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I skipped logging yesterday, was reading a really good book and just  never got on the computer.  The Mexican-styled ground beef turned out delicious even without the chili powder.  I had it again last night over a salad, with a homemade-mayo/fresh-squeezed lime dressing.  Three and 1/2 mile hike in the cool woods with the dog yesterday, too.  

I did the Saturday meal planning and started my grocery order, but then decided I would do an instacart order on Saturday, as I'll be out of town Thursday-Saturday morning.  Those days are going to be challenging- going to stay with some friends who are on vacation, so all meals will be eaten out. 

Day 38/60, Day 3 no nightshades

Mood-6, energy-6, pain-0.  Yesterday's hike I completed 44 minutes before feeling pain.  I have been a little more achy in small joints the last two days, though, and have taken medication to help with sleep.  As a result, I've also slept really well the last two nights! 

Progress on goals: 1) 60 min yoga session on Saturday, 30 min last night.  2)I forgot to do my push-ups this morning.  Will make this happen today.  

M1-egg/banana/sausage scramble.  This is very filling.  I had it yesterday, too, and ended up not eating again until dinner.  

M2-TBD.  Probably some broth and a salad

M3-Orange chicken.  Going to try a new recipe.  

Planning to ride my bike to the farmer's market today.  I need vegetables.  

I also need to start thinking ahead to my mini-vacay at the end of the week.  I'm not sure how I'm going to get in my wake-and-walk or my daily yoga.  I'll be a guest in a friend's condo, so I can't exactly ask for a key in order to get up and go for a walk at the crack of dawn.  Maybe I can walk in the condo or up and down the hallway, but I'm not sure of the layout.  Or maybe I could just explain my morning routine and ask if they want me to leave the door unlocked...or maybe they'll have a better solution.  That seems to be the thing to do.  Just ask.  Yoga, I can do 10 minutes in bed before going to sleep.  Food is going to be another issue entirely.  I'll just have to check out menus ahead when I can, and focus on eating meat and vegetables, sans sauces.  

I've had a number of occasions crop up during this round.  it's tough to do a W30 with travel, extended family, friends, etc.  I wish I had started when I originally planned, back in April, so that I would have had 30+ solid days with no obstacles.  The pandemic has created an ideal bubble for W30.  At the same time, this is life starting to come back and I have lots of activities and things outside the home that I typically do, so it's good to be able to try them with lots of home days still in-between.  My 50th birthday is next month, and I'm definitely going to want to celebrate that, with at least champagne if not cake!  Maybe this is why I've traditionally done W30s in September...not so many challenges once autumn hits! 

I'm beginning to think about relaxing my standards for later this week, but that's not the thing to do.  I should go into vacation expecting to stick to W30, document if I do have something off-plan, and then add days to my 60, if needed.  Even if I do have to add 30 more days, I would be done in plenty of time for my birthday.  Unlike previous rounds, I'm very interested in doing a genuine reintroduction this time, especially since I'm beginning to discover how nightshades seem to be impacting me.  I have two different competing but not mutually-exclusive views-1) In the grand scheme of things I'm much healthier and in control, even if I do occasionally go off-plan 2) If I want to be able to go off-plan occasionally and get back on-plan quickly and in a much healthier way than I have previously, I need to fully understand my body's reactions to foods which requires strict adherence to W30 and reintroduction.  I vacillate between these two views.  I can't allow myself to be complacent or fooled by my current sense of control - that control is sand in my fingers.  


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I rode for a little over seven miles yesterday with a friend, then we sat on her deck and cooled down.  A great reward for doing the exercise, and it was a fairly easy ride going with a friend.  It feels so nice to have the energy and motivation to get out and do something active with someone and not be terribly worried that I won't be able to keep up or will have pain issues and have to slow or stop.  I  got a little tightness in my hip and knee during the last few minutes of our ride, so this is good.  

Day 39/60, 4th day without nightshades - will try some tomato and jalapeno today. 

