Another week another goal conquered and added. If you recall from last week I set up a 9 week program to change lifestyle habits and make some big changes in my life. Week one was water, week two was carbs, and week 3 will now be exercise.
OK, so I survived my first week without the deliciously wonderful carbs that had sustained me throughout the holidays. My new eating plan is not the Atkins prison of no carbs at all, I am allowed some berries, beans, ‘high carb’ veggies like red peppers, carrots, nut butters. I definitely do not feel as deprived as I did doing Atkins in the past and am feeling less sorry for myself. The smell of movie popcorn almost lead me to attack a young child carrying a bucket of said delicious buttery goodness about his own size, but I was able to take a few deep breaths and avoid a felony.
I have chronic migraines and unfortunately when I make dramatic changes in diet, exercise, caffeine intake, etc it sometimes can kick off a migraine. That was my luck this week. I get a lot of stomach upset with migraines, and carbs are the only foods that seem to settle the unrelenting nausea. I know that possibly one or two bites of ritz crackers, a sip of coke and that pounding in my brain might fade a bit and I could open both eyes without wincing. But I held strong. Greek yogurt has been my go to health food in the last few months when my GI track has gone rogue, and I wanted to be sure that would be an option for me on a new eating plan. So I was one with my yogurt and I made it through. The migraine took 2 days to truly improve.
Overall the biggest challenge is the cooking and cleaning. Preparing all your own food, taking that with you everywhere and then cleaning up the dishes is not the fun part of dieting (see what I did there, because there is not fun part of dieting?). Every day I leave the house with a giant lunch box with my breakfast that I eat at my desk as I prepare for the day, my lunch, and at least one snack. I feel a bit silly, but I also feel empowered. Ha ha world full of temptation! I have a bag full of food to protect me from your evil clutches! I am also saving money- which is never a bad thing. So far this year the lunch room table has very few tempting treats from well meaning co-workers. So I’m not bombarded by high carb, processed foods all day. But wait, its coming….a baby shower! I actually helped plan this, so I can’t be too upset. I did sign up to make deserts- but luckily the mothers to be and I do not have the same taste, so I will be making a pumpkin cheesecake (yuck) and an apple pie (blech).
The weekends are truly the danger zone, when my schedule falls apart and there is some free form time and sometimes unplanned meals. My hubby could eat once a day and be fine forever. I would, of course, die of hunger. I did go to brunch with friends- a place that I knew well that specializes in farm to table with a menu I could review online and come prepared with order. The pastrami hash, side? brussel sprouts, toast? for my husband. Thankfully caffeine is not forbidden and coffee completes any meal. Alcohol is off the menu for these first two weeks. For me its a very ‘don’t think about elephants’ experience. If I can have alcohol I don’t even think about it. If I ‘can’t’ I miss it like Trump misses tweeting. Next week I will get to enjoy a glass of wine and I will weep with satisfaction.
The selling point of my chosen ‘Always Hungry’ diet is that it will help with food craving, energy, and get processed foods out of the diet. In my heart I want to be one of those people who says things like- “I just love fresh Kale.” “Oh my gosh, is that fried- I couldn’t eat that its so heavy.” ” Gluten really just upsets my stomach.” Ok I don’t really want to say the last one- gluten is magic. While I can’t say that I am buying any patchouli products yet- I really do believe that processed foods are ruining many things, including my BMI. It’s shocking as I start to read food labels and find ‘sugar’ in nearly every product from tomatoes to mustard. I’ve always been a good cook and made a lot of food in our home. But even so I have unwittingly ingested so many calories from secret sugars that I never considered I was eating. And sweeteners? What does that do to us anyway? Why is flour bleached white? I know that the bread my grandmother ate is nothing like the ‘bread’ that I find in the grocery store now. I do believe that all those vegetables really are the way give my body the best possible fuel- but…they taste like…vegetables. And cookies taste like…cookies. So the battle rages on.
I am feeling successful having made my goal the first two weeks. The cravings are more taste than hunger. The portions are filling, the food is tasty, and do notice that just one week in I am not overcome by ravenous hunger the moment I drive away from work. I am heading forward into week 3. Goal: Exercise 5 days a week for 30 min. This will be hard because time is always a limited resource. Over the last 2 weeks I have been reacquainting myself with the gym- “Ahh yes, the exercise conveyor belt thing.” “That’s a treadmill ma’am”. Today I did 25 min on the elliptical and walked laps in the parking lot talking on the phone for 5 minutes. Multitasking at its finest. I have a meeting tomorrow after work, then I will be able to make Wed-Friday. Saturday I will be participating an inauguration protest/women’s march. Depending on how much marching we will see if I can count that and get a rest day on Sun.
So far I am glad that I have thought about my motivation more this time around. In the moments when I want to injure an innocent person eating a cookie or secretly eat sushi in large quantities I remember that If I give up, I am the one who misses out on the things I want. I am the one who will continue to feel limited, to feel like I cannot keep up, go on the hike, ride bikes on vacation or buy clothes at ‘normal’ stores. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. I have to be willing to feel silly, different, tired, frustrated, sore, to become the change I seek.
I have a book about meditation and I am trying to figure out to incorporate this into my daily life. Sitting still and typing about weight loss hasn’t made any changes, but perhaps thinking about it quietly will let the pounds melt away. I will keep you posted.