This week I participated in a clean eating challenge. You can read up on the concept here and get a better definition than I can give you. Essentially, it’s ceasing to eat crap aka preserved snack/junk food, drinking a tasty shake for breakfast, exercising 30 minutes a day, every day, and drinking lots of water.
As I currently live, I am already most of the way there. I rarely eat sugar and have limited our white and even wheat flour eating ways. I shop from the outer rim of the market. You get used to the changes and you make allowances. I’m an 80 – 20 kinda gal. But this challenge was also asking us to refrain from salt mostly and fake sugars. I have eaten meals from a preset menu that is rock bottom diet low-calorie. And there’s no wine.
Already, in five days, I’ve lost 2-3 pounds. Because one of the reasons I took this challenge and am keeping it up for one week is because I hate feeling like a fat bloated old lady. Having a baby at the ripe old age of 46 is messing with my body image. And I am a wicked maintainer but not good at going the extra mile or cutting out unnecessary fats like a dollop of sour cream, mayo, or a little bacon three times a week. So here are my…
Thoughts On The Clean Eating Challenge
- If everything’s is special than nothing is. A treat is only that if you’ve gone without. The 80 – 20 rule keeps it from becoming a bad habit again. When you limit your greedy bingeing sugar and flour eating ways, yes you feel a little sore. But your body can be just like my toddler and want what it wants when it wants it. Being a self-parent with limits not only makes you proud of yourself but it makes the 20% of the time that you allow yourself to indulge that much better.
- I like taking food back to a simpler place. The tang of the lime juice and the zip of cilantro are honest and uncomplicated. I like eating simply and freshly. And when you cut back salt, you eventually become more aware of the taste of it too. You’ll need less.
- Decreasing portion sizes is a very good thing. To eat smaller amounts, even if it were a little more often, shrinks your stomach to a more reasonable capacity. And allows the water to actually do it’s job of filling you up until you need more fuel.
- And then there’s the need for water. Ever eat a great big salad or a smoothie or gazpacho and hear your body sigh? Your body is mostly made of water, right? Water travels pretty fast through you but you need a lot of it. If you ingest your water in the form of a vegetable or fruit, your body can take it’s time to assimilate the water. But hears the trick. We don’t get really thirsty until we’re dehydrated. The first thing we get is hungry. We need a water based food. But what we do is continue to throw dry salty greasy carbohydrates down the hole. The body says, “Well I’ll do what I have to do to move this along and maybe store the extra calories over here but I still need the water please.” And there you are hungry again. Yes, we need additional stuff with the veggies and fruits but never instead of them.
- Planning your meals, and even your snacks, makes it easier to not make a bad choice or over-eat. You feel calm. It’s easy to see what prep can be done or what needs to be thawed. Even planning when you’ll eat and when you’ll start prepping makes your inner child and your family feel they’re being taken care of. I like the breakfast at 7:45am, small snack at 11am, lunch at 1pm, snack at 4pm, and dinner at 6:30 – 7pm schedule. There’s no need for an evening snack and you have time to make dinner if you’ve got a snack at 4pm.
- Exercise decreases appetite. So if you can come up with a late afternoon walk added to your early or late exercise, you burn off a few more calories and you can clear the day away for new thoughts and not be as hungry at your next meal maybe. If exercise is a problem because you need shoes or you have a pain in your hip you need to get looked at , then get her done. If the excuse for not taking care of your body makes you feel bad and taking care of your body feels good, choose the second.
The challenge is taking place within a private Facebook page and that helps for the accountability to join others doing it as a team. But it’s also is a safe and private forum for people to ask questions and be encouraged. Much like Weight Watchers may be. I will probably continue this until I reach a ten pounds lost mark. I am headed to a high school reunion and the dress I bought is a size 12 and tight and short. All these factors make me really want to keep it going.
I believe in fresh food, regular exercise, and conscious consuming. I also don’t have a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe’s close by. I think it’s easier to buy a lot from these places. But they are expensive and I’m not sure your cooking benefits from prepackaged organic meals as much as you looking up a recipe and buying from local farmers as best you can. We need to stop over thinking and get back to basics.
Hope you found something to think about. And maybe you’re inspired to take a baby step of betterment.