Diets and Workouts vs. Lifestyle: What’s the Dif?

I’m currently on day 23 of my “100 Days on the Beach” South Beach Diet experiment. They who are “they”, anyway? say it takes 21 days to create a new habit. I’m beginning to think “they” are correct.

Prior to starting this challenge, I’d been eating in a pretty healthy manner most of the time. But I’d started eating a few chips and crackers here and there, and weekend restaurant meal choices left something to be desired from a weight loss perspective. So I chose to give the SBD a whirl as a means to reign things in. I have to say, this is already beginning to feel like a lifestyle rather than a diet, as do my workouts. Here’s my list of “I know it’s a lifestyle when…”

I have to check the calendar to see how many days I’ve been on SBD. I honestly didn’t know. During the first two weeks I bored my Twitter followers to tears with my daily tweet “I’m on Day so and so.”

I no longer miss my sugar-free Vanilla-Carmel Coffee Creamer. Well, that’s not entirely true, but I will cop to getting used to drinking my coffee black.

I’ve given up ketchup. I had a veggie burger for dinner tonight and it didn’t occur to me to use ketchup. Those who knew me in my fast-food days should be shocked at this.

Broccoli is my new side dish. I had a side of broccoli with that veggie burger. No cheating with chips for this girl.

My trips to the gym are about training rather than weight loss. With two sprint triathlons and two half marathons on the horizon, I can’t waste a gym session on cardio equipment. I think cardio equipment is FANTASTIC and I’m not knocking it. But to prepare for the endurance event schedule I’ve planned I have to spend my time running, cycling, swimming, and lifting. If I do the work, the pounds will come off.

I document my training sessions. One of my goals for 2010 was to keep a training log. We’re six months into the year and so far every training session has been documented. This is a new behavior. I have a stack of old training logs with two weeks worth of data recorded.

I plan my training sessions ahead of time. Case in point: I have the day off tomorrow to celebrate my mom’s 85th birthday. After a beastly hot/humid spell, tomorrow is supposed to be a really pleasant morning. I want to take advantage of the weather and do my weekly long run tomorrow rather than on Saturday. So my alarm is set for 4 a.m., just as if it were a workday. I’ll run eight or nine miles before the Nanny-palooza surprise birthday breakfast.

I would rather feel gr8 than eat the pizza, burgers, fries, Taco Bell, etc. I’m not saying I’ll NEVER have these foods again. That would be silly. I’m saving pizza for the occasional girls’ night out. But week in and week out I know what I eat today will affect how I feel tomorrow. I’m not willing to feel gross during a training session because I ate junk the night before.

Now it’s your turn. How did you know you turned the corner? When did your healthy changes become a true lifestyle?

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2 Responses to Diets and Workouts vs. Lifestyle: What’s the Dif?

  1. darnfitness says:

    I think you are nailing this! It’s those common places that people who get the lifestyle thinking always talks about.

    – You forget how much time you have been doing it. Because you are not thinking how long till it’s over and binge again on food.

    – You give up fattening stuff, or sauces that always go with fattening stuff, and don’t miss them so much.

    – You start to see exercise as a health thing, not an aesthetics thing.

    – Planning. I believe that’s the key to everything. Planning and logging.

    -You feel “bleh” for hours after eating junk food. And it doesn’t taste so good anymore. So, crappy taste and crappy feeling afterwards… why bother?

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