1. I am ready to give up the scale. This is huge for me. I have practically lived my life by what the number on the scale is telling me. What I learned from this challenge is that I am at my goal weight. My weight fluctuates in a 5 lb range based on a variety of things. As long as I am eating a healthy Protective Diet, I know what I will weigh and don't need to keep checking. I can tell by how my clothes fit as well. All the scale does is make me worry and obsess and sometimes even impact my mood first thing in the morning. I don't need it. I am breaking free! No more scale for me.
2. My body is at a comfortable goal weight. My body seems perfectly happy to be 130-135 lbs right now with a Protective Diet and very moderate exercise. I kept saying I wanted to shift that range to 125-130. What I realized from this challenge is that will only happen if I start restricting food with smaller portions, more greens & veggies, less starchy foods, and/or much more strenuous exercise more often. It can be done. I could get my body there. I just don't want to live with a diet mentality or strenuous exercise at this point in my life and the beautiful thing is...I don't have to!
3. I feel so much better with sugar and coffee completely out of my diet. This challenge helped me stay 100% on plan and I got over my sugar addiction. I can feel the inflammation and energy swings are gone. My face looks thinner. I just feel better all around without these drugs in my life. I realize the smell of coffee is intoxicating to me, but I know I don't even like the taste anymore, it is acidic and I don't want something acidic in my body first thing in the morning. I know my body is better off with tea so I am happy to stay off the coffee. Chocolate is intoxicating to me too, but I know I can make PD approved chocolate desserts that are delicious and I don't need to deal with the effects of sugar anymore. I watched the documentary Fed Up last night. That helped cement my desire to stay off the sugar for good.
4. Healthy Boundaries. This challenge showed me that I can get through social get togethers (including Thanksgiving, one of the biggest food events there is) and restaurant meals without dissolving my healthy boundaries. When I bring my own food, eat before going out, or just have tea or something I know is on plan...nobody bats an eye! They know what I do for a living, they understand why I would just say no to unhealthy things. It's a non-issue. It was only ever an issue in my head. I no longer need to give in to perceived peer pressure or people pleasing. This is really freeing for me.
5. I always feel better after some exercise. I have known this, but this challenge helped me put it into practice more. Even very small amounts of exercise - my 1 mile bike ride with the dog takes about 10 minutes and I can choose yoga or workout videos that are only 20-25 minutes - lift my mood, give me energy, and help release stress and tension. I can't guarantee that I will get as much exercise in my schedule as I did during the challenge, but I know I will keep being active and giving myself the gift of exercise every week. Simon, Riley & I will be doing plenty of yin yoga over the winter.
Those are my key insights. This challenge was very helpful to me for getting the last bits of junk out of my diet, seeing the many benefits of exercise instead of dreading it, and being mindful of when I am hungry and when I am satisfied. I will keep going with many of these habits. I see a healthy, happy future free of the scale for me.
Thank you for reading along. I hope I have inspired a few people to join me with some healthy habits.