360 Challenge- The “Snowball” effect

As I sit here and write on a beautiful 70 degree spring day, the LAST thing I want to think about are snowballs.  However, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the choices we make can sometimes lead to bigger and bigger habits  very quickly- like a snowball rolling down a hill gathering more and more snow as it goes.

snowball effect

This can sometimes go in a positive way but most people refer to it as a  negative.  The thing that got me thinking about it is that I have noticed over the past couple days that some of my food choices have not been so great- leading to a few days of over eating and including more sugar than I know is good for me.  See, for me- Sugar is a MAJOR snowball.  I think it starts out small and I can just have a little bit after lunch, but then I crave more, and more until suddenly I realize I’m including it several times a day.  The interesting thing about that, and I know there is a lot of psychology behind it, is that once many of us feel we’ve “blown” our diet we are more likely to make worse food choices the remainder of the day. This has happened to me the past couple days…a dinner out, followed by some extra treats the next day to just over consuming what I know I should have. Then, last night a fun family dinner with food and drinks and dessert.


Well- the snowball has gotten too big…. It’s only been a couple days, but I can feel it!

mexican fiestaHere’s a picture of the thing that made my snowball crash at the bottom of the hill.  For those of you that know me, I could eat Mexican food for every meal (and sometimes do).  However, it’s also a slippery slope as it’s really easy to OverEAT it as well. We had a little “Mexican Fiesta” last night which included too much food and of course a drink to go along with it.  From all those calories and the sugar I woke up at 2am and couldn’t sleep. I felt pretty terrible. My body was DEFINATELY  telling me that it did NOT like what I put into it and this was it’s way of rebelling. Hitting me where it hurts- taking away my sleep to make me feel tired and groggy the next day. Blah.  What we do when we realize things are “snowballing” in a way we don’t like or want is the important thing. I mean, I’m only human and I love food just as much as the next person (probably more). So it’s only realistic to think that I will indulge every once and a while and there will be periods of my life where my normal 80/20 rule (of eating really great and healthy foods 80% of the time, with allowing about 20% in indulgences) looks more like a 50/50 or a 30/70 (YIKES!). Anyway, my point being is that a couple days is not going to wreak you.  However, a couple weeks, a month, a couple months will.  The important thing is to pick yourself up and move on.  Start the day like I did today with a really healthy, lighter breakfast.  For me- I made an amazing protein shake with lots of spinach , kale, coconut water, berries, and chia seeds.  It gave my digestion a bit of a break for a meal and now I can spend the rest of the day really listening to what my body needs (which likely isn’t a lot of food since I’m in a pretty big calorie surplus from the last couple days). 🙂

So, I’m not going to dwell on what I did- I just have a plan to move forward.  If you find yourself in the same place today or in the future I encourage you to take a few moments and really jot out your plan and your WHY.  The WHY is what’s going to get you there. My WHY is simply because I want to feel better and I want to SLEEP better.

eat like crap

Now, lets end this on a positive note.  The good news is that I have this challenge that doesn’t let me derail on my exercise plan.  The Altman Fitness 360 Challenge FORCES me to think about how I am going to be active every single day.  The first day after a big indulgence I had TONS of energy to work out. Then, after another day I just started to feel heavy and lethargic. I have had 2 days of big workouts so my body was tired and sore today.  Today it was about all I could do to get on the elliptical for 10 minutes in the morning just to get my body moving, recover and bit and it did help me feel better. I will make sure to get out for a walk today as well and be nice and recovered for a big workout tomorrow (with MUCH better fuel in my body)!!  It only takes one day to break a habit and start eating and living better. And it only takes 1 day to start a pattern of including exercise every day.  Who’s with me!?


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