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Brewer5

Like an Onion

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We are all like onions.  There are many layers of complexity that go together and make us appear as a Whole person.

When you look at an onion in the grocery store ... if it clearly has a spot that is soft or discolored, what do you do?  You put it back down, and you move on to an onion that looks perfect on the outside.  You may unwittingly choose an onion that has blemishes hiding under that papery outer skin ... but in that moment, you make the best decision you can, and you move on with your day.  Because you're tired of the bright lights, the screaming children, and that old lady who keeps bumping into you with her cart ... and because, honestly ~ who thinks this much about onions?

I do.

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So I have several layers to peel back and examine ~ but I'm off to a good start.  The first part is making the decision to get to work.  Check.

I started the day off with black coffee, and eggs cooked in coconut oil and ghee.  I was so happy to see that the dairy-free ranch my husband purchased recently is the Tessemae's Whole 30-approved.  So for a late lunch, I had that dressing mixed with a can of tuna, frozen blueberries, and some pistachios thrown in for crunch.

Definitely feels good to have some parameters again.  My bicycle had grown a mind of its own and taken me on a ride to Scary Town.  I was blindfolded and my hands were tied behind my back, I swear.  But I was still peddling...

So I'm in that really weird place now, where I'm excited to go to the store with my husband on a Friday night and buy lettuce and potatoes.  Lmao.  And onions!

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I can't believe how many new products have come out since I did my first Whole 30 ... 5 years ago?  Five years doesn't sound like a long time, but things have come A LONG way.

Those days of trying to make my own mayonnaise in the beginning gave me PTSD, I'm afraid.  I can't even look at my blender without thinking of it.  :lol:  But last night I checked out the Sir Kensington avocado oil mayonnaise my husband has in the fridge, and what do I see?  NO SUGAR.  Are you kidding me?  I haven't looked around the forums lately, but if anyone out there is saying it is too much work -- I would be giving the whole, "We walked barefoot in the snow to school, five miles each way, and it was ALL uphill" speech.  ...It's probably best if I stay here and don't look.  Lol.

When Dallas and Melissa wrote the book back then, they said this isn't hard.  I didn't think it was "hard" -- but it was a lot of thinking and a lot of extra work.  Now?  Yeah.  So totally not hard.  

Jicama already cut into sticks?  Sweet potatoes already diced and ready to cook?  Wait -- ZOODLES, too?!  I bought a frickin Zoodler!  :lol:

So, yeah.  You can tell I haven't spent much time at the grocery store lately.  I hate the grocery store.  But I actually enjoyed the trip last night.

---

Came home and had a nice big romaine salad with chicken breast (cooked in the air fryer ~ we are loving that thing!), salsa, Tessemae's cilantro lime dressing, and a whole lotta baked potato with ghee and coconut oil.

Did I want to eat the cheesecake in the fridge at one point?  Of course I wanted to.  But I'd rather feel good, and that was my very next thought.

"Cravings are a suggestion, not a command."  <-- That is the biggest thing that has stuck with me from my time spent on a quit smoking forum.  It is so simple, but holds so much meaning.

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I just had a brand-new pint of Talenti ice cream in one hand, a long spoon in the other.  Dug down through all five layers to get the full effect on my spoon ... then put it all back in the container, back in the freezer, and walked away.

Not in line with the Whole 30 recommendations ... I am having a cup of half-caff coffee instead.  I've had plenty of food.  It's that "dessert" urge ~ which really needs to go.

Upon further reflection, I didn't eat any eggs (or anything) for breakfast today.  I ate the same lunch & dinner as yesterday, but -- only had black coffee this morning because I wasn't hungry.  AH, yes ... I do remember ... and I do know: this is catching up with me later in the day.  

Tomorrow I'll do better.  There are a lot of layers here. ;)

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Pretty much eating the same foods for the past few days.  No point in posting all of my food every day ... that gets tedious.

I did make sure to eat all three meals today.  I think that is going to be key.  Imagine that!

I've noted several improvements in my skin already -- and yes, it does happen that fast for me.  My skin is not normally problematic, so when I go on an extended binge of food that doesn't affect me well ~ it doesn't take long to show up, and it is very noticeable to me when it does.  

But I don't think I realized how pasty/washed out I was looking, until now, when I've seen a healthy color to my face when I look in the mirror.  That's pretty awesome, and very telling.

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Fail to plan = plan to fail.

After a great ~ and seemingly easy ~ Whole 3 days ... I went back to work.  

I did take a meal with me, and I did eat.  But by the time I got home, I had only eaten that one meal, when I should have had two by that point in the day ... and I'd probably had too much coffee.  (Okay, fine, I had too much coffee.)

