Remember when I said I was going to train to run the SurfTown Half Marathon? Yeah, I’m still nuts enough to think I might actually be able to do it. Focusing on this
ridiculous outlandish big goal has done exactly what I wanted it to do, it has helped me focus on what health goals are truly important to me. Some other time I’ll tell you the story about how I’m a former disordered eater, former lifetime Weight Watcher (I even worked for them), and my struggles with maintaining a healthy weight. But like I said, that ‘s a story for another time. Although, my previous experiences inform my current ones and I will always be someone who stupidly thinks that my opinion of my body is based on a number on a scale. I know this isn’t true, but I fight this often.
So in my on-going fight against the mind f*ck that is the scale I added a few new weapons. The first was deciding to train for the Half Marathon. I knew that if I could train for something that big then it didn’t matter what size I was, I had proof that I was strong and healthy, despite the number on the scale. Training has been going well and I am amazed at how my stamina has increased in a short period of time. I’m still along way off of the 13.1 mile goal, but I can see it. I’m committed and motivated, which are the two big things you need when you focus on a goal.
The second weapon was a 10-Day Detox. I consider myself a fairly healthy eater. We eat mostly whole foods, we have a very plant-based diet, and we don’t eat a lot of processed food. Even so, I found myself slipping into bad habits of multiple cups of coffee per day, candy bars as afternoon snacks, and general unawareness of what I was putting in my body. I knew I needed a shake up. A friend of Honey’s told me that she was doing a 10-Day Detox diet and I was kind of intrigued. 10 days seemed perfectly manageable, unlike Whole30. Also, I tailored this detox to the foods I knew I needed to focus on, rather than the cookie cutter Whole30 that eliminates a lot of foods that are staples in my diet and I know do not have a negative impact on my body, like legumes. My plan was to eliminate 3 things from my diet: caffeine, dairy, and sugar and significantly reduce my consumption of grains and processed foods. Mind you, I’m a coffee and chocolate whore. I indulge in both these things on a daily basis. I knew giving up these would be hard. Very hard. I wasn’t so worried about the dairy because I was largely dairy free already.
Today is my last day of the 10. So how’d I do? You all want to know if I lost weight. I did. Not a substantial amount, but enough to make me feel my “sacrifice” was justified. You want to know if it was hard. Not nearly as hard as I thought. Days one and two sucked, no lie. Day one every time I thought of something to eat I realized I couldn’t eat it. Day two the headache, fatigue, and shall we say digestive changes set in. Each day after that got progressively easier. I realized I needed to drink a ton more water than I was. Now I drink probably 128 ounces of water per day, when previously I was probably barely getting 40. Except that water gets dreadfully boring when it’s all you drink so I supplemented with seltzer or by adding lemon to my water. I also realized I needed to eat tons more protein than I did before. For me, this helped with the energy level especially on days I ran. I worried that through the process I was going to turn into a cranky b@tch, but I noticed that my overall mood actually improved. I was also really proud of myself for staying the course even though I went to a 40th birthday party where the wine and cocktails were flowing. I stuck to my water and seltzer and still had a great time.
So, will I stick with these changes? The short answer is sorta. I surprisingly don’t miss dairy. For me it’s a tipping point thing. Without it, I’m fine but one piece of weak-moment cheese and I’m craving ice cream, cream cheese, and yogurt like I’m a prisoner in the SHU in need of a phone call. (Pardon my Orange is the New Black reference.) Sugar, will stay something I have in very careful moderation. I learned that when I’m craving chocolate I’m actually craving something creamy (which can be replaced with an avocado or a banana) and when I’m craving a sugary snack fresh berries are a great substitute (thank god it’s berry season!) I can see the sugar party getting out of hand pretty quickly too. My goal will be to limit sugar to once per week, like a cheat day, without going all out. We’ll see how that goes. Lastly, my dear friend caffeine. I’m not gonna lie, I miss coffee. But I don’t miss it in the morning so much now that I’m working out regularly in the morning. I miss the habit of coffee. So I might not go back to AM joe while I’m home for summer but will start back up when I head back to work. I do look forward to enjoying an afternoon ice coffee (with coconut milk) in the near future.
That’s what worked for me. For now. Like all things I’m a work in progress but focusing on a long-range goal with the help of a short-range one has helped me realize the true goal is overall health, not a number on a scale.