Happy Tuesday! How are you guys feeling? No really, how do you feel? I’m feeling pretty dang good, not to brag or anything. :) Since the first of the month, unofficially since last Monday, I’ve been participating in my friend Bobbi‘s Summer Shred 2013. It’s a month-long challenge to eat clean and workout. So far I’m absolutely loving it and while I don’t typically write about health or fitness here — heck, my about me page lists wine, ice cream and cheese puffs as favorite things — I wanted to let you guys know about it and track my progress in the beginning, middle and end of it.
Why did I participate?
To examine my diet: I know that my friends and coworkers say things to the effect of “but you’re already thin, you don’t have to worry about dieting.” (Sidenote: isn’t it interesting how polarizing food choices can be?) First, yes I am thin and eat fairly well. I also have genes to thank for that. While there’s the whole idea of “skinny fat” (basically, over indexing on body fat vs. muscle despite total weight), I really just have to wonder: Am I really being healthy? I have always been the person to tout “everything in moderation” and claim to maintain a fairly healthy diet. While my diet has improved over the last few years, I never actually thought let alone kept track of my diet to know if it was “moderate” or not. These last few months I found myself feeling especially sluggish and tired all the time, plus my skin has been revolting against me in the worst way out of nowhere. The Summer Shred is an experiment to see if refining my diet would help, but also to see if I enjoyed eating this way enough to sustain a lifestyle change. Outside of diet, I’m also trying to get more than six hours of sleep. I hear that might help. ;)
To get fit … again: Besides a couple random seasons of soccer as a child and a brief stint in 8th grade volleyball, I ran cross country and track competitively from high school through my first two years of college. While I wasn’t particularly great and didn’t exactly enjoy it, I was clocking in at least 50 miles per week. No one that I ran with really tracked their heart rate or really even timed their runs. Or at least I sure as heck didn’t. I was always thinking “is this run over yet?” And the thing with running is, there really isn’t an “off season” so it felt like training ruled my life, even down to showers and meal times. My diet was bad (“I can eat whatever I want!”) and I never tracked my intake or output. Yet, I loved being in shape, feeling strong and having an outlet for my competitive nature.
I then dabbled in ultimate frisbee, with pickup up games once or twice a week and some weekend tournaments here and there. My first serious season was in 2010 where our workouts and training were intense and I was in good shape. Funnily enough, I didn’t realize how good of shape I was in until the season was over and I completely stopped exercising. Jillian and I would hike once a week for the first half of 2012, but then we discovered Downton Abbey. :)
Now here we are, it’s been a little over two years of no exercise. I miss how good it feels to be in shape, how well my clothes fit and how strong my lungs were. My asthmatic self now huffs, puffs and wheezes going up and down stairs. It’s pitiful, really.
So am I trying to lose weight? Not really, but like anyone else, I wouldn’t mind going back to my “feel good weight.” I want to add strength to my muscles and my lungs. I want to have energy and challenge myself.
So how has it been going? I’ve eliminated refined sugars and only eat natural sugars (from fruit or honey) in limited amounts. I’ve eliminated white flour and limiting my whole grain intake. Another change would be having something for breakfast and smart snacking. I’m tracking my diet and fitness goals with My Fitness Pal and that has been an eye opening experience. I’ve always understood food to be fuel and have paid attention to labels, but it never clicked until I tracked it all in one place. The best part is the Shred Facebook group of girls who are encouraging and sharing a bunch of tips. It’s also fun to see Bobbi doing what’s she loves – she’s a great trainer and motivator!
I’ll report back in a little while to track my progress and maybe share some tried and true recipes. If you think you would want to join in for the next Shred, Bobbi just announced she’s doing one in June as well!
Wish me luck!