As I’ve been alluding to via Instagram photos and mentions here on my blog, I’ve been skipping through my own little clean eating challenge.
Notice I said “skipping.” Not begrudgingly trudging, not crawling, but skipping. I’ve been cleaning up my act, and I’ve been enjoying it.
After being sick mostly all winter resulting in my being on Prednizone for almost a month, I had lost a bit of weight. When I quickly gained that back and then some, I was physically feeling really gross, my clothes were less flattering, and I was frustrated.
I shared these feelings with my friend (and health coach) Brittany, and we decided to help hold each other accountable so we could feel better, and hopefully as a result, look great.
My meals have been delicious, my cooking skills are evolving, and the number on my scale is going down. And I’m not cutting out my favorite things, so I’m not feeling deprived.
I’ve done Brittany’s 28-Day Challenge before, pretty loosely, and I lost 6 pounds. I know her advice works for me, so we both made a pact to track our eats with the MyFitnessPal (which I used while on my friend Jim White’s nutrition plan). We’ve been at it for over a month, and I’m really proud of the results, even after taking two weeks off after surgery. Because honestly, anyone who goes through two surgeries and is on Percocet while on a diet plan is a nutcase.
So, the guidelines for this self-made challenge? Avoid soda, sugar, and junk. Track calories. Hit at least 10,000 steps every single day. Work out at least 6 times a week (I always have some sort of rest day, but with my energy, I prefer active rest like taking a walk).
I’m currently a roasting machine.
And no, I didn’t say “cut out.” I don’t really believe in completely cutting anything out, because then, it’s all I want, and when I can have it again, I go ham.
I’ve been doing a really good job of drinking La Croix instead of soda (not that I drank a TON of soda to begin with, but I still treated myself to it from time to time), hitting my steps goal, and finding ways to stay active despite the surgery.
I had lost 5 pounds in about two and a half weeks prior to surgery. After two weeks of eating a lot of ice cream, milkshakes, and comfort foods after my two surgeries, I got back on the wagon and am now 4 pounds down from my original weight. I’d consider that a pretty big victory for all that I ate and how little I could move post-surgery.
This was my last weekend prior to climbing back on the wagon. I had my first Mrs. Yoder’s doughnut from the Farmer’s Market (it was a bucket list item to try, and it surely delivered), and I had spanakopita poached eggs for brunch on Greek Easter. Opa!
Today is the first day I’m cleared to do Pure Barre after surgery, and I’m really exited, although I’m also really happy with my rekindled love for running. Moving forward, I plan incorporate a healthy balance of short runs and Pure Barre classes into my weekly routine.
So, what has this clean eating challenge has taught me over the past few weeks?
- I can lose weight and still indulge. For example, I’ve been treating myself after a day of healthy eating and a 5-mile run to a Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered caramel. These are the best thing I got in my Easter basket this year. And yes, I still get an Easter basket because I’m obviously still 6 years old and have the best mom in the whole world.
- Roasted veggies are the bomb.com. They are so easy, so delicious, and so perfect for advance meal prep. I get home pretty late when I teach barre after a full work day, and I love having prepped roasted veggies from a few nights ago to add to my meals.
- Running still makes me HUNGRY. I was so used to very little cardio and lots of barre this winter, and I’ve forgotten how crazy hungry running makes me. I’m excited to find a healthy balance of barre and cardio beginning this week.
- I can cheat on weekends and not feel guilty. I may be generally up in weight on Monday mornings due to Friday and Saturday indulgences (no, you won’t stop me from drinking palomas, wine, or stouts on Saturday night. YOLO), but I’m still losing in the grand scheme of things. And I’m perfectly fine with that, because I need balance.
- The MyFitnessPal app is the best tool I’ve used to hold myself accountable for what I eat. It lets me eat what I want with the “if I have this, I can’t have that” mentality. It promotes a healthy balance mentality to eating, and I really love that.
- Having a friend to talk through “adventure” with makes a huge difference. We share results, frustrations, and encourage each other by taking walks and runs together.
Just grabbing some essentials.
Balance. That’s actually my word of the moment. I’m aiming to balance different healthy foods without depriving myself of indulgences, I’m going to balance different workouts to keep my body and muscles fresh and guessing, and I’m working on balancing my work and social life so I can spend time with the people I love while staying successful. So far, that’s what’s keeping me happy!
Hopefully, the above photo montage of what I’ve been munching on throughout this clean eating challenge can inspire you to try some healthy balanced meals as well. I am in such a hurry in the mornings, many servings of peanut butter Ezekiel toast and PB2 oats went unphotographed, but it highlights a few of my dinners and other mealtimes throughout the week.
Now, you. What can you not cut out? What’s your word of the week? Have you used MyFitnessPal to reach our goals?