It is almost marathon taper time. With this in mind, I have decided to give myself some other little challenges to focus on over the next couple of weeks to avoid the maranoia setting in like it did last time. For those who aren’t familiar with it, maranoia refers to all the self-doubt that creeps in during the taper in the last few weeks before a marathon when you scale back your mileage in preparation for the big day.
So, I have decided to set myself 3 health challenges to keep me occupied and my mind on other things and I thought I would outline them quickly here.
I recently wrote about the benefits of having an acountabili-buddy (which you can read here) and so this is kind of an extension of that – by writing something down and sharing it publicly, hopefully it will help to keep me accountable.
1. Eat less salt
I have been refusing to acknowledge this fact for a while, but I am unable to run from it any longer. I need to cut down on my salt intake. There, I said it. It is going to be a big, big ask for me as I definitely crave salty over sweet and I absolutely detest bland food, as I am sure most people do. I try not to add salt before tasting a meal and, as we cook most of our meals ourselves and eat very little processed food, really the only salt I eat is what I add myself. But it is a lot. And I know it isn’t good for me. I think because I add it myself at the table I am also more aware of just how much it is. Therefore, my goal for the next few weeks at least is to cut back and the only thing I will allow myself to add it to, as I know we do need to eat some salt to be healthy, will be my special treat of avocado and rice cakes which always tastes amazing with a little salt and fresh black pepper.
2. Drink more water
Although I only drink water and coffee, no fizzy drinks or fruit juices for me, I am trying to drink at least my full 2 litres a day which means I need to fill up, and drink, my water bottle 4 times as a minimum each day. The extra trips to the water cooler, and inevitably the bathroom, will certainly keep me active during maranoia, that’s for sure!
3. Wait 20 minutes after eating to decide if I really am still hungry or not
During the day I am fine but during the evening I start to graze, looking for things to eat even after I have just finished my dinner. It seems to be widely regarded that 20 minutes is the amount of time it takes for your stomach to send the signals to your brain that it is full, giving you a rather large window of time when you could still be eating and already be satiated. So my third little challenge will be to wait for 20 minutes after my meal and, if I am still hungry then, allow myself to have something else.
Let’s see how it goes over the next few weeks and if these are easy enough to stick to. I certainly think no salt is going to be the hardest by far!
Happy Wednesday all!