Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Food as fuel

There are days when I hit spot on the "use food as fuel" rule and then there are days when I struggle so hard with making the right food choices. I mentioned a couple of times a week or so ago that I was doing an AdvoCare 10 day cleanse. This was what I considered to be an opportunity for me to get back to the "food is fuel" mentality. I needed to refocus on that concept and hoped to get back into losing mode with weight loss.

I will say that initially I felt like 10 days was a long time but honestly it wasn't. I survived 10 days without coffee, without cupcakes or other sweets and without fast food. I ate clean, wholesome foods that I made at home and enjoyed them. I was fearful that I would "crap out" by the end of the day or struggle with my runs, but imagine my surprise when that was not the case. I didn't have to rely on my 3 cups of coffee a day to make it through the day. And as much as I hate admitting it, I managed to not even crave a cupcake which is a huge feat considering I follow every local cupcake shop in my area on Facebook. If you don't know, those places post their daily menu (of nothing but cupcakes, people!!) and pictures of said cupcakes. Did you know I LOVE cupcakes? Sigh.

I still managed 10 days without one. And let me tell you HOW I feel I was able to do so.
Sure, the AdvoCare products helped BUT a lot of the success I had those 10 days was on ME. I told myself the Saturday before I started that I would make a menu for each day, log it in MFP and prep my food for the next day nightly before bed. I stuck with that all 10 days, even on the weekend! Weekends are usually the toughest for me and I spend all week working off the damage I do on the weekend. That was NOT the case with the cleanse period. I did not have to work off the damage from my weekend and I survived my long run without a crash.

I started the plan by making a list of suggested foods and some meal ideas. I stuck with it but allowed myself a great deal of variety. I often get stuck in a food rut and eat the same things for days or weeks. I  added a good variety of fruits and veggies and even found myself buying things I had never tried before. I found out during the cleanse that I love mangoes!

Every night I prepped all my meals and packed them for the next work day. A friend asked me a while back if I could take some pictures of my food so I decided the cleanse was a great time to really share what I was eating.

Egg scramble - one whole egg, 2 egg whites w/spinach and onion and a few strawberries.
Filet w/steamed broccoli and baby carrots.
Cucumber, tomato and onion salad, grilled chicken and baked sweet potato.
Cashews and a nectarine.
Salad w/grilled chicken and black beans and a drizzle of hot sauce.

I felt full and completely satisfied each day. This is just a small sampling of how I was eating during the cleanse.
I started the cleanse weighing 168 and ended 10 lbs LESS weighing 158 on the morning after the last day. I was happy with the results and how awesome I felt getting back to using food as fuel. My ultimate goal is to stick to this mindset  to reach my goal weight. However, if I am being completely honest with you I have found it to be VERY hard some days. I'm not perfect and I do realize that not every day can be picture perfect. Life happens, events come up (hello, birthdays!) and sometimes those cravings just cannot be controlled no matter how strong a person is.

I am that person. I am the one that even though I have successfully lost 90 lbs still has a tough day when all I want to do is eat a cupcake or two. I am the person who isn't going to choose the salad on her birthday and orders a burger instead. I am not ashamed of those choices but like I said, I'm being honest. The cleanse is over. My birthday (and my son's) is over. Both the cleanse and the post cleanse birthday celebration made me realize how good eating food for fuel makes the body feel and also reminded me of how indulging in those little treats makes the body feel.

I'm choosing not to dwell on the treats and the down feeling the bring but rather clean choices and the amazing things they do for my body.

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