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36 minutes ago, Contessa said:

I'm being reminded again of how very frequently I have used food as a transition point in my day...

Exactly!!!  I had not thought of it that way before, but this is so true.  To add one to your list, when I sit down at the computer I need a snack to get started.  Transition points...a good place for a new behavior to replace eating.  I'm going to ponder that.  


15 minutes ago, ShadowInTheKitchen said:

What did you put in your chicken salad recipe.  I've always made mine for sandwiches (pre W30) with chicken, celery and mayo, and for W30 on top of a bed of lettuce, but am feeling too bored with that right now.  There's got to be a better way...

There's not.  That's how I make it, LOL!  I poach the chicken in salty water with fresh rosemary and thyme (dried works, too), and then cut it while warm so it shreds instead of chunks.  I make my own mayo and sometimes I add garlic or curry powder to it before mixing with the chicken.  Diced celery.  Sometimes chopped nuts and sliced grapes, sometimes dried cranberries (but I have not found any in-store without sugar).  Yesterday's was just chicken, mayo, and celery, salt and pepper.  Instead of putting it on a bed of lettuce, I mix chopped salad into my bowl of chicken salad so it's all a big creamy dish.  Chicken salad is probably my favorite summer food.  


I did survive day 2.  I spent the afternoon on the back deck reading and even took a nap.  That helped with the mood.  Then I made a delicious dinner of hamburgers in the Instant pot (White Castle, anyone?), fried onions in ghee, grilled pineapple, and salad.  I thought I might want two burgers, but ate one and then I was really full.  I thought I'd be fine, but a few hours later hunger struck (or transition to tv watching?  hmmmm.....) and so I had a small bowl of chicken salad.  

Up and ready to walk this morning!  The dog and I walked double our usual route.  I actually have errands to run outside the house today, so I'll be fraternizing with civilization all afternoon.  My forays into town have been very few since quarantine.  My region got as high as #14 on the CDC list of infected areas, so I'm still a little nervous.  It will be fine, though, and at least I'll be occupied this afternoon.  

Day 3:

Energy-8, pain-2, back & hip tightness, some limping; Mood-7   I'm just going to report on pain when I'm walking because during most daily activities, I'm fine.  And I'd really like to track improvement there.  

M1-chicken salad 

M2-leftover hamburger with sauerkraut and sliced cucumber and tomato

M3-W30 bbq pulled chicken, a big salad with olive oil and vinegar and sliced avocado.

Yoga this evening.  Maybe another walk today, if there's time.  And I'll be thinking about the relationship between "hunger" cues and transition times.  I've been working in my Day by Day book which is helpful, too.    

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7 hours ago, MadyVanilla said:

There's not.  That's how I make it, LOL!  I poach the chicken in salty water with fresh rosemary and thyme (dried works, too), and then cut it while warm so it shreds instead of chunks.  I make my own mayo and sometimes I add garlic or curry powder to it before mixing with the chicken.  Diced celery.  Sometimes chopped nuts and sliced grapes, sometimes dried cranberries (but I have not found any in-store without sugar).  Yesterday's was just chicken, mayo, and celery, salt and pepper.  Instead of putting it on a bed of lettuce, I mix chopped salad into my bowl of chicken salad so it's all a big creamy dish.  Chicken salad is probably my favorite summer food. 

Oh I am going out to pick some rosemary and thyme from my new herb garden for tomorrow's chicken salad!  I've never added herbs before, so thank you for this suggestion.  I also love the suggestion of stirring the lettuce into the bowl... 

I'm so glad you are on this forum to help out with my oh-so-boring and mundane meals!  

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Yesterday ended up being completely different than expected.  I fixed my lunch and thought I would have time to eat before a meeting, but I only got in two bites of my hamburger/sauerkraut.  A whirlwind of meeting/phone call/appointment/errands resulted in no lunch.   I got home in time to fix dinner.  I wasn't terribly hungry and was able to move through the afternoon pretty easily.  I made a snack of celery and almond butter and then fell asleep pretty early.  

I woke up in the middle of the night with a raging headache.  Still lingering and I have almost no energy today.  I don't feel like I want to sleep, I just feel like it will take too much effort to move.  I woke a little after 5 a.m.  I could have gotten up and taken the dog walking then, but I stayed in bed.  When I finally did get up, we went for a very short walk, just because today is day 7 of morning walks and I feel like a streak is in the making.  

Day 4

Energy-1, pain-0, Mood-6

I have two great NSVs already - I'm definitely much less stiff when I stand.  I was able to get out of the bed this morning and immediately start walking, rather than stand for a few seconds and wait for everything to be able to work.  This is so clearly due to my diet, as I've proved over and over to myself.  This alone SHOULD be enough to keep me going.  My joints are so much happier without grains/dairy/sugar.  

