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Is Emily Making Good Choices?


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Okay, I'm not getting bogged down with coming up with a clever title for this log...

I'm two-weeks post (multiple) Whole30s. Making my own choices and living out here in the complicated world.

Honestly, I started out okay, eating things that were really worth it when they were worth it. But I can tell I'm on a downward spiral and so I come back here to journal. I'm looking for encouragement, advice, and even tough love. (does Tom ever read in this forum? :P )

Whole30s are so much easier than not Whole30s.

Hmmm. I'm frustrated but I don't want this to be a negative post.

Starting now, right this minute, I want to get back to really thinking about something before I eat it. Is it worth it? Really worth it? Is it special? Am I trying to feed something other than hunger? Is it worth putting in my body?

I'm torn between making a solid "rule" (i.e., no more non-compliant food until Thanksgiving) and really wanting to focus on the decisions. I remember from the Dailies about decision fatigue (that might not be the correct term).

This is possibly the worst first post of a log ever... however, it is a start.

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:) I don't do tough love. I'm just practicing to be a grumpy old man.

Hmm. I tried a new restaurant at lunch today. I had baba ganoush with pita bread and dolmehs as appetizers. And after a long day of work, I did not feel like cooking supper. My wife had brought home Massaman curry and white rice from a Thai restaurant, so I finished off what she had not eaten. And you want me to inspire you to stay the clean-eating course? On the other hand, the off plan foods I ate today are about what I eat off plan in an average week. And all of it was really good. I plan to take my wife to eat at the new restaurant soon so she can try the Kubideh kabob platter.

I did a Whole120 before I ever ate anything off plan and then I only went off plan about once every 2 to 4 weeks with a bite of something. I've been at this for 2.5 years now and only over the past 6 months have gotten to where I don't mind eating something off plan every week. And my off plan foods tend to be from ethnic restaurants and rarely include desserts.

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I couldn't agree more- riding your own bike is way harder than doing a W30!

I'm also having a tough time deciding what I want my post 30 to look like. I'm trying to keep the faith that, by trial and error, and over the long haul (probably another couple/few Whole30s), I will find my personal groove that will work on a permanent basis, for me. I don't expect anything near perfection (unless I'm on a W-30 or 30-??), and figure it won't be a straight line from my old SAD to a fully adopted paleo diet. But I am certainly getting there!

I want to enjoy my new paleo lifestyle - I love the food, and getting creative in the kitchen, and how I feel. But I'm still sometimes not great about planning ahead (oversleeping and not taking time to pack lunch), and I'm having days here and there where cravings creep in. If I stress out every time I veer off road, I will grow to resent the restrictions. I'm sure this isn't the same for everyone but I think if I just keep with it, I will get better and better and the paleo stuff will ultimately take over.

I'm looking forward to following your log :).

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I'm 7 days past a W60 and still haven't had anything non-compliant yet. I'm experimenting, thinking through where my own boundaries lie. I have bought my first offroad food. I love dill pickles and couldn't find any unsweetened but I did find some with organic honey as a sweetener so I'm going to try those. I was already wheat and dairy free and seriously suspect i had problems with other grains and legumes so they're on a back burner for just now though I'm sure the odd bit of rice hovers somewhere in the future.

I have decided no chemical nasties like carageenan, sulphites stuff like that but will try things that have the odd bit of sugar like my favourite chipotles in adobo sauce. I used to make a lot of raw food recipies, things like raw ketchup sweetened with dates and a really mean chocolate pudding consisting of cacao powder, avocados, vanilla extract and dates so may try things like that.

I'm also willing to try things when I'm out as long as i feel they're healthy without stressing over how they cooked it, the exact ingredients in the curry sauce etc. But yes, it's scary on your own bike and I definitely haven't taken the stabilisers off yet :)

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Even though I'm really trying to decrease my computer time, it's for this wisdom and encouragement (and grumpy old men) that I come to this site!

Thank you everyone for the comments!

