The $250,000 Challenge on Bodybuilding.com is under way! My first and second weeks were pretty successful. I’ve lost 4 lbs and dropped 3% in body fat!
I’d like to think that I made some strides in my workout, but I don’t truly believe that has been my biggest issue as of late. My issue is regarding my diet, which brings me to this week’s blog entry (should have been last week’s entry, but since I’m not doing two posts per week for the next several weeks, this one ran a little late)…
I think this is an appropriate title, as I was faced with a huge challenge. See, the fact is, I love food. But mostly I love to snack. I can eat a normal portion of healthy foods for lunch or dinner or even breakfast. But it’s the “what do I eat in between meals” that’s really the issue.
My girlfriend has never really had an issue with food. She can buy a box of cookies and it will last three months. She also loves her ice cream…and she is perfectly capable of dishing out the 1/2 cup recommended serving to make that quart container last as long as possible. And of course, we keep a small stash of goodies for my son. You can’t have a two year old without giving him the occasional cookie to munch on. For those reasons, we typically have sweets in the house.
Here’s my issue…I lived with my dad until I was 31, due to continuing school and not having a job that would pay enough to move out on my own. The majority of my groceries I bought myself. So I would buy stuff to snack on…whatever I felt like. Before that time, I worked for six years in fast food. I would work anywhere from 40-60 hours a week. That much time in a restaurant, you’re probably going to eat occasionally. After that, I worked in a bank, where most of my 40 hour weeks was spent sitting in a chair or standing in one place (not much moving). I ate out a lot. When I finally did move out on my own, I would grocery shop and buy anything that sounded good. If I wanted cookies, I got cookies. I’d get ice cream, cakes, snack cakes, pop (I was drinking two cases of Coke per week for awhile). The only time I had water was when I went to bed.
Now, I’ve talked about my story a lot in other blog posts, so I won’t go into that here. But when I decided I wanted to change my lifestyle, I turned around completely! I went virtually cold turkey, so to speak, on eating garbage and started eating cleaner. I was living alone, so I only had to worry about myself. My breakfasts consisted of a low sugar cereal; lunch was typically a salad; dinner would be just about anything grilled, but occasionally I would go with a pasta or something, just in smaller amounts, and I would almost always have some sort of vegetable with it. During the day, I would have 16 ounces of low fat chocolate milk after a workout and a snack in the afternoon…typically carrots and a banana. Over the years since then, I’ve been evolving my diet.
Aside from dinner, which is easy to go overboard on, I pretty much have my diet in check. Dinner occasionally gets overeaten now, only because my girlfriend is not big on leftovers, I don’t eat leftovers for any meal other than dinner (or lunch on the weekends). I hate seeing food go to waste. So I’d rather it be eaten than thrown out (I say this, but I only do this with foods I like. If I don’t like it, I have no problem throwing it out).
OK, so the reason I wanted to write this post to begin with…
Last Monday (1/11/2016), I came into work and did my usual thing: set up my laptop, put down my lunch box, got my shaker cup and my coffee mug, went into the break room, and I got a cup of coffee and made my protein shake. When I went back for a second cup of coffee, to my surprise, I found a two huge boxes of donuts! Typically, when it’s someone’s birthday at my office, that person brings in a treat for everyone. Usually, it’s donuts. Usually, I grab one or two.
I walked over to the boxes and started surveying the situation…what donut did I want? Do I want my typical chocolate cinnamon roll? Or should I go for the apple fritter? What about the cream filled ones? Oooooooooh….there’s a cheese pocket!!! Then it hit me…what am I doing??? I’m in a challenge to help lose weight and better my health, and yet here I am, not even a day into it and I’m contemplating eating something that I spent all morning trying to get rid of? I spent another few seconds debating in my head, “Well, maybe one won’t hurt….NO! Absolutely not! No…well, maybe half of one…WAIT? What am I doing? NO!!!!” (Literally, this was the real struggle I had with myself)
This past week, I have used MyFitnessPal to track my meals (as I always do), set myself a 2000 calorie limit, and have only exceeded it once, and only by about 170 calories. Also, a big accomplishment for me!
So this whole post was basically to celebrate the fact that I won a moral victory over a couple donuts. I decided that skipping the donuts now would help myself in the long-term. And really, if I can win that battle, anyone else in my predicament can too!
Prepped Meal of the Week
Since I’m posting this the week after I wanted to, I’m going to write about my prepped meals for last week…and they were fabulous! I made a paleo chicken salad wrapped in a spinach wrap with quinoa & black bean salad on the side. The problem with this was that my lunches were around 900 calories total (wrap and quinoa salad). Carbs and fat were a little higher than I’d like, but one wrap had almost 38 grams of protein and another 12 grams in the quinoa salad.
My quinoa salad was pretty simple…quinoa and black beans. Easy enough!
For the wraps, I’m just going to say click this link for the recipe I used! It ended up being pretty simple. The recipe calls for paleo wraps, but I couldn’t find them so I used the garden spinach ones. Worked good enough for me!
But this week, I made a simple meal of chicken, peas, and rice with lime and cilantro. The difference from when I usually make chicken is this: this time, I cut up the chicken into chunks BEFORE I seasoned and cooked it. Then, with my handy new food scale, I was able to portion it all out perfectly! I highly recommend a food scale if you aren’t using one!
Workout Song of the Week
I’ve been a big fan of listening to Rev Theory while I work out. Most of their songs have such a great beat and rhythm that it really helps get the workout going! Here’s one of my favorites:
I just read the best quote on an Instagram post: “One reason that people resist change is that they focus on what they have to give up, rather than what they have to gain.” I think that best sums up why I’ve always struggled with food. I like eating junk food…it tastes great! But the excessive eating of junk food is what is damaging my health. along with probably lots of other people’s health, too! I’ve seen social media posts of fitness people occasionally eating pizza, or McDonalds, or donuts (hell, one of my favorite social media accounts to follow is called Donuts & Deadlifts!), but it’s not an every-day-every-meal thing…maybe once a week or less! And going by that quote, I just need to remember that the thought of losing out on cake, brownies, etc. is not as important as gaining a healthier lifestyle and a longer life!
Also, as a side note, I wanted to mention this to anyone that follows my blog. If you haven’t noticed, for the 12 weeks of the Bodybuilding.com challenge I’m participating in, I will be adding a weekly post discussing the week’s progress and the challenge that was present to the group as it pertains to me. So keep reading, commenting, liking, whatever! I appreciate the feedback!
Featured image credit: http://www.e1mgmedia.com/