“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I love that quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, and I have always tried to apply it to my life. After all, we don’t grow if we never challenge ourselves and leave our comfort zone. Sometimes you need that push to discover things you will end up enjoying. I remember being scared to try spin class, do power yoga, and run distances, but those have all become workouts I love. I have also tried some things that didn’t work out so well for me, like belly dancing and Bikram classes, but at least I could feel good knowing that I gave it that good old college try. So in this spirit, I figured the “21 Day Challenge” at my gym fit the bill perfectly for instilling just enough fear in me to make me think it was worth a shot.
Only a few days into the 21 Day Challenge, I’m starting to believe that this was not the best idea for me. Here’s why…
- Not being able to have bread is killing me. You see, my relationship with bread is sacred. I am Italian, and I am pretty sure carbohydrates run in my blood-line. I am genetically pre-disposed to be in love with sugar, bread and lasagna. I am also Catholic, and did Jesus not say we should break bread, have wine and be merry?
- This challenge involves a lot of avocados, cucumbers and celery. Those are all great healthy choices, except that all I can think about are that avocados are for guacamole and chips, cucumbers are a nice garnish for a gin a tonic, and celery tastes better with cream cheese on it.
- Drinking a lot of water was the one part of this challenge that I thought would be good for my system, since I know I need to hydrate. Except after about ounce 147 of water, all I really want is an Oreo cookie milkshake. Who knows, maybe part of the calorie burn is supposed to come from me running to the bathroom every 10 minutes.
- We have our regular boot camp class in the morning, and then I am supposed to complete an at home workout in the evening. I’m lucky enough if I can make it through the first round of burpees, push ups and jump squats at the 6:00 a.m. class; trying to rally later in the day for another round is rough. What are they trying to do, challenge me? Oh right.
- Last Sunday was National Margarita Day, but for challengers it was a “fast” day. That involved a full day of eating celery and cucumbers, and at some point I started hallucinating. By hour four I really just wanted Chinese food, cheeseburgers and Chipotle…all at once.
- If my mother knew I was doing such a challenge she would have her apron in a knot and would be waving “the wooden spoon” around at me explaining why not having pasta is bad for my anemia (even though I am pretty sure there is not much iron in pasta). She would argue that this is why I am so pale, and that I should eat meatballs immediately.
- “Hangry” is for real. A state of being hungry and angry can make even a positive girl a little snappy. I ordered a t-shirt that I found online that said “I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry” to wear around for the next 2 weeks just as a disclaimer to friends and family.
- I have sadly realized that coffee without an unreasonable amount of sugar, cream and foam is just not the same. Plus, don’t the baristas at Starbucks miss me?
- Friendship has taken on a new meaning. I have bonded even tighter with my girls who are doing the challenge with me. We can send each other pictures of celery arranged as a smiley face and remind each other to resist the urge to put the celery in a Bloody Mary. My other friends have told me not to call them until the 3 weeks is up and I can be fun again.
- Lastly, the fact that I was so excited to have lima beans as a morning snack might just be a new low.
The irony of it all is that the goal of this challenge is to drop a jeans size in the three week time period. But let’s be real people, I live in yoga pants, so this whole thing may be a moot point for me.