Observations from today:

So far today I've done pretty well. I made one big change-- I took myself to crossfit this morning. I haven't been feeling like working out at all lately, but I know that when I do work out one side effect is that I pay much more attention to food. I'm not sure why, but I know it is true for me. And actually I enjoyed the workout once I got over the getting there part!

Later in the day, I found myself looking into a rather empty refrigerator this afternoon, and my eyes settled on the block of cheese. This is exactly the kind of situation I want to stop... and I did today! I reminded myself that if I was going to eat cheese I wanted it to be really good cheese somewhere special (like the incredible gorgonzola I had on a steak a few weeks ago), not the cheddar that the kids use to make lunches. I did not eat the cheese. :)

As I was paying closer attention today, I also realized that planning has clearly become an issue. During a Whole30 we (my bf does a ton of the cooking in our house) stay way ahead of the power curve, cooking all kinds of awesome W30 things and having lots of leftovers in the fridge. But now that the W30 is over and we've both been working a lot lately, that has decreased. I'm not sure I had actually realized the degree to which that has decreased.

I'm planning on taking my bf to dinner tonight and I've been finding myself thinking a lot about whether or not to have a glass of wine (I think we'll likely eat at a place where I can eat compliantly). Considering that I have to work long shifts Saturday AND Sunday, even one glass doesn't seem like a good idea to me. I'm working on making that resolve and sticking to it. I may have some sparkling water with lime, or I might drink decaf. I'm reminding myself that I will be drinking wine on Thanksgiving.

So far today has felt better and more mindful and that is good.

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I want to say something:

I'm sorry if I don't always (or ever) visit everyone's logs. One of the things in my life right now is that I'm trying to really reduce my computer time. But I do get a lot of value from this community and for the self-reflection I use this log for. I realize that being part of a community is... being part of the community. Commenting, reading, etc. I am trying to read a few logs every time I come and comment, but I know there are many I'm missing out on. For what's it's worth, that's why.


So, I realized something yesterday that I think is lame and stupid.

I use food to add excitement to my life.

Jeez, what a dork! My life isn't more exciting on its own? And the thought of "I'm going to eat a cupcake!" adds a worthwhile amount of excitement? I must have the most boring life ever.

Well, no, in reality it doesn't add excitement. But, when I even consider eating something non-compliant, there is a little burst of something, a "Woohoo! Par-ty! Sweet! Special Occasion! Breaking the Rules! Going Crazy!" jolt that I get that I'm becoming aware of. I can also get the jolt from traveling, planning fun stuff or whatever. But on days like yesterday (read: days when I'm working and I feel like I've been working forever and all I'm doing is working and I've worked 24 hour shifts for four of the last five days) I can see myself wanting to use food to create excitement.

When I'm Whole30-ing I immediately shut that thinking down, because I'm Whole30-ing. But when I'm not . . . I get locked in a fairly complicated spiral of

"Is this worth it?"

"Yes, feel that jolt, that excitement? It's totally worth it!"

"You know you aren't going to be happy after you eat that."

"Come on! Stop being so boring! Where's your sense of adventure? Get out of the box! Let's have some fun!"

[in case you are worried, I don't really talk to myself. Out loud, at least.]

So... where to go from here?

My hope is that just being aware of this phenomenon in me will help me be aware. We'll see if that happens. To be continued.

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I have those same darned conversations! Mine usually include a line about "just this one time" or how "I will be better tomorrow".

I think this is why I had to establish my own post-whole30 plan. The guardrails during the whole30 really do make things easy, don't they? None of those arguments or conversations with ourselves.

It really does get exhausting!

Keep getting those words out; I think that makes such a difference, especially when you realize so many of us have the same exact struggles.


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Emily, I am the same!

I love to cook, and to entertain, and to eat out. It's one of the major fun parts of my life!

I look at other pepople who aren't as focused on food, and I just don't understand how they can do it.

What is the solution? Is there something else to focus on as intensely? Some other way to add excitement to life? Some other form of rewards? I have a good friend who battles with an eating disorder and her husband has had to find another way to treat her rather than buy her food... he has gone with tea. So now she has a million boxes of special tea! Is that the answer? I wish I knew :)

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