The second is that my face feels thinner.  It doesn't look thinner, but it definitely feels that way.  Three days down and these 2 amazing NSVs.  These are going to get me through today - I think it might be a tough one, given my fatigue and the number of work meetings I have to get through.  I'm just going to eat when I'm hungry and drink lots of water.  Maybe I can take a nap late this afternoon.  

M1-chicken salad

M2-Epic Turkey, Cranberry, Sage bone broth; leftover taco salad - note to self:  the next time I have meetings that might interfere with lunch, fix a mug of broth.  I can sip this while on Zoom.  

M3-leftover BBQ chicken and broccoli

Snacks-almonds, celery with almond butter, the bone broth

I probably will do yin yoga.  I might fall asleep while doing it.  

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I need to make sure I get calories today, especially from fat.  Raging carb cravings haven't hit yet, but I fully expect that given where I am in the program coupled with the lower intake yesterday.  Hopefully I can stay ahead of the cravings by getting in good fats.  I'm going to add avocado to my lunch, ghee on my broccoli at dinner.  

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Fats are still weird iffy for me to get in but I'm trying. One of the reasons I kept eating that chicken casserole was because it kept me full. No cravings no headaches no nausea and that made me happy. I like easy lol

You doing great! My stiffness is so much better and I'm glad you are already seeing an improvement. 

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It also took me a while to get ok with fat, but it really is a lifesaver.  Plus, it makes my skin so much clearer/brighter/happier!  

Having said that, the turkey broth saved me yesterday. There's no fat in it, but I think the protein, plus something warm and savory to sip on made me feel better.  It got me through my morning meetings until lunch.  Lunch ended up being a Chipotle Whole 30 chicken bowl.  My daughter came over to do her laundry and wanted to order something.  OMG, I forgot how good those are....I might make that a weekly treat.  I took a nap late afternoon, did my yoga, and socialized with a friend on the front porch all evening.  That's usually a wine event - she brought her glass, while this time, I fixed a club soda with lime.   My drink choice had absolutely no impact on how much I enjoyed her company!  It ended up being such a good day, after I thought it was going to be so rough.  

Today, my mood is absolutely buoyant!  I have a good amount of energy, no pain, I feel fantastic.  I did however, have a headache during the night last night and had to take meds to get back to sleep.  It was lingering this morning, so I had black iced coffee.  Maybe the coffee is what's put me in such a great mood :D.  I'm a little skeptical of this feeling, though...I should still be really tired and achy and yucky feeling.  It's usually 3 days for the sugar cravings to get under control, 5 days for me to start feeling normal.  But, today is Day 5, so I'm on target.  It just feels too soon.  I don't feel like I paid penance long enough, didn't have the hit-by-a-truck sensation for more than a few hours yesterday morning.  Maybe the bone broth is that miraculous?  Or maybe it is the caffeine.  OR...maybe it's the fact that working from home I have fewer stressors in general so my body and brain can roll with the the physiological stressors a little more easily.  

Day 5 

Energy-8, pain 0 (a little knee stiffness while walking, but didn't last, no tightness in back or hips), Mood-10!

M1-chicken salad, black iced coffee,  I was HUNGRY when I woke up.  I walked 2 miles, I was hungry, again.  More chicken salad...can I roll that all into M1 or does that second count as a snack? lol

M2-Beef and broccoli.  Getting Chinese with a friend.  Last W30 I figured out what to say to my local Chinese carry-out to get compliant beef and broccoli.  No flour, no sauce, no MSG.  I'm packing my coconut aminos to sprinkle on.  We're picnicking in the park with our carry-out.  It will be lovely! 

M3-leftovers.  There's burgers, taco meat, bbq chicken....my Thrive Market stuff came yesterday and with it some Caesar dressing.  That would be good on a salad with a chosen leftover meat.  

Snacks-celery and almond butter has been a good go-to when needed this week.  

I've already walked (and hit my step goal for the day!), but haven't ruled out that this will happen again later today.  Definitely yoga this afternoon.  


I'm contemplating this whole idea of eating as a habit.  When is it ok to replace a poor choice with a good one instead of changing the habit?  Or is it ever ok...maybe eating shouldn't in any way be a habit, tied to a particular activity.  Maybe this has been my failing in the past.  "It's time to sit at the computer to do some work...hmmm...I left my almonds at home, let me go see what's in the snack machine (or in the chip cabinet, while on quarantine)...."  "It's time to sit down and watch xyz on Netflix, let me fix a bowl of strawberries and coconut milk....hmmm...these strawberries aren't looking so hot and I really don't feel like cutting them up.  I'll get some fresh tomorrow, but for tonight, I'll have just a few cookies..."  And then I've made a bad choice, so why not just gorge on All the Nonfood Things that Somehow Taste Yummier than Real Food (but they don't!!!) and then get back on track tomorrow...everyone knows how that story goes.  In theory, it absolutely makes sense to eat when hungry.  Listen to your body.  Follow the cues.  But the reality is the rest of the world doesn't run on the same schedule as my body.  I can't just stop what I'm doing and fix an omelette.   Or pull my pre-fixed lunch out and start eating in the middle of a meeting.  I can't even imagine trying to do this with shift work! So I have to rely on at least some environmental cues for when it's time to eat.  Maybe this is where I start-separate out the environmental cues that signal I have time to eat AND it's meal time AND I'm hungry from the cues that are habitual.  I'm still not sure about the distinction here, though.  At least I'm thinking about it.  I haven't ever really thought about it before.  