Mood-7, Energy-8, Pain 0, none during short walk this morning.  Didn't sleep well last night, so didn't want to get up as early this morning for a longer walk.  Plus, it's supposed to be a beautiful day, so I can walk again later.  Sleep...I'm beginning to wonder if maybe I don't need as much sleep as I think I do.  I'm not tired during the day most of the time, I have good steady energy throughout the day, and I almost always wake up on my own (though the dog occasionally contributes to an early morning).  Typically, I fall asleep purposefully while watching tv.  Then I wake up sometime in the early morning hours and stay awake for an hour or so and just think about stuff while trying to go back to sleep, then I sleep a few more hours.  I try to stay awake later in order to wait for my son to get home, but I often fall asleep while waiting.  Mornings after I've been awake for hours during the night, I think that I should stay in bed and try to sleep even though I don't usually go back to sleep and end up getting up in the next 30 minutes.  Maybe I should try just getting up and going with the day.  I can certainly take a nap if I need to.  

Progress on July goals: 1) 20 min yoga last night 2) push-ups and squats this morning.

M1-3 eggs, homemade sausage, spinach.  Too filling, didn't finish it. 

M2-Epic beef and jalapeno broth, sliced tomato and mayonnaise 

M3-leftover orange chicken with broccoli.  This was a fairly easy and delicious instant pot recipe.   Labor intensive, with mincing garlic and ginger, zesting and juicing a bunch of oranges.  but once the prep work was done, it came together well.  My son, who loves Chinese take-out, thought it was delicious. 

Some NSVs:

-I can stand and walk at any time of day, without having to wait for my creaky joints to catch up and be ready to move.  I can walk up and down the stairs correctly, most of the time (as opposed to side ways or two feet on each step).  And I'm getting more and more range of motion in my left knee.   

-Less swelling and bloating, thinner ankles, thinner face, thinner legs.  If I keep this up, I might actually be able to wear tall boots this fall. 

-Energy and motivation.  My mind doesn't make up excuses and delays for doing things, I just do it, so much less procrastination.  For example, I'll think, "I need to do laundry" and then I'll go up and get a load of laundry and start it.  And then fold my clothes as they come out of the dryer without much thought.  It's hard to verbalize this change, but it's pretty remarkable.  Part of this has to do with I can move more without pain, especially up and down the stairs, but it's also a shift in my mental state.  

-Great skin.  My face glows and looks younger, I don't have the patches of dry skin on my elbows and scalp that I used to have.  And I don't burn as easily as I used to.  

-Detached approach to cravings.  I still have cravings related to environmental cues, such as wanting to raid the pantry when I wake in the middle of the night.  But instead of the uncontrollable face dive into the crackers/cookies/loaf of bread with butter that I used to feel compelled to engage in, I can now observe the craving from afar, recognize it for what it is, then dismiss it.  

-Clearer thinking.  Less, "What did I want to do?" or "What was I going to say?"  This still happens sometimes, but nowhere near as often as it used to.  

-Enjoyment of black coffee.  Seriously.  I was a heavy, sweetened cream (Sweet Italian cream...), do-you-want-a-splash-of-coffee person.  Now, I love the savory, bitterness of a good cup of iced coffee.  This switch alone has probably resulted in me losing 5 pounds.  And I don't miss the cream at all.  

-Stable mood.  I have experienced great mood swings around a person in my life, which is primarily due to my own thought processes as opposed to anything that person has done or said.  But I've observed an ability to look at things with calmness and rationality that I couldn't previously access around this person.  Stuff I'm working through, but it is definitely much easier to be thoughtful rather than reactive.  

-Better self-esteem.  I feel better about myself and how I look.  While I still have quite a bit of weight to lose, I'm not too concerned about that.  I generally feel attractive and sexy, especially when I brush my hair and put on some make-up :lol:.   I know that may sound conceited, but I feel the opposite of how I felt about myself two months ago.  I was a lump, a slug, a lazy and fat, bloated whale.  My weight has gone down, but not significantly so and I still am not fitting into the clothes I want to fit into.  Yet, I feel SO much better about myself.  


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This list of NSVs is excellent! Your focus and resolve are inspiring.... Not to mention your relationship with black coffee. I have always aspired to be someone who relished black coffee, but I have never managed to make it work. It is wonderful how sensitive the Whole 30 makes your palate. We can find layers of flavor — no need to pave over the coffee flavor with gallons of cream! I love this NSV for you.

Also so excited about your energy and motivation, your physical ease, your joyful bike riding — that NSV feels so freeing and wonderful! So glad you captured this list. Keep up the good work!

