4.6 min readBy Published On: November 1st, 2012Categories: Features4 Comments on 30 Day Challenge – Part Two

By Alexandra Ryan

Dear Caught In Southie,

I am two weeks into my 30 Day Challenge of Bikram yoga and no junk food.  Luckily, I am not completely alone.  Bikram Yoga Boston confirmed that approximately seventy-five men and women are doing the 30 Day Bikram Challenge.  In addition, two of my friends in NYC are doing 30 days of Bikram (they started early and are on day 19…jerks).  My boyfriend has also jumped on the wagon and committed to working out 30 days in a row.  He tried Bikram once and hasn’t been back, but that’s a story for another day.  I am the only psychopath that gave up junk food and I have never seen so much cake in my life. 

How is the Bikram thing going?
Well, Bob, the Bikram part has gone rather smoothly.  It helps having two counterparts in NYC and knowing that 75 other people are doing this crazy thing too.  I feel much healthier and energized than I did two weeks ago. I can’t say I always get up every morning for the 6:15am class, but when I do, I am in a much better mood and ready to start my day.  When the alarm goes off at 5:15am, skipping the early class and sleeping an extra 90 minutes seems like a great idea, but I always hate myself when I wake up at 7:00am and feel just as tired.  The after work classes are always more crowded.  Picture sweating profusely on a yoga mat with two people sweating just as much and sitting barely an inch away.  Not ideal.

What counts as junkfood? 
The following is a list of foods I have excluded from my diet:

  • Cake
  • Cupcakes
  • Candy/Chocolate
  • Ice Cream
  • Any and all Desserts
  • Chips – Lays, Cheetos, Cheezits, etc
  • Pizza
  • Fried food (chicken fingers, steak and cheese eggrolls, buffalo chicken rangoons, french fries, etc)
  • Soda
  • Chinese food
  • Canned soups

What has it been like to stay away from Junkfood?
At approximately 8:30am on Day 1, I entered the cafe area at work and was confronted with three abandoned half eaten cakes.  They were enormous.  On any normal day, I would have smashed a piece or two for breakfast and indulged in another piece post lunch.  Instead I turned my back to the cake and forged onward.  Throughout the day, I found plates of said cake on co-workers desks.   Around 3:00pm, we had an office birthday party with one of thelargest cupcakes I have ever seen in my life.   At the time, I was convinced that this was a sick joke.  I am 12 days into the challenge, and I have survived 3 enormous cakes, a huge cupcake, a random batch of brownies, 5 whole cheesecakes, a brownie sundae, fried potato puffs stuffed with gureyere cheese, french fries, pizza, left over stromboli,  halloween hershey kisses, m&ms, a refrigerator stocked with pepsi, coke, and other soft drinks, and a snack closet jam packed with Doritos, chips, and Cheezits. 

Needless to say, it hasn’t been easy.  The only thing that is keeping me going is this blog.   If I accidentally smashed a cupcake or a piece of pizza and had to come clean to the readers of Caught in Southie, it would kill me.*

What are you eating instead of junkfood? 
Here is a typical day:

Breakfast:  Egg white omelet

Mid morning snack:  Apple or fruit – Green tea

Lunch:  Salad with grilled chicken

Afternoon snack: 10 Almonds

Dinner: 3oz Grilled chicken and veggies

Are you serious? 
No.  Not at all.  I actually took this from an old US magazine article documenting a celebrity diet .  Who has time to measure their food and make an egg white omelet in the morning?  I usually have an english muffin with almond butter and jelly for breakfast, an apple as a snack, salad and a cup of soup for lunch, and something light for dinner.   I have had to go out to dinner a few times.   I split a non-fastfood cheeseburger on two occasions, but I ordered salad instead of french fries.  I have had a few glasses of wine here there and everywhere, but I’m trying to keep it under control.   If I know I’m going out to dinner, I eat as clean as possible throughout the day.

So far, the hardest part has been staying away from junk food at work.   I attend more birthday parties in the office than I have in my entire childhood.  I am convinced that we eat our feelings at work.  The food is everywhere.  I mean, who wants to work 40+ hours a week anyway?   Two weeks down, two weeks to go.

Yours truly,

*Hurricane Sandy caused the Bikram studio to close Monday.  This means I was not able to go to yoga class yesterday, so I need to squeeze in a double session in order to complete 30 days.  I took shelter with some friends at a bar in the North End Monday night.  In a moment of weakness, I smashed one piece of pizza, 3 chicken wings, and one  fried zucchini stick.  One bump in the road.  This hurts me more than it hurts you.  I blame Sandy. 

Did you miss Alexandra’s first blog post? Read it here: https://caughtinsouthie.com/feature/another-30-day-challenge


  1. Bob November 1, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    You can always order a Wide Load w/ curley fries from the Pit Stop at 3am. You can substitue with sweet potato fries for an additional $1.35.

  2. Alexandra November 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    I actually used to opt for the fried clams with extra tartar sauce from pit stop at 3am.  

  3. Anonymous November 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Halfway there Alexandra, great job!

  4. Anonymous November 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Halfway there Alexandra, great job!

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