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I was famished last night.  An hour after dinner, I thought there was no way I was going to be able to sleep.  Celery and almond butter.  An hour or so later, again, hunger that was difficult to ignore.  So I ate chicken salad.  This seemed to settle me.  I did not sleep well, though.  The caffeine backlash?  Probably, since I gleefully sipped on black iced coffee ALL DAY.  I read back over yesterday's journal entry and laughed at how energetic and fantastic i felt.  That in no way resembles my experience today.  I didn't want to get up, didn't want to walk the dog (we did a short one), and I'm already ready to go back to bed.  I would be disheartened, except that I read today's W30 Day-by-Day:  "Day 6 might be another roller coaster of a ride."  Ok, this is normal, I can handle it.  Yesterday was a glimpse of what is to come.   It really doesn't matter whether it's the first or the 50th W30, it's easy to forget that it is a bit up and down at first.   

Day 6:

Energy-3, Mood-6, Pain-0 on this morning's very short stroll.  It's supposed to be stormy all afternoon.  I think I"m just going to take the pressure off myself to get the steps in today and not worry about taking another walk unless I really feel like it later.  On a good note, my wake-up-and-walk streak is at Day 9! 

M1-3 eggs, bell pepper, and spinach scrambled in ghee and topped with PK chipotle lime mayo.  I decided last night that I needed a more substantial breakfast today.  

M2-The last of the leftover taco salad topped with avocado. 

M3-Hopefully, the last of the BBQ chicken with a Caesar salad.  

I have a lot of work to do today, but I'll just take it easy as much as possible.  Try to take a nap.  Do a yin yoga session.  And I need to start thinking about meals for next week, so I'll do a recipe hunt in between meetings today.  

Oh, and I'm still sipping on the black iced coffee.  This stuff is really good, says the person who hasn't eaten sugar in almost a week.  I WILL NOT drink anymore after noon today.  



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Last night, I combined the BBQ chicken with a sweet potato and ghee.  OMG-heaven!  I have some leftover for lunch today.  I didn't do much of anything yesterday afternoon-no nap, no yoga.  I scrolled through social media, looked for some recipes, started my grocery list, ate dinner, and went to bed to watch a movie.  It was good to do low-key without guilt.  I feel better today, and I think that's why.  

Day 7 - One week in!  Yay!

Energy-5, pain-0 when  walking, Mood-6.  The dog woke me up this morning.  When I got downstairs, the only shoes I had were flip-flops, so that sealed the deal for me to take just a short walk.  I'm glad that I'm sticking with the morning walks, but I have really cut back the last few days.  I'm hoping once my energy improves I'll be ready to increase my time again.  

M1-eggs, peppers, spinach, ghee.  Kombucha

M2-BBQ chicken mixed with sweet potato and ghee, caesar salad with PK dressing.  This dressing is actually pretty good.  I have had the Green Goddess before and wasn't impressed.  I'm not sure if it's that the Caesar is made with avocado oil or that if I just like this flavor better.  

M3-W30 Beef barbacoa (in the crockpot now) and some sort of veggies.  Tonight will be the first real challenge I've been presented with - a pool party.  It has a Mexican food theme, and I'm hoping there will be salad or at least lettuce and tomato.  I can pile my plate with my beef, onions, cilantro, and hopefully some other vegetables.  There will be margaritas and sangria-I'll pack my cooler with my sparkling waters.  

Snacks-celery and peanut butter before the party, if I think I might need it.  I'll go back for more barbacoa at the pool party if I need it.  It shouldn't be too hard to avoid dessert-at any given time one of my friends isn't eating dessert, so it won't be a big deal. 


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13 hours ago, ShadowInTheKitchen said:

Parties. Sigh. Still not allowed here :-(

Well, it was 8 people eating Mexican food and floating in the pool while watching a movie.  A small, outdoor gathering.  We still aren't allowed to have gatherings of more than 10 unrelated people here, either.  But restrictions are beginning to be relaxed, so there is hope...I'm perfectly happy to avoid large crowds and just get together with close friends, but it will be nice to get back to something close to normal.  

