<Insert cliche line about how it’s already February>, but seriously, how is it already February? More importantly, how is it already time to report back about my failed challenge.
Like most folks, I started off the year with a health/fitness resolution. A trend I’ve noticed the past years is I suck at resolutions, especially ones that involve no treats or no meat; but being healthy and feeling good about my body is on the priority list this year so I made up my own “diet”.
I called it the “30 day It’s not really a diet challenge”.
This guy was my wallpaper for a month and I still failed.
Looking at the list you may think it’s a piece of cake (that is, excluding Tuesday and Sunday). Thousands of vegetarians give up meat every day, fitness gurus drinking over two gallons of water like it’s nothing, even my 14-year-old cousin is a vegan, so how did I fail?
- I have no self-control
When I wake up my brain instantly begins contemplating between chocolate cake or bacon. On my screen I see it’s No Treats Tuesday, I attempt to get cake out of my head. While you might laugh and say cravings are something a pregnant lady uses to rationalize her seventh meal of the day, I’m telling you they’re no joke. My mouth starts watering the more I think about the taste of chocolate cake, and because I “can’t” have it, the desire to indulge is even greater. For the next hour or so, I try to talk myself out of it. Then, somehow I pass the pastry counter, game freaking over. Fidgeting for a minute in front of the glass, I order the wonderful cake and devour it.
- Stress eating is a real thing
Some find comfort in hugs, some find comfort in drinking, some find comfort in exercising, and I find comfort in eating. My family owns a restaurant and mother loved spying on competition, most of our weekend activities included trying out new cuisines (some of my best memories were made with a wok and served with a side of rice). Turns out adulthood is hard, and with a 15 hour time difference, the closest thing to having my family around when overwhelmed is the dish we had together. When anxiety levels are high and self-control is low, I find comfort in food, I call it eating my feelings away. Besides, food doesn’t judge, food doesn’t care, food is always there.
I hear the first step to “recovery” is admitting my weakness, so there it is. If you can relate to my shortcomings, keep reading, I have a plan to kick it in the as*.
My attitude towards the challenge was “If I do it, great. If I don’t, no biggie.” Being okay with failing was should've been the first red flag. Before the challenge begins, make a conscious decision that you are going to do X and say no to Y. Before suggesting a restaurant for dinner pull up the challenge and see if the menu will work, this way you’re setting yourself up for success.
It’s not over
Don’t let one meal ruin the whole day. Each meal is a new chance to take control and try again. It’s as simple as that, don’t dwell on one accident, rather, focus your energy on preparing for the next.
Too much to lose
Accountability is my secret sauce to accomplishing goals. In efforts to being more committed, I’m going to invite two friends to not only join me in this challenge but I will buy them dinner for an entire week at a restaurant of their choice should I fail; their job? Remind me and hold me accountable. When you have competition, embarrassment, and money on the line you’ve got more to lose than the casual “Sure, I’ll do it.” response you made when you felt a bit pudgy.
Find an alternative
Stress eating is my go to, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s the best or even a good thing. Learn to find an alternative and screw the comfort zone. What’s a hobby you’ve been meaning to try? I’m going to paint. It’s been over 6 months since I picked up a paint brush and I’m no Picasso, but the strokes from my brush to the canvas have a way of relieving tension that’s I’m willing to give a go.
Find another alternative
“Oh, I really want some donuts.” might be stuck in your head, and like I said before cravings are no joke but there’s always an alternative. I’m planning to get creative and try some delicious new recipes. Bananas and cinnamon are almost as good as sugary donuts, and not nearly as bad for you.
Now that I have a plan, I’m giving it another shot, starting today, right now. None of that “But B, it’s the 5th and not the 1st, we can’t start a challenge until next month.” Or, “It’s not monday, can we try again next week?” And definitely no “It’s too hard.” BS. We’re in this together.
Let’s do it.
Download the challenge and find the rules on my friends site.