Do you ever feel like you are stuck in some kind of negative cycle? It’s really difficult to get out of those cycles without focused, dedicated, honest effort. Since I am a tried-and-true sugar addict I can admit that I have been stuck in many a cycle like this. I eat too many treat and have too many drinks, I crave it more, I eat more of it, and then I can’t seem to shake it. This can happen with your nutrition, your commitment to the gym, and even in your relationships.
Part of the reason I chose to participate in the Lurong Paleo Challenge for the second year is that I was finding it hard to break the cycle on my own. I would go for a week or two of squeaky clean eating and then I would justify baking treats or buying some chocolate, or having just one more margarita. Summer cocktails was a major part of the issue. Then it became clear and my inner voice said, “Girl, you betta check yo’self before you wreck yo’self!” I knew that I would have lots of great social support in the gym since so many other people were signing up as well. I was also feeling nostalgic for last year’s experience; it was memorable and I become closer to many people.
We’re half way through the challenge and I can’t believe how fast the time goes. Last year felt slower as I didn’t know what to expect. There are many positive changes that have come from this experience so far.
1. I am thoroughly enjoying cooking and trying new recipes.
2. I sleep better and wake feeling energized and rested.
3. I have more steady energy throughout the day.
4. I don’t crave sugar like crazy.
5. The hunger and full signals I get from my body are much clearer.
6. Performance in the gym is better and training is more enjoyable.
7. I feel lighter, though I’ve only lost a few pounds.
8. My clothes fit better.
9. I am in a better mood.
10. Allergies have improved from how bad they were. I’m not as congested (unless I have the allowed 6 oz. of wine).
I’d say that’s a pretty damn good list. I remember feeling this way last year and I wanted to feel this good again. How could I not!? I have been taking photos just about every day that I work out. Here’s a sneak preview. I will save the rest for my final post.
I haven’t figured out a sure-fire way to break the negative cycles other than commitment to hard work and a dedication to making real personal change. The benefits of change must outweigh the negatives of what you must give up in order to make the change. So, in this instance, for me, feeling this amazing again was completely worth giving up chocolate and margaritas and the occasional Udi’s bagel. I also knew that I would have the social support that I would need to get through all 8 weeks. Being in a supportive environment and preparing yourself to be set up for success if critical to making positive, sustainable change.
Other things that have helped me along the way are:
– Avoiding boredom
– Being prepared with plenty of food to choose from
– Finding inspiration in new recipes
– Eating enough so that I don’t feel deprived
– Planning fun activities for the weekends, like bowling and hiking
I’d love to know how you are feeling if you’re participating in the challenge. Also, what ruts or negative cycles do you find yourself in? And how do you find your way out of them?