The party was fun.  There was only guacamole and my beef that was compliant.  Someone brought a giant garden salad, but poured a bag of shredded cheese over the top (ok, I guess that did fit with the theme...).  I dug down to the bottom of the salad and was able to manage some without cheese, topped it with barbacoa and guacamole.  Someone made jalapeno poppers-ahh!   One of my favorites!  I just avoided looking at them.  I drank 5 cans of sparkling water.  I have a headache this morning - very much like the type of headache I get after having red wine the night before.  So odd.  I'm wondering if I'm a little dehydrated, or if there was something in the sparkling water that didn't settle with me-there is only carbonated mineral water and the ever elusive "natural flavors" in the ingredients.  I also went to bed much later and woke up fairly early, so that could be why my head hurts, too.  

Day 8

Energy-5, pain-3, headache, and a little more stiff this morning; mood-6; short walk with the dog upon waking.  

M1-leftover hamburger patty.  I was really hungry, but also really tired and wanted to go back to sleep for a bit.  

M2-barbacoa over salad with avocado

M3-BBQ chicken with sweet potato and some vegetables

Anyone have any good ideas about what to do with a bulb of fennel?

I'll probably go spend the day at the beach with a friend staying down there.  There won't be any food involved with that.  I don't anticipate any challenges today.  Other than continuing to work through this diminished energy and the headache.  I should list my NSVs so they are in my mind today:

-Very few cravings, the cravings that I have had are tolerable.  I usually grab a snack before bed after a late night.  That pull to the habit hit me last night when I got home, but I was able to quickly see it for what it was and forget about it.  Oh, that this could always be so effortless.  

-No heartburn or burping - this was starting to become pretty regular, but I don't think I've had an issue with this since starting this W30.  

-My skin looks luminous.  All those healthy fats! 

-My blood pressure numbers have been good and stable the last four days.  I am on a bp med, but I was still having numbers a little higher than I should.  

-My face not only feels thinner, it is looking thinner.  I did not look so round and bloated in the photos taken last night.  

-Even though I'm a little stiff this morning, joint stiffness in general has been much better as has been my knee pain.  I'm looking forward to going on a long walk/hike, but I just don't yet have the energy to do that.  

-A general sense of hopefulness and well-being because I'm taking care of myself.  I'm in control and doing good things for my body.  Just a little over a week ago, I was dragging myself into this, trying to convince myself that I was ready to do another W30.

All these NSVs after one week.  That's pretty amazing.  





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I hit a wall late yesterday afternoon with tiredness, boredom, hunger, and irritability.  I just felt unsettled, restless, I wanted something carby for the energy boost.  I noticed ages ago that when I don't sleep well the night before I often crave carbs all day.  Additionally, when I have a hard time falling asleep, I want to binge on a big carby, sugary snack to get that quick energy and subsequent crash - sleep!  That's such a horrid cycle to be in.  Anyway, I was feeling remnants of that yesterday afternoon.  I read for a little while, ate a few homemade sweet potato chips and a handful of pistachios.  Still, I wanted to go forage in the pantry.  I ended up making dinner early.  It was kind of awful-the bbq chicken did not mesh well with broccoli and garlic aioli.  Afterward, I took a shower and turned on a movie.  The cravings eventually went away.  I did a lot of positive self-talk to get through it, but I know these are the episodes that will be my downfall afterward-history repeats itself.  I need a game plan for these types of days.  

This morning is so much better!  I got right up and took the dog for our walk-40 minutes, and I even threw in a couple of slow jog cycles in there.  My hips, knee, and lower back began to stiffen a little, but I managed through it.  

Day 9

Energy-8, Pain-3 while walking/jogging, 0 now; Mood-8

M1-3 eggs, peppers, onions, spinach cooked in ghee and topped with garlic aioli mayo.  I wasn't sure if it was the PK garlic aioli I didn't like or just the combination with the BBQ chicken.  Breakfast proved it was the combination.  

M2-This is a little iffy...I'm not sure if my husband is going to want to eat lunch out today or not.  I'll do a salad with grilled chicken, unless there is a better option available.  I can look stuff up on my phone if we choose to go somewhere.  

M3-I'm making a taco casserole that I found a recipe for last week.  The recipe calls for ground beef, but I'm going to use the barbacoa beef that is leftover from Friday.  

Plan is to poach a bunch of chicken today and make mayonnaise to make chicken salad and then have shredded chicken later in the week to mix with the PK curry sauce.  



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On 6/13/2020 at 10:52 AM, MadyVanilla said:

-A general sense of hopefulness and well-being because I'm taking care of myself.  I'm in control and doing good things for my body.  Just a little over a week ago, I was dragging myself into this, trying to convince myself that I was ready to do another W30.

