Friday, January 29, 2010

January Challenge Update 4

Even though the month isn't quite over yet, this will be my last January Challenge update. Why? Well, the hard part is over. Tomorrow night is dessert night. Weekends are a break from the meal plan. I've done my pull ups.

Yup, pull ups are knocked out. All 500 of them. I'd expected to end higher than 500 and I probably still will, but not as much over as I'd thought I would a week or so ago. As I've gotten close to my goal, I've slacked off a bit. That's okay. A little recovery time is good.

Food has gone fine. I did stick to the eating plan the whole month (minus twice that I ate fruit before dinner rather than after on late dinner nights, which is a small infraction at worst). I am finishing the month weighing less than I started. Frankly, though, not as much less as I'd expected.

Warning! If you don't want to hear about what goes on in the bathroom, do not read the next paragraph!

As the month has gone on, I've had much smaller bms than I'm used to having. I feel like things aren't quite right in that department. I wouldn't say I'm constipated, but I am working harder on the toilet with much less to show for it. This strikes me as odd because I'm eating a lot of fiber, but the fact remains. I feel like I'm not cleaning out as much as I should be. I think this is related to the holding on of weight. I'm not totally sure what to do about it. I have just started incorporating some occasional running back into my routine, as, when I ran regularly, it seemed like I couldn't go a mile without needing a pit stop. So far, I'm not having the same results, but it does seem to help some.

Okay! Done with that subject.

So, how successful was the challenge? What have I learned? What last thoughts do I have about it all?

It was pretty successful in that I was able to do it. And sort of successful in that I have finished the month a pound or so lighter (although I expect that to happen in January anyway, after the festivities of the holidays). I feel stronger on my pull ups than I did at the beginning, so I've probably successfully added some muscle.

I've learned, though, that with having a pull up goal, I didn't do so much other muscle building and that is an issue. I'm giving thought to that in regards to the next month's challenge. I'd been thinking about adding another muscle exercise, but I'm thinking more along the lines of doing a whole body muscle work out three times a week...but I haven't decided for sure.

I've learned that eating according to a meal plan does help me not to overdo at lunch time and to not eat so much dessert all week, but I've also learned that it doesn't necessarily help my weight maintenance and I can't really think of another reason to do it. I'll probably still have oatmeal for breakfast often, but I might have smoothies sometimes, packed with lots of greens. Lunches will be back to eating leftovers or, sometimes, whipping something up for Davan and I. I'm happy with that. If there is any leftover dessert from Saturday (which will remain my one dessert night a week with exceptions for company and holidays), I'm going to have a portion a day after lunch. This will, I think, help me not to overdo it on Saturday because I'm thinking about going all week without. If there isn't leftover dessert, I'll have fruit if I like. Fruit or raw veggies will continue to be my snack of choice between meals.

I'm quite glad to be doing challenges month by month because I'm looking forward to continuing on with some aspects that I started this month, while having something new to look forward to and having the chance to revamp some things that aren't working for me. Sure, I could do this without all the formality, but would I? Probably some, but not in the same way.

I haven't totally outlined my February Challenge yet, but I'm pretty sure it will involve these things: sprouting, making kimchi, strength work, and a maybe a day or two of "raw until dinner" a week with the focus being on fruits and veggies, not nuts. I'll solidify it over the next couple of days and be sure to let you know what I've decided to go with.

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