sometimes you just need a little faith

My alarm went off at 4:02am on Monday morning, and I stumbled out of bed. My husband is required to be at work by 5am every day, so we get up in the morning together and I help him by making his coffee and putting his lunch together. Normally, I fall back into bed within 15 minutes and am back asleep within another 15 minutes.

Monday was different. Monday was the first day on phase one for the South Beach Diet. Monday was the first day of restarting my journey towards health.

After he left for work, I turned the oven on and set a pack of chicken breasts under a stream of water. My biggest struggle is planning. The South Beach Diet requires planning - especially phase one when there is no bread consumed, no fruit to be eaten, and it is almost impossible to eat processed foods.

That morning I baked tilapia and I tossed chicken, diced tomatoes, and black beans into the CrockPot. While the tilapia cooked, I settled back into bed and started my quiet time.

Weight loss is different for everyone. For me, it's a spiritual matter as much as it is a physical matter. I know that in the past I haven't done well putting my relationship with God, or with myself first, and I decided that this time around I would make sure that my relationship with God came first. Spending the twenty minutes reading my Bible and journaling prepared me for the rest of the day, and I knew that I would and could do it.
For breakfast, I sauteed spinach and then scrambled the spinach into two eggs and one egg white; I then mixed in 1/4 cup Mexican shredded cheese. I also cooked turkey bacon in the microwave. I brewed my coffee and then drank that on the way to work. I took the baked tilapia, sprinkled with Italian seasonings, for lunch and ate that along with a bag of steamed broccoli. Dinner that night was a South Beach Diet friendly adaptation of CrockPot Santa Fe Chicken meaning I skipped the corn and did not make rice to serve along with the chicken. I also made sure to drink almost 70 ounces of water and only one Diet Dr. Pepper. I ended the day with sugar free chocolate mousse from Jell-O.

I had hoped to make it to the gym Monday morning but between cooking, quiet time, and than taking one of our dogs to the vet, I didn't have time. But I knew I would have the lunch hour to spend at the gym. And I did just that.

I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the rowing machine, and then 6 minutes doing yoga abs. By the time my lunch hour ended, I was sweaty, sore, and happy.

Tuesday started the same as Monday except that I went back to bed within 15 minutes of making my husband's coffee, and I then proceeded to hit the snooze button until the last possible moment. Still, I managed to get up, spend time reading my Bible, bake chicken in the oven, and cook breakfast before leaving for work.
My breakfast on Tuesday included sauteed mushrooms and spinach and three scrambled eggs. I left the cheese out of the equation and also ate two pieces of turkey bacon. For lunch, I ate leftover CrockPot Santa Fe Chicken. Dinner included a 5 ounce steak, seasoned with salt, pepper, and cumin, cheesy cauliflower, and steamed green beans. I managed to say "no" to a piece of King Cake and again ended the day with sugar free chocolate mousse from Jell-O.

I had hoped to complete two workouts on Tuesday, but two snoring, cuddly dogs beat going to the gym at 5am. I did squeeze a workout in near the end of the day and completed 30 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the stationary bicycle, and then 13 minutes of upper arms strength training. I was sweatier than Monday, sorer than Monday, and happier.

It's only been two days and already I feel a million times better. I don't think it's just the exercise, just the food, or just the water. I think doing one thing without the others would be counter productive but doing all three makes me unstoppable.

My biggest struggle is planning as I mentioned before which makes the South Beach Diet more of a challenge, but the South Beach Diet also helps me to understand how to plan out my meals as well as how to plan how I spend my time in the mornings and throughout the day.

I chose the South Beach Diet because of how it causes me to plan. But I also chose the South Beach Diet because it cuts out the food I eat too much of - carbohydrates and sweets.

There are some people who can control their portions. I am not one of those people. I can easily eat an entire pint, or quart, of ice cream in one sitting. I also struggle saying no to bread or tortillas or tortilla chips - especially when there is queso to dip the tortilla and chips in. The last time I started the South Beach Diet I did not do well with reintroducing carbohydrates and sweets into my diet. Instead of starting slow, I rushed into the carbohydrates and sweets - undoing all the good that Phase One had done.

This time around I am looking at the South Beach Diet as a true lifestyle change. This time I am constantly thinking about what I can eat, and what I can't. This time I am seeing the next two weeks as an opportunity instead of fourteen days of restriction to survive. This time I am excited about what will happen after the next two weeks instead of worried about if I will even make it through the next two weeks.

The South Beach Diet isn't for everyone. I'm making it work for me which means that I'm eating a lot of frozen vegetables and that the meals I am making are simple and also ones that my husband can (and will) eat. I'm also ensuring that there are always leftovers because then I can take the leftovers for lunch the next day which makes the mornings easier.

I know that not every day will be as "easy" as the past two days have been. I'm off work for most of next week, and will be spending four days in Texas with my parents. Nothing beats Mexican food in Texas, but I can, and will, say no to nachos and tortillas while I am there. I also struggle more with my eating when I am at home than when I am at work. There are plenty of reasons why I might fail, but I know I won't because I won't let myself.

This - my health - is so much more important that my love of nachos. It is so much more important then anything because this is my life. And it's my time to put my life first.

(title from "the sun will rise" by kelly clarkson)

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