Week 1: Spartan Challenge + Mission 17

One of the things I learned after the Spartan Challenge last year is that my workout journal and my food log can be helpful training tools — if I take the time to review them each week. It’s important that journaling become second nature, but it also needs to be a “living” activity. It’s no good to mindlessly record what I eat and how I move every week if I never look at it again. So each weekend, I’ll be reviewing my notes and sharing what I’ve noticed… to make sure I’m honest with you and myself.

Week 1 of the Spartan Challenge and Mission 17 totally rocked. I’m very pleased with the changes I made to my diet this week, and I did all but one of the workouts I set out to complete.

Even though it’s all the rage in our CrossFit community, I’m not adopting a Paleo diet, but I am very diligently doing the Zone (mashed up with Weight Watchers, of course). That means:

  • no starchy carbs (except my post-workout Saturday breakfast)
  • minimizing my reliance on Balance Bars (no nutrition band-aids!)
  • no coffee (decaf tea… mmmm)
  • replacing fruit with vegetables as often as I can without puking
  • no low-fat ice cream before bed (or any other time, really)
  • updating my food and workout logs every day

So how did I do?

This week, I ate only half of a Balance Bar. It was on Thursday night, and I had raging cramps all day. After dinner, I was jonesing for something sweet. Instead of eating a 1/2-cup of low-fat ice cream (all sugar, all the time), I had the half Balance Bar. Yes, it’s sugary, but at least it’s 40-30-30 balanced.

As planned, Saturday morning I ate at my favorite breakfast joint: Habanero. Heuvos rancheros, guacamole, and ONE corn tortilla. Oh! And a cup of coffee. It was delish. I really, really enjoyed it. But that’s the only meal at which I had starch this entire week — and I haven’t had even a BITE of a tortilla chip since May 9. Also – bonus points! — I drank club soda instead of a cocktail when I joined my work pals at Happy Hour on Friday.

Here are some stats from my workout journal and food log:

The Spartan Challenge+Mission 17 Index: Week of 5/10 through 5/16

# of workouts:
6 (5 CF + 1 run)

# days of training: 5

average hours of sleep per night: 7.5

lbs. lost: 0

# of vegetables & fruits consumed: 56

average # of Zone blocks per day: 12

consecutive days without a tortilla chip: 7

On a scale of 1-10
(with 10 being “AWESOME”)

satisfaction with workouts:
8 (Saturday run canceled due to rain: BOO! Could’ve worked harder on Thursday run.)

satisfaction with diet:

overall mood/level of optimism:

Biggest dietary change: I replaced my afternoon snack of grapes and string cheese with green peppers, cucumbers, and grilled chicken. It wasn’t bad, and I got WAY more volume and way less sugar.

Favorite workout: Turkish getups… the best mix of fun and “this is so hard I feel like my face might pop off.”

Gold-star moment: We had a lunchtime all-hands meeting at the office, complete with towering piles of pizza boxes. I heated my packed lunch (grilled chicken/cauliflower/cabbage, strawberries, almonds) and ate it in the conference room while everyone else munched on pizza. The leftovers were relegated to the break room, and when I went there to fill my water bottle later in the afternoon, I wasn’t even tempted to have a bite. There’s hope for me yet!

Tweak for next week: Get that sleep average up to 8 hours per night.

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