Results? Have you seen that commercial where the husband and wife both try to lose weight and the husband sheds pounds like magic while the wife stays the same? I think it's an ad for a diet pill. Or for e-harmony. Anyway, that's pretty much what happened. I don't have a picture to illustrate this statement (and I do not recommend googling "fat wife skinny husband" images) so here's one that doesn't relate:
|Cupcake loves this picture. "Mama! Daddy! Aw! Cute! Daddy cute!"|
Process? Charming and I both held up pretty well throughout the challenge. No candy, no chip snacks, no* alcohol, breakfast every day, and significantly smaller portions for our meals. Neither of us experienced any ill effects from the deprivation of our usual sugar, fat, and alcohol intake. We both tried some of the Shakeology stuff, and reached the conclusion that it will not be a regular addition to our diet.
Lessons Learned? The most meaningful and surprising lesson I learned was that I actually do have willpower! Ice cream in the freezer, a huge bag full of Halloween and Christmas candy, a couple of beers, and an open bag of chips, all were left untouched by me! I know, I do things that are difficult for some people (like run double digit miles) and it might seem obvious that I have willpower because I get up early to run or go to the gym. However, those are activities I enjoy. Yeah, it's difficult sometimes to crawl out of the warm, cozy bed to run in the cold, dark, morning, but I do so because I want to, not because I feel like I need to. This diet challenge was different. I wanted to feel healthier, lose weight, and set a good example for Rip Claw and Cupcake; I didn't want to deny myself the pleasures of candy, beer, tacos and chips. I was quite proud to discover that I can, indeed, make difficult changes that will be beneficial in the long term.
|Guiltless homemade chicken tacos with quinoa on the side.|
- The absence of alcohol does not equal the absence of migraine headaches. Boo.
- Eating breakfast, 2 healthy snacks, lunch and dinner does satisfy my hunger.
- I don't need a second helping to feel full; I need to eat more slowly and let my body do the work it is designed to do.
- Based on the amount of time I spent each day thinking about pizza, I think research should be performed to determine whether it is an addictive substance.
- It's easier to be bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5:30 a.m. if I haven't had that glass of wine the night before.
- Preparing healthy meals and snacks in advance and in bulk makes it much easier to make healthy choices.
- I don't necessarily need motivation and support from a coach or health professional. Making the commitment is more important than following the exact plan, in my experience.
Now what? As you may have realized, this 2 week challenge did not produce life-, body-, or fit-of-clothes- changing results for me, but I didn't really expect that it would. I did happen to read some articles about dieting during the challenge, and was able to confirm what I already knew: a long-term commitment to eating a healthy diet and staying active is the best bet for getting and maintaining your ideal weight. The things that Charming and I learned during the clean eating challenge have inspired us to make some permanent changes. We will keep eating breakfast, keep our portion sizes on the smaller side of reasonable, and stay active. We will buy and consume fewer bags of chips each week. We will buy and consume fewer alcoholic drinks each week. We will close our ears to the siren call of the candy and ice cream, at least most of the time. Perhaps most important, Taco Tuesday will be a treat, not a lifestyle.
*Full disclosure: Charming had 3 drinks during the two weeks, I had 2. We also ate enchiladas and apple pie at his parents' house 2 days before the challenge ended.