Hmm, where do I begin? So much has gone on in the 3 weeks since my last update. Well, first and foremost, I’m halfway through my NY Post Dieters Challenge. I’m also 21 days into my Cold Shower Challenge. Finally, we’re 3 weeks into Lent. I’ll tell you how that factors into everything else in a minute.
But let’s talk about the NY Post first. As of this week, I am halfway through it. How’s it going so far? Well, I’m down 8 pounds. That’s good but not great. I’m losing on average about a pound a week. While I’m happy to be down, I know my consistency (or lack thereof, at times) played a part in it. I began the challenge at 313 and now I’m down to 305. My goal is still to be down to about 280 by the time the challenge is over. Every month, they have all the challengers come in and take photos. I’ve gone in twice so far since the initial before photos. These aren’t posted in the paper, they will be used for a progress collage at the end of the challenge. I haven’t really changed any though people say my face looks smaller. I don’t know, maybe. This leads into what I said earlier about Lent.
This year for Lent, I’m doing the Daniel Fast. What is the Daniel Fast, you ask? Well, basically, it’s a spiritual fast based on two passages in the book of Daniel (Chapters 1 and 10). But to cut to the chase, here are the guidelines as listed by the Daniel Fast website:
CAN EAT: All fruits, all veggies, all whole grains (except leavened bread), all nuts and seeds, all legumes, all quality oils, soy products, spices, salt and herbs.
CAN’T EAT: Dairy, eggs, meat, and other animal products, sweeteners, processed foods, solid fats and beverages other than water (including teas and coffee).
I typically describe it as a vegan diet but with a few more restrictions. It’s not typically used for weight loss nor is it why I’m doing it though many people lose weight on it from the often major change in diet and the removal of many fattening and toxic foods. I’ve actually last 6 of the 8 pounds in the 3 weeks since I began the fast. Internally, I feel awesome. I went through sugar withdrawal for a bit but now that I’m over that, I feel wonderful. I did have a period last weekend where I binged a bit but by Monday I was back on track. One thing I always notice about binging is the next day I feel like I have a hangover. I read that it’s from all the excess fat and sodium which doesn’t surprise me. But for now everything is cool and on a spiritual level, I hear God’s voice so clearly when I’m fasting especially during Lent. He’s definitely had a lot to say to me the last 3 weeks and I look forward to more.
On to the cold shower challenge…
As of Saturday, I’m 21 days in with 9 days to go. I will admit, there are some days I dread going into a cold shower but most days, even with that trepidation, I feel great when I come out. It’s like a jolt of natural caffeine going straight to my body. If it doesn’t shock you, nothing else will. I’m glad I started this now especially because I can’t drink coffee. I tried a few different approaches to it but I find that rather than going into an already running shower, it works best if I go in then turn the shower on and just let the water hit me. That first blast SUCKS. If you swear, you definitely will then. I don’t swear often but I definitely let out an audible one when that water hits me. First thing I do is hit the trouble spots, my head, the back of my neck and my back. Once those worst places have been hit, the rest of the body falls right in with it. It’s actually become somewhat therapeutic. I dance in the shower now with the music playing on my phone and my timers set for 5:45 to let me know when my time is done. Even after the alarm rings, sometimes I give it another 30 seconds or so. Have I noticed any changes? I’m not sure. I do notice, cold air doesn’t feel as frigid. The other day it was in the 30s and I was outside in just a hoodie with a long sleeved shirt under it, no coat. Most people would think that cold showers would make you more susceptible to colds but it actually builds the immune system. Been a long time since I felt this good. And psychologically, I definitely have been noticing the effects. Having conquered this, I feel like I can take on the world. It’s such a great feeling! When I find myself getting anxious about something, I think about the cold shower. Sometimes it actually led me to take one and remember how to conquer that discomfort. When this is over and I go back to warm showers, I’ll probably throw in a few minutes of cold at the end so I can continue to get the benefits from it. I definitely recommend it for everyone. It’ll suck especially at first, you won’t like it but just do it! You’ll thank me later.
To follow my progress via the New York Post website, check out this link: http://nypost.com/diet-challenge/