Since my salsa incident, I have been killing it with my meals. I have been feeling strong, confident and in control. After my first round, my eyes were truly opened to the concept of eating food that made my insides feel good and released me from decades of guilt and anxiety around calories, points and measuring cups that drove the way I fed myself. The ‘shouldn’ts’ and ‘can’ts’ started to fade and I just…fed myself healthy, nutritious, filling and delicious meals that kept me moving, living and being the best version of myself. Then, life happened.
When I decided to join Andrea for 60 days, I was not in a place where I was in control. I was not making mindful decisions anymore. I was totally using the concept of Food Freedom as an excuse to eat whatever without asking myself if it was special, worth it and if I really truly wanted it. A 60-day round seemed like the right thing to do. I thought I needed it. I had plans set up for the major life events that I realized I’d have to get through on a round. I’ve done this before! It didn’t scare me, and I knew things would be there for me when my round was up.
I didn’t need 60 days. I have been to the movies twice, gone out to eat three times and stayed compliant through various special occasions. I have made pancakes for my kids, eaten delicious compliant meals while my husband ate pizza and it didn’t rock me. Last night, I made a chocolate cake for my son’s 3rd birthday from scratch. I did not taste a thing. This morning as we were frosting the cake together, I realized, had I not been on a round, this cake would totally be worth it. I wanted it. I thought about it. I put it away and reached out to some accountability friends (my co-bloggers). They all gave me amazing, supportive advice. I had melon. I could have melon. I didn’t want melon. Day 31. I was on Day 31. I decided I’d have melon.
I made myself a delicious compliant dinner of a chicken burger, leftover grilled and roasted veggies, avocado and tomato. Life with a 3 and 1 year old mean someone is always melting down and there is perpetual chaos, so by the time I sat down to eat, my husband and I decided we should sing and let the birthday boy have cake. I wasn’t even going to get to eat cake with him! You are probably thinking ‘Hooray for you! You sidestepped that one!”, but I’ll cut to the chase, I ate a piece of cake. After the boys were in bed, I cut myself a small slice of cake and ate it sitting at the kitchen table. Alone. And in peace.
So, officially, on day 31, my round was over. Here is what I will tell you, though. It was not a slip up. It was not giving into temptation in the moment at a Dunkin’ Donuts drive through. It was not secretly eating chocolate chips in the pantry closet (Don’t judge, the sugar dragon struggle is REAL, yo.) I intentionally, consciously and mindfully made a decision to eat a piece of cake that was made from scratch with love and totally worth it. It was not a craving in the moment that I pretended was my using my Food Freedom. I know the difference because I have given into those cravings in the past. This was not that. I am coming up on a year since I first laid eyes on the Whole 30 program and it has been a process, but I can finally see the difference now.
Hear me when I say, if you are thinking this gives anyone permission to just go rogue and tap out of your round, it does not. While you are an adult and can make your own choices, if you are at the beginning of your Whole 30 journey, you need to stick it out. Trust me. If it had been my first or even 2nd round, I probably would have made a different choice. Yes, I made a commitment to 60 days and I will not be doing 60 days of full compliance, but my Whole 30 journey is about my personal emotional and psychological relationship with food, not the food sensitivities. I don’t really have any I have found after multiple thoughtful reintroduction experiences, so for me, the guilt I was feeling about telling myself not to have cake was honestly more detrimental than just allowing myself, after a careful 24 hour evaluation, one reasonable slice of cake. I ate it. I own it. I have no regrets.
At this point, a crucial part of my moving forward will be to just get right back on track tomorrow morning with, let’s be honest, fried eggs over mixed greens, avocado and probably some roasted sweet potato. Compliant eating is just the norm now. It feels good. It tastes REALLY good. And I will finish out the 60 days with Andrea. My NSVs are piling up. I have moved my body on average 5 days a week. We are getting an insane amount of yard work done on the weekends and I just ordered a bunch of new tank tops and t-shirts in a size smaller than I wore last year. I have a pretty good leash on my sugar dragon and tomorrow I’ll take note of how I’m feeling. Either way, though, the rest of the cake is going to work with my husband.
Thirty days down, thirty days to go. The concept of doing a whole 60 was new to me. I first introduced Whole 30 eating into my life in October 2016. Looking back at my first round, I remember feeling tiger blood by day 17 and feeling on top of the world. I also remember feeding my sugar dragon lots of compliant food. It used to be a joke that I had sweet potatoes with every meal. I used to eat RX and Lara bars on the regular as fillers for when I was “feeling hungry” (a.k.a. my sugar dragon roared her gnarly roar and I ate dates like they were going out of style.) Dates? I had never even hate a date prior to Whole 30. They weren’t my favorite, but my sugar dragon loved them so I brought them in bulk at Costco. Fast forward 1 ½ plus years… I just had my first RX bar of my round, I have eaten less than 1 bag of sweet potatoes in a month and I don’t buy dates anymore. I am generally eating less fruit and my salad portions continue to increase with every meal. My sugar dragon feels in control. My sweet cravings are still there but less frequent and shorter lived. This is a huge NSV for me.
This week overall, I have had a lot of repeat food. I didn’t make any new recipes like I had in past weeks. This was a week of survivals and getting past the triggers; my oldest daughter’s pre-school year is wrapping up, my first grad school classes are coming to an end which means tons of papers and lesson plans, extra grad school observation hours, childcare juggling and one of my besties was in town from Colorado who I hadn’t seen in 9 years and my children are acting… very challenging these days (cue desire to have a cocktail, wine, ice cream, and any sweet that isn’t nailed down). Thankfully tigerblood got me through it energy wise and keeping it simple got me through it food wise.
I sat for a couple of hours and caught up with my friend and drank kombucha while she drank wine and it didn’t feel like I was missing out. This was huge! I feel like the NSVs are piling up. I am not feeling deprived. Saying no to things that are offered and are not complaint is becoming easy.
One of the goals I had set initially was portion control. I feel like I have been more mindful of eating a solid serving of plated fat and not doubling it but I still need work in this area. I always have enough veggies so that isn’t an issue but all my years of dieting, nursing babies and feeling hungry has created a fear around feeling hungry. Because of that fear, I would often eat extra plated fat instead of extra veggies. This time, when I have felt hungry between meals, which hasn’t been often, I made a mini-meal instead of always going for my standard apple and almond butter. I am keeping hard boiled eggs on hand and on the go veggies ready.
So here we go, another week of Whole 30, more NSVs to be found and more things to continue practicing on this 60 day adventure. My goal for this week is to increase the movement. Things have been so busy and pain in my foot has been so bad that I have used that as an excuse not to move as much. There are so many things I can do besides running. No more excuses.