I had a surprisingly easy time sticking to the first week of the Tone It Up challenge. While I discuss some of the challenges below, I followed the plan perfectly until Friday's dinner and still made good plan-aligned choices through the weekend. I'll definitely be making some changes to the plan next week (I'm looking at you, chicken breast) but all in all I'm excited to be back on the TIU wagon. I can already see some physical changes and I've lost 2 lbs this week. I definitely recommend printing out the plan and writing down any changes you're making to the week on the sheets. I've been keeping the current day's print out on the counter in the kitchen so I don't have to worry about remembering what each meal is. I made some changes to the plan that are totally TIU Approved in order to make meals more enjoyable for me. A dollop of Dijon mustard in the oil + vinegar dressing on the kale salad made my heart sing and adding a few chopped scallions, lime juice, some curry powder, and a little mango chutney to my chicken and Greek yogurt made a boring wrap filling into a funky chicken salad. I listed out the good and the bad for this week, as well as what I'll be changing up to make next week as successful as possible. I also added salt to pretty much every recipe so that I didn't pass out - if you didn't know, I have very low blood pressure and low-sodium is a no-go for me!
- I loved the breakfasts, snacks, and lunches this week. I have re-fallen in love with protein pancakes (which used to be a staple item in my breakfast rotation) and marinating kale actually made such a huge difference that I actually liked the kale salads. I never felt hungry or deprived - I was eating real food and enjoying it.
- I seemed to find a good balance for meal prep where I prepped enough to make following the plan easy but not so much that I was only eating microwaved food. The only meal I struggled with was M5 (dinner), which I talk about below.
- I followed the meal plan perfectly until Friday M5, which was much better than I anticipated.
- I worked out every day this week and only missed one thing from the weekly plan. I had a lot of life stuff come up on Thursday and I was unable to get my cardio in before work and so I just came home at 8:30 and did the foam rolling routine.
- I've lost 2 lbs this week!
- I was so sick of chicken breast by Friday.
- I really dislike having leftovers or the same thing multiple times a week for dinner. Both Wednesday and Thursday I barely ate any of my dinner because the food sounded so unappetizing to me. It was weird because I really enjoyed those meals when I had them Monday and Tuesday, but the second time around I was sick of it. I think the chicken burnout contributed to this as well.
- In addition to never wanting to look at a chicken breast again, I was totally protein-ed out, if that's even a thing. Every meal was so high in protein I was barely hungry by dinner, which I think might also be why I didn't want to eat my M5 the second half of the week. I craved fruit & pasta at night pretty much the whole week, even when I wasn't that physically hungry.
- By Friday night all I wanted was a serving of pasta for dinner - so I made pasta. I was so bummed out all day because the idea of having more chicken for dinner was depressing. It was a simple one-pot pasta dish but it was the best dinner I ate all week just because there wasn't any chicken in it. Even with having 2 servings of the pasta, I was still within my calorie goal for the day, so I felt fine about the whole thing. It wasn't TIU Approved, but I seriously thought I was going to cry if I ate chicken for another meal.
- I forgot I was going to be out of the house all day Saturday! I didn't get back home until 10 and I certainly wasn't going to cook chicken drumsticks for an hour and eat at 11 PM. I ended up having pasta leftovers, which were delicious. I regret nothing.
- Did I mention I am really sick of chicken breast?
- I'm diversifying my protein choices this week. I'm definitely going to be eating pork tenderloin for a couple of meals! I'll also be adding in more chicken drumsticks and other non-breast cuts for dinner - I take a cue from Gina at Skinnytaste.com and pull the skin off to make them lower calorie!
- Since this weekend is my 1 year wedding anniversary, I've already owned up that we'll be going out to eat both Saturday and Sunday night. Knowing I'm going to have 2 meals I'll really enjoy at the end of the week helps me stick to the plan Monday through Friday.
Overall, I'm very excited with the results I'm already seeing. Other than my dinner issues, I loved the food I was eating and I think I'm making appropriate changes to make the plan work for me. Are any of you following the challenge this year? Let me know what your struggles and successes this week were in the comments! I wish you all the best in the 2nd week of the challenge and I'll be back next week with another recap!