30-day challenge (sugar)
By Jon Belt
Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and giving thanks, but really it's about FOOD!
I've come to the realization that I slid from my goals when I was eating EVERYTHING IN SIGHT over the holiday break. In all honesty, I was doing this before Thanksgiving hit. Food and over-eating are my weakness. I usually do well for 1-3 months and then slide down the processed slide of goodness. Time to do something different, because variety helps me to succeed. It's time to get back on track, and what better way to get started -- I can do my very own challenge.
Updated: December 1
I told my students (6th Graders) about the challenge, and one of my wittier kids said "So which sugar are you giving up? The candy type of sugar or the other type of "sugah?" Classroom laughs, and I laugh with them. Why do I teach? Instances like this that happen on a daily basis.
1. Cut ALL sugar for 30 days
2. Track my status for 30 days
- I will be doing this on my own, with no peer support (how sad)
- Day 1 starts: Monday, November 28, 2016
- Failure is not an option, but if failure occurs I will post and recalibrate
- New Daily Post will occur approximately at 9pm CST
- I did not consult a physician before starting this challenge, but I do know what he would say: "Go for it!" (That counts right?)
Let's do this!
November 28, 2016
Day one wasn't too terrible. My past dieting experiences -- the first day is usually the easiest. I have changed my goal of one gram per serving to eight grams per serving just for the simple fact: one gram will not be obtainable for me. I'm not saying I couldn't do it, but what I am saying is I don't want to do it.
I looked at some of the healthy vegetables such as leafy greens, celery, cucumber, squash, mushrooms, and concluded that most of these healthy alternatives had 3-10 grams per serving.
I failed in this aspect, but I have made adjustments and feel like they are reasonable to the overall goal of quitting sugar for thirty days.
Click on the button below to see the tracking of food, exercise, struggles, and positives.
November 29, 2016
Day two was much better. Enjoyed a good night sleep, and did some circuit training in the morning. Added a three-minute breathing meditation after lunch to go along with my fifteen- minute meditation in the morning. This helps. Also, tried an organic mushroom broth today for the first time, and loved it. Posting this at 8:05pm - will add to this if anything comes up through the night. I have been known to turn into a gremlin after midnight.
Click on the button below to see the tracking of food, exercise, struggles, and positives.
November 30, 2016
Day three was similar to day two. According to the Sleep Cycle App, my sleep quality was at 75%. It is very rare for me to sleep through the night. Seventy-Five percent is great in my sleeping world. Stopping at the grocery store for a few items after work has been consistent. My energy level today has increased, and started exercising in my classes today. We did one minute of Hindu Squats every fifteen minutes, which equaled three sets. I teach five classes and did each set with my students. This equaled fifteen minutes of exercise. Don't remember the last time I did squats. Legs are sore.
UPDATE: I wanted to eat everything in sight around 8:00pm. I chose to have a couple bites of Sauer Kraut and celery with a sauce I concocted. This might sound gross to some, but I liked it -- (Mayonaisse-2tbsp; Dijon Mustard-2tsp; Sriracha Sauce-2tsp). I did the very scientific method of eye-balling the measurements so it's not a precise recipe.
December 1, 2016
Day four has started early. I woke up at 1:30am wide-eyed with thoughts of tasks needed to be accomplished today. I could not go back to sleep. The positive element of waking up early was finishing most of the tasks. It is 3:15am and my stomach is growling. I could eat, but won't. Choosing water instead. The lactic acid in my legs is in full force today from the Hindu Squats. I did not think those exercises through.
December 2, 2016
Day five was busy, and my brain is exhausted. I had a great night sleep with my Sleep Cycle App showing the sleep quality being 82%. It's amazing how sleep effects our diet and eating habits. I haven't noticed many cravings today, except after dinner -- I wanted to stuff my face, but I kept myself busy. My wife has a delicious lemon cake in the refrigerator that stares at me every time I open the cold box. She also mentioned my "awful mood" the last few days. I have been short in my conversations, and quieter than usual.
