So here we are again. Another Sunday left reflecting on what the last week of my “Holly Jolly” challenge has brought me… To remind you of where we last left off, I was just starting to experiment with “zoning” my carbs in the effort to eat more food (as instructed by my coach). I had done one day of it and was SHOCKED by the amount of veggies that went into the blocks of carbs a “medium female” was supposed to eat. Now as I said before I knew doing zone was going to be interesting so just how interesting HAS it been for this week? Well I will tell you ;p
After two days of eating the blocks prescribed by the CrossFit Journal to a “medium” female. I decided I didn’t know what a medium female was and I was going to go about figuring this out in a way more specified to me. So I took to the internet of course and I found a reputable site where I could calculate my blocks based on my body fat percentage (which I had tested to start this challenge) and my activity level. To my surprise it came out with exactly what CrossFit Journal had prescribed for me; a block set up of 3-1-3-1-3… 3 blocks at each meal and two 1 block snacks in between. Welp, there ya have it I thought. Someone in the CrossFit world is giggling knowing how weirdly accurate their prescribed block set up is and yet how many people may question it… I am sorry I doubted you CrossFit Journal haha.
This week has presented a lot of ups and downs. Zoning is tough. Making sure I get enough veggies is really a challenge for me if I am going to be honest. I mean…. Did you know that one head of iceberg lettuce is only ONE block. A WHOLE HEAD OF LETTUCE. Is ONE BLOCK. I need to eat THREE at every meal haha… Of course not every veggies is quite so dramatic but it is a great deal more than I am used to eating. And that doesn’t just go to imply that I used to not eat very many veggies but just that I used to not eat much at all really. So getting used to having so much on my plate has been kinda tough. It is a struggle that most people would not think one would have when they are cutting out so much and are on such a strict diet. Which just goes to show that healthy living and traditional dieting do NOT go hand in hand… But more on that in a bit.
So for good balance here are 3 positives and one struggle that I have found throughout this second week 😉 :
Positive #1: I am satisfied all day. I don’t have weird cravings. My stomach is rumbling constantly. I eat 3 block meals and I am good to go. I have not even needed the 1 block snacks. The only “snack” I have been consuming is my post-workout Paleo Protein shake. Otherwise I make it through the day without wanting or needing any extra snacks; which has helped to eliminate that on the road all day snacking struggle I was having week 1.
Positive #2: I have felt amazing at workouts. I had one day where I was sluggish but that happens to us all. Otherwise, I strung together 7 unbroken pull-ups! SEVEN! Thats the most I have ever done. I PR’d my deadlift by 10lbs, my 1 rep max back squat by 5lbs and hit a new pr on my 3 rep max backsquat, as well as my strict press by 15lbs! So yeah… I’d say it was good week gym wise 😉
Positive #3: I feel leaner. I am not sure if there is a noticeable difference to the general public, or people who don’t stare my body in the mirror for 10 mins a day (shame face) hahaha. But I feel my body being lighter; hence the pull-ups. I feel as though I can move better. I also can see the beginning of some ab progress and honestly I can actually feel my muscle in my stomach so much more than before. I am building muscle and losing fat at the same time. I can feel it and it feels AMAZING.
STRUGGLE: The one thing I have experienced this week is night time cravings! Oh no! I have been staying up a little later this week than usual because I have had a lot to do and a lot on my mind so I think that plays a significant role. But I have found that the only time I am really struggling with this diet is when I am up at night and start to get “hungry”. However, I have also found that this will easily pass if I do two things… (Because really these late night cravings are usually just that, cravings. They are not real hungry and so if you appease the hunger monkeys they give you peace)… Which leads me to my two tips for this week.
My two tips taken from week two of the Holly Jolly challenge are:
- If you feel like you get late night cravings try these two things before you give in to the chocolate… Have a glass of water. A full glass. Keep it by you whatever you are doing that is keeping you up and sip that. So many times we are thirsty and not hungry. Then, go to bed! Really. Most people don’t get an adequate amount of sleep in the first place and if you find you get your cravings mostly late at night that could be your body’s way of telling you that it needs more time to recover and nourish itself. For every night that I got a craving, I had some water (maybe some chamomile tea) and I laid down. I was usually asleep pretty quickly and then I woke up feeling great! … And not guilty 😉
- Up your water intake in general. I have done full posts on this before but one thing I have learned this week as I have increased my carbohydrate intake is that I need to increase my own water intake as well. I have started bringing a cup with me in my car for work. I have found that even if I fill up a gallon of water and tell myself I have to finish it during the day, there is something about all that water or the large container or something that is a barrier for me. However, if I am just constantly refilling a cup, I go through water like CRAZY! When I have enough water in my system, I also stay fuller longer and feel better throughout the day… Not to mention my skin has been looking better and better! Woohoo!
I know those tips were a little longer this time haha, as was this whole post, but truly this has been such an amazing learning experience! I am so excited for the next 4 more weeks of this challenge. I can’t be more thankful that my boyfriend wanted to sign up for this and that we bit the bullet together. It has taught me more than I ever expected to learn and I feel, and look, great so far!
Unfortunately, our meals were pretty basic this week including a paleo meatloaf, some crockpot chicken wings, crockpot steak, and a paleo version of my Everything Paella; the recipe for which you can find here 🙂 … However, I am thinking about working on putting together a small ebook of some great crockpot tips, recipes, and meal planning ideas. If this is something you’d be interested in please shout! You can leave me a comment below or send an email to email@example.com