Those Challenges Sure are Challenging

I sure do like those monthly challenges! So, for June I decided to go completely vegan. I’m already a vegetarian and have basically given up all animal products except dairy and honey (and occasionally eggs.) But after picking up a copy of a book about another vegan ultra runner I decided I should try a full on plant only diet to see what happens. Ultimately, I’m hoping to feel better, look better (my skin has not been a fan of my poor choices aka sweets and cheese) and maybe lose some body fat before I start hardcore marathon training. I felt rough in the last couple miles of the Hospital Hill Half Marathon. I know I have to run some of those same streets in October. Less body fat = faster.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

The other part of this challenge is NO PROCESSED FOODS! I think this is actually going to be the big key to feeling better. I noticed my reliance on processed foods increasing over the last few months and as that happened I felt less awesome and my progress seemed to falter. Additives, sugars and gunk in my food meant gunk in my body.

GOODBYE GUNK! SO LONG JUNK! *awkward hula hoop dance*

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So how did I do with my May challenges and goals?

My list of May challenges and goals:

  • Reduce my reliance on peanut butter. This means limit myself to one serving per day, at most. I ended up running out of peanut butter a few days before the end of the month so I made my own nut butter (which ended up really being nut paste.) So far, I’ve only used it a few times in my oatmeal and never more than 1 tablespoon at a time. It’s a proprietary blend of plain old peanuts, almonds and a teaspoon/tablespoon of coconut oil. NAILED IT!
  • Because I obviously didn’t change my habits, continue with my sugar challenge. This time, I’m not going 100% no sugar, but I’m putting boundaries on my “treat” consumption. No more than one treat per week. I’m also still going to avoid foods with added sugar (except for an occasional Chobani because those are delicious or protein bar.) I generally feel gross if I eat foods that are packaged or processed and oh, I’m in major budget mode, so I need to limit my food spending and processed foods are spendy. FAILED THIS ONE SO HARD. 
  • Decided yesterday: I’m going to do a plank a day. I think I should work on building up the time. I had to do 3 this morning as part of my workout and I should have asked how long the holds were. Probably a minute. When I started they were 15 seconds. I know I can hold longer than a minute, but I should set a numeric goal to hit by the end of a month. TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THIS ONE AND THEN JUST DECIDED TO SKIP IT.
  • And the funnest of the fun, a group challenge! Cheryl and Jason decided to do 45 minutes of cardio 6 days per week for 4 weeks and if I succeed at this also, I get a free session! Most of my workouts in April were at least an hour, so I have a good base. ANOTHER LOSS. I WAS ON FOR A COUPLE WEEKS AND THEN DROPPED OFF. IT DID MAKE ME MORE MINDFUL OF DOING CARDIO AND I DID STILL ADD MORE THAN I WOULD HAVE HAD I NOT COMMITTED TO THE CHALLENGE.
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