OK, so the healthy eating challenge lasted about two and a half weeks, but I’m happy to report it went very well!
Once I got past the initial junk food/carb/everything delicious and bad for you cravings, it was really easy to stick to eating healthy. I didn’t ever put any strict limits on myself. I ate carbs and had the occasional chocolate or two, but I made sure not to let those little treats ruin the whole two weeks. When I did indulge, I paid careful attention not to gorge and only to eat enough to satisfy the craving. A lot of times, though, I didn’t even want to indulge. I was feeling so good that I didn’t want even the slightest little junk food to make me feel bad (read: bloated and gross). My body is a temple, you guys.
For me, the key to my healthy eating challenge ended up being portion control. I focused on eating smaller portions at every meal and really paying attention to when I felt full. I was amazed to see how satisfied I was with eating such small meals. And on top of that, indulging didn’t feel so awful when I only ate a tiny helping of something not-so-healthy.
I think my best moment of the challenge happened last Sunday at brunch. Tall Guy and I were in Boston visiting my family and we tried out a new restaurant that had been recommended to my mom. I ordered the Eggs Benedict, which is my favorite egg dish of all time and hard for me to pass up when I’m out to breakfast. When the food was brought to our table, my meal looked so good! A few bites in, however, and it was a very different story. There was no Canadian bacon, subbed instead for sliced avocado and tomato, which would have been fine if the Hollandaise sauce tasted lemony like the menu promised, but the eggs were completely flavorless. And the potatoes, while fried nicely, were accompanied with sauteed Vidalia onions and too sweet for my taste. The only part of the meal that was really pleasing to my palette was the side salad that came with the dish. Now, normally, I feel like if you pay for it (or someone is paying for it), you should eat it all. But with my healthy eating in mind, I decided it would be ridiculous to eat something that I didn’t enjoy, especially since it wasn’t super healthy anyway. Instead, I ate the side salad and half of the Benedict and let Tall Guy finish the rest. That may seem like a tiny victory, but to me it became clear that the two week challenge had really changed my thinking about food, which is a huge win in my book.
On to the next…
Running! I still consider myself a runner, despite the fact that I haven’t run on a consistent basis since before I ran the Philly half marathon in 2011. But I really, really love running and have been attempting to get back into it for some time now. For a variety of reasons, the latest being a weak ankle that continues to give me problems, I haven’t been running on a regular basis. That ends today.
It’s hard to get back out there after such a long time. My muscles are weak, I can’t run that fast or that far, and I have a nagging thought that I’ll look stupid against all of the “experienced” runners. But the things is? That stuff doesn’t matter. Running (and exercising in general) isn’t about how you look, how fast you can go or how you compare to other people, it’s about how you feel. One of the reasons I love running is because it’s a total body workout and you start to see results fast. I can probably barely run a mile right now, but I know that if I keep at it, I’ll be able to breeze through a mile in no time and will be on to bigger and better distances before I know it. There’s not much more you can ask for in an exercise routine.
So this next two week challenge is to run 4 out of 7 days each week. Since I know that I’m the type of person who does best with a schedule, I’ve decided to run M/W/F after work and do a “long” run on Saturday mornings. I’m going to start slow, to make sure my ankle can handle it and that I don’t do too much too soon and injure anything else, but I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to make this schedule work!
And one thing I will definitely be doing is making a running playlist! Any song suggestions for me?
I know that getting out there today will be the hardest part, but I’m excited to get started so I can become a “regular” runner again soon! Are you a runner? Have you been wanting to get into running, but just haven’t done it yet? Share your thoughts with me in the comments!
Happy running! x