No Junk Food Challenge

Last night was beautiful- sunny and in the 70s for a few hours after work. No more of that getting home in the dark stuff!! So the BF and I took the dog up into town to get a beer (for him) and Rita’s (for me). I eat Rita’s rarely; normally, only when home visiting during the summer when my mom wants to go, but since their First Day of Spring deal just happened a few days ago, it was on my mind.

I had a regular size Gelati with strawberry custard and Fudge Brownie cream ice. 450 calories. For a dessert that size, not bad I thought. However, it had 66 grams of sugar (I didn’t know this at the time). That’s almost triple what is recommended daily- and I’m sure I ingested some throughout the day as well. My body did not react well. Sugar is not it’s friend. It isn’t anyone’s friend. My stomach kept me up all night and probably is why I felt too exhausted for the gym this morning. This is another lesson on my constant learning curve.

I am not a “fitness junkie”. I am not one of those people who goes to workout classes 5 times a week until they just find themselves becoming an instructor. I was not an athlete in college- I danced growing up, taking minimum 4 classes of week in high school, but was not in the competition group. I didn’t see it as a career path. I am not someone who can commit to a lifestyle of Paleo or Vegan or Gluten-free- because I don’t want to. I can’t do a yoga headstand while drinking a green juice. I try to be healthy. But I have a life, a job, a dog, a boyfriend, friends in multiple states, and I really like alcohol, baking, and binging TV shows. Ice cream is my favorite. So sometimes I need to be reminded- maybe next time let’s try a kids size, stick to the fruity or “all natural” Italian ice flavors (lower in sugar), and maybe even just get that without the custard! (Remember- moderation, not deprivation. Tweak things, don’t cut them out.) Nothing is worth feeling like I did last night. But even after ALL THAT- after breakfast, I craved a dessert. Seriously. So this leads me into today’s topic:

Remember when I told ya’ll I had a trick up my sleeve for getting you guys off the sugar train? Well here it is! I do this No Junk Food Challenge a few times every year and it’s usually pretty successful- yes, sometimes things come up. The last time I did this I had a coworker bring me a dessert personally that I couldn’t turn down and we went out for Restaurant Week and dessert was included in the meal (and if I paid for it- I’m eating it). Maybe you’re planning on partaking in Easter basket treats. But every time I do it, I feel my craving for desserts weaken and my willpower gets a GREAT workout (there were two birthdays in the office over my last challenge- killer!)

Here’s how it works:

For 21 days (or 3 weeks), you have no chocolate, no candy, no cookies, no cake, no donuts, no muffins, no pastries, no white bread, no chips, no fast food, no Nutella, and no ice cream. If you want to make it really hard (if you’re anything like me), no peanut butter. I ┬áthink I’m just going to cut it down to twice a week during this.

The best way to do it is say you’re going to start tomorrow. So that means that it will end on April 18- the day after Easter Monday. That will give you no time to “store sweets” or stuff your face with dessert in anticipation (although- guilty) and it will not let you plan around a fun weekend or event (now if you have a chocolate tour booked- by all means, that is an exception). But know that you will probably slip up, there will be exceptions and excuses- just be honest with yourself. But cupcakes for office birthdays are not an exception. YOUR birthday is an exception.

Some food for thought on this:

Think of trying to push a car up a hill. If it slips a bit, and you catch it and keep pushing, you haven’t lost much. If it slips and you let it slide, you’ll have to go back down the hill and start all over again. It’s the same in weight loss (and the junk food challenge). Accept the tiny slip and keep on pushing. Why climb the same hill twice?

Who’s with me???

Yesterday’s food journal

Pre-workout coffee

Breakfast- 2 scrambled eggs with a melted Laughing Cow cheese wedge and some smoked salmon plus a protein shake

Coffee

Green tea

Lunch- salad

Snack- 2 2% cottage cheese containers (80 calories each) with strawberries and mint

Dinner- leftover chicken, Brussels sprouts and sweet potato wedges. Then the Rita’s Italian Ice debacle described above.

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