Today's blog post is a reflection on how I did with October's 28 Day Motiv8 Clean Eating Challenge. Was it easy for me? NO!! Did I have some struggles? YES!
Am I going to say some embarrassing things in this post? Embarrassing from my point of few? YES!
Crew check it out. But first.....
How did you do? Did you do the challenge? Did you try to conquer some bad habits by bringing in some good habits? If you tried out the challenge please post below and share your experience. Let us know if it helped you or not? If you forgot about the challenge, or didn't see it, then check it out here:
28 Day Motiv8 Clean Eating Challenge!
Alright Crew lets get into the dirt.
Note: Motiv8ers I am going to share some details about my way of living that is a little embarrassing for me but I am definitely not shy to share. If you feel like commenting on this post please do no matter what you want to say. Feel free to be as blunt or as open as you want. We are here to support each other and help each other grow.
Ok lets get started........
Before October hit I new I wanted to start a food challenge with Motiv8. A challenge that would push folks to make some positive changes in their eating habits and get people really uncomfortable. And through this want, I developed the 28 Day Motiv8 Clean Eating Challenge. I was so excited to launch this challenge with everyone. It was definitely the biggest challenge we have done with Motiv8 to date. But, little did I know that this challenge was going to push me as well. On October 1st I fully excepted the challenge 100% and my struggle began. And oh was it a struggle!
Ok, before I go any further let me lay out my history for you. Before the month of October, before the food challenge started, I was not a food prepper. I lived day to day. Meaning I would only buy my food for that day and wouldn't prep for the next. As many of you know I do eat healthy and my diet was good for the most part but, there were a few problems which I didn't really consider were problems at the time. But through this challenge I found out that they were a problem. Those problems were....
- I bought a lot of pre-made food like vegan burritos, stuff from whole foods salad bar, central market salad bar, expensive granola, and canned soups. These items can be healthy depending what you pick but the problem was that they are crazy expensive and really eat up the checking account.
- I ate out almost every day after my 7pm Ramsey SET. I would either go to chipotle, Zens, Casa de Luz, and sometimes Tacodeli in the mornings to get a meal. These meals are healthy but eating out for at least one meal a day started to really add up in the check book.
- Almost every day after my 7:30a Ramsey SET I would go to Central Market to grab food for the day. The problem here is that instead of having food ready to go I would waste some of my day and time by going to the grocery store. I have learned through this challenge just how valuable food prepping is now on my schedule.
- I found myself relying on sport energy foods to help keep my energy up through out the day. Sport food like caffeinated running gels and the Clif Shot bloks, which are gummy chews. I got in the habit of eating a whole package of the shot bloks once before my 5:30a SET and before my 5p Zilker SET. Not because I needed it but because it became a habit and eventually an addiction that I developed through using them for my running workouts. I found myself eating 2 to 3 packages of these things a day. Not only is that expensive but they aren't the healthiest of things either. And on top of that I started to get addicted to the caffeine. When I didn't eat them I found myself getting a small caffeine headache.
So the problems here were time management, spending way to much money on food, not eating as healthy as I should and trying to shake a sugar and caffeine addiction.
Here is how I did.
First Week....EPIC FAIL!.....So that Monday I told all of you at our motiv8 SET that I was taking on the challenge 100%. But I didn't do any planning or prepping. I thought I could just go to the store, buy some fruit for the day, and everything would be great. But as Monday and Tuesday rolled by I just wasn't getting in enough calories because I told myself not to eat the items in problem number one. By the end of Tuesday I was extremely exhausted from not eating enough and I gave in and went to Chipotle for dinner. Then the next morning I was still worn out. No energy and not feeling great plus the headaches from no caffeine started sitting in. Then I did what most do when things get hard I broke the challenge. I bought some vegan burritos and ate a package of shot bloks. I said I would get back on the challenge tomorrow and I just needed to eat these things to relieve some stress. I was stress eating! WHAT!?!?! I've never seen myself as a stress eater. I couldn't believe I did that.
That Wednesday afternoon I realized I had some problems.
