We are 8 days into the August challenge. By now you have a pretty good idea of how you're going to do. I am certain that some days are easier than others, for you. I can say the same. I can officially admit that I didn't stick to it 100%, but I am doing really good and full of determination. I have excuses, just like you (assuming you have cheated as well). One thing I want us all to get from this challenge is that we can eat healthy the majority of the time, only indulge on occasion, and still get results.
So many people live their lives just grabbing quick foods on the go. We have busy lives. And, if I'm being honest, processed foods taste good. Hectic lifestyles are a great excuse for "having" to eat that way. But the truth is, and hopefully you have discovered this, healthy eating can be just as easy. All it takes is a little bit of preparation and planning. Purchasing your fresh fruits and veggies, bringing them straight home, washing, cutting, measuring, and prepackaging them for convenience, really doesn't take much time or energy. Having healthy snacks handy and ready to grab and go is key to eating clean. If we don't prepare in this way, we will cheat. You WILL get busy and skip a meal in an attempt to avoid processed foods. This will lead to excessive hunger and cravings. Add a temptation of any kind to the picture and the next thing you know your're scarfing down an order of cashew chicken like it's the last supper. Do your prep work. Don't set yourself up to fail.
If your diet is typically unhealthy and you have taken this challenge with me, I'm guessing that you are experiencing changes in how you feel by this point. You're still detoxing and may be feeling slightly ill. It can make it hard to keep going, but I assure you it won't last long and will be worth every effort. These are the consequences of filling our bodies with impurities on a regular basis. Your body is ridding itself of toxins and is in a bit of shock. You probably have dropped a few pounds. It may get a little more intense before it gets better, but just hang in there. My guess is that you are already through the worst of it, depending on how diligent you have been.
However you have done, know that I am proud of you for your progress, no matter how big or small. Just the fact that you WANT to change is progress. If it took a lifetime for you to develop bad eating habits, it's going to take some time to undo them. No matter what mistakes you make, it doesn't mean you have failed. It only means you are human. The trick is to find balance. We live in a country that shoves food in our faces everywhere we go. Getting together with friends, watching tv, holidays, shopping, movie theaters, convenience stores, office parties, pinterest, facebook..... You name it, there's food, or the message of food. It isn't easy to make the choice to go home and make a clean dinner when everything around us tells us NOT to. I heard someone say that a good rule of thumb to eating healthy is that if the food you are about to eat has a television commercial, don't eat it! That may be a little off, but I think it makes my point about how we face so many temptations to eat anything or everything that we shouldn't. It just adds to the challenge of training our will power. You go to a restaurant and eat some grilled chicken, side salad, baked sweet potato, then the server comes by with a desert tray to die for and it's all over. You make a healthy meal at home then sit down in front of the tv and see a commercial for Dairy Queen, next thing you know, you have loaded up the fam and are ordering a blizzard in the drive thru. You get up on Sunday morning and enjoy your clean breakfast of egg whites and wheat toast, then you get to church and have to avoid the common area because you know that if you even SMELL one of those donuts, you are going to eat 3. If it sounds like these are examples of personal experience, it's because they are!
What I want to get across in this post today, is that I want you to be proud of your efforts, stay strong, know that a mess up here or there isn't the end of it all, always be prepared, and try to find your balance. Believe in yourself and believe that the good choices you make do matter, no matter how often you make them. Eventually you will make more good choices than bad, and you will find your balance.
Keep it up everyone! Only three weeks to go!!