Yesterday I re-launched my diet and it’s great, I was able to stay within my calorie limit and I was supposed to go out running as well. That’s the part of the plan that failed. I got engaged in a conversation with a friend and when we finished I was just too tired. Although I made some stretching while on the phone as I just can’t sit tight.
So the failure was the running. But it’s OK because I plan to do it tonight. It might screw up my plans a little bit for running this week but we’ll see. The one thing I learnt in my life plans don’t always work the way they’re supposed to. You don’t have to think of complicated plans, sometimes even a simple plan just fails or comes out with an unexpected result.
The key thing is, no matter what you do, to stand up once you’ve fallen and try it again and again and again until you succeed.
That’s how I started my running a year ago. I still clearly remember the evening when I went out running sometime in March last year and I had to stop running after 10 seconds. Literally 10 second. I was running slightly uphill and I noticed I’m just not moving forward, although my legs were moving and I was exhausted and I could hardly breathe so I had to stop. I nearly started crying, I felt ashamed and humiliated.
When I started and listened to the running plan (Couch to 5K) that I have to run for 60 seconds I thought I can do it. It’s only one minute. Anyone can do one minute. I can walk for a long time so one minute running wouldn’t be a problem. Those 10 seconds hurt me. Hurt me so much. It was a huge failure but I went on with the plan, I walked for 2 minutes and then did another 60 seconds run. Attempted at least. And again, again and again. 10 months later (I missed a few months due to some issues, like work, a little accident, stress and the start of depression) I was able to run 4 minutes. 4 whole minutes (and possibly a few more seconds!).
The plan was 5 minutes though but I was very proud of myself. I remembered the humiliation of the 10 seconds run and I was proud I was able to do 4 minutes.
The secret of the plans is adjustment. There are these amazing plans for dieting and sports, schools, exams, work, etc. They won’t work for everyone. I love sugar and carbs and I could eat loads of them as long as I keep my calories under like 1200-1500 calories. No problem with that (if we theoretically ignore the fact they are real calorie-boosters). There are others, like one of my friends, who do protein shakes and it works perfectly for them. It doesn’t work for me. I used to do it but it made me hungrier than ever. I had a protein shake in the morning, filled me and then an hour later I wasn’t just a little bit hungry, I was practically starving and feeling lightheaded and I had to keep eating constantly. I had the same experience before with protein products. It seems my body doesn’t really need protein, probably that’s why I’m not really struggling with being vegetarian and cutting all meat out of my dietary plan. It’s not a scientific fact, it’s purely an observation. I can live without protein but I can’t live without carbs. That’s why calorie counting works for me. I think it’s hard but no harder than any other diet, mainly at the beginning, until you learn the portions and the calories. Sometimes you just have to estimate it but there’s a great app I can use on my phone and it helps me tracking. It also helps with the right nutrition as well. Being a vegetarian (trying to be as vegan as possible but cheese! Cheese is just amazing!!! And butter. And yogurts…) excludes a lot of natural source of various minerals and vitamins (this is the bit where I sound some really good nutritionist! I’m not) that you need to be healthy, like iron. Iron is very important and I have a long-time struggle with it. When I started my diet I noticed that my iron intake is very low, I think once I managed to reach 7% in a day but mostly it was under 3%. I checked out the rest as well and I decided to start taking multivitamin for vegans (and vegetarians) which helps me maintain a healthy diet and be healthy in general and have all the necessary vitamins and minerals and other things that I can’t take with my normal eating.
To be honest I try to be healthy and eat what I like but the problem is what I like is all the ‘bad’ stuff that we’re not supposed to eat in big quantities. Being a devoted vegetarian I wouldn’t chose vegetables to eat because any decent vegetarian chocolate cake is better than a piece of carrot. Unless that carrot is made of marzipan but technically that’s no longer a vegetable hence it’s very yummy.
So, back to the diet, I had to change a few of my eating habits. I skip breakfast at home because as I noticed I don’t really need it before I come to work, I just have a coffee with milk and that’s it. OK, a few bits of fruits when I do my fruit salads. Then I have a breakfast at around 10 in the office, one of the salads then a yogurt after 11. Lunch at 12.30 which is something cooked all the time (soup or rice or pasta) but I try to keep it low calorie. It’s usually something vegetable thing. I’m became a huge fan of bulgur wheat recently as it’s a low calorie food and tastes good. I tried buck-wheat too but that’s not so good. In the afternoon I have a ‘chocolate’ bar which is not really a chocolate bar. It’s a sweet thing, usually I buy Nakd bars, they’re healthy (made of dates, nuts, seeds and fruits), raw and only contain natural sugar and later the other fruit salad. After 5 I have porridge because I plan to go out running around 7-8 in the evening and it’s not so good to eat within 2 hours before it. (note: original porridge with water just doesn’t taste good…) After running I’m just pretty much shattered so I won’t eat anyway and I try not to eat after 6 pm either.
Conclusion of the above rambling, I still haven’t invented the chocolate fueled, easy and lazy super-diet but I go on a traditional way: eat less, eat well, exercise more and you’ll be healthier and slimmer. Rocket science, right? I’m so not looking forward to running. All the achy bits. Ah, damn my lazyness!
I might do cheat-days on my diet. Once a week when I’d just use all the leftover calories from previous days. So if I save 50 calories every day I can have an extra 300 calories, let’s say on Sunday. I can eat 1500 calories in total that day. I can definitely eat one whole pot of Rachel’s organic Greek style coconut yogurt, the whole 450 grams, all 650 calories. I rock!