One of the last things my trainer, Ryan Rose at Health & Strength, says to me at the end of each week is, "Make sure you eat good this weekend, kid."
I don't know how he can tell when I do eat bad, but he pretty much knows when I do eat something I am not supposed to have or skip a meal.
My food choices, as well as not skipping meals, have gotten so much better since Ryan and I have started this journey together.
In the beginning it was such a major struggle to get the food thing right.
It was tough to remember to eat five to seven small meals a day without skipping meals. There were a couple days that Ryan would have to remind me to eat.
There are days that I with I could go back to eating "real" food. It was so hard to break free of all those bad habits that I had.
The other day while talking to my friend, Jeff, I told him that I'm not really sure I could go back to eating the way I used to.
Jeff laughed at me and replied, "Yeah, you can't to continue to lose weight like you want. And if you were to come in and try to eat the way you used to, we won't let you. We'll give you a salad instead of what ever you ask for."
It's nice knowing that I have that kind of support and accountability from people in the community.
I've known Jeff for a very long time from when I would stop into the Thirsty Pony and grab a burger and soda before work.
During my lunches there, I got to know him and one of the other bartenders, and we'd have some entertaining conversations at times. The two of them knew all to well my struggles with food and my desire to get healthy. Have fun in North Carolina this week Jeff, and make sure to stop by Mount Pilot for me and say "Hey" to Andy for us in Mount Airy!
Ryan does allow me one cheat meal a week. Normally, I try to take that meal on Friday's after I leave the gym. (I picked Fridays at first because it was after he made me weigh in for the week.)
Choosing a cheat meal used to be easy because I really did eat whatever I wanted to and did not care.
Now, I try to factor in if it is within my daily calorie intake and still within most of the guidelines that Ryan has given me to follow.
This process is more than a six-month challenge for me. It's a learning process for me to make healthy habits for a complete lifestyle change. Breaking free from bad, unhealthy habits that were holding my body hostage. Learning to listen to the real needs and wants of my body instead of guessing or ignoring them.
Ryan: Thank you for being on this journey with me. It continues to amaze me how you see those mental blocks before I am ready to speak them or even ready to admit they are there. I know I have to tell you ... and it will be soon. The rest of the world, sorry, you may never know.
To my friends and co-workers: Thank you for keeping me on track and accountable. I love that even when I want to waste my cheat meal on crap, you guys still will only give me a salad and tell me to suck it up because your scared Ryan would yell at all of us. (He won't yell at them; Ryan would just put me through an extra hard workout if he found out what I had. Believe me, he's done this before.)
I wish Godspeed to my fellow Challengers. Stay focused and finish strong.