This is one of the aspects of this reset that's easiest for me to forget. It feels good to put care and intention into my meals (hell, it feels good for me to eat meals instead of grazing mindlessly like a ruminant). I sometimes tell myself that all I want is to be able to eat anything with reckless abandon at any time, but... when I practice that philosophy, I end up feeling like garbage afterward.

I'm glad you are feeling hopeful. What a difference eight days can make.

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Yesterday was a good day - the kind of day I would like to have as a general rule.  We ended up coming back home for lunch, and I just immediately went into meal prep.  I didn't have to convince myself that I should do it, or bargain with myself that I would spend 10 minutes before taking a break, or read for an hour first....all the excuses that I usually have to keep myself lazy and unmotivated did not even pop into my head.  I threw the chicken breast into the Instant Pot to poach, started cooking the ground beef for dinner, took out the egg and lemon juice for the mayonnaise, and started chopping vegetables.  I was very proud of myself that I was re-purposing leftovers - I used the rest of the BBQ chicken in chicken salad-added newly poached chicken, celery, chopped radishes and mayo.  It's really good.  I chopped up the pepper strips I had cut last week and added them to the taco casserole.  The barbacoa beef was eaten by my husband and son for lunch, but I had planned to add that to the taco casserole.  The chopped onions and cilantro topping that I had for the barbacoa went into the casserole.  It's a good feeling to not waste food, and especially to turn the leftovers into a completely new, delicious meal.  I'm not really good at this and would like to become better.  After clean-up, I read for a while, talked with a friend, did yoga, then cooked dinner.  Lunch was my newly made chicken salad wrapped in romaine leaves, and then the casserole for dinner.  Both very satisfying.  The whole day was satisfying.  

Day 10

Energy-8, Pain-0, Mood-8

I slept well (yesterday mornings exercise + time in the sun + good meals??? - it works).  I woke up around 5:45 am, got up and took the dog for a walk.  All the morning healthy habits are in place.  I even added a push-up training program to my daily routine, so I've done 18 modified push-ups this morning! I'm going to work for a couple hours, then take the dog to a trail about an hour away for the afternoon.  Two days in a row of high energy.  This is good.  I read in the Day by Day book this morning that days 10 and 11 are the most likely days for people to quit W30-the burden of meal prep is at it's peak, while the big NSVs are still in the future.  I'm thankful for my previous W30 experiences that help me with meal prep and feel very fortunate that I am able to feel and recognize the improvements that I have obtained so far.  This feeling of gratitude is powerful.  When I read back over this entry on a less positive day, I want to remember this and be able to use it to help me over the hurdle of the day.  

M1-chicken salad (filled with celery and chopped radishes), black coffee.  I need to be better about recording the days I drink coffee - this may be the magic elixir that contributes to my positive vibe!  I drank black coffee yesterday morning, too.  

M2-leftover taco casserole - ground beef, white potato, orange and yellow bell peppers, poblano peppers, green chilis, onions, black olives, chopped tomatoes and spices.   Very pretty and colorful dish.  Maybe some sliced cucumber with garlic aioli mayo as a dip.

M3-Chicken tenders over chopped kale, lettuce, tomato salad with PK caesar dressing.  I have Paleo cassava flour "breading" from Thrive Market that is compliant.  Dredge the chicken in beaten egg then in the breading and fry in coconut oil.   This may border on a SWYPO meal.  This will be an experiment to see if I can eat something reminiscent of a problematic meal (Buffalo Wild Wings-gorge on boneless wings until I'm almost sick.....).  I'll just observe how I manage portion control, rather than worry about making sure that I don't eat too much.  

Snacks-celery and almond butter, my favorite go-to! I also still have pistachios and almonds.  

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13 hours ago, Contessa said:

I sometimes tell myself that all I want is to be able to eat anything with reckless abandon at any time, but... when I practice that philosophy, I end up feeling like garbage afterward.

This is important.  I am the same way.  Right now I'm in a good place.  But I have dealt with felt feelings of anger, jealousy, annoyance, unfairness toward people who are able to eat what they want, as much as they want without any apparent consequence.  My sister-in-law and a really annoying co-worker come immediately to mind.  And I have gorged myself on something I thought I wanted as a result.  Great example, just before Covid-19, my co-worker was gloating (ok, maybe not gloating so much as sharing...) that she was going to get a DQ blizzard for lunch because she saw it on a tv commercial the night before.  This irritated me so much that I went and got myself a DQ blizzard (large of course) for my lunch and then parked in the park and ate it.   My smug, self-righteousness that I also could have a DQ blizzard if I wanted was not in any way deterred by my resultant fuzzy-brained, sick to stomach, tired, listless demeanor.  This is so stupid.  I want out of that self-created drama in which I'm the only player.  I'll have to dedicate a journal entry to my co-worker-I need to work through my feelings toward her.  She will crop up as an annoyance again soon.   

