I’m done with week two of my personal 30-day health challenge to myself, and I’m bummed to admit that I did not do as well this week as I had hoped. I kept on track with my diet, but it was tough to get to the gym during a busy week, a weekend out of town, and two half-days traveling. I exercised three out of seven days, which is definitely better than nothing but not as good as I’d planned when I started the week.
One problem is that I’m not a morning person, so I haven’t tried any early-morning classes or workouts yet. I think exercising in the morning would really help ensure I get a workout into my schedule, because some days after work something comes up during the time I had planned to be at the gym, like I need to work late to finish a project or Henry needs my attention. Life can derail the best-laid plans. Goal for next week: Try one morning workout.
We went to the Chicago for the weekend, and it was tough to not overindulge in food, but I’m proud to say I stuck to my goal to make more conscientious choices. Dining out, trying new restaurants, and enjoying favorites I cannot get in Missouri are some of my favorite things to do when I’m back in Chicago, so the weekend was about finding a balance. I wanted to eat everything in moderation to enjoy myself. So Dan and I split a single Sprinkles cupcake instead of each getting our own (or getting two for myself — yep, been there, done that!), and that alone saved 200-250 calories. We went to lunch at Bub City, a country-themed bar, and indulged in fried pickles, one of our favorites, but I only ate a few, and we didn’t finish the basket (unheard of for us!). Then we split an entree (and didn’t even finish it!). I didn’t eat past the point of feeling full, even though there was more left on my plate. For that, I’m proud, because that is coming a long way for me. I don’t ever leave uneaten fried pickles.
On Saturday, we walked more than 6 miles along the lakefront and through the city, and it was the best way to exercise, because it didn’t feel like exercise.
We went to dinner at Gilt Bar, and I opted for grilled salmon in favor of some of the more decadent offerings on the menu.
Those were the highlights, but my downfall definitely came when we went out Saturday night. Beer calories add up so fast! And the unfortunate thing is you don’t really care to count them after a few beers… Not to mention the Sprinkles ATM cupcakes you want to devour when said beer makes you drunk-hungry.
The aftermath of our drunken (albeit fun) night out meant we skipped the morning workout we’d planned, too. It quickly snowballed, and I understand why people have a hard time staying healthy when willpower goes out the window after a few drinks. We don’t go out much in Columbia, so I can’t beat myself up too much for acting like a normal twenty-something, but the ongoing question is how to balance staying healthy with having a social life. I’m still working on this one, of course, and I’m sure it will be a continuous journey this summer and into fall tailgating season.
The good news is I still haven’t consumed any Diet Coke after two weeks, and I’m down four pounds, so I still feel like I’m on the right track.
Week 2 Tips & Tricks
Logging meals: The app MyFitnessPal has been helpful to not just track my calories but more importantly, to show me the nutrition of what I eat so I become better informed and can then make better choices in the future. I love Sprinkles cupcakes, but I’m definitely going to think twice about eating a whole one by myself ever again, because I learned my favorite variety has 500 calories in a single cupcake — that’s about twice the calories of my typical meal! I also love how the app tells me what I will weigh in 5 weeks if I continue eating this way. It helps keep me excited and motivated.
Make smart swaps at fast food restaurants: On the road to Chicago, it was inevitable that we’d stop at fast food or gas stations for dinner and snacks. The ideal would be to bring along some of your own snacks, but that’s not always feasible when traveling (and I accidentally left my bag of snacks next to the front door while loading the car… #Oops). You can eat at fast food without ruining your day. We stopped at Subway for dinner, and I got a six-inch turkey loaded with fresh vegetables; I skipped the cheese and condiments. I also got apple slices instead of chips and unsweetened iced tea instead of pop. I allowed myself the bread, but if I wanted to take it a step further, I could have skipped the bread and ordered the sandwich as a salad — you can turn any sandwich into a salad at Subway. Later in the night, we stopped to fill up and get a snack. I perused the gas-station snack offerings and was disappointed (but not surprised) by the lack of anything fresh or nutritious. I went to the McDonalds next door and for the same calories as the bag of chips I was eyeing in the gas station, I got a grilled chicken snack wrap with no sauce. The wrap was much more satisfying to my tastebuds than baked chips would have been and the protein definitely kept me full longer.
Week 2 Stats
Gym classes attended: 1 (BodyPump)
Number of Diet Cokes consumed: 0
Typical Breakfasts: Overnight steel oats with chia seeds, almond milk, organic peanut butter, and cinnamon; a cup of grapes; black coffee with a splash of almond milk and Stevia
Typical Lunches: Shredded chicken breast with black bean salsa and a side of carrots; shredded chicken with hot sauce and steamed veggies
Typical Dinners: Grilled fish with a steamed vegetable side; shredded chicken and a steamed vegetable side
Typical Snacks: Humus with organic baby carrots; a cup of grapes