuitive eating (I’ll explain in another post!).
I hope you enjoyed following me for this past month! I apologize that I wasn’t better at keeping 100% track of everything. I may do the challenge again in the springtime depending on how my health is at that time, and I will do more posts like this!
Here’s to a happy, healthy March!