Back in October/November, I participated in a 30 day nutrition challenge. Basically, a low carb, high fat diet with an emphasis on hydration and sleep. I lost about 10 pounds in the course of the 30 days, and I dragged my husband along with me – although his following of the dietary rules was a little bit looser than mine.

Getting through that – especially the first week when I wanted bread, cookies, crackers, anything crunchy and carby and sugary – felt like an accomplishment in and of itself. But there were other benefits. It caused me, and my husband, to look hard at our dietary habits and make some changes.

We became less “treat” oriented. No longer were we buying ice cream every week (or every pay period). Candy intake got cut down significantly. And I found I didn’t miss those “treats” as much as I thought I would.

I would never have broached the idea of trying that kind of diet again, but it turned out I didn’t have to. My husband liked the results enough to want to do it again. We are not likely to ever go low carb full time, because of backpacking. (There may be a way to do backpacking low carb, but that is not how we hike our hike.) But periodic refreshes of our diet are another matter.

And so we’ve undertake a 28 day challenge – 28 days because that’s two pay periods and fits better into our grocery shopping schedule. We’re 12 days in, and doing well.

One thing that I’m doing differently is following my husbands lead (to an extent) and being looser in my restrictions. Because I was trying to lose weight as part of a challenge, I used an app to count calories and tried to make sure my caloric intake was low each day. This time, I’m just eating mindfully and keeping an eye on the scale and my body. I might try using the app again in the third or fourth week, but I think the first two weeks need to be devoted to letting my body adjust to the change in macronutrients.

Besides, it isn’t solely about weight loss this time. I want to retain or gain strength as I continue to go to Crossfit in the weeks leading up to the Open. I want to practice discipline in restricting my diet, a kind of mental dress rehearsal for surviving on backpacking food during my solo trip. The weight loss is nice, but I know that some of it will come back when I reintroduce carbs on February 25th. Just 15 more days.

Not that I’m counting or anything…

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