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Thank you, @Contessa!  I feel like I'm following in your footsteps, and looking forward to continuing to navigate this journey as it works for me, just as you are doing for yourself! 


No impact from my one tomato yesterday-yay!!  So I ate another tomato with breakfast this morning :unsure:.  Will still monitor and go back to no nightshade days for a while.  

Day 40/60 0 days without nightshades

Mood-8, Energy-8 (and I've been awake since just before 4 am, up and walking by 5 am) pain-1 (a little hip/back tightness while walking, probably because I was out so early). 

Progress on goals 1) 5 minutes (!) of yoga just before bed last night 2) did my pushups and lunges this morning.  


M2-Cantaloupe, avocado dip, veggies

M3-Chicken and broccoli

I probably won't be journaling for the next couple of days as I'll be away.  The plan is to stick to w30 even with all the restaurant eating.  Back on Saturday to update my journal! 

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So much to catch up, and the need to reframe and refocus.  

That tomato (or two over the course of two days) did result in some significant pain and stiffness in my joints.  So nightshades are officially an "only if it's worth it" food for me.  

I was out-of-town Thursday through Saturday, and clearly didn't make it back here to refocus myself on Saturday evening.  I did a good job of staying compliant with food - about half the meals were eaten in the condo (I was expecting all would be out).  One of my friends ran interference for me, and would speak up in my "defense" if anyone offered me something I shouldn't have.  I was very grateful for this, as a few times it involved people making me things (waffle breakfast sandwich, anyone?) and I hesitated in saying no because I didn't want to hurt feelings.  The only real issue with food was that I was SOOO hungry - I was not getting enough fat and there were not fat sources other than dairy and meats available.  I discovered it's tough to get enough good fats in restaurant food, especially if olives or avocados are not available.   I also ate much more fruit than I typically do, so I was getting a source of sugar.  Also....wine.  We went to some really beautiful vineyards and I made the choice to drink it.  No headache the next day, so I don't think there's an adverse impact for me, with limited consumption.  

So I consider myself to have been compliant with the exception of the wine (which I know means that I was not, in fact, compliant).  I managed the hunger well (thanks fat adaptation!) until heading home on Saturday...I stopped at a fast food restaurant and bought a 1/4 pound burger and ate just the meat.  Then when I got back to town, I ordered two Whole30 meals from Chipotle.  But I only ate one, lol! 

Yesterday morning, I was ready to get back on track.  However, through a series of unfortunate events, I did not get to grocery shop.  I had grilled shrimp over salad as a late lunch, and finished my Chipotle for dinner (had half for breakfast).  And then I completely lost it late last night.  After several days of not enough fat, no meal planning, and no adequate resources at home, I hit up a bag of Milanos that have been in the pantry for over 6 weeks (how had no one eaten those???).  As I got the bag, my thought process was that I was making a conscious decision to eat them and that this will not lead to an all-out binge.  I ate the whole bag.  I did not go into an all-out binge, though I had thoughts about it.  I feel ok this morning.  I'm putting it behind me and moving forward.  

Things I need to do today:

  • Journal
  • Meal Plan
  • Grocery shop
  • Meal prep
  • Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Drink water

One last thing, I weighed myself this morning.  Such a dumb thing to do - I'm up 0.4 pounds.  No doubt this is water retention related to the carb binge last night.  I just thought the two weeks that have passed since my last weigh-in would demonstrate a weight loss.  Ugh!!  Focus on the NSVs-I look better (at least in the mirror - some photos taken of me over the lasts few days were not as flattering as I would have hoped), feel better, can walk up and down stairs.  I'm struggling with this right now.    


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Yesterday, I ate nothing but two handfuls of almonds until dinner time.  I was just not hungry - I prowled around looking for food, checking ingredient lists, but I just couldn't find anything.  I was too lazy to cook something and didn't have anything prepped.  I did my meal planning for the week and ordered groceries, which I pick up today.  I couldn't think of anything to make for dinner last night.  My husband wanted to get Mexican food so we did - I had chips and salsa and a chicken/bean/cheese/sour cream/guacamole taco salad, but couldn't finish it all.  Surprisingly, I feel fine this morning - I had corn, dairy, bean last night, but I guess it was just small quantities overall.  

