Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I was sitting there last night, watching a baaaad start to a hockey game (my team was down by three in the first ten minutes), and that little voice inside my head said "Hey, you've done well today. You stuck to your eating plan exactly, despite having a killer headache when you got home. Your clinic doesn't start until Thursday so you're not reeaaaaaalllly in training mode yet, so why don't you take tonight off and go grab some ice cream downstairs?"
Really, brain? The first day I start playing the advanced level nutrient-balancing game, and you're already encouraging me to shrug it off and go buy some convenience store ice cream crud? That's just insulting. If I'm going to do ice cream, I'm at least going to hit up the really good local place and make it worth it.
Instead, I picked up my weights and started doing squats. My hockey team started scoring. I did push-ups. My team scored again. I held a plank as the second period started, and they tied it up (sadly, we lost 5-4, but at least they put some effort into it).
So, I finished the day on plan, workout included, and swatted away the ice cream voice that came out of nowhere. Score one for me on day 1 of 7, week 1 of 19.
The truth is, as much as I like an occasional treat, I feel the difference when I clean up my diet. It's just better. I was even down two pounds of fake weight this morning after one day of tidying things up. It's not so much that the treats are bad as that eating clean is really, really good. Of course, the other problem is that my 'occasional' treats have a habit of not being so occasional. I think I need to strike convenience store foods off my list and let them join fast food burgers and kraft dinner as things I just don't eat anymore. They're just not that good, and they're a warning sign that I'm wanting the idea of a treat more than I want the food itself. If I really want good ice cream, a drumstick isn't going to cut it. A cheap chocolate bar is overly sweet and makes my teeth hurt compared to good quality chocolate. And I don't even like potato chips! But those are all things I crave when my willpower starts rebelling.
Compare that to going over to Village Ice Cream to try out a seasonal blend made from scratch with natural ingredients on a fresh waffle cone once a month. Or a nice mocha from the coffee stand at the market. A good slice of carrot cake from my favourite bakery. Or hey, how about my own cooking? They're still treats, but treats that are worthy of the name. Rather than cutting out goodies entirely, I just need to get really, really snobby about them. No more 7-11 garbage for me.
(No, brain, that's not an excuse to stop for 'one last Snickers bar' on the way home. We're done).
Brief ice cream voice aside, I'm happy with how yesterday I went. I feel good. I'm going to enjoy our dinner out tonight (with the expectation that anything I order is going to be pretty sodium heavy), eat light, and watch my portions. It's funny - it's almost like going right back to the start when I first began changing my eating habits. I kind of like the discipline. I also like that I have a lot more knowledge than I did when I was first losing weight (along with the comfort of knowing that this works).
I got the first welcome email from the marathon clinic yesterday, and it made things feel even more real. I'm excited. I haven't run out of this store before, but I've done a couple group runs with the instructor, and I like him. One thing that stuck out is that he emphasised not being shy about naming an actual time goal for the race. At my clinic last year, most of the marathon group simply said their goal was to complete. I was planning to do the same thing (because, really, that is the goal), but I think he's right that it'll be more helpful to have a time in mind. I obviously do already (I don't think you can go into a race like this without estimating where you'll finish), but I shouldn't be embarrassed about saying it out loud. I think that with proper training, 4:30 is a realistic time for me, and I'll be better off training for that from the start than mumbling something about being happy with a five hour finish and pushing myself too hard at race time to reach my 'real' goal.
(Of course, I *will* be happy with a five hour finish if that's how it works out, but since my HM is two hours, I don't think there's a problem with setting myself up for 4:30 full).