Dear Post Whole Life Challenge Self,
I see you my little sugar plum fairy. Don’t even think about downing that bag of gingersnaps. Come now, haven’t you learned your lesson?
Eight plus weeks ago, somewhere between plank holds and hollowed rocks you tuned into Coach BE’s voice pitching the latest gym event; a 56 day nutrition and lifestyle challenge.
Even though your New Year’s resolution had been to reign in copious amounts sugar consumption, the notion of trying, not muscle fatigue shook you at the core.
I chuckled and thought, here’s a woman who survived child abuse and child birth, Weight Watchers and CrossFit, and yet there she planks; paralyzed, petrified, and underestimating her grit again.
Competitive and conscientious, I knew you could steer clear of the Skittles.
A rule abiding perfectionist, I knew you could tweak nutritional habits accordingly, practice the weekly lifestyle challenge diligently, and input a daily score religiously.
At the very least, I knew visions of a chiseled six pack dancing in your head would keep the sugar, cheese, and gluten out of your mouth.
Still you remained frozen in the britches.
As the challenge approached and the chatter grew, the last thing you wanted was to be left out of CrossFitter conversation. In the end, peer pressure prevailed. You coughed up the fifty bucks and bought a one way ticket back to
The Discomfort Zone.
Lethargic, cranky, and craving ice cream scoops and pizza pie slivers; the first 12 days sucked. By day 21, you felt less bloated and more energized, but the lack of physical change almost caused you to throw in the towel.
But you kept at it. Today you’re done and writing a letter to your future self because the challenge creators encouraged participants to do so.
Yes, you expected to come out the other side a Photoshopped version of yourself. And it’s hard not to fixate on the lack of dramatic weight loss. Yes, the scale tips 160 and your thigh gap is more of a slit. The funk pecking away at your ego stems from female stigmas, girlish insecurities, and societal expectations.
In 56 days you gained stamina and muscle: mental and physical strength, a revised relationship with food and cleaner insides. Besides, a little bass never hurt anybody.
Try to embrace these true measures of health and remember that despite middle age, marriage and motherhood, you are far from humpty or dumpty.
Find future value in the required weekly lifestyle practices as well. Thanks to the organizers, you got more rest, practiced gratitude, kindness and mindfulness, enjoyed activities you love, and trudged through meals technology free.
Remember waking up after seven hours of uninterrupted sleep wondering what the hell happened? Hold on to that the next time you stay up futzing on Facebook to then be awoken by a five year old with a 2am water request.
Remember the morning you experienced a few minutes of peace in the car at preschool pick up? Hold on to that the next time you think you can’t find space to just be.
Remember the conversation with Skootch about Superman’s powers and Robin’s lack thereof over a bowl of soup? Hold on to that the next time you open a laptop during lunch.
Remember the appreciation you felt those hours after the nearby train accident just to be able to sit and watch television with your husband and children? Hold on to that the next time you tantrum about life being unfair.
I’m sorry but this exercise does not mark the end of your journey. Continue to be wary of the Achilles heel: portion control.
In the meantime, feel proud. You proved you could switch up your diet and survive. This was an obstacle you were not remotely willing to tackle until now.
Discomfort is in fact still good. Moderation however is great.
So enjoy some emotional eating with your team to celebrate a job well done. The party bus and hard cider you’ve been saving are waiting. Next stop, Peter Lugers. Bring on the schlag
My Go To Recipes
Courtesy of Coach BE
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Spray down either a muffin tray or cup cake tray with Pam/olive oil spray
- Dice pepper, onion, and spinach (really any vegetables you like)
- Chop up chicken sausage (some prefer cheese or both)
- Make a 2 egg scrambled egg mix (salt, pepper, milk)
- Add the raw vegetables and sausage to the mix
- Pour into the cupcake/muffin tray. The mixture should fill up about 2 ½ cupcake spaces.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until you can stick a butter knife through and the blade comes out dry
- Store in the refrigerator and reheat in microwave for 1 ½ minutes
Baked Oatmeal Bars
Courtesy of Karen the Baker
Note: Feel free to add nuts, apples, dates, and/or coconut. Double the recipe and use a 9×13 pan.
- 3 cups oats
- 2 t baking powder
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- 1 cup milk (use whatever type is acceptable)
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 2-3 cups of frozen berries, a cut up apple, or whatever fruit you have on hand (Add a lot more fruit than it says here.)
- Combine oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
- Combine eggs, milk, butter and add to dry ingredients
- Stir in fruit
- Bake uncovered in 8×8” pan for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees
Sweet Potato Chips
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees
- Peel and slice thin.
- Toss sliced sweet potatoes in oil and sea salt
- Bake for approximately 1hr 45 minutes