I feel lost and empty.  A post vacation let-down, with no direction, nothing to look forward to.  All the days are the same, boring, too hot to even go to the beach, no one around.  It doesn't help that my son is getting ready to move into his own place, so we'll officially be empty-nesters.  I need to re-find my motivation and direction.  

I did get up and take a short walk with the dog this morning, ate a good breakfast (I was hungry this morning) and did my push-ups and squats.  I've created my list of things to accomplish today.  I just don't know what will help me feel better.  Maybe this low mood is related to my non-compliance????

I guess I'll call today day 1...I definitely need to restart since I've not had a completely compliant day in a week.  

Mood-3, energy-5, pain-0.  I slept fine last night - 7 hours, 10 min.  That's the first time in over a week that I've gotten over 6.5 hours sleep. 

M1- 2 eggs cooked in ghee, raw spinach, a little homemade mayo

M2-hamburger with grilled onions, sliced cucumber

M3-Shrimp salad caesar salad


Possible projects:

create workout plan for the gym

movies to watch

map out bike routes, look for routes that I can drive my bike to and ride

take an online wine class

research what to do with my son's bedroom - my daughter's is already converted to a guest room.  

Make a list of goals and rewards - I met my first 2 weeks of July goal, so I can order my Well Fed cookbook.  I'll think about this and list my goal either later today or tomorrow.  

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31 minutes ago, MadyVanilla said:

I feel lost and empty.  A post vacation let-down, with no direction, nothing to look forward to.  All the days are the same, boring, too hot to even go to the beach, no one around.  It doesn't help that my son is getting ready to move into his own place, so we'll officially be empty-nesters.  I need to re-find my motivation and direction.  

Just wanted to raise my hand here and say..... yep. Circumstances are a little different, but feeling tone is the same. What you are saying makes complete sense.

I am continually struck by how powerfully this virus has altered our deeply entrenched patterns. It's obliterated some of the things that used to bring us joy every day, and it's offered different sources of joy. I'm feeling listless and grumpy about my lack of vacation this summer. I've been wasting far too much time on social media and pointless phone games, and wondering just how bad this thing is going to get.

"Something that Miranda July said in an interview was that this moment is like the ultimate creative prompt. And there’s been this whole interesting conversation... about the tension between feeling that we’re trapped inside so we should be unbelievably creative and finding this to be the ultimate nervous, anxious distraction."

That quote comes from a podcast I really like, The Ezra Klein Show, an episode called "Jenny Odell on nature, art, and burnout in quarantine." I plan to listen to this later. I think it will help me better understand how to think about this next phase of the pandemic, with its annoyingly unbroken stretches of hot days.

Sorry for content that has zilch to do with the Whole 30. I just wanted to offer a note of empathy. Hang in there and let us know how things progress!

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Yes, yes!  I have been so good about figuring out how to spend my days, but with this heat I feel trapped inside....I'm lucky that I've been able to go away and spend some time with friends and family this summer.  Maybe I'm just worn down by putting on a happy face and trying to make the best of everything.  

2 hours ago, Contessa said:

That quote comes from a podcast I really like, The Ezra Klein Show, an episode called "Jenny Odell on nature, art, and burnout in quarantine." I plan to listen to this later. I think it will help me better understand how to think about this next phase of the pandemic, with its annoyingly unbroken stretches of hot days.

I think I need to listen to this this afternoon.  Things will improve, it just feels like I'm caught in a quagmire right now.  I so appreciate the 'same wavelength" post.  Thanks for letting me wallow a bit and giving me encouragement to help pull myself out.  

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On a positive note, I came back here to post about my lunch.  I had half decided to order in, but nothing sounded appealing.  Except pizza.  And I'm not eating pizza because not only is it noncompliant, it will make me sick.  So instead, I started my original plan of frying a Vidalia onion in ghee.  I took a pound of grass-fed/finished ground beef and made hamburgers, seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt and umami powder.  I added a huge handful of organic baby spinach to the onion.  Piled it on my plate, topped with mustard.  I'm not always a grass-fed organic person, but making such a nourishing meal helps me regain my footing.  

