Consistency really is key

Saw this quote on Tina’s blog Wednesday:

“There is no magic pill — only hard work, dedication and consistency.”

She’s right; I know she’s right. And Tuesday’s experience with the Whole30 is a prime example.

I had a few slices of turkey for breakfast on the road, followed by two fried eggs and some sweet potato hash browns when I got home. At about 2 o’clock, I decided it was time for lunch before work. But I wanted something quick … so I went out for the first time since starting the Whole30.

I figured a lettuce-wrapped burger from Five Guys would make a great, easy lunch. And it would have — had I not gone on autopilot when I ordered. I ended up with my usual, a cheeseburger topped with mayo, mushrooms, grilled onions, pickles and mustard.

Yes, I said cheeseburger. It’s entirely my fault. I’ve been in there so often that the guy at the counter, Victor, knows my order … and I completely forgot to tell him I didn’t want cheese this time. It didn’t even hit me what I’d done until I unwrapped the burger.

Of course, I wasn’t about to waste a $7 burger, so I ate it anyway. I felt a little guilty, but not enough to toss the Whole30 rules for the rest of day. And that’s where consistency comes in. I have to make smarter choices more often, rather than let one not-great decision snowball into an entire terrible day.

I used to feel that way about Atkins. I could eat one piece of chocolate or one cookie and go right back to my low-carb plan with the next meal/snack/whatever.

That’s what I did Tuesday night: I had a banana, sliced and sprinkled with coconut and a dollop of homemade almond butter; a big salad with homemade ranch dressing (using the recipe from “It Starts with Food”); and spaghetti squash with ground beef and tomato sauce — all Whole30-approved, all wholly delicious.

I consider that a victory.

Another victory? That burger with cheese came after I put in 45 minutes on the treadmill.

That’s my longest treadmill workout yet.

I covered nearly 3 miles and burned almost 350 calories. I didn’t set out intending to walk/jog for 45 minutes (most of them walking, but 7 of them jogging) — it just happened. Every time I challenged myself to burn a certain amount of calories, or hit a certain mileage, or climb a set number of vertical feet, another milestone was so close that I kept on going.

Other small victories:

  • I wore a shirt I’d picked up on clearance at Walmart back in February for the first time. When I tried it on after buying it, it was skin-tight. Now it fits great.
  • I caught my reflection in a plate glass window and almost didn’t recognize myself. I thought, “Wow. You look good.”
  • The shirt I wore to work Wednesday was looser around the hips than it was last time I put it on. I’m convinced of it.

I’ve been seeing signs of weight-loss progress, for sure. This morning, I’ll be able to see if the scale agrees with me. It’s nice to actually look forward to weighing in. (I remember feeling that way while doing Atkins the first time, too.)

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