Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Whole 30: Week 1 Down!

It feels terrific knowing I have one whole week under my belt. It seems insignificant in the greater scheme of things, but for me, it is important. Despite following a Paleo lifestyle for almost two years already, I was relying on some lingering crutches that I can start to see were standing in the way of reaching my goals.

The three big changes I’ve made this week to get my eating to line up with the Whole 30 guidelines were: 1) to eat a big breakfast including protein, fat, and veggies every morning, 2) to avoid ALL sugar and sugar substitutes, and 3) to get rid of dairy 100% (except for ghee). Those three changes have led to steadier energy levels, less sinus/throat congestion, decreased urges to snack, and an absence of any headaches (which were daily or every other day). Starting the day off well fed not only sets the tone, but it gives me the right components to keep me from thinking about food until lunch time. I have to face the fact that I have a problem with sugar and sugar substitutes – they increase my appetite and induce an unhealthy psychological response. It’s also possible that even the little bits of lingering casein from butter, cheese, and heavy cream were affecting me and responsible for some of the improvement (the congestion relief, for sure).

The hardest part of doing a Whole 30, for me, is making the decision to truly commit to it. I think there was always some part of me holding back – the stubborn toddler part of my brain that resisted any more “restriction”. Why does this have to be so hard for ME when others can just cut of wheat and drop weight like a bad habit? The rational part of me knows that it doesn’t matter a bit what works for anybody else and that it’s a miracle to have found a path that can work, if I’m willing to make the effort. Getting those two sides to come together and let go of the last of that resistance has been the gift of this Whole 30 so far. I just tell that cranky little girl inside that it’s OK, that I know it’s not fair, but we’re going to get through it. So hokey, but it’s working…

The funny/ironic thing is, though, that I don’t feel restricted, not really. I feel free. Free of cravings, free of dependence on foods and habits that weren’t helping me reach my goals. I know I won’t be able to live in a Whole 30 bubble forever, but I’m sure enjoying it for now. It’s so much less stressful to just say “no”, rather than to agonize over decisions about how much is appropriate. It’s crazy how having none is easier than having a little bit. I’d learned that lesson quite well when it came to gluten, but I struggled with its application to (gluten free) sweets and dairy. I guess this truly is a process and I had to take my time and make peace with letting those things go.

On a related note, I got the best inadvertent compliment this morning from Cute Man. While talking about his food choices at an upcoming gathering he said he was going to “do an Amelia” (or something similar). When asked what he meant, he said he was going to stick to his guns and only eat what he knows he should/planned. It warms my heart to know that the person who knows me best thinks of me this way. It truly made my day :)

How’s the first week of the year treating you?

1 comment:

dreamer said...

I know just what you mean with the none is better than a little bit thing.I find it easier to do without the treat type stuff totally rather than trying to paleofy things to try and recreate the junk food/sweet type stuff.It would be too easy for me to go off track totally.

Great that your OH is appreciating how hard you are working with your food choices :)