In a few days, I hope to be able to look back on this and see that I am able to weather a rough spot.  It's so easy when everything is going well, and you wonder why you ever stop eating W30, how can you possibly slide out of the pattern, especially with all the NSVs???  But it has always been a very precarious ledge for me to stand on.  

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YES to this. It is useful to realize that a restart is almost always accessible.

I've been getting lazy about my post-Whole30 snacking this week. A little bite here, a little snack there, and eventually I wind up back in the land of full-time freelance grazing. Ugh. Sure enough, this afternoon I reached into a bag of tortilla chips and pulled out a fistful. Then I thought, "Wait. Do I really want to do this?" and the answer was resoundingly "NO." So I put the tortilla chips back in the bag. Heh. There are always more options available than my brain would like for me to believe.

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This poor mood is my issue.  

A friend called me yesterday because she was also feeling down...she's been walking 3+miles everyday and is my bike riding partner, but last week she was diagnosed with a stress fracture in her foot. She thinks she can still ride, but it's just been too hot here this week.  So we commiserated.  And planned a day trip to a nearby winery for outside social distancing in a different environment - I volunteered to be DD so I won't be tempted by the wine.  Plus, I looked up bike routes for when it cools a little.   And yet, I still feel down. 

I ate a good dinner, but then decided I needed something sweet to eat.  It was that same old pattern of being encompassed by a thought ("Must have sugar") The non-appealing Twizzlers that have been on the counter for over a week were quickly torn open, a handful was grabbed, and then shoved into my mouth before I could even coherently think about what I was doing.  I write this as if I had no control over the situation, but the fact is, I didn't want control.  I could have at any point said no, walked away, stopped eating them as soon as I tasted the chemically plastic flavor.  But I didn't.  I thought those exact things through the whole process.  BUT  I DID NOT WANT TO STOP.  (and then I ate a bowl of salt and vinegar chips).

I think partially I'm punishing myself for struggling over the last week.  I think I believe that my mood will improve if I eat crappy food...no, I know it won't.  It's that I feel crappy emotionally, so I should feel crappy physically.  I've also just had thoughts over the last few days that I need to get "these foods" out of the way - like a mini-binge pre-W30.  But why???  Sometimes the mental work feels too hard...

My anchor habits are still in place-journaling and wake-and-walk.  My meals yesterday were great and I really haven't fallen off the wagon (yes, I'm dangling over the edge, hanging upside down and lifting my legs up in the air while still holding on, but I haven't fallen off....)

Things that are going well:

  • Journaling
  • Walking dog first thing
  • Push-ups - I did 3, chest-to-floor from plank position push-ups this morning.  I originally started on my stairs, with my hands on the fourth step from the bottom a few months ago.  This is an accomplishment! 
  • I have good food available in the fridge and the ingredients to make a delicious shrimp salad
  • My NSVs are strong - I can walk up and down the stairs easily,  this is my big marker
  • I'm enjoying a mug of black coffee
  • I have a pitcher of unsweetened peach tea ready to drink
  • I have a treadmill that I could walk on, but that seems like punishment

Things that have slipped:

  • Exercise - I stopped working the C25k program.  I have not been for a walk of greater than 15 minutes since last Friday.  
  • Yoga - I haven't done yoga in over a week.  
  • My daily schedule - this helps me stay on track with completing chores and not wallowing all day.

What to do:

  • The heat advisory is in place until tomorrow - plan a place to go hike on Friday when it's predicted to be cooler.  
  • Walk for 10 minutes on the treadmill.  I can play my audible book and walk for just 10 minutes.  It's not that bad.  
  • Do a short yoga session during my regular time this afternoon.  I was derailed by a 40 minute phone call from the MIL yesterday - don't answer the phone.  
  • Make my schedule for today as soon as I finish journaling.  
  • Consider making a trip to the beach this afternoon.  Though, it's a little frightening that, according to the local news, I could get 2nd degree burns on the bottoms of my feet from the sand.  
  • When I feel like eating a food that I know is not in line with my goals, go walk up and down the stairs first and see if the food is worth potentially giving that up. 

Back to Day 1:

Mood-3, Energy-5, Pain-0

M1-pastrami and lettuce on an almond flour tortilla

M2-shrimp salad with sliced cucumber

M3-Primal Kitchen barbecued chicken with grilled zucchini


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2 hours ago, MadyVanilla said:

When I feel like eating a food that I know is not in line with my goals, go walk up and down the stairs first and see if the food is worth potentially giving that up. 

