I, and to an extent, my husband, took a nutrition challenge recently. We changed our eating habits entirely, and I also tried to track my caloric intake and make sure I got close to getting my calories from 10% or less of carbs, 60% fat and 30% protein, give or take.

On the one hand, this meant being able to eat bacon and eggs, all kinds of meats. On the other hand, it meant cutting out bread altogether along with just about anything with added sugar. We also cut out most fruits and took care with the vegetables to limit carbs.

We both lost weight over the 30 days. I proved to myself that I could indeed cut all those delicious little candy treats out of my life and survive. No candy, no donuts, no pumpkin muffins with cream cheese icing that my director brought in on the first day, no cupcakes at the office Halloween party, no Halloween candy, no party cake, no bread, no crackers, no chips. I can do that. For at least 30 days.

By the time the diet ended, I had stopped craving sweets, but I still craved bread, crackers and rice. I dreamed about pasta.

But each day that I succeeded gave me the strength I needed to get through the next one. I know I can’t maintain that kind of diet indefinitely, partly because I’m pretty sure my doctor would have a conniption fit if she knew how much cholesterol I was consuming, and partly because my discipline in avoiding carbs only stretches so far.

I haven’t weighed myself since the challenge ended. It isn’t so much that I’m afraid to know how much I’ve gained back, though that’s part of it. Mostly, I don’t have a desire to obsess over my weight at the moment. I am happy with going about my exercise routines and knowing that I can lose weight if I put in the effort.

The diet was a marathon in my fitness journey; a long period of focused effort. But it was not the entirety of my journey. That experiment has ended; the journey continues.

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