The travel has begun…and if I had to rank my success in staying on track with the 21-Day Challenge so far, I’d give myself maybe, at best, umm, a 5?

And yikes! I am only into my travels by about 3 hours and 35 minutes at this point. (By the way, I have to admit that I am pretty hard on myself – I expect myself to pretty much be at a perfect 10!)

So to be fair to myself, I have to give me kudos for what I’ve been able to stick to so far, in less than 4 hours of a 5-day trip. I evaluated my food options once I arrived to the airport and chose against only carbs (cereal, fruit or sugar-filled yogurt). I also chose against not eating. I dug into my travel bag and found a PureFit bar. And made myself eat it. (You may note that I say I made myself eat it. While I loved them when I was first introduced to them, I can barely stand to eat them now. Too much of a good thing, right?) But I did it. I made the better, more nutrient-balanced choice.

I’ve now been able to get a real breakfast on the plane. Or at least a more balanced whole-food one, and something I like. I was able to get a ‘Starbucks-like Protein Box’ with a hard-boiled egg, grapes, cheese, a multi-grain bread (not sure what to call it), and almond butter. I popped out the yolk on the egg, and left the almond butter and ‘not sure what to call it multi-grain bread’ for later. So I feel better now, physically (because I’m better nourished), and mentally (because I was able to eat a balanced whole-food meal). I also had a tomato juice and water. Yay water!

Now, let’s look at what I did not do? (While I don’t like to look at the bad, it’s important to be objective and look at both what I did well and where I can improve. You must see it to improve it.) Let’s start with not getting enough sleep. Yep, I pulled the typical almost all-nighter getting ready for the trip. Why is it that we try to get just everything done that’s on our task list and then some before we travel? Is it just me who does that? Either way I don’t know why I do that to myself, but it’s what I do (and it’s something that needs to change). So I didn’t get enough rest.

Lack of sleep is just plain bad for the body. Do you know that research shows that on average adults need 7-9 hours of sleep? Check out the stats – most any website on sleep will tout this. And the websites will also show that lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, attention deficit, diabetes, heart problems, and more. Yep, so if lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain, then getting enough sleep can help you lose weight. It’s been proven. It also helps your brain function better. Go figure.

For me I have realized that I make poor food choices when I am tired. I have what I call ‘lack of sleep brain’ (aka distracted brain). And I eventually crash, hard, when I finally stop and it seems to take me extra time to get back to feeling even halfway good and rested.

What else did I do? I didn’t eat breakfast before I left the house leaving me wide open to limited food choices. And why didn’t I eat? I didn’t have enough time. I went to bed too late, snoozed an extra 15 minutes because I had barely slept and didn’t leave myself enough time to eat a balanced breakfast.

It’s a vicious cycle. The choices I made snowballed into worse choices, or at a bare minimum, limited choices. But guess who made the choices. Me! I’m the only one responsible.

So that’s why I gave myself a 5. I made some good food choices with what I had as choices at the time, but I made a very bad choice to push myself to the 11th hour so to speak, not get enough rest, not make the time to eat, and then put myself into a place of tough choices – into that vicious cycle of tough choices.

Make sense?

Stay tuned to see how the rest of the trip goes and to see if I can boost that 5 to a 7 or higher. (I’m working on my perfectionistic tendency so I’m aiming for a 10 but know I might have to be a bit realistic.) I will do my best though. Wish me luck!


-Your Body3 Fitness 21-day Challenge Friend, Christy Stratton