Check Yourself 21 Day Food Challenge

I’m not very good at marathon training, cleanses, or 90-day workout regimens (I’m looking at you, P90x). When I start out, I have truly the best intentions. I make a calendar, I buy new workout clothes or food, and then after a few days, I fail.

I’ve found that what works best for me is consistency. I try to stick to a healthy eating pattern and get 4 workouts in a week. But, like everyone else, I get stuck in a rut and sometimes I feel like I need to hit the reset button. This is where the System of Strength Check Yourself Challenge comes in to play. System of Strength (SOS) is a gym in that has two locations in Columbus. I started going when the Dublin location opened up and I probably go every other weekend mainly because the weekday class times don’t work with my schedule–but also because I know every time I step into SOS I’m going to get my ass kicked.

Gretchen, one of the SOS owners, is heading up this 21 day challenge. Here’s the challenge in summary:

  • Week one we will give ourselves a “shock.” No alcohol, added sugar, or processed foods.
  • During week 2 & 3 we will allow 1 treat (anything non-healthy: donuts, pizza, French fries etc) and 1 drink night (doesn’t sound so bad, right?) otherwise, week 1 rules are still in effect.

Other things to note: We are only allowed 1 whole grain a day (brown rice, wheat pasta, wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa, (I consider this a protein but for this challenge it’s a carb)). Only 2-3 fats a day (this includes cheese, avocado, olive oil, butter). And lastly, for meat eaters, only organic, grass fed, etc. I will be eating fish and it will only be wild instead of farmed (which I try to buy anyway whenever we do eat fish). Fruits and veggies portions are limitless–just gotta watch the sugar in the fruit.

Today is the first day of week 1. I had two eggs for breakfast, half an avocado, and salsa on top. The only thing that I missed was a piece of toast but I want to save my carb for dinner tonight. For lunch I have a salad with veggies and balsamic dressing and a black bean burger with cheese (sans bun) that I made over the weekend.

The best part about this challenge is that there are roughly 20 participants and we are all a part of a Group Me text message so we can help keep each other accountable. Ryan is also following along with the plan for the most part which helps immensely. I also paid to be a part of the challenge (includes 2 workouts at SOS, daily emails and text group messages, recipes, and accountability) so I really plan on sticking with it.

I know this first week will be the hardest. No wine. No chocolate. And very, very limited bread. Three of my favorite things. I know the end result will be worth it. I want to get rid of the afternoon chocolate craving and the feeling that I need bread with every meal. You can train your cravings, and that is what this plan will help do.

I’ll be giving updates along with recipes and pictures of what I’m eating for the next 21 days. And hopefully, after day 21, I’ll have solid results to share.

What cleanses/challenges/eating resets have you tried before?

Running is Hard

It’s been a battle for years for me. I want to love running. I see people running outside and they look so happy, careless, and make it look so easy. I always wonder if people think that about me when I’m trudging along outside. Instead of being happy or careless, I’m really thinking – Why am I doing this? How has it only been .5 miles? Maybe I can stop after 2 miles. Will that be enough training for the half marathon? My earbuds keep falling out. Oh, running near traffic, better pick it up! I think I’ll walk for .2, .4, maybe I’ll just walk the whole thing. It’s only been .7? Screw this, I need a beer. 

My mind doesn’t stop thinking ever, and running is no exception. My husband runs because it’s therapeutic for him. I will never be able to understand how that is possible. It’s the least therapeutic thing I can do. Also, it’s not like I needed another exercise to add to my routine. I do yoga and spinning on the reg, and throw in a few weightsIMG_3645 every week.

So, you’re probably saying, “Shut up, Kelly. Just stop running.” That would be the easy thing to do. But like I said before, I really want to love running and I keep telling myself that once I get better at it one day something will magically click and I’ll enjoy it. Part of me is starting to think that running is like that guy I once dated. He was super nice and sweet, but I just wasn’t into him. I kept going on dates thinking I’d change my mind, but it never happened.

I think I was drunk when I signed up for the Cap City Half Marathon. If I wasn’t drunk I definitely wasn’t thinking about all that entails. I’ve run a half marathon before. My time was 2:45. No, it wasn’t fast and no I didn’t train well for it. My longest run before the half was 6.5 miles. I hurt my knee during that race and I’ve been dealing with knee pain ever since.

I don’t know why I’m drawn to races. I know I love the energy that comes with a race–I think of them as concerts, except you don’t have to prep for concerts the same way. I love being able to say, “I just ran xx miles” and now I can eat, drink, and wear a medal all day. I love the feeling of accomplishment.

So with all that said, I’m signed up to run 13.1 miles on May 2. My longest run so far has been 4 miles. I’m shooting for 6 this weekend. Pray for me.

What are your tips for making running more enjoyable? Am I just doomed to forever hate it or will something magically happen during a run that makes me fall in love?