So what did I do next? First I acknowledged what my problems were. Then I told myself that I had to make some changes. Lastly, I got out my calendar out and a notebook and started planning. Here are the steps I took in that moment.
- I wrote out the foods and meals that I knew I could cook and prepare that would sustain me for at least 3 days. I also made sure that these foods fit into the Clean Eating Challenge guidelines. The bulk of my diet over these past few weeks consisted of bananas, dates, oranges, strawberries, lemons, sweet potatoes, brown rice, pinto beans, black beans, lentils, Swiss chard, spinach, salsa, raisins, avocados, carrots, and hummus. Here are some pics of the meals I ate.
- I then mapped out how much food I would need to buy to sustain me for 3 days. How many bananas do I need to buy. How much potatoes, rice, and beans do I need to buy. I worked hard on the details so I had a plan once I entered into the grocery store. Note: Crew if you know me I don't count my macros. But I do count my calories. I believe that as long as you eat real whole foods with no process junk and you eat enough calories from great nutrient dense foods, all of your macros will fall into place and you will see the results you are looking for. But the key to this way of eating is you have to take out the junk. 100%. Below is three days of food that I bought on a Sunday.
- I wrote into my calendar and schedule when I was going to go to the grocery store and when I was going to cook my food. It came down to shopping on Sunday and Thursday. And I would try to cook either in the afternoon between my Noon SET and my 5pm SET or at night. Since I didn't have a lot of time in my day I kept cooking to a minimum and simple. I only used a rice cooker, my ninja blender, and I cooked sweet potatoes in the oven. This allowed me to keep working without having to watch my food. It also allowed me to cook in bulk, save me time, and have enough food for one or two days. But Note: I had to plan it into my day to make this process happen. If I didn't plan and put it into my schedule I would almost always not make enough time to cook or shop and I would end up going to a restaurant at night which was not what I wanted to do. But it did happen a few times over the challenge. But I tried my hardest to make a plan and stick to it.
For the next three weeks I followed my plan almost to the tee. Shopped for my groceries on Sundays and Thursdays. Forced myself to put food in the rice cooker and oven when I got home from workouts. Made sure I had food available at all times to help prevent me from going to restaurants or buying that pre-made junk. And, I tell you what things really started to turn around for me. Here are some of the benefits that I felt and saw.
- I started to feel my energy come back. Because I had plenty of the right food available to me I was definitely now eating enough calories to support the amount of exercise I was doing and that started to make me feel really good. My runs started to feel better. I had more energy to give all of my Motiv8ers. I was having a lot of fun again at the workouts. My energy felt stable and I felt like I had plenty of it. Waking up in the morning became a little easier as well and my caffeine headaches only lasted about a week.
- I still had some big carvings for the bad stuff but as long as I had food available I could stay away.
- I started to form some new habits that I have never really had before. I have cooked in the past but never have I ever cooked consistently. This challenge has forced me to cook and has given me a great new habit. Also I found that my energy felt better with the food I cooked then the foods I bought at the store.
- HERE IS THE BIG SHOCKER FOR ME. I saved a ton of money. Not just a few dollars but hundreds of dollars. almost 500 dollars to be exact. I've been using MINT to help me budget my spending but I haven't been paying attention to it. But I went back to September and between September and October there was a huge difference in the amount of money I was spending on food. It was a huge shocker to me. I never thought that my food spending habit was a problem but eating out and buying pre-made food adds up fast.
Did I learn a little bit about myself? YES! I learned a lot!
Did I grow from this challenge and am I going to continue my new habits? You better believe I grew and darn straight I am going to continue these habits. This habit is going to save me a good amount of money. =)
Motiv8ers remember challenges are not just something you do because your friends are doing it. You want to pick a challenge that will have a positive impact on your life. Use these challenges as a way to help you form those habits that you know you should have. I have picked a new challenge for this month. Follow our emails and follow us on Facebook to learn about our new challenge!
Motiv8ers if you have read this whole post and if it has inspired you, then post below and share what you are thinking. Sharing my problems with you was hard for me but I know by sharing that it will help me keep my new habits going.
Thank you Crew.
That is all for today. Stay EPIC and Don't Forget to Be AWESOME!
Coach Ty Out!