The New Food Plan

I met with my personal trainer Dan. He text me ahead of time and told me that we would be checking my mile time. I always have an idea in my head of what our session will consist of, and then when I get there it’s something totally different. I figured, it’s hot and muggy outside, so he’ll probably have a stopwatch and have me do a half mile on the treadmill and multiply it by 2 to save time. Once I got to the gym, we did some warm up moves and then we headed outside. He told me that I would be running an entire mile by myself and that he’d be waiting for me at the finish line. I almost panicked for several reasons. 1) Dan wasn’t going with me 2) It was super hot 3) I didn’t have my cell phone or iPod 4) I didn’t have a bottle of water 5) I have a flair for dramatics and I just kept seeing myself sprawled out in the middle of the street passed out from heat/ boredom from no music/dehydration and no way to call for help.

I calmed down and reminded myself that I’ve run a mile a gazillion times, and that in fact just yesterday, I’d done a mile on the treadmill. But, I decided to do a powerwalk because I was didn’t feel prepared for a mile run in the heat. I power walked down past one of my favorite Mexican restaurants and turned the corner. I thought about cheating, but that doesn’t really benefit anybody. I went all the way to the stop sign as instructed and turned back. Sweat pouring and thighs burning, I made it back to Dan in just over 17 minutes. He told me that I did better than some of his clients that took up to 20 minutes. I certainly didn’t push as hard as I could have, because I didn’t want to over exert myself. We went back inside where he proceeded to torture me. He goes from “such a nice guy” to “Man, I really don’t like you” so quickly. We did so many different intervals, all I really remember is seeing lots of sweat drip on the mat and snapping at him “Is this enough sweat for you?!” He always stays calm through my theatrics. When the sweat fest was over, we talked about the master plan. He said the goal for the first month was to get me in the gym. I think we’ve accomplished that. I’ve been meeting with him once or twice a week in addition to coming on my own once or twice a week.

Now it’s time to tackle the food. We’ve been working on eating a bigger protein filled breakfast and adding in more fruits and veggies throughout the day. I’m not sure why I hadn’t told you guys, but I haven’t touched a cookie for weeks, it might be almost 2 months. Cookies are my trigger food, my weakness. I’d like to eat them all day every day and eating them makes me want to eat more sweet sugary foods. When I don’t eat them, I feel more in control. Anyway, the next step of his plan is to have 2 planned “cheat days.” On those days I can have whatever I want, anything and everything. But the other days have to be 100% on plan. You know the drill, lean meats, veggies, whole grains, and drink water only. I asked, “Well, what will I do if someone brings donuts to work on Monday, and my cheat day is Tuesday?” “You don’t eat them” he replied with a straight face. “I don’t know about this…” I said shaking my head.

“You can do it,” he said. “Then we’ll move you down to one day. I’ve lost 60 pounds. I love to eat and knowing that I have my cheat day helps keep me focused during the week.” “Hmmm, I guess I’ll try.” I agreed begrudgingly.

But here’s what I know, I’m not going to look in this man’s face twice week a flat-out say I refuse to try your food plan, just because someone might bring donuts on a non-cheat day. So I decided, Wednesday and Saturday I’m WILDIN’ OUT! But, because I know cookies, mess me up, I’ll still stay away from those, even on cheat days. Every other day, I’ll be eating from the Weight Watchers Simply Filling List. Here we go! He wrote out a workout plan for me to do on my day off from him.


I called up my Gym Cousin and we met up Sunday after church. He was late, but I didn’t care. I’m usually late too. I was half way through the routine by the time he showed up. I only had two more rounds of squats, push ups and jumping jacks. He joined me and then we did the core exercises on the floor mats. I told him about the food plan and he told me to go for it. I decided to start Monday. Monday is always a great day to start!



  1. Hi Carli! This is the first time I’ve felt the urge to comment on one of your blog posts (though I’ve been a longtime reader!) I LOVE the idea of planned cheat days, and this is the very first time I’ve heard of a trainer actually recommending them! I’ve got about 30 pounds to lose and I find it so difficult to totally give up the “bad” food that I love. You mentioned cookies as your trigger food; mine is chips (specifically Doritos, OMG.) It’s actually really great to know that cheat days don’t have to be something forbidden, and it seems like it would be so much easier to stick to plan 100% if you know you have a couple of days out of the week when you can eat whatever the hell you want! *L*

    I also want to thank you so much for your C25K podcast! Up until six months ago, I hadn’t run a step since gym class in grade five. But thanks to your podcast, I was able to run my very first 5K on June 16, and finished with a time of 35:15. Thank you for making me believe that I CAN be a runner! <3

    • Hi Michelle! Looks like I really brought out the lurkers lol! Thanks for commenting. I like my trainer’s approach, he’s never said give up sugar and has gradually tried to incorporate a healthy lifestyle. Congrats on your 5K Success!

  2. Carli I just want to update you on my 5k training, 25 more days until I fly out to Ark. To do my second 5k, (a glow run), with my daughter. I am on week 4 of your 5k training music downloads. I just want to say, I am getting the best workout ever, and I find myself saying come on Carli, it’s got to be time to change from walk to run, and run to walk, so you are really giving me a workout, not to mention I have the treadmill on Hills. Just to hot here in Fl to be outside. So I want to say Thank You and for you to keep up the good work as well. Stella

    • Stella, a glow run sounds like so much fun! I missed the Glow Run we had here last weekend, but I’m doing another 5K in Forest Park in a few weeks. Keep up the good work! Be sure to send me a Race Day pic for the Wall of Fame!

  3. Ok I really want to know the answer to this: can you drink coffee on a cleaning eating plan? Seriously. I have a kid and therefore never sleep through the night – I kinda need my coffee. I enjoy it with a splash of half and half to cut the acid factor down a bit. Please ask that man and let me know! I beg you!!

    • Hey Stacy, he said that he prefers that I drink water only on the non-cheat days, but that I can have zero calorie beverages if I must, until I can wean myself off of them. I think coffee (black) is very low in calories. I’m a tea drinker (which has caffeine.) I’ve learned over the years how to drink it without sugar. I meet with him again tomorrow (Tues night)I’ll ask then.

  4. Carli – all I have to say is Virtual High Five!!! You got this babe… You did have me rolling with the thoughts of being found on the street passed out from dehydration, no music, and no way to call for help. I laugh at myself every run I do with all the darn gadgets. I swear I’d be Speedy Gonzalez if I could just run with only my GPS watch.

    • Thanks Sista Girl! You know I’m so silly, it was rush hour in St. Louis city, one of the many cars driving past most certainly would’ve stopped to help lol. Our little gadgets make the time go by faster.

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