Happy Halloween everyone! I honestly thought about buying candy to hand out to the trick-or-treaters, but I feared that the temptation of a big bag of candy sitting in my living room would be to great. Most people who do this detox say that at some point they stop craving sugar. This has not yet been the case for me. At this point, there are moments I am tempted to lick peoples fingers after they have eaten a doughnut - to hell with dignity. I can not stress enough how terrifying it is that I could be this dependent on sugar. I smoked for almost 13 years and quit about 8 years ago. It was equally hard to kick. In some ways, this is harder.
Sugar is a socially acceptable drug. We celebrate with it, show sympathy with it, and even treat our children with it. Every holiday, birthday party, and social event is loaded with sugar. It's just so dang delicious and rooted so deeply in our culture that I don't think you can ever get away from it completely. That's part of what makes this so difficult. It's only 30 days, but even walking through the grocery store is a minefield. I'll just be so thankful when this is over and we go Paleo for 30 days. We're going to do the mild version that allows you to have natural sweeteners like raw honey and maple syrup. I'm also allowed to make things like muffins, bread, and pancakes - the Paleo compliant versions at least. For Thanksgiving, we are going to have pumpkin pie made with honey and almond flour. It's actually really good. We're also going to allow ourselves a few deviations for things like the nut burgers in our freezer. They are pretty healthy, but do contain rice (a no, no for Paleo).
I went to the gym yesterday for the first time on Whole30. I'm continuing to make progress but man was I tired. That could also be due to the fact that I'm trying to get myself back in a routine. I'm making myself get up earlier. I'm a morning person traditionally, and I just function better throughout the day when I get up earlier, but every since the surgery, dragging myself out of bed in the morning is the worst!
Oh, I almost forgot! I ordered a new Fitbit charger last night! I'm so stoked. It's been too long my friend. I will be so happy to be reunited with my faithful step counter. I'm off to make an omelette. Please eat lots of Halloween candy for me!
Sweets are a really hard habit to kick for me. I love donuts, cake, pie, candy bars, cupcakes, ice cream and numerous other calorie laden confections that lack any real nutrition. No matter how full I am after dinner, I still crave dessert. It's crazy to think that something as seemingly innocuous as sugar could hijack a brain so easily. That's part of what the Whole30 does, it makes you realize how much sugar is in absolutely everything we eat: ketchup, bread, yogurt, BBQ sauce, spaghetti sauce, granola, protein bars, vitamin water, canned soup, broth. The list goes on and on. We eat so much sugar every single day and we don't even realize it.
I am 43% of the way through this detox, and I'm starting to get both bored and creative. Last night I had a taco salad with lettuce, pulled pork, guacamole, pico, grilled fajita veggies, and compliant ranch. It's the first time in almost 2 weeks that I honestly didn't miss the cheese and sour cream. It was delicious all by itself. I would have to say that the biggest drawback to to this whole thing besides missing certain foods is that I have to cook EVERYTHING. It's nearly impossible to eat out or get convenience food. Think you're getting a grilled chicken breast at a restaurant? Think again. It's highly probably that it was cooked with butter or some sort of non-compliant marinade or oil. This means that I have to cook or prepare 3 meals a day and no matter how much meal prep I do, it's still work.
We didn't eat out that much growing up. Mom always made dinner and even into my first years of college, I still cooked at home because I couldn't afford to go out to eat. Where did it all go so wrong? When did I give up being in the kitchen for ordering a pizza or Chinese? Even writing about it is making my mouth water. We live less than 5 blocks from a Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Burger King, Sonic, and a local hamburger house. I think that as long as this food is so readily available, and easily accessible, it will always be a struggle. It gets easier to say no as our fundamental habits change, but at the end of the day, it will always be work to stay healthy and avoid the temptation of taking the cheesy, deep fried, delicious way out.
The strangest thing happened when I woke up this morning - I didn't want to kill all the things. I was a little hungry, but was quite satisfied after breakfast. I'm just now eating lunch, and I'm surprisingly ok with that. Is it possibly that my body is finally starting to adjust? I certainly hope so! I could use a little relief!
Now, I just need to get back into the swing of things with the gym. It's been a real struggle to stay consistent with my exercise. Oh, poor Fitbit, I miss you so much! That's the last straw. I'm buying another charger tonight. My life has been sadly lacking without the companionship of tracking my steps.
You know, I think I'm just going to go back to adding one new thing every three weeks on the exercise front. That seemed to be less overwhelming, and helped me to develop good habits. I'll stick with the personal training sessions once a week and add something else. I think I'll start by doing one of my walking videos. I really like Leslie Sansone's workouts. They don't take much space and are super easy if your still working your way back up like me! I can begin on Thursday. If I get more in than that, great! If not, I'll be satisfied with two days.
My end goal is to have the stamina to work out 5 days a week. I'd also like to be able to swim laps again, flip turn included. Our tenure in this round of Whole 30 ends on November 13, so I'll be sure to post a new impossible pants picture then. We're going to try doing 30 days of Paleo after the Whole30 - although we will be a little less strict with that and allow ourselves some minor indulgences for the holidays. After that, we're going to do 30 days of meatless Monday's and work our way through some of my vegan cookbooks. It's going to be one adventure after another on the culinary front. I'm actually excited to try new things! Wish me luck.
