Monday, June 11, 2007

I Lost A Bowling Ball!

Since April I’ve been participating in The 90-Day Fitness Challenge being held at my Martial Arts school. It’s been said that if you work out you can eat whatever you want, but I was curious to see if both diet and exercise together really do make a difference. It does.

At the start I couldn’t imagine life without white rice and bread. Heresy! But I’ve since traded in white rice for brown; and white bread for whole wheat and multi grain. Raised on peanut butter and jelly I never knew almond butter existed. Although it’s more expensive, as most of the healthy stuff tends to be, I now prefer it. I used to think the only good chicken was a fried chicken, and you only ate turkey at Thanksgiving, but now I’ve switched to grilled chicken and lite turkey.

I’ve also been introduced to Power Bars, they look like candy bars, but are marketed as meal replacements and are good for a meal on the run. How do I say this politely? Yuck! I tried a variety of brands and flavors, but the majority seem to be chocolate, double chocolate, or chocolate and peanut butter flavored. Great if you love chocolate, but I’m one of the weirdos who can live contentedly without it.

The bars that aren’t chocolate, are fruit flavored: raspberry, strawberry, blueberry. But as you can probably guess, I’m not a big berry fan either. No disrespect, I can even do without Chuck Berry. This narrows the choices significantly, but after a short round of trial and error – or more accurately taste and gag – I found the Trail Mix Balance Bar with cinnamon, oats and honey. Yum!

Things didn’t always work out so well. I tried whole wheat pasta and believe whoever makes it should be shot on site. If wheat pasta was the only pasta there was I would never eat it. This is where I draw my line in sand. A woman should be able to have and enjoy some simple pleasures in her life; mine are regular manicures, shopping sprees and real pasta.

One of my biggest hurdles was not knowing if I could give up my Dunkin Donuts white hot chocolate. I had one every day before The challenge started. I’d like to say I cut it out entirely, but since I’m allowed one indulgence meal each week, I treated myself twice, along with some pasta, of course.
Will I have a DDWHC when The Challenge is over? I can, but I wonder if I should. Is it like alcohol? Will having one re-ignite the desire for more and see me in search of a Dunkin Donuts drive thru at 3 am to curb my cravings? Will my detoxed body reject it? And if not, can my will power fight it? Do I even want to? Actually I think I do, because I’m loving the results.

In the last two and half months I’ve managed to lose eight pounds. Essentially, I lost a bowling ball! Although I’m thrilled, I really didn’t think I had an extra eight pounds to lose. I can’t help but wonder where my body was hiding it. It certainly wasn’t all in one place. If it was, people would assume I was either pregnant or had a tumor. I can only hope and assume the pounds were evenly distributed in subtle areas, like my ankles, knees and elbows.

There’s a host of other little dietary things I’ve been doing that I think are easy to maintain: eating more fruit and veggies, using reduced salt, fat free mayo, lite vinaigrette dressing on the side, not eating three hours before bed, and only indulging myself only on occasion.

I still don’t know how many calories there are in a grape and I hope to god I never do, but I can tell you I feel great and in the best shape of my adult life. As the weather heats up and the winter clothes come off, I’ve been getting a lot of compliments. Now compliments don’t taste as good as a cup of white hot chocolate, but they sure do feel good. Looking good AND feeling good ain’t a bad way to start the summer.

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