Our #BOTSQUAD Fitness Challenge recruits were tasked to find a way to improve their diets this week. Stephanie Counts shares her battle against the evil chocolate chip cookie in her latest blog. You can read about Stephanie here.

I’ll never forget my first consultation with my Crossfit coach when he asked me what I hoped to get from my time in the gym. I gestured to my less-than-ideal upper arms and stomach and told him that I wanted it all to be tight and like that of a well-built athlete (or skinny teenager, either way!). He was quick to inform me that he couldn’t help me with those things because those were built in my kitchen, not in his gym (insert self-pity and a bit of denial here).

Now, I do not have an addictive personality at all when it comes to almost anything undesirable. One thing that I am obsessed with is self-control and I pride myself in my ability to have it in every circumstance. That is, unless it comes to carbs and sweets… I don’t know what it is, but I cannot help but crave the texture (yes, the texture) of carbs and who doesn’t like to ‘Treat yo-self’ with a cookie or a cupcake every now and again (aka daily)?! This is my biggest challenge without a doubt.

I can get up early to work out, push through the pain and exhaustion to be faster and stronger, and challenge myself physically on a daily basis. But when it comes to me vs a chocolate chip cookie I’m helpless. Obviously I am having to make it a priority to change my eating habits. Hard core fad diets do not work well for me. I like to enjoy good food, and I feel like life is too short to stop eating cheese or to be hungry all the time. For me, like most things, it is all about self-control. I’ve stopped eating my daily bowl of cereal for breakfast and replaced it with two turkey sausage links. I am as satisfied afterwards and it gives me the protein I need for a busy morning without
the fat and carbs in cereal.

I’m eating salads, tuna, or similar low-fat low-carb things for lunches. When I do eat a sandwich I have grapes with it instead of chips. It’s the little things, you know? At dinner time I’ve been replacing ground beef with turkey, cooking chicken breasts, etc. Red meats like beef and pork tend to set me back on the scale by a few days so I try to limit my intake of those things. Basically, I’m trying really hard to make better decisions at meal times, skip snacks when they aren’t needed, and choose healthy snacks when I need one.

Probably the biggest key to dieting success for me: WATER! If I’m hungry and it’s not meal time I will drink a glass of water and see if I’m still hungry. Usually dehydration veils itself as hunger so don’t be tricked! Get that water bottle out and drink, drink, drink!