Sunday, September 29, 2013

Losing my Healthy Lifestyle to a Diet. Say NO to 30 Day Challenges.



I have been struggling with my eating for the past few months but I could not figure out why. 

I've been craving "bad" foods more than usual. It's normal for me to want a cookie at a party or a diet soda at the movies. 

It's NOT normal for me to sample every piece of dessert at the party and buy an extra large popcorn at the movies!!!

I finally realized what my problem was today. 

Over the past year, I have been working on changing my lifestyle. 

It had worked AMAZING. 

I'd eat clean about 85% of the time with a few treats here and there. 
I'd lost 20 lbs, loved being creative in the kitchen and was constantly creating healthy/clean alternatives to the food I'd once binged on. 

Then came the 30 day challenges. 

After I had worked so hard to build and maintain my healthy lifestyle, I thought:

"They will be FUN!" and "What a great way to push myself!"

The 30 day challenges gave me reasons to be EXTRA strict for long periods of time. They gave me reasons to say no to that one little cookie at every party. and worst of all.... THEY HAD AN END DATE. 

Why is that a problem you might ask?

Well, anyone who has done a strict diet before can relate to this. 

When you are yo-yo dieting and there is an end in sight, what is that end called??

CHEAT DAY. 

My worst enemy. 

Instead of living the 85% clean lifestyle, I went 100% and then on the LAST day I would BINGE LIKE CRAZY. 

and Cheat Day never lasts just one day. Nope. 

Cheat day almost always stretches at least 3 days long. 

3 DAYS. 

3 days of binge eating and saying your next 30 days will start the next day. 

What does that sound like to you? Does that sound like the talk of a healthy girl? Or does that sound like the reasoning of a yo-yo dieter?

I lost that healthy balance I had found, and began a terrible pattern of eating challenges broken up by insane binge days.

Tonight I had that moment, as I ended my last day of  a week long "cheat day" by eating a huge bowl of baked mac and cheese at 11 p.m. at night... when I wasn't even hungry. 

I caught that little voice in my head saying "don't worry, your diet starts tomorrow". and I stopped my fork halfway to my mouth, unable to take that last bite. 

a louder voice in my head seemed to scream:
I am better than this!

Washing the rest of that macaroni down the sink was the best feeling I have had in a while. 

NO MORE DIETS. NO MORE "CHALLENGES". 

I am going back to the healthy lifestyle change I had effortlessly achieved earlier this year. 

I hope by acknowledging this here, on my very public blog, I will be held more accountable for my actions. 

It's not always easy for me to admit I made a mistake, but it's an AMAZING feeling to know that I learned from it. 

For anyone seeing a 30 day challenge on Pinterest, thinking about trying one, or in the Middle of one...

DON'T do it. 

It's just another diet scheme. It's just another yo-yo diet in disguise. It's a fad. 

Learn from my Mistakes,

-Dani

3 comments:

  1. Hi Dani! I have used 8-week contests in the past to establish some good habits. 8 weeks of good habits, not trying to outdo everyone else. You're right about 30 day challenges--they can often backfire. Being too hungry or too much overtraining is not a good thing. Slow and steady habits that can be done every day--is how to lose weight and stay in the same size. Pretty wise, considering that you're still young. :D

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  2. I love this post! I totally agree with you. I did Whole 30 and although I felt amazing and it was very eye-opening, after I went on a sugar eating frenzy because 30 days without sugar/honey/stevia or dairy was rough!!! I believe in eating 80/20. I'm so glad I stopped by from the Hump Day link up!

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  3. Great post! I can totally relate to everything that you said. I've been trying to see this change in my eating and exercise habits as a lifetime commitment, not as a quick fix. It's a hard realization at first, but I know it'll pay off in the long run.

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