So here I am one week into this endeavour. The first week of any big change is both the easiest and the hardest. You have all this motivation and are excited about the changes you are about to make—this helps drive you to stick to your plan. However, it’s also the time when you are transitioning from behaviours and choices that you have become accustomed to. Figuring out how to balance your new lifestyle can be a challenge. All in all, I would say I am doing really well. I got myself some cute new sneakers and workout clothes and haven’t missed a day in the gym. I haven’t touched a sip of alcohol and I’ve managed to stay gluten and dairy free without much difficulty at all. I’ve found that because this is a gluten-free change, and not simply a cutting out carbs approach, I’m not feeling as though I am really missing some type of ‘carb fix’. I’ve replaced my regular morning breakfast of toast, cottage cheese and grapefruit with an egg white omelette and cherry tomatoes. I even found a trick for making this ahead of time—if you put your egg mixture into muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes you can freeze the mini omelettes and just pop them in the microwave in the morning! (I’ve been sautéing up red onion and mushrooms then adding a bit of chilli flakes to the egg—but just about anything that goes with eggs should work.) Image 3

Some other meals I’ve made this week include: -Homemade Thai spiced chicken fingers with gluten free rice breadcrumbs served with a cilantro, mint, and arugula Thai salad. -Homemade chicken burgers with dill, parsley, turmeric, cayenne and paprika served on a bed of lettuce instead of a bun and grilled asparagus.

Today I am going to make a batch of gluten free baked falafel balls and a dairy free cashew cream tzatziki (I’ll let you know...) I’m using my Saturdays to try a new recipe every week instead of sitting around drinking wine. Sundays I go out for my one ‘treat’ meal, take the dog to the park and get things done around the house. I don’t think I’m quite ready to hit the party scene sans alcohol, so for the time being I am going to keep myself out of situations where I think I’ll be too tempted.

I’ve also been trying to decide how I want to measure my success during this process. I am definitely the type of person who usually checks in with the scale (too often) to try to gauge success. Even though I know this isn’t the best way to go about it and I know my weight fluctuates daily, I’ve always just thought that I’d rather know than be in the dark. I’ve come to the conclusion that for the duration of this challenge I am going to weigh myself once (which I did today) And then not look at the scale again until the end of the eight week period. The number I saw today is definitely on the higher end (or slightly outside) of my ‘comfort zone’, but instead of getting stressed out and letting it get me down, I’ve realized the next eight weeks are going to go by whether I do something about it or not. So, I can just get on with it and continue doing the things I know will lead me in the right direction, or I can whine and obsess over it. Only one of those things is going to help me out—so I think the choice is obvious. (JESSICA LOVES THIS!) I know logically that it takes a few weeks of working hard and staying consistent before you start seeing changes on the scale, and I just want to take that sense of constant monitoring out of this experience. I don’t want to fall into a trap of not seeing a number go down and then stressing about that when I should be focusing on the changes and choices I am making. I’ve experienced this before where I feel like I’m killing it in the gym and eating healthy—then two, three, four weeks in I’ve only seen minimal drop in numbers on the scale! I start to think I’m going crazy and wonder what it is I’m doing wrong. Even though I KNOW it’s just taking my body awhile to catch up to the changes I’ve made.

I need to keep telling myself that if I stick to my plan, move forward and work hard I will achieve the positive results I am after. Not just for the remaining seven of these eight weeks, but for the rest of my life.

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