So, people do these detox diets because they are supposed to make you feel better. Give you boundless stores of energy, and change your life. Today is day 8 on the Whole30 and I just feel like a bloated, menopausal puffer fish. I'm always hungry. I wake up hungry. I go to bed hungry. I'm irritable and moody and always on the verge of a rampage. And it doesn't seem to matter how much I eat. You could back up a dump truck full of food and I could sit back with a fork and bib and still be hungry. I don't know what gives.
I have no idea how I'm going to make it through the next 22 days, but I'm gonna. I have been carefully measuring all my fat and protein and fiber to make sure that I'm eating a sufficient number of calories, and I definitely have. That means that this has to be psychological. My brain and body are raging against the loss of fast food and cupcakes. I can only hope that they give up and accept broccoli and chicken apple sausage sooner rather than later.
And so I begin day 4 of the Whole30. I would be lying if I said this was easy. Today, I feel like an actual manatee was dropped from my roof and broke it's fall squarely on top of me. I'm exhausted, bloated, and still desperately craving nachos and peanut butter cups. Clearly, a huge portion of this is psychological. I know that I don't need processed sugar to live, but right now vegetables and I have a tenuous relationship. In the last 4 days, I have eaten carrots, spinach, baby kale, tomatoes (technically a fruit, but I'll never call it that), bell peppers, and broccoli. It has been delicious, but not a candy bar.
It's hard to imagine making it another 26 days, and yet, in the grand scheme of things, it's not all that long. I ordered a bunch of stuff from an online organic grocery store. Pre-made Whole30 compliant condiments and snacks aren't cheap, but sometimes, it's nice to have a grab and go lying around. It helps keep me on track and honest. I'm most interested to try the BBQ sauce and Ketchup. Both are usually loaded with junk ingredients and sugar or high fructose corn syrup. I wonder what they will taste like without it?
On another note, I'm still without Fitbit charger and I'd really like to know where the heck I lost it. My day is incomplete and my heart has a hole without my beloved Alta HR. Sigh. The minute we cough up the money for a new one, you know I'll find the old one lying around somewhere. Anyway, wish me luck as I continue to battle the urge to roll around in frosting and wipe it off with cookies. I'll be doing another impossible pants check in at the end of this so stay tuned (if you haven't heard the story of the impossible pants, check the tab - they have their own page!)
My husband and I tried the Whole30 together a couple months ago. He lasted the whole 30 days and I lasted 2. It was probably a mistake to attempt something so drastic so soon after a major surgery (especially one that rearranged my hormones). I've decided to try again now that I'm 4 months post op. It's day 2, and last night I dreamed of cake - a delicious 6 layer Neapolitan cake with fresh raspberries and cream to be precise. I still have a headache, and I'm still hungry, but now I'm in a completely different head space and I'm ready to tackle this beast.
For those of you who don't know, the Whole30 is basically a 30 day Paleo diet minus all added sugar (honey, maple syrup, and molasses included). It's supposed to retrain your taste buds and your brain to crave good food instead of processed crap. They say that the amount of suck you feel during the first stages of the cleanse is directly proportionate to the amount of garbage you consumed prior to starting. I may or may not have eaten half a package of raspberry Oreos, half a dozen chocolate sea salt caramel cookie dough squares, half a dozen mozzarella sticks, and nachos the day before we started. I also may or may not have eaten at every fast food place within a 5 mile radius of my house in the week leading up to diet.
Now, I'm having cake dreams 2 days in because my body is really confused. Broccoli? What the hell am I supposed do with broccoli? This doesn't taste like a Big Mac! Indeed taste buds, it does not. But I need to do this. I want to feel good. I want to be strong and feel alive, and with my laundry list of medical conditions, it's going to take something this drastic to get me there. It's the reason I tried this the first time. I'm never going to make the milestone of going hiking with Ian if I don't woman up and change my relationship with food. Trust me, this doesn't mean that I'll never touch a 6 layer Neapolitan cake again. It just means that hell or high water, I'm going to learn how to eat one slice occasionally and not devour the whole sinfully delicious confection in one sitting. Now, I'm off to eat chili for breakfast because I can. Tootles.
The art of socializing and etiquette seem to be dying off at an alarming rate and it really makes me sad. I know a couple of people who just had weddings, and less than 1/3 of the guests bothered to RSVP. They planned this huge wedding and 1/3 of the people couldn't be bothered to put the pre-stamped envelope in their mailbox with the box checked yes or no. They had no idea how much food to buy, how many tables to set, how big to make the dance floor. I'm trying to work through exactly why this bother's me as much as it does and I think the answer is two fold. First, I didn't get a lot of respect growing up and being disrespected just pushes my buttons. I feel like not sending an RSVP says to the person who sent it, my life and my plans are more important than whatever you have going on, so I'm not going to bother making this a priority.
