Sunday, October 20, 2013

The First Seven Days

I am seven days in to my Whole 30 attempt. I'll be upfront and say I'm not doing it completely by the book.  I am not sweating stuff like "what oil was that cooked in?" or traces of cheese.  Partially because I am traveling a lot this month and know that much of that is out of my control, and partially because I do not have an issue with those sort of details in my relationship with food.

So how has it been going...  for the most part- good! I am not tracking calories, though in my brain I find myself occasionally doing mental calorie math.  I am keeping a journal of what I eat, which makes me feel more in control. The week started with very little cravings. I was shocked at how easy it was, but in a way I was just excited to have a plan. Same as when you start a new training plan and follow every single thing exactly.  I had a bad run early in the week which was depressing, and was a little discouraged that I wasn't immediately feeling skinny. As the week went on, despite my weaknesses (see below...), I did realize that I had not ups and downs throughout the day. I am curious to see if this will help my self-diagnosed ADD.

I believe this was a lifesaver at the conference. While I was initially worried about traveling with "rules", the rules really helped.  There were continental (free) breakfasts with loads of baked goods that I could see myself binging on.  There was hot chocolate, sugary trail mix bars, froofy coffee drinks, etc.  Traveling previously turned into a reason to binge, and I kept that all in check. I ate the inside of sandwiches/wraps and left pasta salad on my plate at a luncheon, surrounded by people who probably were curious as to my eating but didn't ask and I didn't feel the need to explain. I went to Qdoba one day and got three chicken tacos with salsa and guacamole, and then ditched the shells. I carried bags of mixed nuts if I needed them, and had more tea than I probably ever have.

There were a few times I was tempted to give up and try a sweet.  I heard my head saying "you can try again later" but I know how that works out.  It will always be hard and there will be no perfect time.  I keep telling myself that that sweet adds nothing to my health and will lead to more sweets. Also, it really just isn't that good. I know how it will taste, it will make me feel good momentarily, but lead to hunting down every sweet and hating myself.  I think eventually I'll limit sweets to special occasions when they really are good and the environment makes me stay in control. 

Tea has become a treat.  I would look forward to it in the evening at the beginning of the week, and at breaks during the conference.  It was like a little luxury to be sipping it.  Nice and warm. Comforting. Something to do instead of mindlessly snacking. Yay for replacing unhealthy habits with tea!

My weaknesses are nuts and fruit.  I took the big bags of cashews and mixed nuts from Trader Joe's and individually bagged them by 1/4 cup servings to keep myself from overeating them too much, but have still helped myself to a serving when I really wasn't hungry.  Almond butter is out of control. Small spoonful, then big spoonful, then many big spoonfulls.  The stuff is crack.  In 3 days my rather large container was half gone.  As for fruit, at the conference I was at I ate my body weight in fruit salad.  I would have a big helping at breakfast, then more at the free breakfast once at the conference, and then some more at the first break.  It was largely melon, which I believe is a preferred fruit on Whole30, but still, way too much fruit, and worse, it was eating when I was already full, which is a habit I'd love to break. I do recognize, however, that if not for this, I would have eaten way worse than fruit.  I also see that late nights are my weakness as well.  I am tired and stressed, and it is getting further from dinner. Just another reason to work on sleep!

I had a minor slip up, apart from my exceptions on oil and cheese and that.  There was a "make your own trail mix" bar during a break. I went to check it out thinking there might be some nuts.  What I found was banana chips. I have great memories from college of picking up a bag of banana chips the night before an exam and plowing through the bag with a little help of my study buddies.  I tried to think if they had added sugar or not.  I know regardless, they were probably not the best thing for me, but I ignored that voice in my head and got a big serving. Once I tasted them it was pretty obvious there had to be some sugar there, but I just kept eating them.  I was proud of myself for not turning it into "I broke it, might as well give up and eat everything in sight." However, I do think it made me crave sugar a bit more after that.  Good reason to be stricter/smarter.

Another habit I have to break is wanting dessert after I eat a meal.  I had a salad one night (complete with olive oil and red wine vinegar instead of dressing- point for me!) and was satisfied afterwards. But I had this nagging that the meal wasn't complete unless I had dessert. In the end, I ate a larabar, which, while followed the rules, doesn't help in breaking the cycle of needing dessert after a meal. I will try tea from now on.

I am realizing I have a fear of being hungry. Or maybe it is just how I justify more food. I have to eat now, because heaven forbid, I get hungry later.  It is so rare that I actually experience being hungry.  Though, I'm not sure what is better- preemptively eating to prevent hunger, or skipping that snack and being hungry and possibly overeating because of it.  Mindful eating is definitely a goal for me, and slowing down my eating would help feel satisfied. 

All in all, a good first week!

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