360 Days . . . Counting Up Instead of Down

The other day I had this wonderful idea to put a counter on my blog for how many days left I have in my challenge .  .  .  then I thought to myself that didn’t sound right. I should have a counter tracking how many days I’ve been going strong!

I realized that my mentality about this goal is so important and that I need to have a positively structured mentality not a negative one. If I started counting down the days it would lead me to fantasizing about all the treats I will get to have or to think thoughts like, “When this is finally over . . . ” or ” I can’t wait until next June to  . . . ” or “I’ve gone through __ days I might as well get through __ more.” All of these thoughts are not conducive to my overall goal within this challenge. To help myself live a healthier LASTING lifestyle. The point isn’t to just go 360 days without sugar . . . the point is to get myself to a mentality and way of living in which I can continue after the 360 days are over.

Because what is the point in completing a challenge only to GO BACK to the way you were living before? There needs  to be improvement, and progression.

A few years ago when I was training for my first marathon I hired a personal trainer to help me train and also because I wanted to lose 15-20 pounds. He was the first person to help me realize that my eating habits were keeping me from realizing my goals. For the first month of running 10-20 miles per week my weight didn’t budge at all. Once I hired him I started to drop the weight, and was able to stay strong and have tons of energy for my runs. He created a meal plan, which I stuck to, to the T! Getting to the point .  .  . At the time I also started to date this guy who was/is a food fanatic. A foodie. He could cook like no other, spoke Italian, and prided himself on knowing all the best restaurants in Salt Lake (and surrounding areas). He also loved taking me out to eat. And this was a problem. I love food and eating at amazing restaurants, but I also needed to stick to my plan 100%. So . . . every time we went out to eat, or he’d cook dinner, I was always the pickiest eater and had to limit my portions. I felt bad because I didn’t want to be that type of girl. But I was (and still am). I think that made it hard because he would want to take me to this new restaurant and I would be like . . . I can’t eat that food. The catcher is . . . he would ALWAYS ask me when this phase was going to be over? When was I going to be done with the meal plan training thing? When could I eat whatever I wanted? And my response: after the marathon.

I trained for my marathon for 4 months. I worked with my personal trainer for 3 months. And guess what was my prize dessert for finishing the race? CHEESECAKE (from the best cheesecake maker in the world). Guess what I did as soon as my marathon was over? Go get that cheesecake (pretty sure I got 2 slices). And guess what happened in the weeks following . . . I fell off the wagon. Seriously, I couldn’t stick to my meal plan even though I tried. For those 3 months of training I had the mentality of “When this is over . . .” and that was the WRONG mentality to have and that pretty much messed things up for me.

I still struggle with that mentality. I really do. And that is why I am working so hard to change it. I don’t want to do something amazing and great for a set amount of time and go back to what I was doing before. I want to be a different, better, and stronger me. I combat this by always having something to look forward to. A year is a long time and so I have also set some short term goals for myself to keep me motivated.

And so . . . one of my sub goals is to work on counting up instead of counting down.

And guess what. I’ve been going 19 days strong.



Me at the Finish Line of the Ogden Marathon


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