Boy, am I loving the #Elf4Health challenge! It has really pushed me to get back on track with my health and fitness.
Yesterday was hard, you guys. As I have mentioned a few times here, I have put on a few pounds since August. Ok, let’s be honest: I’ve gained approximately 7 pounds since August. A little more than 2 lbs a month. Things that I know I can do to combat the weight gain: Track my calories, increase my weight training and decrease my cardio (i.e., running). I know that last one sounds counterintuitive, but when I’m running a lot, I get hungry, and when I’m hungry, I eat. I will not starve myself!
Anywho, yesterday I woke up at 3:00 AM feeling just….terrible about myself. Negative thoughts were racing through my head and I just felt bad about myself. I have no idea why my negative thoughts choose to manifest themselves at 3:00 AM, but it’s quite annoying. I decided that it was time to use the skills that I already have to get rid of the extra weight. Luckily, the #Elf4Health Challenge is in full swing!
It’s nice to have people cheering you on, so I’m grateful for this challenge right now. We’ve had a couple of challenges so far:
- Go Meatless! — I shared my favorite meatless recipe with my (vegan) partner (Mama Pea’s Roasted Chickpea Tacos — yum!), and I made myself a new veggie burger recipe. I used to make myself veggie burgers all the time — homemade are so much better than the frozen store-bought ones — but I’ve fallen out of the habit. Zach and I have burger night at least once a week, and I’ve been lazy and just eating his beef burgers, which I know isn’t good for me. The veggie burgers are so much healthier. So I made a batch of these mushroom veggie burgers and boy, am I glad I did. I can’t wait to have another for lunch! In fact, it has inspired me to do a post on a veggie burger recipe round-up tomorrow.
- Send a hand-written note — I used the opportunity of yesterday’s challenge to get a jump start on my Christmas cards! Thanks #Elf4Health, I’ve been meaning to get that done 😉
- Try a new workout — This is today’s challenge. I woke up this morning and I did a 10 minute warm up on the elliptical and today’s LiveFit Trainer workout (legs — and in week three, it’s getting tougher! My legs have been jelly ever since!), so that doesn’t count. Since I work at the library, I think I’ll head downstairs to the fitness DVD section later and see if I can’t find something different to try 🙂
So, to say that this challenge has benefited me would be absolutely correct. I’m “meeting” new people (and finding new blogs to read — my favorite!) and trying new things, and most importantly, getting things done!
Another thing I’ve been inspired to do is to start logging my meals again on My Fitness Pal:
I have sort of a love/hate relationship with keeping a food log, so here is my pro/con list:
- Logging keeps you accountable for what you eat and it makes you conscious of your food choices.
- It’s easy to do, especially with the internet and smart phones, but even if you prefer writing everything down, it’s easy enough to keep a notebook on you all the time.
- It works if you are trying to lose weight — it is the #1 thing you should do if you want to lose weight. It has been proven that if the only thing you do is start writing down everything you eat, you will lose weight.
- It’s easy to keep track of all your macros (protein, fat, carbs, etc) to see what you’re getting too much of or not enough of.
- It makes me feel tied down.
Yep, that’s the only con I have, but it’s a big one because it provides this huge mental block for me. I feel tied down to this app, like I can’t just do what I want. I get kind of down on myself, like, “I should be able to eat sensibly without this ball and chain!” I don’t have a fear of commitment until it comes to my diet, it turns out.
Well, yes, I can eat sensibly without it. I did it for over a year. But sometimes you need to re-set. Sometimes you need to be strict with yourself to re-learn lost lessons, and that’s what I’m doing by logging again. I make a lot of promises on this blog — sometimes I keep them, sometimes I don’t, but today I’m pledging to stick with logging my meals for one month — taking a break for my birthday/Christmas (same day). I need to re-learn lost lessons. If I’ve seen progress in that month (which, duh, of course I will!), then I will reassess. Please follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — whatever! — and get on me to keep it up, please!
What do you find is your biggest challenge as far as sticking with a healthy lifestyle?