The details don't matter -- the point is, I know what happened, and I do know how to fix it.  It was a bad combination of not eating enough + the unexpected stress of someone else requiring/taking up my time, as soon as I walked in the door.  I already had a plan to take two kids to a 6:00 movie, and that was going to be fine.  But I ended up with no time to eat, and I had no approved snacks to take into the movie with me.

It was at this point that movie popcorn and Reese's Pieces started sounding mighty appealing.  And you can guess the rest.

So I'm not beating myself up over this ... I'm just stating a fact here, for myself to see:  That one derailment ended up turning into 7 days of "whatever".

I don't feel good eating this way ... and that's why I'm here.  I'm ready to start fresh again.

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The sun will rise tomorrow on a new day, a new dawn, a fresh start, a day that has not been tainted.  It is yours to make of it what you will. Mercies are new in the morning.  I believe every “failure” brings us one step closer to success because it is from the fall that we learn the most.  Chin up! Tomorrow is new day!

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Numbering days ... well, I want to say it's been a "trigger" for me in the past.  But I'm not sure if that's the right word.

I said I would never try to do another Whole 30 for a variety of reasons, and this is one of them:  Mentally, something happens to people (SOME people) once they've reached that goal.  They can be strong, sensible people, and have the best of intentions ~ "why, yes, of course I'm going to do a slow and carefully planned out reintroduction" ~ and still, on Day 31+ ... somehow find themselves sitting on the couch after eating ________ thinking, "what the hell just happened?"

BUT, sometimes our bodies really do need a complete reset.  And Whole 30 is the best there is, IMO.  It's why I've been coming/going for the past 6 years.

So ... with that said, I'm reluctantly saying that "Day 1" yesterday was a success.

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Okay, one excuse after another ... and now I've gotten to the point where I'm really ready to start numbering my days. ;)

I will also post my meals - no matter how boring or repetitive it may be - because it helps keep me accountable.  

And I'll know I'm doing well and feeling really good when I start taking pictures of my food and posting them.  That's always a good sign.

I had a beautiful Butcher Box of meat show up today.  Am I going to wash that down with Diet Mt. Dew?  ...I don't think so.

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Day 1:

Woke up to my alarm at 7:00 to take my youngest to the first of many Saturdays spent at the local Civic Theater, preparing for a production in which he is guaranteed a part.  I'm excited for him!

I logged 30 productive minutes of work at home while everyone else was asleep ~ which I am blessed to be able to do with my current, awesome, (non-nursing) job.  Most days I DO wake up refreshed and ready to get busy ... but not even thinking about food.  So I had my usual 8 oz of half-caff coffee while working.

Dropped my son off at the theater, came home and wanted more coffee ... but told myself I must make some food to go with it.  Tried to post a pic, but it's too big.  If I have to mess around with resizing every time, it's not going to happen.

10:00:  can of Wild Planet albacore tuna, butter lettuce, frozen blueberries, Tessemae's ranch, ounce of raw almonds, 8 oz half-caff coffee.

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Hurray for getting breakfast in and making it a good start to a great day.  There are many reasons why numbering your days can be a trigger.  Honestly those sort of things often felt like a prison and too would cause anxiety because the higher the number the more likely I was going to fail.  So I learned to reframe this idea of counting the days.  Instead of a count down to the end I think of it as a tally of how far I can go.  In this mind frame for me an inevitable fail didn’t seem so bad I just had to make it past my highest score so far.  When I’m not worried about failure and more focused on how far I can take my success, I find I am a lot more excited about that number.  It is no longer screaming impending doom, but rather shouting of my accomplishments so far.  

Best of luck and check in often it helps knowing others are in the thick of this with you.

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Thanks @BabyBear ~ I appreciate your support.  

This journey back to food that is not causing a chemical shit-show in my brain and my entire body ... it is very, very much like quitting smoking.  We've had discussions on the forum about this in the past.  I don't think the majority of people are aware of how much food really does interact with every part of our being.

I can go one day, EASY.  And I feel better -- good!  Productive!  Two days ... probably even easier.  Things start to become habit again.  

It's day 3 that is the hardest for smokers.  They say it's because after 72 hours, all of the nicotine is gone from your body.  But we all know there's more to it than that.

It's those layers of myself and how I got to this point that I need to peel back here.  And it can be downright painful.  

We self-medicate with food, smoking, alcohol, drugs, shopping, gambling ... and our brain is literally wired to expect those big hits of dopamine.  Not only do we have withdrawal symptoms from the absence of whatever we have removed ~ but we have to FACE those things we were self-medicating for in the first place.  Whew.  Ugly.

