First of all, Happy Halloween!
A couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be a “fun challenge” to see if I could do a 10-day junk food fast. People, I’ll tell you, I lasted about a week. After I got through that 7th day I wanted chocolate so badly I broke down and made some muffins. And they were amazing. But I thought I’d share what I learned about myself during the fast in hopes it can help you if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, or even if you’re just trying to plan a week’s worth of healthy meals and stick to it.
1. Accountability works.
I’ve talked before about how I’m an Obliger, and that means it’s difficult for me to be accountable to myself. With this fast, I was accountable to SkinnyMom. Well, in my mind anyway. Knowing there was a group of Instagram followers who were trying to accomplish this goal right along with me really helped. And believing it was Brooke’s idea instead of mine made a difference as well.
2. I need treats.
I should have known this about myself, but I idiotically believed I could go 10 days without eating muffins for breakfast or having dessert after dinner. I don’t know what I was thinking! I should have pre-planned some healthy but delicious treats that I could have indulged with when the urge came. I did find some yogurt-covered pretzels, which were great, but other than that I felt too much like I was depriving myself, which is ultimately why I think I gave up on the fast three days early.
3. More specifically, I need chocolate.
I tried giving up chocolate for Lent once, and I did it, but I think only because I was still allowed to eat sweets. I have a major sweet tooth, but nothing satisfies it like chocolate. The combination of chocolate + sugar = pure bliss to me. The night after the fast I ate way too many spoonfuls of peanut butter that I’d dipped into a jar of chocolate chips (and yes, I’m definitely embarrassed to admit this!). But that was truly what I was craving. So if I ever do something like this again, I think I need to plan in a little chocolate so I don’t binge quite so dramatically when it’s over.
4. Eating clean makes a difference for weight loss.
This should be a no-brainer, but sometimes I need to learn things the hard way. At the beginning of the fast, I weighed 157.4 lbs. Seven days later, sticking to the fast the whole time, I weighed 154.8 lbs. That’s a loss of 2.6 lbs in only one week and to be honest, that’s a record for me. I generally lose about a pound a week, sometimes less, when I closely follow the Weight Watchers SmartPoints plan. But not being able to have my regularly scheduled muffins, turkey sandwiches on white bread, and bedtime Halo Top really made a difference.
So that’s it. Overall, I think the week went well. And I keep talking about “when I do this again,” but what I’m trying to get at is that I need to find ways to incorporate this new knowledge into my everyday eating habits, so I don’t have to do a fast again—I can just eat healthfully and allow myself planned, chocolaty treats every few days. Or maybe every other day. We’ll see.