Early morning. One cup of coffee and a banana for breakfast. Sounds small because it is. But it’s enough to stop my stomach from rumbling, which is all I need in the morning. I should probably eat more, but it’s difficult.
That last sentence is actually a theme running through each of my days. As funny as it sounds, I don’t think I’m eating enough. I think it’s a leftover sentiment from the days when I would eat too much garbage food. Each item had a boatload of calories and guilt attached. Now, with the better, real food that I’m eating, I struggle to eat as much as I need. I keep hearing Little Voice saying things like, “You’re eating again?!” Even when it’s a stick of celery or something.
What a twat that guy is.
Fact is, eating healthy (in my mind) means eating real food, and eating enough to sustain myself. If that means eating more frequently, then fine. It’s not like I’m hitting the drive-thru six times a day. (Six times? Even at Taco Bell, that would be expensive.)
I’ve been looking at the search terms people use when they land on this blog. As you might expect, most of them are looking for ‘tough mudder training’ or a workout that will help them get into TM shape. Understandable, but I doubt that this will ever turn into that. This is just me documenting my progress toward a goal, and the thoughts/feelings that go along with that progress. From time to time, I may post a workout on here, but it would be more of an interest of mine than a prescription for you.
Enough for now. I think I’ve convinced myself to have a snack.
Today was a victory. I feel this way, even though I had to work on my off day.
Last night, I had trouble sleeping. So I wrote a letter to my love while Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead was playing in the background. I’ve seen it before, and wanted to watch something to give me a kick in the ass. Mission accomplished.
I woke up this morning and had a green juice–meant to have some coffee too, but was running late so I just had a few sips. On my lunch break at work, I went to try on some cross trainers. I ended up having a carrot/orange juice blend and another sip or few of coffee due to time constraints. After leaving work, I went to buy the shoes and grabbed a five fruit frenzy from Jamba Juice. Tasty stuff.
I drank my smoothie on the patio at Pazzo’s (a pizza pub) without sipping a beer or taking a bite of anyone’s food. After sitting with my friends for a few minutes, I had the strangest itch–
I wanted to run.
I rushed home, changed into my workout gear and new shoes, and took off. Sure, I wasn’t the fastest, but I worked my ass off. Hills, grass, gravel, concrete, I tried it all. Nobody pushing me, nobody coaching me,just me. Little Voice wanted to go home. And he got his wish…after an hour of the hardest work I’ve done so far.
Surprisingly, I felt great when I got home, despite running without having really eaten all day. I did put some food in my belly, as well as some green goodness and a few sips of chia gel. I feel great at the moment, and I’m sure that I’ll sleep like a baby tonight.
This healthy shit isn’t so bad.
When I started Couch to Tough Mudder, my goal was very simple: to complete a Tough Mudder challenge within the somewhat-near future. When I created that goal, I didn’t have a plan on how to achieve it. (To be honest, I still don’t, but that’s the fun part.) I also didn’t understand the ripple effect that would be created in my mind by what, at the time, seemed like a relatively small decision.
The more I’ve thought about my quest, the more complex it’s become. I’ve realized that there will be much more to getting in great physical condition than just exercising, eating well, and getting enough rest. I’ve started thinking more about the origins of the foods I eat, and about the types of foods that I want to put in my body. I’ve started reading ingredient labels too, which has been a real eye-opener.
Essentially, I’ve put myself on a whole foods, plant-based diet. I’m not cutting out beef, poultry, pork, seafood, or dairy, I’m just eating less of them. Except maybe dairy, because I drink milk as often as dumb people use the term ‘YOLO.’ I would like to reign in dairy eventually, but baby steps come first.
Yes, I’ve been reading Michael Pollan’s books. Yes, I’ve seen Food, Inc. And yes, I do think the science and environmental/ecological arguments make sense. Hippie? Maybe. Healthy? Absolutely.
I’ll expand on this in a day or two. Basic thoughts: the type of food you eat is just as important, if not more so, than the amount; I have to lose a lot of weight in order to compete; designing a training regimen is going to be harder than I thought, but it’s something that must be done.
I believe that, in order to be healthy, one has to focus on three things: exercise, eating, and sleep. Getting regular physical activity helps you build endurance and muscle, and also helps burn fat; eating a consistent, healthy diet will help fuel your body while keeping you from swelling to the size of a weather balloon; and sleeping–aside from being totally fucking awesome–gives your body a chance to rest and repair itself.
I’ve been focusing a bit more on eating lately. There are various ways we silly humans have devised to keep track of what we eat. Whether you commit to a certain number of meals a day, are on one of numerous diets floating around on the internet, or only eat at certain times of day, anyone trying to get fit probably has some sort of system for the way the eat. After doing a bit of research, I’ve decided to track my daily calorie intake. For that purpose, I use The Daily Plate over at Livestrong.com.
The set-up was pretty simple–you can even connect with your Facebook account. You input your gender, height, weight, and your weight loss goal, and based on either science or jungle voodoo, it pops out a daily caloric goal. Pretty nifty. Tracking is easy, too–you just search for the food you’re eating (you can even go brand-specific), choose the number of servings you had, and click the “I Ate This” button. You can also note what time of day you ate a particular food, if that’s a sort of thing you care about taking note of.
Tracking calories hasn’t been hard. Granted, I’ve been doing less than a week, so maybe I’ll have a forgetful day soon. I just make it a point to input what I’m eating while I’m eating, just before or just after. Makes it easier, and my results are better. I don’t stress about it. I find that I think less about food when I’m bored, now that I’m tracking what I eat–that seems weird, but that’s the way it is.
Anybody else tracking calories out there? Sound off!