The great news is -- I am a strong and confident person.  I have grown and learned so much.  I love myself for who I am.  And I really don't engage in the "beat myself up" behavior.  So what you are saying resonates with me.  

If I have 50 "Day 1's" throughout this year ... that's still 50 days of good eating that I wouldn't have had otherwise.  Lol.  That's not my goal ... but it IS a tiny win. ;) 

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Day 1 continued:

Things got busy yesterday and I didn't even have a good time to sit down at the computer to post my food ... which is fine.  I was doing what I needed to be doing.

I had another meal around 2:30, and one around 7:00 ~ for a total of 3 good meals, and no snacking / emotional eating.

I did hit a point in the evening where I REALLY wanted a Diet Mt. Dew, and I almost said "screw it" to this entire idea ... but I had sparkling water instead, and guess what?  Life went on.  And it was good.

I decided to make gluten-free yellow cupcakes and cream cheese frosting for my youngest and his friends he'd had over for his birthday.  I can't tell you when was the last time I did anything like that.  I had to send out an "SOS" to my oldest & his girlfriend to bring me some vanilla, because we didn't even own any!  :lol:  ...And I "had a moment" (anyone who has struggled through these moments knows why I am accentuating it with bold and quotes) where I really, really wanted to jam all of that leftover cream cheese frosting in my mouth.  But guess what?  I didn't.  And life went on.  And it was good.

By the time all of my son's friends left at 11:00 pm, I had spent about 6 hours straight standing on my feet, working in the kitchen.  I was exhausted, and pretty much passed out as soon as my butt hit the couch ... sadly, that was in the middle of my oldest and I discussing his major life decisions about college.  Sorry, son.  We'll have to continue that discussion on Day 2!

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Day 2:

I only had two meals today, but that's okay.  I ate entirely too many pistachios at the end of Meal 1 (a nice salad with chicken breast and cilantro lime dressing) ... which caused what we call a "carb coma".  I'm not sure how long I slept on the couch after that ... but it was ridiculous.  I had a lot of things I wanted to get done today.  AND I know that nuts and seeds can certainly be a problem for me -- I've done three Whole 30's in the past, and the second one was entirely nut- and seed-free.

Meal 2 was the tuna/etc salad again, which there is no need to keep repeating the details of, and potatoes with ghee and coconut oil.  Very satisfying.  I peeled the potatoes really well this time, in hopes that it will help with the arthritic feeling in my hands that has undeniably shown up, right along with my increased consumption of potatoes lately.  This is something I've pinpointed in the past, as well.  My third Whole 30 was potato-free.  :rolleyes:  I'll see how my fingers feel in the morning.  That's when it generally flares up, if it's going to.  If it's still noticeable, and this continues, I'll just have to ditch the potatoes again.

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Day 3:

My hands DID feel better this morning, after peeling my potatoes really well yesterday.  Perhaps you can't tell much from just one day -- but if this keeps up, that is awesome.  (I do not have arthritic pain on a regular basis ~ only when I am eating offending foods.  It's one of my reliable "canaries in the coal mine".)

I've never paid attention to the timelines that tell us what is typical -- I just don't.  I want to experience whatever I experience, and evaluate it myself ... and I certainly don't want to have the idea in my head that on "such-and-such-day" ______ is supposed to happen.  I know that's not the intention, and I am not knocking the timelines.  I'm sure they are helpful to many.

My point is:  I don't know what's typical for Day 3.  It hasn't been hard food-wise.  I just feel more bitchy than usual.  Overstimulated.  I probably need to reduce my caffeine even further.  I think ... looking back ... this probably happens every time I clean things up with my nutrition.

Meal 1 was sort of spread out, and not-stellar:  cashew cookie Larabar while I cooked breakfast / eggs, potatoes, coconut oil, and ghee / another cashew cookie Larabar, because I still felt the need to eat.

I'll just stop and say right here that I am NOT a fan of Larabars on a Whole 30.  I have probably been among the most vocal here against them.  So I'm well aware of the problems that led to this weirdness:  1) waiting too long to eat my first meal, and 2) not enough protein in the meal.  I had 3 eggs because it's all we had, when it should have been 4 eggs + meat.  

Meal 2 was my usual tuna/etc salad.

Meal 3 was chicken breasts, potatoes, ghee, coconut oil.  And I dipped the chicken breasts in my new Tessemae's caesar dressing.  I still cannot believe how many pre-made options we have for dressings now.  Really cool.

