What doesn't challenge you doesn't change you…that was probably what I was thinking one month ago, when I agreed to this challenge! ;) And not only that, also because I still haven’t completely unlocked my personal code for a healthy lifestyle.
In the work-out department I score like an 8, hitting the gym four times a week and challenging myself to reach a new level of soreness after every work-out. haha :D . But in the food department I score like a 5 and sometimes a 6. Like so many Fit Girls I’m also still searching for the best nutrition for my body ever since working out became part of my lifestyle. So hopefully after this challenge I will be closer in unlocking my personal code for my healthy lifestyle…
Dare 2 Challenge
So it’s very simple… there are 5 CONDITIONS and 2 RULES. You only need a pretty large doses of self-control or a full-time support system. ;) The followings drinks and food are off limit:
- Soft and fruits drinks (also try to stay away from any light versions, since they contain other substances of sweetness)
- Snacks (chocolate, candy, chips, cupcakes, pie etc.)
- Sugar (read more about “how to eat less sugar” in the article of Fit Girl Lisanne)
- Greasy and fast food
And you need to keep yourself to the following 2 rules:
- One cheat day a week (and don’t go flamingo-crazy there, a cheat day could also mean a dinner in a restaurant or one healthy snack)
- Time frame: 3 MONTHS (of course you can determine your own period, if one month is already enough of a challenge for you that’s also good)
Why complicate life?
Since I am determined to live a healthy lifestyle, I also need to change my food habits. Working out on a regular base alone is not sufficient and your food intake is as important as your workouts. I also realised that my body is seeking for different nutrition ever since I started working out on a regular base and therefore I am in search for a food schedule I feel comfortable with and gives me balance in this lifestyle. This does not mean I will never allow myself to eat chocolate or a hamburger again, but I am challenging myself to find healthy alternatives for these type of cravings.
I believe that because I am not aware and don’t have the knowledge yet of all these alternative healthy delicious snacks and other recipes, I continue going in circles and fall back in my old habits over and over again. I want to change that and therefore I hope this challenge will force me to make an extra effort and after 3 months will get me into my healthy habits and lifestyle :D
My experiences so far
- My body is seriously detoxing from sugar, I have a lot of craving for candy and chocolate. But managed damaged control and only had 3 pieces of chocolate, one scoop of ice cream and 3 pink cakes on two of my cheat days ;)
- When I have stress or feel tired (mentally) I have the most trouble keeping up the challenge. This seems to always happen on Friday and Sunday night after a week of hard work and studying. So now I make sure I have a healthy snack ready to stop me from eating sugar and snacks.
- I became aware that a lot of my cravings are conditioned. Like the habit to eat something while watching TV, when you are bored, travelling from work or going out for dinner. Now I ask myself the question; “Does my body need nutrition or is it my brain forcing me to eat something since it’s one of my old habits. I wrote on article about “why we over eat” and this knowledge is now helping me in this challenge.
- On the days I work-out I have the least trouble in having healthy nutrition. On those days I feel balanced and release most of the stress. I feel strong enough mentally to stick with the challenge.
- I survived 4 birthday parties, including my own, and 1 baby shower without eating unhealthy snacks and treats. It was not without struggle and I stalked my support system that day (you know who you are ;) ) but I managed to not eat anything of the following temptations and only stick to my own made healthy snacks or just kept my mouth shut! ;) haha
- But on the days life is challenging me and I don’t work out, I have the most trouble and feel extra tired for this mental conflict I’m having. Trying to prevent myself over eating and craving for sugar again. With this awareness I hope to win this battle over and over again ;)
- Every time you overcome a temptation you feel proud of yourself and this will increase your self-esteem and confidence in yourself.
- First I didn’t wanted to add cheat days in this challenge but it’s an illusion to think you have so much willpower to withstand your old habits all at once. Fit Girl Anna wrote a very nice article about it, how your willpower is like a muscle, read more about how you don’t do it all at once.
- I’m already noticing that my mindset towards food is changing and I am actually aware of my weaknesses preventing me to completely unlock the code towards my healthy lifestyle. Stress is a major weakness and beside socializing with friends and family. Apparently I always covered myself with food while I experience stress and like to eat and drink while I’m meeting up with my friends and family.
Tips and Tricks
- Schedule your cheat days on a day you meet up with friends or you know you are going out for dinner. This way you can also enjoy eating more than usual and treat yourself.
- Since I only drink tea, water and coffee and avoiding other drinks, I mix my coffee with almond, soya or rice milk and drink my water with slices of lemon or oranges and mint. This way I don’t get bored drinking the same and add variation to my liquid intake.
- Listen to your body. Is it really in need of nutrition and will it stop functioning if you don’t eat something, or is it an appetite for a snack?
- Consider the fact that this will be a mental challenge.
- Don’t eat less, just explore alternatives for your old food habits. For example I eat all day long since I work-out on a regular base and my body is seeking nutrition to recover.
- Take into account that it will take time and energy for you to explore healthy alternatives for your old food habits. Prepping healthy snacks or cooking yourself a healthy diner will also challenge your time schedule.
- Keep your end goal in mind. Take a before picture and every month an after picture. Do whatever keeps you motivated. Perhaps writing about your experiences and thoughts during your challenge. This helps you overcome these bumps in the road every challenge faces.
- Be proud of yourself for starting this journey! :D
I started my challenge one month ago and have every intention to keep going for the next two months. I dare you to start your own challenge! Hopefully I can inspire you, like I was inspired by two friends ;). Join me or start another challenge like our 30 Day Ab Challenge! Whatever your challenge is, let's support each other! :D
Next month I will give an update of my journey in this challenge. I will also share with you my food and exercise schedule and hope that I already got rid of a few of my old food habits!
To be continued… in the meanwhile I keep practising my pull-ups… my work-out challenge ;)