Eat More Often

Ready? I said the first challenge would be easy. You can do it.

Eat More Often

I making an assumption here about the people taking on this challenge. Remember, I said its mostly for me.
I’m assuming you are “fairly active.” What does that mean? You do SOMETHING every day. It can be as little as a 15 minute walk. But it’s something. You walk up the stairs in your house a few times a day. You walk from your car to the office…grocery store…park…something! I guarantee that even on a “rest” day, you probably walk about a mile. That’s what I mean.

Three “square” meals don’t cut it for most people. You’re going to cheat. Trust me. You will snack…and the worst offense will be right before bed. THAT is the one that’s going right to your you-know-what!

Why not try this:

Eat 3 “meals” and 2-3 PLANNED snacks.

Use a smaller plate for your meals (smaller plates hopefully means smaller portions), and try to eat every 3-4 hours. You should never feel “stuffed.” If you’re hungry 3 hours after dinner, eat again. Just because it’s nighttime doesn’t mean you have to eat ice cream! At this point I’m not going to suggest what those snacks should be. We’ll get to that.

I know there are conflicting studies out about whether eating more frequently helps you lose weight. And that’s fine. Weight loss isn’t the ultimate goal here.

Remember, this is not a diet.

I want to feel better, with more energy. That will make me want to be more active, and THAT, coupled with eating clean, will keep me at a healthy weight for me. If you want to temporarily drop pounds for some timed challenge, go for it. I’m not interested in weighing myself. Ever. I don’t even own a scale. Eating more regularly will keep your blood sugar at a more even keel, and that can’t be bad. It certainly should help with some of those cravings!

If you’re already doing this, no problem. You’re a step ahead. I just want us all on the same page. I want to hear about your snacks this week. Post pictures on twitter with me! And don’t forget to tag them with #EatRealFood. What are you eating?

Next Challenge is coming up on Tuesday!

A Summer Challenge

It’s been forever. I know. As it is, I’m typing this with one hand. Don’t ask.

Tomorrow is June 1st. It finally feels like summer weather might stick around. School is out (or just about) and we’re deep into picnic and grilling season. Ah…the foods of summer…fresh fruits and veggies, farmer’s markets, and tasty beverages. Oh…and race season.

I love to eat as much as anyone…but hotdogs, potato salad, and apple pie go right to my you-know-what. I decided my food choices needed a revamp…and some of you thought that yours might need that too.

Here’s a snippet of where I’m coming from…
I’ve lost 50lbs since I started my journey, but plateaued about a year ago at what I thought was my “meant to be” weight. I was regularly training for yet another marathon, so I MUST be healthy. Hardly. They say “abs are born in the kitchen,” and they aren’t lying. And no…you can’t see mine…I’m still working on them. When I started training for ultras, I had to change some things. First, that processed fuel…that’s not going to work for me. And this “rungry” all the time…something’s not right. I was eating all the wrong things, and getting nowhere. I had zero energy. I wasn’t sure I could stay awake for 24hrs, forget running for that time…still untested…but approaching fast. Eek! Then I started eating better. And I lost 20lbs. And it stayed off!

Hence the #EatRealFood Summer Challenge. I’m doing this mostly for me. You’re welcome to follow along, and of course, try any of my suggestions. Some will pertain specifically to running, as that’s what I do, but most, if not all, can easily be applied to anyone. And please…share with me your ideas, wins, and losses. Post pictures of your food. Recipes. Anything.

This is not a diet!

*I am not a nutritionist. Please don’t send me your food journal and ask me what you’re doing wrong. Although I’m happy to suggest small changes that work for me, I cannot “advise” you in any way. I will offer suggestions from people who can, and their writings. I’ll reference those articles and books here on the blog and on twitter.

At first I thought this would be a 30 Day challenge, but my health, and yours, is more important than just 30 days. So I’m shooting for 90…June, July, and August, which should set us all up for fall racing. I certainly hope you’ll feel better as we go, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll drop a few pounds if that’s your goal.

I’ll post a challenge twice a week…something small, and something I’d like you to continue throughout the challenge. Sometimes it will be something to “do,” and sometimes just something to read or think about.

A few ground rules:

I will never ask you to do something I won’t do.
You can join in now, or at any point. I’ll make a tab on the blog where I list all the challenges.

You can stop at any time. There is no failure in this challenge. Making better food choices is always a win, no matter how small.

I will never ask you to throw out food, you’ve already purchased. You might re-think buying it again, but I don’t have the money to resupply my fridge and pantry either. Baby steps.

Please share any thoughts about the challenge, or what you’re finding on twitter using the hash tag #EatRealFood. Tag me @RisenBird. Or comment on the blog.

Challenge #1 is coming tomorrow. You can do this!

January by the Numbers…and February Challenges


January totals:
Running: 125.06mi
Cycling: 96mi

Total: 233.96mi

Percentage of annual goal: 9%
(You may have noticed I increased my total miles for the year. 2013 just didn’t seem like enough of a challenge. So I’ve increased it to 2500.)

Calories burned: 10,989
Total Time: 29:33:14

New in February:

I have some new challenges for February. In addition to my 125mi running scheduled for the month, a few friends on Twitter and Facebook have inspired me to pick up some additional craziness fun!

Check out @socialshark‘s #Virtual401KRun. The challenge is to run 401K (249.2mi) by 4/1. That’s two months. And since I’m committed to running 125/mo anyway…why not?

Next up was @runningmom2boys#FitFebruary challenge. This one can be found through an app called @ChallengeLoop. It only requires you add two workouts a week, and they can be anything. I’ll be following the 100pushup program and doing those 3x week. We’re posting two photos per week using the app to be eligible for fun prizes!

Back again this year is the #lovemyabs challenge sponsored by @denisrmt and @JennyMetamorfit. This was a favorite for me last February, and what got me started on this abs kick. You can also join this one via Facebook. Start with 100 abdominal exercises in week one, and add 20 reps each week. By the end of the month, you’ve done a minimum of 3000 exercises! Take before and after picture to really see the difference!

My last fitness related challenge for this month is Kim‘s February 2013 Plank Challenge on Facebook. One plank per day is all it takes, and you’re only competing with yourself. The only goal here is to be stronger at the end of the month. Can’t go wrong there!

And one more…a blogging challenge. I’ve joined the #28DBC again through @ChallengeLoop and led by @kwidrick. Little changes make a big difference, and hopefully you’ll notice some around here this month.

Please join me in any or all of these challenges. It’s all about making changes this year.

Tomorrow’s news: Too much to do, too little time