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I see a pattern:  angry/annoyed with husband over his drinking - gorge myself on sweets/carby non-food items.  Annoyed with co-worker because she flaunts that she can eat whatever she wants - gorge myself on sweets/carby non-food items.  Why do I punish myself for what other people do?  They don't know I'm stabbing their eyes out by eating crap.  To be continued...

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I did get an 3-mile hike in with the dog yesterday afternoon, then a nice, long yoga session.  I was a little stiff after the hike-with my knee issues, it's harder to walk among roots and stones than on the flat road because I have to pick my foot up higher.  But the yoga fixed me up.  Change in dinner - I had a salad topped with chicken salad, only because my husband asked earlier in the afternoon if we were having leftovers and without thinking I answered, "yes."

My energy continues to be good this morning.  I woke up, dressed, took the dog out.  With the walk/jog success earlier in the week, I decided to start a C25K program, so did the first workout from that this morning.  I felt good during and after, just a little tightness in the knee and hip, quickly resolved.  I'll be 50 this summer - it will be nice to be able to run a 5k as evidence of what I have been through health-wise in the last decade.  The summer I turned 40 I did my first and only sprint triathlon.  I have really gone downhill since then.  I did my pushup training this morning, too.  I love having the energy and subsequent motivation - it builds on itself.    I am having some GI issues/irregularity.  I guess everything just needs to catch up.  It's not terrible, just a little uncomfortable.  

Day 11

Energy=8; Pain=1 while walk/jogging, 0 now; Mood=8

M1-3 eggs and spinach sauteed in ghee, black coffee

M2-leftover taco casserole, sliced cucumber and PK garlic aioli mayo

M3-chicken tenders and salad

Maybe a short walk with the dog this afternoon to get me to 3 miles for the day; yoga session this afternoon.  

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I think it's time to deal with my co-worker...we have worked together for nearly two decades.  While she is a few years younger than me, she started around the same time I did.  We work for a big company, and people who don't know us well STILL get us confused.  She is very outgoing and enjoys being in the spotlight whereas I'm reserved and much happier in the background. 

In the beginning, we were pretty good friends.  I have always enjoyed trying new activities and would often ask her to come with me.  After an activity, she would come back to work and tell others about what we did, but sometimes leave me out of the story - "I tried a new ballet class last night!"  This didn't bother me for a while, I chalked it up to her liking the ohs and ahs of attention.  I ran track in high school and returned to it once my children were old enough to manage without me for a bit - I was running regularly when we met.  I encouraged her to start running and to enter local 5ks with me.  She did, continuing to talk about what she did to our co-workers, leaving me completely out of the races when my times were faster than hers.  If I happened to join in the conversation, I would say I ran, too, but I'd let her have the spotlight.  I'm really not someone who likes to brag about stuff, and really running was just something I did, like brushing my teeth.  I should have said something or talked to her about it - but I never did.  I didn't admit to myself that it bothered me, I didn't need the recognition, exercise SHOULD be something you just do without telling the world.  I don't need to toot my own horn because I'm someone who gets recognized and thanked for a job well done just by virtue of being, if that makes sense.  But I do like to be recognized and praised, I think most people do.  While I am perfectly fine with no one at work knowing what I do in my off-time, I think I felt like she was hogging the spotlight.  I deserved a "nice job!" or "Wow! You are fast!" and she wasn't turning that light on me or sharing in the glory.  AND I'm the one who got her into running in the first place!  So I began to develop an underlying thread of resentment.  

Fast-forward to my developing health issues - I was diagnosed with chondromalacia (a knee issue) and early-onset osteoarthritis, went through physical therapy, was told that I had to stop running or I would continue to scrape away the cartilage in my knees.  I was depressed and gained a ton of weight, which certainly did not help my knee issues.   My co-worker stopped running and gained weight around the same time, complaining to me that she needed me to keep her on track.  Never did she ask me how I was doing, how my therapy was progressing.  Yet, it was my fault that she had fallen into the abyss.  Another thread of resentment.  

I eventually got better, turned to Crossfit as a way to try to get back in shape without the constant pounding of running (no, this was not a good choice for the health of my knees! :huh:), and was introduced to the world of Paleo and eventually W30 through that community.  I did not share any of this with anyone at work.  My co-worker wanted to know what I was doing, and I just answered that I was lifting weights.  SO she started lifting weights.  I was noticing this pattern with lots of work activities - if I did something, she did it, too.  I was feeling like her big sister and decided that imitation was the highest form of flattery.  It was slightly annoying, but I figured the best thing I could do was distance myself from her.  

