We did it! We made it through our 24 Day Challenge! I really truly feel that we have made some dramatic, positive changes that are becoming new habits. These are some of our new habits!
The Old Habits:
1. Lots of sweet tea, cokes (diet and otherwise) and sugary drinks
2. HAD to have some form of sweets daily...cake, cookies, ice cream....anything.
3. TONS of bread
4. No water. No, really. I hated water and rarely drank any.
5. Skipped breakfast or ate something like cereal or a tall glass of chocolate milk
6. Lots of potatoes, white rice, and pastas
7. Two words: red meat.
8. Visited the grocery store hungry and without much of a list
9. Never really planned ahead
10. Ate out 3-4 times a WEEK! That doesn't include buying lunches (usually fast food 2-4x per week)
11. No exercise. At all.
12. Portion control? What's that?
13. Milk and cheese daily. Actually, at every meal pretty much.
The New Habits:
1. We have had nothing but water, spark, and 2 glasses of UNsweet tea in 24 days, and I am ok with that. I now crave water and will turn down the tea for water, and the thought of a carbonated beverage makes my stomach hurt.
2. We have pretty much cut out refined sugar. With the exception of the sugars in sauces (which we now ALWAYS opt for a lower sugar or no sugar added version now), we haven't had any sweets, and neither of us have missed them.
3. We now ONLY eat whole grain bread, and only in moderation. Bread isn't daily for us anymore.
4. I drink 80-100 ounces of water daily.
5. I always have breakfast. Currently we are using the Advocare Meal Replacement shakes which are fabulous.
6. Baked potato 1x per week or less, with NO BUTTER. We've switched to brown rice and whole grain pasta, and we've only had pasta once in 24 days.
7. Very little red meat, and when we do have it, we use really lean beef. We've started using ground turkey in a lot of recipes.
8. My weekly meal plan and grocery list is a must now.
9. The biggest key for me has been planning ahead. From creating a weekly meal plan, to putting my blender bottle of water in the fridge at night for my breakfast shake the next morning, to putting my lunch together for the next day while I'm cooking dinner, and planning ahead for going out or nights that we won't be home.
10. We've eaten out 3x in 24 days. We now are getting to where we prefer homecooked, real food. Restaurant food just doesn't satisfy like it used to.
11. I am adding exercise daily. Some days I take a walk on my lunch, some days I go up and down the stairs at work, and yesterday I did yard work. I am striving to add some form of exercise each day.
12. Portion control is a must. I don't measure our food, but I fix a healthy plate with smaller portions of lean protein and brown rice, and larger portions of veggies and fruit.
13. I eat very little cheese, and haven't purchased milk since we started.
All in all, we have made major changes to our diet. We've even started getting creative and finding substitutes for things, like 0 calorie butter spray instead of a heaping spoonful of butter, and blue agave nectar or Splenda instead of sugar. We feel so much healthier, and I can tell it not only in pounds, but in our energy, the way our clothes fit, and my hair and skin. I even sleep better at night.
Although it sounds like way too many changes to make all at once, the funniest part is that most of these changes just came naturally. We don't WANT the sugary things. We don't WANT potatoes. Our bodies are craving fruits and veggies. It's amazing how when you give your body the complete nutrition it needs, it operates the way it's supposed to.
I can say, for the first time ever, that after 24 days, I am not feeling the desire to quit. I am more motivated and determined than ever!! Taking it 10 pounds at a time, I know I can do it! :)