Hoo boy, that seems like a powerful comeback to those persistent "let's just eat everything" thoughts.
Maybe the food is worth it, maybe it isn't.
Either way, it's really nice to take a moment to ask the question. A huge amount of growth and strength can come from the moments where we simply pause.

2 hours ago, MadyVanilla said:

I think partially I'm punishing myself for struggling over the last week. 

This resonates a lot. One argument I've had recently with myself is that thinking about the crappy food is not the same thing as swan-diving into a bucket of the crappy food. I realized yesterday that I've been mentally hard on myself for the past week for just having a complicated history with food. Geez. That seems kind of cruel, doesn't it?

Maybe the point is to just be really kind and tender to ourselves, whatever we're eating. I can't float the argument that a global pandemic is an excuse for me to abandon all sense and all boundaries. However, it is true that our minds, bodies, and hearts are dealing with a lot these days. Even those of us who are not emergency room nurses are navigating profoundly uncertain and unsettling times. When I can tap into even a shred of patience, self-compassion, and curiosity, that's where I find the breathing space I need.

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19 hours ago, Contessa said:

This resonates a lot. One argument I've had recently with myself is that thinking about the crappy food is not the same thing as swan-diving into a bucket of the crappy food. I realized yesterday that I've been mentally hard on myself for the past week for just having a complicated history with food. Geez. That seems kind of cruel, doesn't it?

This is so very true.  There is no on-off switch, part of moving forward could include the steps where we go from eating all of it, to eating some of it, to thinking about it,  And that's good progress.  That's so unfair to be angry/irritated/saddened by our complicated food histories, when any other relationship that we manage and make good choices about would be a source of pride.  I've been able to rise above difficulties with my MIL, but I sometimes slip back into being offended by one of her statements - however, for the most part, I'm proud of my ability to reframe, ignore, deal with her.  Why wouldn't that same mentality apply to food? 

Kindness toward ourselves IS the first step. If I can show myself some grace, I won't feel the need to punish myself.  This is the underlying, foundational goal to work toward.  I started listening to the Jenny Odell podcast you referenced above.  Even though it's pandemic-focused, I felt the idea of just being.  Of recognizing that even when things seem stagnant, they aren't.  And that growth is recognized when looking back, not when looking from within.  

I find it incredibly useful to think about these things and put them in writing.  I *know* this stuff, but I don't take the time to think through it and how it applies to my situation.  I so appreciate your insights, @Contessa.  

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I'm feeling more peaceful today.  I did all of my "what to do" things from yesterday, except the beach.  I even walked on the treadmill for 15 minutes instead of 10.  Making movement on the things that I know help me feel healthy have helped me feel emotionally healthier.  Taking a step back and regrouping works.  

Day 2

Mood-5, Energy-6, Pain-0, slept well.

M1-pastrami, spinach, mayo on almond flour tortilla

M2-shrimp salad with cucumber

M3-chicken and zucchini that I didn't make yesterday.  Ended up having zoodles bolognese last night because my husband wanted spaghetti.  Good, but my stomach is a little upset this morning probably from the tomatoes, but I knew I wouldn't feel great after eating the sauce.  

Today is a non-work day, and I'm caught up on all household chores except for laundry.  It's going to be slightly cooler today (still with heat index in the 100s:o) so I think I will go to the beach.  Will do a longer yoga session this evening, too.  I ordered the Well Fed cookbook since I met my two week goals of yoga and strength building activities.  I need to set two new goals for myself, but I want to set month-long ones for August.  I imagine they will involve daily yoga and actually making an appearance at the gym.  I would love to do a massage as a reward, but I'm thinking that isn't covid-appropriate.  I'll think on goals and a reward.  



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The beach was lovely, and I stayed most of the day.  I was tired when I got home, though, and napped instead of yoga.  

Day 3

Mood-6, Energy-6, Pain-3 - none in my knees, but my shoulder is very painful.  I pulled something probably doing pushups, and it really hurts to move in certain directions.  This is injury rather than arthritis, and I just need a few days to let it heal.  

