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?