80 Day Challenge Reflection

We did it! We followed through on the 80 days of no cheating! I probably should have written the reflection on cheat day (Thanksgiving), but honestly, I was in pizza heaven at that point. We decided against a traditional turkey dinner and had homemade pizza instead. I hadn’t had bread in 80 days, I desperately needed it.

My body wasn’t happy with me the few days following pizza fest 2017, but it was worth it. At least my taste buds thought so. I am very happy with my results so far following the challenge. We have decided to continue the challenge, adapting it into our official way of eating. Our next cheat day is scheduled for Christmas day, I can’t pass up indulging on Christmas day. This time, Mexican food, which is my absolute favorite.

In the 80 days, I lost 24 pounds, 4 inches off my waist (possibly more, I only measured the last month), and Jake lost around 10 pounds, and 2 inches off his waist. Since Thanksgiving, I lost another 5 pounds, so I have finally found something that is providing me with consistent results.

Anyone that personally knows me, knows that I love healthy food, so transitioning into a challenge wasn’t very difficult to me. Jake loves naughty food, so he bitched a lot the first few weeks, but eventually loved what he had in his lunch bag every day. In his defense, San Diego has some of the best food we have ever had, so it is understandable when he constantly wants taco shop or Hodad’s burgers. But overall, we did extremely well! We both felt/continue to feel amazing, so it won us over!

Allie Weight Loss Before and After | shutupeatthis,com

In the above before photo, this was the highest weight I hit. I was unbelievably miserable. You can see it in my face (even though I am making a weird face in the right photo too. It was like 6 am), I didn't look like or feel like myself. The photo on the right was taken about a week ago. I obviously have more to go, but this journey is a difficult one, but 90 pounds lighter, I feel like a completely different person! I felt lost yet again when I moved to California last year, and this challenge was desperately needed to move towards my goal once again.

As you can imagine, there were a few failures (like all challenges and commitments). The exercise portion of the challenge. You guys, I have no idea what is going on with me. I am having a hell of a time staying dedicated without a gym. When we moved to California, I lost my gym. My last job in Chicago had a killer workout area that I went to every day, Monday through Friday, for at least an hour. My best friend Jennifer was my workout buddy, and we continued to inspire each other day, so moving away, I lost a bit of my motivation without her.

I weigh less than I did in Chicago, but I am not feeling as confident in my body because I am only working out like 3 times a week (plus hiking twice a week), and I haven’t lifted weights steadily since I left Illinois, so my body is different than it was there.

I have been struggling so much with getting up and working out on a day to day basis, that I decided enough was enough, jumped on Groupon, and picked out something I have always wanted to do: kickboxing. I am going to schedule the first class next weekend and will begin around Christmas. Stay tuned for my review and more than likely embarrassing first lesson experience. Jake and I agreed that after my kickboxing class is up (I paid for 10 classes), we are joining the gym in our neighborhood. I am not sure why we have even waited. I think we wanted to convince ourselves we didn’t need to have a physical gym. We could do this on our own.

Well, that has not happened. There are just too many excuses when you don’t have somewhere to go, or an in-home gym. I am looking forward to starting again, because I adore working out. We majorly failed on the work out portion, but I am not going to beat myself up, I have been working hard on this blog, and it wasn’t like I wasn’t doing anything. But, the second phase will be getting back to the physical dedication.

Although I haven’t been running the way I used to, I have been doing yoga about 3 times a week before work and it is exactly what I need before entering a stressful environment. The last thing I want to do when the alarm goes off at 5:03 am (does anyone else refuse to set their alarm to an even time?), is throw on my running shoes and run in the dark. Believe me, I know I will feel much better afterwards, but since it is winter now, it is chilly in the morning (for San Diego standards), and I just can’t seem to pound the pavement right away.

But yoga?

That seems like a gift to myself. A form of selfcare that starts my day in a total zen-like state of mind before I head off to work for nine hours. I also noticed that I have lost a ton of my flexibility over the years, and I desperately need that thirty minutes of yoga. I am proud to announce, I have not fallen over switching into downward facing dog in like three sessions, so improvement. This is something I think anyone can do at home, if you have a little space, yoga is something that is easier to get your body to comply with at 5am. Throw on a YouTube video, and feel your body respond to the poses.

I didn’t even take pictures of cheat day. We wolfed down the pizza that quickly. I am working on perfecting my pizza crust recipe, and it is getting close. It was well worth the 80 day wait, and it reminded my body why I eat the way I normally do, because Jake and I were both bloated like 15 minutes after eating. But we didn’t care, our bellies were sluggish with pizza, glorious pizza. I also got drunk off two beers and danced to Beyonce. That is what happens when you are 28 years old and rarely drink. I am pretty sure I fell asleep at 6:30 that day too, so all in all, I did a lot my favorite things that day.

Obviously, our 80-day challenge doesn’t work for everyone, nor am I saying you should try it (I am not a doctor, a Rockstar maybe, but not a doctor). What I am going to say is, try something, I implore you to try something you want to improve upon. Maybe you want to give up salty snacks, or stop watching so much tv, or not scroll on social media so much. No one is perfect. Everyone has something they can work on in their life. Right now, I am working on several items to improve myself, my weight/health journey is an ongoing work in progress. But participating in personal challenges gives me such a sense of pride once they are complete. Is there anything you want to improve? Maybe you want to see more of your city, so you set out to go to a new location every weekend for 6 months. Maybe you want to pick up a new hobby, or master a new recipe, I am spit balling here.

As an example, my mother just told me that she hasn’t felt into Christmas lately since her children are grown up and out of the house. So, she wrote a “Winter bucket list” to complete the next few weeks. The items ranged from as simple as “enjoy a cup of hot cocoa” to as involved as “make and donate knit hats to the Children’s hospital”. I thought it was inspiring (and adorable)! She has loved scratching the items off her list, feeling both accomplished, and experiencing things she normally wouldn’t!

Try something new! Challenging yourself, you discover a lot; likes, dislikes. Test yourself, stick with something for a set amount of time, and see what happens!

New Year’s is right around the corner…perfect time to start!