December 3, 2016
Day six has not been too bad. I woke up early and went through my routine. I exercised. My wife and I went to a new breakfast spot called "Hatch." They serve breakfast food, and I ordered steak and eggs + substituted the hashbrown tumblers for turkey sausage. Of course, I wanted the pancakes on my right that were drowning in sugary maple syrup, but I quickly brought myself back to my goal. Saturday's are typical days I enjoy a few adult beverages. Cravings for this have hit the surface, but I will prevail.
December 4, 2016
Day seven has been busy. My goal was to get the podcast up and relax. I have been laser focused for about four hours now, and haven't eaten much. If the goal is to lose weight and be healthy is this good or bad? I didn't get very hungry throughout the evening. I found a great all-natural popcorn that has 0 grams of sugar and it's delicious. My wife and I watched and movie and I had two bags.
December 5, 2016
Day eight started out chill. Today was the first day in a very long time I did not eat all the food in the bowl. My thought was "Am I sick?" I cooked eggs, sausage, and kale - proceeded to eat it, realized I was full, and put it away. I will take that as an accomplishment. Typically I am shoveling the contents in my mouth at warp speed because someone could come in and take it away from me, right? I did focus last week on chewing my food at least 15-20 times before I guzzled it down. This doesn't always happen, but I do catch myself. I came home after our basketball games today and was starving.
December 6, 2016
Day nine was better. Ran three miles this morning on the treadmill - felt great. We did exercises in the class called Spiderman Punches -- fifteen sets of one-minute repetitions. Didn't have any cravings. Came home starving again, but I drank a liter of water before I ate dinner - this helped. I coach a sixth-grade basketball team, and we are busy for about a five-hour span. I didn't plan a snack, so I am usually wanting to eat my arm by the time I'm home. Tired...need sleep.
December 7, 2016
Day ten = a third of the way to my goal of 30 days of cutting sugar. I didn't have practice today for my sixth-grade boy's basketball team, and so I was able to get home by 4:00pm. In the past as soon as I would get home, I would turn on Netflix and fix some barrage of unhealthy food. Today, I got home turned on the tv and decided to walk my dog, listen to a podcast, and drink a bottle of water. I did eventually sit down, but I didn't have that urge to inhale garbage. This challenge has made me realize the bad habits I've developed. I've tried EVERYTHING when it comes to healthier alternatives in the past. Some with success, but later failure - and some with limiting success. This challenge is difficult, but freeing. I would love to see others jump on board with me and try, and document through this platform. We've all heard writing things down and journaling is a skill that can change your life. I am seeing it. I'm determined to make it through.
December 8, 2016
I struggled today with energy. I have not slept well the last two nights. My appetite is now about fuel and energy and less about enjoyment. I do enjoy my meals, but treat them more as a means to an end. I love this feeling. I am not looking for food to comfort me. I am finding other outlets to this. I am meditating more. If I feel stressed or out of sorts I close my eyes, sit straight and focus on my breathing. Even a two-minute meditation does wonders.
December 9, 2016
Today was a blur. My basketball team had four games in five days this week, so I have been too busy or tired to think about food. In the past; after games, I was so hungry I usually stopped at a local pizza place or the fast and easy McDonald's to fill my satiety. My sleep has suffered, and I am hoping to pay those debts this weekend.
December 10, 2016
Day thirteen started with waking up to the realization I slept for ten hours. Not sure the last time I did this, but it felt great! Today, I decided to take care of myself. I had five goals
December 11, 2016
I have been sick all day with a stomach bug. I am going to keep this short. I have been challenged today. My body is depleted of nutrients, and I don't feel comfortable eating. I have had cravings for many bad things. The worst I have eaten today is a few slices of bread that only contain two grams of sugar per slice.
Check out the second half to this challenge here
Jon Belt lives in