Challenge Recap: Day 2

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Day two of the Advocare 24-day challenge is in the books and it was a doozy.

Murphy’s law was in full effect yesterday. Work has been intense for the past few weeks and it all came to a head yesterday for me, resulting in a lot of time spent at my desk with my head in my hands staring in disbelief at my computer screen. It wasn’t great. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

I probably could have handled the work stress if I didn’t also have the stress of a quarterly dermatology check in hanging over my head. Thanks to a melanoma diagnosis in 2012 and a basal cell diagnosis in 2014, I get to visit my derm every three months. Fun! Luckily I love my dermatologist – she’s funny and kind and helps to set me at ease, which is good, because I always manage to work myself into a massive panic before every appointment.

I ended up needing four biopsies. I had identified two spots myself, and the doc found an additional two that she found concerning. She’s almost positive one of the spots is another basal cell that will require treatment, and the other three are atypical moles that they’re checking for melanoma. People. Seriously. Wear sunscreen. SPF is your friend.

So, after three hours at BWH, I left with four bandages, four sets of stitches, four brand new scars. I’ve officially lost count of the number of biopsy scars on my body. And it sucks. I’m really struggling with this. Any biopsy is scary and four at one time really freaked me out and sent me into a tailspin.

And every single cell in my body screamed for emotional eating. When I’m upset, I eat — I binge on things that I know are bad for me, but my brain shuts down and my body convinces itself that the food brings comfort. It’s been a bitter cycle my entire life.

And I didn’t give in last night. I wanted to. I wanted to drown in a bottle of wine and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. I wanted to order a pizza and eat it alone in my bed while I wallowed in anxiety. But I didn’t do any of those things. I cooked a healthy dinner that fit in with the challenge plan, I drank a glass of water, and I ignored the voice in my head screaming that it wanted potato chips and pity.

It was so. Effing. Hard. 

But I did it. And that feels like the best victory I could ask for.

Challenge Recap Day 1

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Well, I survived day one of the Advocare 24 day challenge! As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll be posting daily recaps to help keep myself accountable, and so that I can go back and reflect on the process once it all wraps up.

IMG_4712Highlight: I woke up! On time! And accomplished things! I am not a morning person. At all. I abuse my snooze button and skip breakfast regularly in order to get to work on time. To set myself up for success with this challenge, I set an alarm to take my morning supplements; the AM portion of the cleanse needs to be taken 30 minutes before breakfast. After taking the supplements and drinking a glass of water, I let myself go back to bed, but I found that I actually didn’t need to sleep anymore. Instead, I caught up on the news (shoutout to The Skimm!) and read for a bit before my second alarm went off half an hour later. At that point, I got up, made a healthy breakfast, and still had time to shower and get ready for work. If I can keep this habit up for the duration of the challenge, I’m hoping I can establish a routine that sticks for the future!

Lowlight: CONDIMENT BETRAYAL. Confession time – I put sriracha on EVERYTHING. I keep a bottle at my desk at all times. Hard boiled eggs topped with sriracha are my go-to protein-packed afternoon snack. And harkening back to my Jenny Craig days, I’ve always gone by the “hot sauce is a freebie” policy for spicy condiments. To be on the safe side, I checked my bottle before blindly squirting it on my afternoon eggs…. and discovered that sugar is the second ingredient, thereby crossing it off the list of acceptable foods for the duration of this cleanse. Commence hysterical caps-lock panic session to multiple friends via text message. There’s one gram of sugar per teaspoon of sriracha. Considering that 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon, that means a serving of sriracha is 25% sugar. I HAVE BEEN BETRAYED BY THE ROOSTER.  Devastating.121017_failing-to-plan-300x300

Food-wise, aside from the sriracha debacle, I feel like I did well yesterday food-wise. My meal planning and ingredient prep efforts definitely paid off. Having plenty of healthy snack options prepped and ready to go made it easy to reach for a smart choice when I needed a snack. I have a bowl of clementines at my desk at work, and unsalted nuts pre-portioned into 1 ounce grab-and-go bags.

My biggest challenge yesterday? My workout selection. I signed up for a double at Studio Poise – 40 minutes of Arms & Abs, followed by a full hour of Barrework. Halfway through arms & abs, I remembered that barre also included a hefty arms section… and I knew I had signed myself up for some serious struggling. I haven’t taken barrework with Danielle since April and my body hated every single second of that class. My knees were angry every time I tried to squat. My arms screamed at me when I picked up the resistance band. I could not block out the physical cues and so my mental state was a disaster for the entire class. I feel okay today, surprisingly – I fully expected to wake up unable to walk – but the experience was a wake up call. I need to put in some serious work to get my strength back to where it was a year ago. Yesterday’s classes were all the motivation I need to stick with this challenge and to get myself back to healthier habits.

24 Day Challenge: So it begins.

24DayChallenge-LogoToday marks day 1 of the #bestfriendscleanse I’m doing (aka the Advocare 24-day challenge). I NEED to change the bad habits that crept in this summer – my measurements are bleak right now, you guys.  I’m not quite back to where I was when I started trying to change my habits a few years ago, but I’m so far away from where I was one year ago. I’m trying hard not to beat myself up over it, but it is really discouraging, and I’m hoping that this challenge will not only help to get me moving back in the right direction, but it will also help me to reset my mental state and identify the bad habits that crept back in over the past year.

bestfriendscleanseThis time around I have the support of these amazing ladies – hence the #bestfriendscleanse hashtag. Pay no attention to the test tube shots in the picture, just trust that they were a contributing factor in the need to FIX ALL THE THINGS. These women came into my life through Studio Poise, and I’m super grateful that they’re just as all-in on this experience as I am. I have learned over the years that strong, supportive communities make a huge difference in my ability to succeed – at anything, not just my attempts at fixing my diet and exercise habits.

In addition to leaning heavily on these ladies, I’ll also be doing daily recaps on how things are going. Stay tuned for progress reports and updates on how I’m feeling as I progress through the next 3+ weeks. Days 1-10 make up the “Cleanse” phase of the challenge (no dairy. no alcohol. no sugar. help.) and days 11-14 are the “Max” phase. Wish me luck, and stay tuned for progress and results!