M1- 3 eggs, 1 banana, cinnamon

M2-leftover hamburger and sliced cucumber

M3-porkchops and squash.  Lots of squash and zucchini right now.  

Getting ready to head out to a trail that's an hour's drive away.  Finally, it's cooler.  The dog is going to be so happy to be able to get out for a long walk.  

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I was off-track this weekend.  I'm not sure why I'm having such a hard time getting back to it.  I have thoughts surrounding my poor choices that involve "getting this food out of the way" and "I'm going to enjoy this right now and then get back on track"  and "Ok, once this is gone, I'm back on track (not true)."  I have not reverted back to my all-day-binge-fests, but I'm not making great choices.  And I'm not getting much exercise-I'm walking only a little in the mornings (too hot the rest of the day, got rained out of my hike on Friday and again on Saturday).  I haven't biked in over a week (schedule conflicts + heat).  I have only done yoga once in the last week (taking naps instead).  I haven't done my push-ups in about a week (hurt my shoulder and so laying off until that heals).  

I weighed myself yesterday morning and I was down a little over a pound, which also helped cross me over into the next "10s".  I'm not having significant joint achiness, my skin still looks great, no indigestion or stomach issues....I'm not being punished for my transgressions.  I know that's not a Food Freedom mindset, but that's the reality of how I've always thought.  

I'm playing with fire here, teetering on the edge of spinning out of control.  I've had fits and starts over the last week - lots of good meals, two whole "good" days, but lots of noncompliant snacks and a few dinners.  I think I don't really believe in my ability to comeback.  I have never successfully done it before - I always dive into the bag of chips and don't look back until I'm once again enshrouded in the cloud of misery, pain, self-loathing...now I'm back to fighting with myself.  Which is so stupid.  I'm an intelligent human being with an advanced degree who has had success with W30 and a paleo lifestyle.  There is absolutely no reason that I can't be successful again.  I have the knowledge, I have the means, I have the time, I even have the right foods readily available.  

My youngest is about to move into his own place on August 1, just a few miles away.  I keep going back to this, empty nest syndrome, but I don't feel overwhelmed with emotion about it.  Is that because I"m taking my emotions out in food and so I'm not really feeling?  I don't know...on the one hand, I don't want to over-analyze, but on the other I'm trying to understand why I'm sabotaging myself.  I'm struggling with another relationship that's important to me, but I think part of that struggle is self-created - I've been feeling moody and anxious, which does lead me to seek comfort in sugary carbs, which creates more moodiness and anxiousness when there is no need for it... 

So really, even though I THINK i'm not experiencing ill effects from the poor choices I've been making, the struggles with cravings (though it's honestly not a struggle, I just give in), the moodiness, the shifting in my thought patterns from success-oriented to sabotage-oriented ARE ill effects.  

Go back to basics - I did this last week, and I had a successful two and a half days.  I got off-track again because the weather derailed my hike and I just felt sorry for myself the rest of the day (and ate a handful of Oreos).  But I still didn't fall face first into a key lime pie.  I got up on Saturday, made a good breakfast, came home and quickly poached some chicken and made chicken salad to eat in between my son's ball games...but then got rained out of a hike again and later was faced with a food truck that was different than I expected for dinner.  And there were only fried food options.  And then just gave up yesterday and had pizza for dinner (and no upset stomach as I fully expected!).  And had the last piece for breakfast this morning.  I'm trying to remember all of the good choices I've made this weekend - being kind and gentle with myself is the key to swimming out of this mire.  It's just hard when I don't understand why I'm doing this.  I just don't believe in myself.  Time to read affirmations, listen to uplifting music, make a list.  

I know I ramble and sound whiny sometimes, but journaling really is a huge help to me.  I want to come here everyday and say that I"m doing life well...but then I remember that it's of no benefit to lie about it.  I'm only going to figure this out if I work through the struggles, get them out of my head and on the screen.  I said this last week and I really do mean this - I have a goal to come back here in a few days and re-read this and wonder why it was so hard because I figured it out again.  

I know the keys for me - making a list of things to do today, and returning to my healthy-day list.  I just went and checked items off that list that I keep on my phone - I'm not going to get the "eat low carb breakfast" one today, but I can get all the others done.  I'm listing my meals here, then going to make my to-do list for today:

M1-slice of sweet pepper and sausage pizza

M2-chicken salad with celery and spinach (need to make mayo)

M3-grilled pork chops with zucchini and yellow squash marinated in Primal Kitchen citrus herb dressing.  

