Keeping it Honest

Tomorrow will be day one of the most rigorous nutritional program I have ever attempted. From July 1 until August 17, I will eat nothing but good, clean, unprocessed, un-sugared, non-dairy foods while avoiding caffeine AND alcohol. This will not be easy. I am a notorious flake, both among my friends and at home. I am, without question, the first person to not show up or back out at the last minute, or find a loophole in which a white lie will fit perfectly. I’m not proud of this trait and i’m eager to reverse it. For the next forty-something days, it will take every ounce of self control I can muster to overcome the temptation for a shot of whiskey and a slice of pizza after a long night at work. It’s gonna take some work to turn off the mood swings and headaches that I’ll likely suffer from caffeine and alcohol withdrawal. It’s going to be interesting to see how my body responds to a consistent increase in weekly mileage without the traditional carbs that every book I’ve read on running says I absolutely need.

Bottom line: The time will fly. It will all be worth it.

Why am I doing an extreme Paleo and Whole 30 challenge? There are three easy answers to that question. First, I am attempting personal records in two races within next four months. I need my body (and mind) to be as close to peak condition as possible. Allowing myself to down four shift drinks and eat food that doesn’t fuel performance is a pretty terrible idea if I’m serious about goal achievement. Second, I want to lose 15 pounds of body fat / hit 15 percent body fat by the time I run the Portland Marathon. This will require me to lose one pound of body fat per week until race day. Totally attainable – IF I get serious about nutrition. Third, I have never followed a nutritional plan all the way through to completion. As far as I can tell, there is no better time than now for me to finally hold myself accountable for my diet…

…which leads me to the purpose of this post: how can I keep myself in check for the duration of this challenge? What incentive will help me say “heck no” to brownies and whiskey and cupcakes and pizza and cheese platters, when they’re all I’m going to want to have? Is a rockin’ bod enough? Probably not. I need to put some money on the line in order to get this sucker done. For every dietary misstep in the next fourty-something days, I will donate $20 to a to-be-determined charity. For every missed training run, I will donate $30 to the same charity. Each week that is completed without a nutrition or fitness misstep will result in a $50 deposit toward my next non-wedding vacation (New Orleans!!!!). In order to keep myself accountable and honest, I’ll track everything I eat in a food diary (loving livestrong.com right now) and deposit all money with the Bank of Mom as soon as I complete a week or eat a slice of cheese bread. By August 17, my vacation fund will be $350 fatter… Or I’ll be just as much of a flake as I have been for my entire adult life.

It’s time to grow up, Brooke. Put on your game face because tomorrow is only eight hours away.

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