So it’s T-minus 10 days ’til I hit the beach for vacation, and with my dad’s birthday this past weekend there has been a lott of temptation. Sunday night’s dinner was a struggle to find something compliant at the restaurant, but I think I made the best choice I could have. Last night I had to opt out of a trip to Bruster’s (for those of you who don’t know what Bruster’s is, it’s the best ice cream EVER), so that was sad. It wasn’t as difficult to say no as it has been in the past though, because since I have eliminated dairy I have been feeling great, and so it was more than just cheating. It was sacrificing the effects of being dairy free and continuing on to see what is really causing me some issues, and that just wasn’t worth it for a few moments of creamy goodness. My mom, in a sweet effort, got me some dairy free ice cream, but sadly I had to refuse that as well because of its added sugar and the fact that I swore off desserts until vacation. No worries though, it won’t be safe once I get back….
So, “behind the title” for today–
While the Whole30 (or any “diet” or lifestyle change) does require a lot of thought and planning ahead, it is very easy to overthink. They say not to count calories while you are doing the Whole30 (I’ve found this to be very hard and still do), because you are eating whole, natural foods so you should eat until you feel satiated and it’s as simple as that. I have, during this process, unintentionally been eating less. I’m not sure if my meals have just been more satiating, or if I am learning to listen to my body’s hunger cues better, or if I’m just having a weird week. Either way, I am happy that I haven’t felt like I’ve overeaten at all recently. I’ve been sharing my meals/findings/progress/tips with my boss (I call her my boss but she really is way too awesome and cool to have a scary title like that, but she is my superior), and she has adopted some of my healthy habits and always asks my advice, which I take as a very high compliment. Both of us have struggled with eating disorders in the past, and want to have a healthier relationship with food. One big part of eating disorders is obsessing over food, always thinking about it, worrying about it, and meticulously counting calories. While I wouldn’t say that I still have a traditional eating disorder, I do know that I still obsess over food far more than I should. She said that she thinks she does as well, and of course my advice was that sometimes you just have to let go and not worry about it. Well, I need to take my own advice. I can’t tell you how many times I have stood in front of the refrigerator and input every combination of snack/meal I was contemplating eating into my calorie counter app until I found the one that best suited what I thought looked good on my calorie breakdown. Sometimes I would become so frustrated that I chose nothing at all in fear of what it might do to my waistline, or the complete opposite–choosing the big bowl of ice cream to drown my stress in. Coupled with my indecisiveness, my anxiety about food is almost crippling. I kid you not, I have stood at the refrigerator for 30+ minutes debating on eating a cup of yogurt because “oh it might put me over my sugar for the day” or “oh it will put me over my calories for the day”….YOGURT. Most people would just say EAT THE DAMN YOGURT. But it’s not that simple. So today, when I gave the advice that sometimes you need to just let it go and not worry about it, I realized that I need to take my own advice. Eating should bring pleasure, not anxiety.
This is part of the reason I wanted to try the Whole 30, because it is supposed to change your relationship with food (hence the no counting calories). While I haven’t broken away from that habit just yet, I do think the fact that I’m eating/snacking less is due to listening more to my body.
So as I was listening to my body today it was sending me some pretty weird signals. Normally I feel like my stomach is a bottomless pit, and I never feel full. Well today I never felt hungry. This NEVER happens to me. Literally never. I drank my cleanse drink when I woke up (hot water, fresh squeezed lemon, freshly grated ginger, cayenne), and I wasn’t hungry for breakfast but I ALWAYS have to have breakfast. If I don’t eat breakfast food first I cannot eat any other kind of food. Period. (Told you, my relationship with food is seriously whack, but hey– eating breakfast is a good habit to have.) So I ate my monkey salad and headed out the door with a cup of coffee. I was still dragging by mid-morning so I had another cup. By lunchtime I still wasn’t hungry. Finally at 1:30 I forced myself to eat the beautiful spinach salad I spent time making the night before. I couldn’t even finish it, not to mention the bell peppers I had cut and the carrots and turkey I brought along for a snack as well. Instead, the office was freezing so I had 2 cups of green tea, and I was still struggling to keep my eyes open. By the time I got home, I passed out for 2 hours and felt like I had absolutely no energy and no appetite. When I woke up I once again forced myself to eat, a chicken breast and some steamed broccoli (only because a. it’s worse for your metabolism to not eat and b. because I plan to workout in the a.m. and need some fuel). Now here I am, fighting to stay awake. After 2 cups of coffee and 2 cups of green tea. This is nonsense. Hopefully I’ll get enough sleep tonight so I can kick some butt in the morning.