I planned ahead for this diet/challenge.  And by that I mean I consumed as much bad for me stuff as I could in the days leading up to it. That, coupled with two weeks out of town and nearly all meals consumed in a restaurant, and my body was ready for me to get back to something healthy this morning.

There’s a lot to think about with a radical lifestyle change like this.  I decided chronicling it here could be a good way to share what I’ve learned, as well as hold me accountable to the folks I am playing against.

I stocked up at the grocery store yesterday, planning ahead for this game.  So I feel prepared- there’s little alcohol or soda in the house, so as not to be too tempted there.  And that’s what it is all about for me. A compulsiveness, or an obsession perhaps, that since I have the parameters of the game, I’ve only myself to blame if I don’t adhere to them.    At least in situations where I am in control.

So what have I noticed so far?  For starters, the people I’ve explained the rules to always want to talk about how easy it will be to lie in this game.  After all, with this group, it is a virtual competition.  But it is true.I suppose any of us could lie.  But really? This competition? If I’m going to lie, I’m going to save it up for something much bigger than this.  And while winning would be great, I think all of us are motivated by something more than just that bragging right.  After all, if I lie about my points but come out of this not a pound lighter and still swigging diet coke, then really, what was the point? I don’t need the prize money that badly.

The second thing I’ve noticed is that I have not thought of myself in the past as a mindless eater.  Today, however, I realized I may be.  When I was washing off all the fruit I bought yesterday, I was tempted to sample a strawberry or grape.  I stopped myself in time, since it wasn’t with a meal.  I would not want to lose points for snacking because I mindlessly popped a grape in my mouth.

I also realized that five little meals a day is going to be a lot.  I slept in this morning, the cumulative effect of a significantly delayed flight Wednesday evening and the lack of ability to recover from that.  So here it is 5:30, and I’ve only consumed three of the daily meals so far. Fortunately, they are small portions, so I think I’ll be able to get the others in.

I also chose today as my day off from exercise this week. Yep, the first day.  But like I said, I slept in today, and I desperately needed to run some errands. So I showered, washed my hair, and headed out the door.  I chose at that time to forego the exercise today. Yes, I know that means I must do at least 20 minutes the rest of the week.  I can do that.

I haven’t really missed sodas today, probably because I had a lot of soda yesterday and the idea makes my stomach hurt.  The sparkling water will definitely help with soda cravings.  And I’ve figured out how many of my aluminum water bottles will constitute three liters each day.

Picking out a good habit was easy- it is to write every day, and no writing I do for work counts for that.  A bad habit was harder.  Why? I already have cut out a lot of really bad habits, and many others are being severely curtailed by the game.  So choosing one of them felt to me like I was giving myself a bit of a bye.  I finally decided that whenever I catch myself focusing on what I don’t have, rather than what I do, I will lose my bad habit points for the day if I don’t turn that thought into something positive.  I’ve been working on that a lot lately, and it really helps. But again, it is all about mindfulness.

So that’s it. Day one, nearly complete.  This month seems a bit long right now. I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to manage some dinners out and upcoming concerts without completely wrecking my points for the day.  But I’ll work that out when I need to.