I had never followed a meal plan before–I’ve tried food journaling and it’s never quite worked 100% for me because I have never understood how to put together a well-rounded day’s worth of calories with the right components to fuel my active lifestyle. I’d either end up starving or feeling faint halfway through a workout, or I’d feel bloated and gross, even if I stayed within the proper calorie or points total. Not all calories are created equal, and that is something that the meal plan for this challenge has shown me. I haven’t been hungry, and I haven’t felt deprived. Well, except for when my friends are going to eat Mexican food and I have to pass up the chips and salsa. But that’s even lost its allure for me to a certain extent in the last month. And the cheat meal means I am not going crazy with cravings–I can have that fix on the weekend and get back to eating the way that makes me feel the best during the week.
One way I think this challenge has helped me specifically is that I am starting to enjoy cooking a little bit. Those who know me know that I don’t cook. I make toast and oatmeal and that’s about it. But this past month, as I’ve been forced to figure out how to make these simple meals, I have become more at home in the kitchen. I am comfortable with several simple dishes I had never cooked before (for example, I love how easy fish is to make). To me, this is the most important impact of the challenge. Removing some of the intimidation of healthy cooking and preparation of clean foods has started a journey for me that will certainly make a lasting difference for my health.
I think that a healthy, activity-fueling diet has a learning curve. I’ve started down a good road, and, like my fitness, it’s a road with ups and downs and starts and stops. I think the important thing is to keep going down the road, and to find new ways to get moving in the right direction again. This challenge was a great way for me to restart my journey. I plan to keep going with the next challenge, because I still have a lot to learn, and a lot to gain (strength and fitness) and lose (fat and self-doubt). 🙂 The support and inspiration I’ve received from Niki, Alisa , and Whitney, as well as the amazing examples of my from fellow boot campers has been invaluable to me. This is not a lonely road!”
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