Fitness Challenge Update

On Monday my friend Steve and I began an 18-week fitness transformation challenge. I’m not making any changes to my exercise plan, but my food required a few tweaks. For starters, Steve suggested I skip my pre-workout Cliff Bar. This news did not sit well with me. After Steve assured me I wouldn’t pass out exercising on an empty stomach, I tried it. As much as I hate to admit it, he was right. I’ve completed my workouts without incident.

For quite a while now I’ve been a proponent of eating six small meals a day rather than three squares. But starting this challenge has shown me that I talk the talk better than I walk the walk. It’s taken a quite an effort to make sure I eat all six meals ON TIME. On Tuesday I was in a meeting that lasted well past its scheduled time. I was famished by the time I got back to my desk. While I tried to get back on an eating schedule, for the rest of the day I felt tired and hungry. So the lesson for me is to plan, plan, plan, and let people know what I’m doing and not be shy about bringing a meal to a meeting. I work with great people who support me; getting my health needs met won’t be a problem.

I’ve found myself feeling  hungry for most of the week. Steve sent me a blog entry from a former challenge winner. The blogger wrote that he also felt hungry at first, and that this was a period of adjustment. I’ve drastically cut back on the amount of fat in my diet, so the hunger pangs are a natural byproduct of that.

The food plan component of the challenge calls for one “free day” per week when the challenger eats whatever he or she wants. Today is my free day. I plan to enjoy lunch and dinner items I wouldn’t normally eat, but I will not touch any foods that create addiction issues for me. At this point I’m not sure what I think of the “free day” concept. I’m fearful of it creating a “two steps forward, one step backward” syndrome. If that occurs I may try having one “free meal” a week rather than a “free day.” We’ll see how it goes.

Here’s a sample of my 6-meal a day plan.

Meal 1.  1/2Cliff Bar and protein shake after exercise
Meal 2. 1 serving oatmeal/one scoop protein powder
Meal 3. Garden salad/salmon/spray on dressing (giving up the full fat kind for this challenge)/1 carb-smart yogurt –
Meal 4. nutrition shake
Meal 5. Wendy’s Asian chicken salad (no dressing)
Meal 6. nutrition shake and sugar-free Jello mousse

As you can see, there’s plenty of food here. So again, I think the hunger pangs are due to adjusting to a lower fat food plan.

In just a first few days of this, I’ve lost a half-pound. With that I am 70 pounds below my highest weight. I know it’s not about “numbers” but it really feels good to be able to say that.

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