Thursday, February 7, 2013

Week 4

Given this is an 8 week program, the end of week 4 marks the half-way mark! That is pretty exciting. All downhill from here, right?!
Well, 4 weeks is still a long time, but the good news is that I feel like I have established a routine and the hardest things are behind me. One of the HARDEST things of this program and what I struggled with the most this week was the removal of fruit. Prior to the program, I was eating a lot of fruit. A banana at breakfast, an orange with lunch, an apple as a snack and then another banana for dessert. Nothing is wrong with fruit and if fruit is the worse thing in your diet, then you probably have a pretty clean diet, but given the amount I was eating, my sugar intake was pretty high.  So giving up fruit was something I knew was part of the program and I knew it was imminent. While others in the program gave up fruit from the beginning, I held on to it until the very last minute.  In the process of getting your body to transition from burning sugar as your main source of energy, to burning fat,  taking out the sugar is necessary. Since I cross train and run, I really want to reach that point where my body is burning fat to get me through those long runs with a steady and stable source of energy rather than the ups and downs of insulin spikes.  I have never done well with the carb loading (and by well, I mean my runs are not any better, but I certainly enjoy the act of eating as many carbs as possible!) and most of the Gu or sports drinks out there just make me sick during my workouts. So if I can train my body to burn fat as its fuel source, I can appropriately fuel for long workouts/runs by eating food that agrees with me and I will have the energy levels to perform optimally. All that to order to get there, fruit needs to least for the next four weeks.
The first day was hard.  I felt like I regressed, big time. I didn't have any energy, I had headaches in the morning and had the constant urge to snack all the time.  Prior to the fruit removal, I had an apple every day at 3 pm. and on that first day when 3 pm rolled around you would have thought I was a recovering drug addict. My body was looking for that little shot of sugar. To get through that intense craving,  I occupied myself with warm peppermint tea and reading some blogs of other nutrition program participants. Reading other people's blogs about their challenges and triumphs or even just about what they had for breakfast is very encouraging for me. So luckily I made it through that first day of no fruit and no one was harmed in the process. I am constantly in awe of the powerful mental and physical effects that sugar has on human beings! After the first day, I started feeling better and have not experienced any withdraw symptoms.  For me, not having fruit is more of a physiological battle.  Prior to this program, I ate pretty clean for about 80% of the time, but fruit was included in many of my meals. So I have never really missed the pasta, breads and sweets that I  have had to give up, but fruit....we were best friends.  And it is sad to let a best friend go. But we will reunite again in 4 weeks.  Okay..enough about my crazy obsession with fruit. Bottom line, it is gone for now and I am alive to tell the tale.

The other thing I learned in Week 4 and will continue to learn in this program is that I am not perfect. already knew that?! Why didn't you tell me? Well, what I mean is that with anything you do in life mistakes are going to be made, things will not go as planned, and there will be set backs. But just because things do not go as planned or you reach a barrier, it is no reflection on you and your level of perfection. No one is 100% perfect but what makes you successful is how you react to obstacles and how you deal with the imperfection. This takes practice, but the simple act of forgiving yourself, picking your head up and moving on, is very powerful.

One of the things I really wanted to focus on in week 4 was sleep. I LOVE  sleep and admittedly will turn down invites if it interferes with my sleep too much.  When I can get into a routine of going to bed and getting up at the same time, I feel amazing! Unfortunately, that hasn't gone as well as I hoped. I've had late nights, interrupted sleep, late mornings, naps on the weekend, etc.  While nothing is wrong with any of those things, the inconsistently adds unnecessary stress and let's face it, when you are going through a nutrition program like this, you have to work very hard at removing or mitigating anything that will add stress to your life. Plus, the magic triad of wellness is sleep, nutrition and activity. Get those things aligned and you are superwoman!
So I will continue to work on the sleep thing. Week 5 will be better!

This week's workouts: 
I traveled for most of week 4, so there is a lot of treadmill running happening!
Monday: 8x400 sprints
Tuesday: 1 hour of flow yoga and 3 mile tempo run
Wednesday: 8x400 sprints
Thursday: Crossfit
Friday: 8x400 sprints and 75 mins of flow yoga
Saturday: Crossfit and 90 mins of hot power flow yoga
Sunday: REST

Disclaimer: I really did start this post at the end of week 3, but completely forgot about finishing it! Opps. Remember what I said about being perfect??

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