The second reason is much deeper and more complicated. I have anxiety, actual, clinical anxiety and this issues triggers it on so many levels. I'm all for using technology and social media for good, healthy, positive things, but I fear that we are drowning in it. When was the last time you sat down in a public place and struck up a conversation with a stranger? I know that not everyone is an extrovert, and I don't expect them to be, but look around the next time you see people sitting around. They are usually on their phone or tablet. I was in Hobby Lobby yesterday when an elderly lady starting talking to me. It startled me at first, because I was in the zone, but then I engaged in conversation. She just wanted to talk about the Christmas decorations and this really cute thing she had found that made her laugh. We don't do this often enough. So many people become so focused on what they have to do or want to do or need to do right this second, that they don't stop to smell the roses.
I love this blog, and I love those of you who read it. I love connecting with old friends on Facebook and watching a good show on Netflix, but I also value the time when I close my laptop, put down my phone, and walk away. My birthday party was amazing because I got to talk and laugh and cover myself in temporary unicorn tattoos. I was present and engaged. It is my deepest fear that we will eventually lose that ability to connect. That we will go to concerts only to watch it through our phones video recorder or spend the whole time texting our friends and surfing the net. That we will stop sending RSVPs for parties because we can't be bothered with the effort it takes to respond. That we will over book ourselves to the point that we no longer have time to go to parties where we laugh, and talk, and cover ourselves in temporary tattoos. That we will stop taking the time to talk to elderly women in Hobby Lobby.
Times, they are a changing and I'm digging in and holding on. You can count on me to RSVP, and you better believe that this manatee will probably never stop talking to strangers.
I'm sitting here with saran wrap on my head trying to keep the red dye from getting all over the house while I wait for it to simmer. I've always had an affinity for red. This probably stems from the fact that my natural hair is so dark and that red is the only shade I've ever had any luck with (except for violet, but I feel like those are similar). When I was a kid, I always wanted to have pink hair, or Crayola red hair, or once, even blue. My parents were pretty low key when it came to letting me dress myself, but there were some very distinct rules I just couldn't break. My hair was never to be dyed any color that it wouldn't naturally grow or black. At the time I was in school the goth crowd died their hair black and my parents didn't want me to associate with them. I just had a random flash back to a moment filed somewhere in the forgotten archives of my brain. I was going somewhere with this guy I wanted to be dating but wasn't (believe me it was for the best), and my mom asked where we were going, what we would be doing, and what time I would be home. With as much seriousness as he could muster, he replied, "We're going to go smoke a field of marijuana, sacrifice goats to a pagan god, and be home by about 9." While he was clearly joking, this would be why my mom didn't want me hanging out with the goth crowd. I think she knew exactly what kind of shenanigans I would get into if left unsupervised.
So, in addition to the hair rule, I also couldn't pierce any part of my anatomy other than my ears and those could only have 2 holes. And I definitely couldn't get any tattoos or shave my head. Oh man, I really wanted to shave my head like Sinead O'Conner or Annie Lennox. I also wanted to tattoo barbwire around my bicep (thanks mom for killing that one). As an adult, I've really just ran with it and done all the things I couldn't back then. I haven't totally shaved my head, only because I don't think I'd like the way it looks, but I have done the buzzed back and sides with the long top. Oh, that was fun! Right now, I'm working on growing it out again, just because I haven't had it long for ages and there are some things I really want to try.
You know, I've been wearing hot pink boots and getting tattoos of things like Manadee for so long that I forget there are people in the world who think I'm weird. There are people who just don't do these things and hey, you do you, but I've got to do me! I think if you went through my closet right now, you'd think that about 70% of my clothes had been stolen from old women, 20% came from a circus, and 10% were from pillaging the Wal-mart athletic department. I'm really ok with that. And there's the timer! Got to go wash out my hair and see what color I got this time! You all have a wonderful day, and never be afraid to let your freak flag fly!
I have misplaced my Fitbit charger and it is tragic. My life just isn't complete without a step count. Sigh. This sad fact has not, however, stopped me from going to my personal training sessions at the gym. Guess what I did today? I got up off the exercise ball without having to roll off onto all fours. Oh! And I did a lat pull down at 36 pounds. Check out this manatee, she's flappin her flippers once again.
After the surgery, it seemed like nothing would ever be normal again, but one day at a time, I'm making that climb back up the hill. I even went in and subbed on Monday. That's my first full day working since the operation and I survived middle school! The next challenge is to start consistently cooking again. It's just so easy to shovel in those tasty fried calories when you're exhausted and hungry. Plus, there's leftover birthday cake and that is a temptation I'm all too happy to devour.
Everyday, I fight the urge to be too hard on myself (sometimes 6 times before breakfast). I'm guilty of falling into the Facebook trap a little more often than I should. You know, the one where you look at all the pictures on Facebook of people in their happy, seemingly perfect lives with their perfect families and their perfect makeup, and their perfect hair. They are Facebook Happy. A state of being that erases all of the daily struggles and the basic humanity of a person until they are merely a whitewashed version of themselves. Facebook Happy is not truly happy for a lot of people and comparing myself to them is just a waste of precious energy.
Instead, I choose to be realistic - to take the good with the bad, and to know that I must find joy in the journey. I mean, I did a lat pull down at 36 pounds and that is worth a fist bump my friends.
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