I am not going to cut out soda entirely (yet) but I am not going to drink more than one a day and will focus on only having one when I really, really want it. I hope to break from this bad habit by the end of the year. I would like to continue with the shakes, but I need to crunch some numbers before I make that commitment.
Here are my general thoughts on what I learned.
I liked the shakes more than I thought I would. I enjoyed the taste more and more each day and really looked forward to drinking them in the morning. I loved how quick and easy it was to eat breakfast and the fact that it kept me full in the morning for about 4 hours. I have no idea what the shakes did for my body, but I figure whatever it did, it wasn't a bad thing.
There are other ways to exercise besides Zumba ;) I exercised all 10 days of the challenge so I was forced to try some additional forms of exercise besides Zumba. I was already taking Tanner for walks, but one night when it got to late too take him out I scrambled to come up with an exercise source and found Exercise TV on my cable's on demand. I will definitely continue with this. I love that I can do a quick 20 minute ab workout on days that I don't Zumba and not feel guilty about not working out.
I love eating little meals throughout the day. Most days my schedule was this - 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. When I was hungry (which wasn't often) it was usually time to eat again. It also meant that I was eating a lot of different food in small portions, which was fun.
Drinking a ton of water got easier every day and I found that I began to crave it. The one downside to drinking so much is the constant need to go to the restroom - especially at night while I'm sleeping. But I know how good drinking water is for me so it's worth it.
Being accountable to a coach that critiques your daily food log is hard. It's hard to lay it all out on the table. For me, it kept my eating clean. I didn't want to disappoint her and even more than that I didn't want to be lectured on poor eating choices, so I made the effort to do everything right. By day 10 I was ready for that part of the challenge to be over (it also takes a lot of time and effort to type all that out). The important thing is that I learned what I needed to learn from her and can do this on my own now.
I was successful at this challenge because I followed the guidelines while also tracking WW points. I think I would have been lost if I didn't know how big my portion sizes should have been. Doing this challenge renewed my belief in tracking. For me, it's the most important part of my diet. It's like having a personal coach without the lectures ;)
I already mentioned it, but the most important thing I learned from this challenge was about what to eat and when. Here, let me break it down for you again:
Following these guidelines made it easier for me to decide what to eat. I really like this formula and I felt great the whole time I was following it. I never felt overfull, overly hungry or lethargic and I'm sure that had to do with what I was putting in my body.
That's it for now. If I have more thoughts I'll continue to share them with you.