A few months later, she started to become snappy and easily upset.  She would get angry and not talk to one of us at work for days at a time.  My other co-workers and I speculated about what was going on, why we had to walk on eggshells around her.  I talked to her about it, but she denied anything was wrong.  She later said that she thought her coworkers were her friends, but she guessed that we were just co-workers.  I think she may have seen a post on Facebook of me with some Crossfit people, but I wasn't sure.  And I didn't really think that I was so important that I would cause her to have such a reaction.   Later still, she said she was taking medication to help with her anxiety.  

Fast-forward again to the last two years.  As expected, Crossfit did not do my knees any good, I gained 50+ pounds, and I've been struggling with finding my way every since.  My co-worker returned to running, at which point she began running every day and posting it on Facebook.  She currently has a running streak of over two years going.  At every opportunity, she would mention running - "Before I went to visit my mother, I went for a run."  "I was able to get that report in, and then I went for a run afterward."  We've joked at work (when she wasn't around) that it would be an excellent drinking game, every time she mentions running take a drink, but we'd all be trashed in no time.  And she would talk about how she could eat the donuts in the break room because she went for a run that morning.  Or how it was ok to have McDonald's for lunch because she was going for a run after work.  I really felt like she was purposefully getting digs in at me because I couldn't run, I was obviously limping when I walked (she still has never asked me how I'm doing), and I was clearly gaining weight.  More resentment on my part. 

The final annoying interaction was the DQ blizzard incident I mentioned in one of the posts above.  This however, was not an isolated incident, but my typical way of dealing with avoiding conflict with her.  With quarantine, I see that she continues to post daily on FB about her socially distant runs.  We meet as a small group via Zoom weekly and she always comes sweaty because she "just finished running" or "waiting to get off here so I can get my run in!"  She gets a lot of attention for these statements - "Good for you!"  "I'm glad someone is being healthy!"  and then texts fly around the group about who's got their bottle of Jack Daniels set-up taking shots every time she mentions a run during our meetings.  For a long time, I haven't acknowledged her comments about running or eating junk.  I consciously remark on the part of what she says that does not focus on those things, for instance asking her how her mom is doing.  Not interacting with her daily has given me the opportunity to see how toxic this relationship is to me.  

I am not complicit in this - I am the one who pulled away from our friendship without a conversation with her.  I avoided the conflict.  I was not supportive of her during her bout with anxiety, choosing instead to limit our interactions so I wouldn't have to deal with her mood.  I participate in making fun of her running broadcasts with my co-workers.  It feels good, but slimy at the same time to talk about her behind her back like that.  I personalize her comments and assume they are directed toward me.  

Just as I am not responsible for her stopping running and gaining weight the first time, experiencing the mental health breakdown, and any of the million other little things that occur at work that I feel like she thinks I should take responsibility for, she is not responsible for me choosing to stuff my face with doughnuts and Dairy Queen.  That is the behavior I choose to indulge in when I'm feeling annoyed/irritated/angry with her.  And she is really just a paragon of what I could not do because of my health issues.  Does she actually say those things to prick at me or is it because of her own need for validation?  Seriously, why would a grown woman spend her time figuring out what she needs to say and do to remind me of my own self-care failings?  This is about me personalizing something that is bigger for her - maybe the running is medicine for her anxiety.  I know that she requires attention from others to feel good about herself - maybe she is finally getting the confidence boost from others that she needs through her daily run reports.  The fact that she requires that attention is her issue, not mine.  The fact that she enjoys indulging in junk food has absolutely nothing to do with my weight or my food choices.  If she wants to eat Krispy Kreme every day for the rest of her life, that has no impact whatsoever on me or my future.  So after so much soul-searching on this issue, here are my take-aways:

-As annoyed and angry as I have been with her about blaming me for her issues, I am doing the same thing to her.  Just because I don't say it out loud doesn't make it not so.  

-If I really believe that life is best lived by setting an example for others rather than telling them what to do (and i do believe this), then that is the cornerstone of my belief system.  But, not everyone has that same code and so it is unfair for me to expect that.  

-It's my responsibility to share an accomplishment of mine if I want recognition for it.

-If someone chooses not to give me credit for something I have helped them with, I have two choices:  speak up or recognize that their lack of recognition says more about them than it does about me and then move on.

-I do not need to feel guilty about distancing myself from people that make me unhappy (guilt - I didn't deal with this above, but I do harbor some of this).  I am the only person that is going to take care of me.  I don't need to explain why unless I want to.  

-Other people have their own issues.  While we may cross paths, their issues are not my issues.  

-Very rarely do people who are outside of our inner circles target us for ruin.  Maybe my co-worker feels better when she gets a dig in at me, maybe it has nothing to do with me.  But she is not trying to ruin me.  

-I am the one who has chosen to use food to calm my emotions, no one forces me to do this.  It is my responsibility to recognize this and change my behavior.  

-Binging junk food in secret does not impact the person I am annoyed with.  It only hurts me.  There are other ways to satisfy myself.  There are other outlets for my emotions.  