 

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On 1/13/2020 at 7:12 PM, Brewer5 said:

I've never paid attention to the timelines that tell us what is typical -- I just don't.  I want to experience whatever I experience, and evaluate it myself ... and I certainly don't want to have the idea in my head that on "such-and-such-day" ______ is supposed to happen.  I know that's not the intention, and I am not knocking the timelines.  I'm sure they are helpful to many.

My point is:  I don't know what's typical for Day 3.  It hasn't been hard food-wise.  I just feel more bitchy than usual.  Overstimulated.  I probably need to reduce my caffeine even further.  I think ... looking back ... this probably happens every time I clean things up with my nutrition.

I agree with you about the timelines. Prepping for my first round, I was  worried that if I read "Today you should be feeling XYZ" and I didn't, particularly if it were a good feeling like more energy, that I would be disappointed and that would lead me off track. But I read the Day by Day book anyway and made notes (and luckily never felt jealous of how I "should" be feeling according the the timeline).

I will say what's been most helpful about that this time around is that I have my notes. I haven't even been reading the book, but I have been referring to my notes. 

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@heb2014 ~ I didn't even know there was a Day by Day book.  I've been living in a cave (AKA nursing school, then actual nursing jobs) for a solid three years now.  Lol.  But I'm glad those notes are helping you!  I always kept a journal here, and I did often go back and read through them again for reminders.  It helped me connect some dots, too.

---

I'm still hanging in there -- was compliant for Day 4 yesterday, and Day 5 today.  I do know what a beautiful, perfect, Whole 30 template meal looks like, and I'm not always achieving that.  But I have a lot of other important things going on, so I'm pretty satisfied with "compliant" at this point. ;) 

dreamt that I was guzzling down an entire bottle of Diet Mt. Dew in my sleep last night.  I was thirsty in my sleep, I think ... and it seemed so real that when I woke up this morning, I had to question whether I had actually done it or not.  But I didn't.  Because that is stashed in the garage fridge ~ not the kitchen fridge, and I think I would definitely remember if I had gone out to the cold garage to find one.

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Day 6 done yesterday, and no giant news to report.  

Actually ~ I do think of several things I could share here, throughout my day ... but I've got so many other things going on, I don't take the time to sit down and write it out.  Even now, at 7:30 am ... I have a 13-year-old boy sitting here, asking me if I am working from home right now, or what am I doing?  :lol:  Apparently he needs to talk to me.

Everyone have a great day!

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This is not Earth-shattering news to me ... I have observed and documented this over and over and over again when I clean up my diet:  My period creeps up on me.

When I am eating more like the SAD way, I find myself checking the calendar around day 21, because I just feel "off" and I know it is coming.  Usually, I think to myself: "Holy crap, it's still like a week away."

---

WAIT.  This post just took a turn.  Because I got out my calendar and realized that, while I was going to report that my period arrived without too much misery and bullshit leading up to it ...and that is true...  It also arrived about 5 days earlier than normal.  :lol:  Hey, whatever.  I know that's "a thing" that is reported on Whole 30, but I've never experienced it.  Apparently I have now.

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Well, I stuck with this through Day 8 this time.  That's pretty impressive to me, which is what matters.

Yesterday we had an impromptu get-together with my family, which involved going to a Mexican restaurant in this cute little town out in the middle of nowhere, where my sister lives.  I think it might be the only restaurant there.  Seriously.

When I was looking at the map of the last 26 miles to get there, suddenly my anxiety/IBS flared up, and I was pretty sure I was going to have to make a pit-stop in the country in broad daylight.  I even prepared my kids, like, hey guys, here's what's about to happen.  I've never had to do that before.

I made it through with my fast-acting anxiety med, another Imodium, and some deep breathing.  But, probably needless to say ~ by the time I got there, I was ready to drink a glass of wine and eat whatever the #$%! I wanted.

There.  There's a great big, huge layer.  I am extremely frustrated with my anxiety/IBS symptoms.  I've consciously worked at it for the past 19 years.  And here I am.

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So.  I could say, "It felt good to just let go and not worry about it."  

But that's not true.  I think I actually feel really, a lot better, with guidelines.  When the whole world is opened up to me again, I make pretty dumb decisions.

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Do not loose heart.  Every layer we peel back gives us deeper insight into ourselves, our healing, and our journey. There are many physical reasons for the reset taking 30 days, but there are psychological and emotional reasons too.  I think one of those is retraining our brain and deepen our decision making process when faced with all the things.  Your one decision in one moment does not negate all the hard work you have done up to that moment. That one decision does not define you, you have a lifetime of decisions a head and as many day 1s as you may need to find that place of balance and freedom where what you choose in that moment embodies all that you want in the moment!  

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