Do not give up. The beginning is always the hardest.

It’s been just over two weeks since I started my little experiment. I focused on getting my nutrient and calorie intake and exercising five times a week. I also cut out the main things that sabotage me: grain and sugar. I’m gonna admit it right now: I was not perfect at this. In any way. I did really well for the first week but quickly fell off the bandwagon when I went shopping by myself. I don’t even know why I bought the candy — it’s such an automatic reaction for me. I’m in Walmart, I see the candy, I buy the candy. It’s a routine and it’s the one that sabotages me the most. After that, I couldn’t get back on.

However, I did get the calories and nutrients and I did workout five times a week. I achieved 50% of my goal. I can celebrate that. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to offset the bad parts of my diet; I ended up gaining .5 pounds. I’m not giving up though. I’m teaching myself discipline and persistence. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

Luckily for all of us, there is a never-ending list of things we can do to pursue our goals. I’m making some pretty intense changes to my plan. I just wasn’t doing enough and (to be frank) I wasn’t trying hard enough. So I sat down with Joe and he helped me brainstorm things I can do. It’s difficult because I am still living in a dorm and the exact diet and regimen I know works for me is not feasible right now. But that doesn’t mean I can’t modify it and do everything I possibly can. Now, if you’re anything like me, your mind is your biggest enemy. I have to fight and claw for every little inch against myself. Excuse me for pointing out the obvious but ummmmmm there’s a major problem with that. But having Joe be a part of this and fight with me and remind me that I literally have a parasite clinging to my body with all its might makes quite an impact, I have to say. If you struggle like I do, get yourself an accountability partner that you know will always push you, that won’t share your weak moments and tell you that just one bite isn’t a big deal. It is. It’s a huge deal. Joe doesn’t let me make excuses. He calls me out and forces me to recognize it.

These are the changes we decided I need to make:

  • Cut my diet even more: I’m eating meat, fruit, vegetables, spices (that don’t include sugar), coffee, and tea. I’m considering allowing myself pickles as a bit of a treat (I LOVE pickles) but I’ll have to see if I can find any that don’t have sugar in them. The only foods in this list I’m not eating are potatoes (except sweet potatoes occasionally), pineapple (makes my stomach hurt), and tomatoes (I was diagnosed with a slight allergy to them a few years ago). Otherwise, anything on this list is fair game.
  • Intensify my workouts: Joe is training for the police academy and he knows his way around the gym far better than I do. A couple days ago, I asked him to write out a new workout plan for me. I needed one that was focused and direct and intense, something that would challenge me without going overboard. What I was doing before was very sporadic and I didn’t follow a plan — I just did what I felt like in the moment. I have completed two days of his workout plan. Wanna know if it’s doing anything? I’ll put it this way: I have discovered muscles I didn’t know I had and I am so sore, he had to pull me up from my seat last night because I could not stand up on my own. I’m just glad today is a rest day!
  • Take my supplements: Yeah, I haven’t been taking these. I need to. I have them for a reason.
  • Creating more incentives: I already have a reward system that I wrote out months ago. Almost a year at this point, I think. It helps. It’s encouraging. But I added a new incentive to give myself just a little bit more of a push: every day that I am successful (meaning I exercise, unless it’s a rest day, eat right, and take all my supplements), Joe will give me a dollar. By the end of it, I should have $51 (that’s how many days til the wedding!). If we count it and there’s not $51, he not only gets it all back but I have to pay him an extra $51. If I get all $51, though, I get to keep it. Wish me luck!

We officially have 8 weeks until our wedding day. I’m freaking out just a little bit. We’re starting to hammer out all the little details and planning to make sure everything is just right. Planning a wedding in Colorado when I’m in North Dakota is an interesting experience, I have to say. I’m going to take 2 of these 8 weeks, focus on this new plan and see where it gets me.

Remember: if you don’t like something about yourself, you have the power to change it. You are in charge of you.