Bottom line - I am responsible for myself.  If I can't think/self-talk my way through an annoyance, then I am responsible for choosing an appropriate outlet for those feelings.  





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I think it's totally appropriate for a Whole30 journal! I love my Whole30 journal because I can offload all sorts of thoughts and burdens and I think that doing a Whole30 is so cleansing, not only physically but mentally. I truly believe if we can't get the underlying causes of our unhealthy relationships with food, we're doomed to repeat our mistakes. Good for you for the introspection!!

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@MadyVanilla Our mental health is entirely intertwined with our gut health, and Whole30 is genius to bring awareness to our Whole Health

It does sound like you have a coworker with some problems that she needs to deal with.  I think that your list of take-aways shows that you have an excellent foundation to build your better self.  I love that list btw...

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Thank you, @schrodingerscat  and @shadowinthekitchen - In my past W30s, I have avoided looking at the mental piece.  But if I'm going to be successful, i need to deal with these triggers in my life and stop using them as excuses to gorge myself on junk.  

When I saw my co-worker's run post on FB last night, I immediately went to my catty, mean comments in my head.  But then I remembered what I'm trying to do, and so reframed my comments.  They were more neutral than positive, not the best comments, but it's progress.  I can do this while in quarantine, and maybe it will become a habit by the time we are back in the office together.  

All went well yesterday.  I got the extra mile in and felt really good.  Yoga was great, too.  I was hungry in the afternoon and thought I would try to power through the hunger. I took that walk, but was still hungry.    Then I thought "why should I power through?  I've been eating well, i can have celery and almond butter."  And so I did.  And it was good.  And exactly what I should be doing - eating when I'm hungry.  

I didn't sleep well again last night.  I know it's the coffee.  I was working yesterday, and as I finished my last cup I looked at the clock and saw that it was a little after 2 p.m.  No coffee after 12:00!!!!!  Despite, the poor sleep and the fact that it is a very dreary day outside, my energy is pretty good.  I didn't have any trouble getting up and going for a walk, but I kept it short because I thought I might come home and go back to sleep.  No such luck.  

Day 12

Energy-7, Pain-0, Mood-6.  I'm really just amazed about my pain.  I ran very little yesterday, but still I ran.  I should have all sorts of swelling and achiness, but I don't.  As long as I'm feeling good, I'm going to continue.  No pressure on myself to do anything but get some steps in everyday.  But if some of those steps can be running steps, that would be amazing.  I must remember to wear my knee brace on the days I'm running.  

M1-Black coffee and chicken tenders leftover from last night.  Yeah, these really are a little SWYPO for me.  I was fulfilled with my initial serving last night, but still grabbed another and then looked forward to finishing them off this morning.  And I was a little possessive of them when my husband grabbed an extra one.  I just really love chicken tenders, and these were just as good as any I get in a restaurant.  I think I need to go back and read about SWYPO - I'm really trying hard not to fool myself or convince myself this time around.  

A quick aside, it's funny how much my husband likes W30 meals when he doesn't know what they are - he liked the chicken tenders (but would spit them out in disgust if he knew they were coated in cassava flour), I renamed the W30 BBQ-Sauced Chicken to Spicy Chicken and he raved about that (no way would he have eaten it if he was comparing the BBQ sauce to Sweet Baby Ray's), and he has eaten the taco casserole for two meals.  Granted, for his second meal he put the meat in taco shells, but that's his prerogative.    

M2-Chicken salad with cucumber and tomato slices.  

M3-Thrive Market's thai coconut curry over shredded chicken and cauliflower rice.  I'll throw some kale into the curry, too.  I've not got many vegetables planned into my day today.  

Snack-as always, celery and almond butter.  I don't snack everyday, and I'm not sick of it.  The celery is cut in the fridge.  The snack continues on as a standard.  

The stars may not align for me to get a long walk in today.  It depends on whether or not the weather is good enough to get out in between two meetings I have this afternoon.  Yoga will happen, though.  I'd really like to take a nap, but only because I know I'm in a sleep deficit.  I don't feel tired or sleepy.  

Last thing, a new NSV I've been noticing - my mind seems clearer, I don't seem to be groping for words or memories like I have been in the recent past.  

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Strategies for dealing with heightened emotions:

-Go for a walk.  Easy to do at home, even at night.  A quick trip around the building will also be easy to do at work.  

-Put in my headphones and listen to music or a book.

-Do a 1-2 minute activity from the Headspace app.  I will start doing this in reaction to the FB posts so I can start to make it a habit.  I think I'll forget about it in the moment, otherwise.    

-Fix a cup a tea.  

-Go get a cup of coffee/decaf


-Yoga  Easier at home, could go in the file room and do some stretches at work.  I probably won't, though. 


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