It's time to stop breaking the promises you make to yourself to eat right, exercise and develop healthier habits. For the next three months, from 05 September 2011 to 05 December 2011, MISSION: INCREDIBLE focuses on getting healthier one day at a time. There is only one rule: do a little more today than you did yesterday to keep your promise of taking better physical care of yourself. Follow that one rule - EVERYDAY - and the changes you see in three months will be incredible.

 We're all at very different exercise levels and we all have different weight targets, but it's always nice to know you've got company on the journey. We'll focus on three goals as part of our daily check-in: G1 - diet (the good, the bad and the ugly); G2 - exercise (your physical exercise for that day); and, G3 - healthy habits (things we adopt or learn along the way that help). Join us and leave your comments below!

Day 24

I learned a couple of things today.

The first thing I learned is that I love a challenge. I will not be defeated.  Three days into this new 2500 calorie/30 grams of fat dietary challenge within the 90-day Mission: Impossible challenge and I am kicking ass.

Chocolate, I love you, but everything you own is in a box to the left. Peep my food diary entries below. I’ve got a picture of Muhammad Ali on my bedroom wall, folks. I’m serious about this.

The second thing I learned is that if you want something bad enough, your mind will kick in and help take you there. I was in the grocery store, looking for something to go along with a cheap steak.

My first inclination was a baked potato, but I didn't want to wait for it to cook, so my ego/gremlin/craving/food devil said, "No problem, chick! We can get some frozen Ore-Idas with garlic and butter! Or those hot twice-baked ones with cheddar and bacon bits! Yeah, baby!"

When I decided against potatoes, the craving monster threw a fit. Yes, a fit. "Why can't we get the potatoes?! Nobody cares about that stupid 2500/30 regimen but you! It's dumb anyway! You’re going to be fat forever! Look at you! I WANT POTATOES!!!!"

At the very moment that the voice in my head was saying these words, something amazing happened: my ego/gremlin/craving/food devil became an actual living, breathing being. It looks sort of like a big, hairy monster from Sesame Street. And it sounds like Dave Chappelle.

Now, lest y'all think I've been smoking herb, or am light-headed from not enough calories and fat, hear me out. I paused long enough to let my craving have its say. I paused long enough to remember the 2500/30 challenge. I paused long enough to remind myself that I do not want to be overweight another goddamn day. I paused long enough to tell the craving that it was no longer in control. I turned the craving into something ridiculous because that's what it is. Ri-damn-diculous.

Giving in to impulses and habits that work against me and my happiness is wack. Like crack. Which I have not been smoking. Cookie Monster is no longer in charge. I am. And I'm not entertaining any more temper tantrums.

This brings me to the most hilarious dieting story I’ve heard in a long time. One of our Mission: Impossible warriors, Wendy T., told us this one last night: “I've given up fast food for the most part, but passing a Popeyes or Burger King and smelling that food is torture.

So in a state of madness, I would (past tense because I have more control now) drive up and order, and right before it was my turn to pay...DRIVE OFF!!! It gave me a sense of power to physically reject the food and leave! I've passed by White Castle (for you northerners) and flipped the bird passing by as if the restaurant's mere presence was an insult or challenge to my dieting efforts! SMH!!

Sounds crazy, but 30 pounds later I can truly say it's "by any means necessary"!! Taking those few minutes to let that "monster" die down is very important. It can control your mind so you have to acknowledge his presence then tell him to STEP OFF!! Nothing tastes as good as whipping his monster azz feels!!”

Let the church say, “Amen”!

Here’s my check in:

G1: Breakfast at 8:00 a.m. was two slices of Jennie-O turkey bacon (1g fat/40 cals), butter-flavored grits (1.5g fat/100 cals), Yoplait 99 percent fat-free yogurt (1.5g fat/170 cals) and calcium-fortified orange juice (0g fat/110 cals).

At 12:00 p.m., I had about two cups of a mixed green salad with five cherry tomatoes, two slices of cucumber, ¼ cup of shredded carrot, one ring of red bell pepper, 3 oz. of imitation crab and 4 oz. of grilled chicken, with 2 tbsp. of Newman’s Own balsamic vinaigrette (6g fat/500 cals).

I also had one baked chicken wing and one baked chicken leg (7g fat/250 cals), two satsumas (0g fat/80 cals) and water.

Around 300 p.m., I snacked on five Tootsie rolls (3g fat/140 cals).

For dinner at 8:00 p.m., I had 5 oz. of beef steak (10g fat/400 cals) cooked with a large bell pepper (0g fat/40 cals) and one cup of kidney beans cooked without meat (1g fat/120 cals).

The total for the day was 31.0 grams of fat and 1950 calories.  Boom!

G2: I walked three miles in the morning and another 1.5 miles in the evening along with my upper body exercises.  I had a terrible shin split in the left leg during the morning session, but I slowed down and kept going. It went away. I will not be stopped.

G3: Keep something in mind: I am not a doctor or dietitian. What I share in this blog is just my personal experience. It is in no way a recommendation of what you should do. When I looked over my diet entries for the day, I noticed that they seemed protein-heavy. I felt full most of the day and didn’t crave sweets or chips or other junk food, so this kind of a diet day works for me. However, it might not be right for you. See your doctor or a health professional before you start any new health regimen.

And check this page out to begin learning more about dieting specifics.

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