As i read back over this before posting, I realize that I have a hard time regrouping when things don't go as expected.  Something to ponder upon...off to make my to-do list and have a successful day.  

  1. I give myself permission to do what is right for me.
  2. I am confident in my ability to make healthy choices regarding nourishing foods and movement.
  3. I feel proud of myself when I nourish my body and soul.  
  4. I accept my emotions and let them serve their purpose.
  5. I give myself the care and attention that I deserve.
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Ms. Vanilla, you and I may be Separated at Birth Food Sisters or something... I relate so fully to what you've written here.

And I'm so glad you are writing here. There is gold for you in the writing, and gold for others in the reading. I came across a quote today that supports your affection for journaling: "You cannot think what you cannot say." Basically, we can think and feel all day long, but the real value is in the expression of those thoughts and feelings. Stuff gets real when we put it into language.

I love your list of healthy behaviors. I like the idea of reviewing these daily — using them as a touchstone around mealtimes.

One practice I've spent some time with is mindfulness meditation. One of the meditation teachers I love (Sharon Salzburg) talks in a very permission-giving way about the work of meditation. Once she said something like, "So, we sit, and we breathe. At some point we notice that our minds have wandered and our attention has scattered. So, we gently bring our attention back to the breath. That's it, that's the whole practice." She was sort of saying that you aren't only succeeding if you sit and keep your mind perfectly tranquil for an unbroken hour, or if you levitate off the ground and a dove lands on your head. Meandering off the path and then getting back on the path is part of success.

We need food to live. There is necessarily so much gray area in our relationships with food. We notice that we have wandered, our attention has become diffuse, we realize that we may need something other than what we're getting. That's it, that's the whole practice.

I love your list for all the blessings it includes. For me, dodgy foods lose some of their luster when I am able to connect with the spirit of gentleness and self-understanding I find in that list. Would that we could bring that sense of blessing to every meal and every snack. That's the real work, right?

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15 hours ago, Contessa said:

For me, dodgy foods lose some of their luster when I am able to connect with the spirit of gentleness and self-understanding I find in that list. Would that we could bring that sense of blessing to every meal and every snack. That's the real work, right?

Yes.  This is so very true.  


15 hours ago, Contessa said:

One practice I've spent some time with is mindfulness meditation.

It does not surprise me at all that we both have found meditation.  I've done many types of yoga over the years, but my absolute favorite has been my sole practice of the last few months - yin/restorative.  It's very meditative with the 3-7 minute holds in a pose.  I find myself to be so distracted some days that I can barely concentrate on my breath and then other days I am calm and able to focus for moments.  I am a long way from even 7 minutes of complete mental stillness, but I do like that thought that it's a path - similar to taking a hike and going on a side spur for a quick exploration before returning to the main trail.  I can definitely link some of my success to this practice and interestingly, I don't make time for it when I'm already having a tough day, as if I don't deserve to practice-ha! 

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Yesterday...turned out well.  The to-do list got done, I met all my healthy habits (except the low-carb breakfast) and I went to bed feeling satisfied and accomplished.  I walked for 40 minutes in the heat of the afternoon among shady trees and did not die despite the 100-degree temp, and I made time to practice yoga.  And made good food choices, with no cravings.  I've typed my to-do list for today-it's a busy day between work and ball games, but I scheduled in a bike ride this evening when it may be a little cooler.  

I had my annual wellness check-up yesterday.  I'm down 3 pounds from where I was last year (that doesn't account for the 15 pounds I gained and lost during quarantine...).  The doc shocked me, though, by bringing up bariatric surgery.  I'm 52 pounds over my ideal weight currently, but I've always felt that my ideal weight is too low.   I've been at my ideal weight once since my children were born, and when I look back at photos, I feel like I looked too thin.   I have a bigger frame and tend to build and keep muscle more easily.  I know two people who've had bariatric surgery and both of them were extremely obese...I was so surprised that he brought this up because I am not.  He explained that I have generally failed to maintain my weight losses (this is true), that it will be harder to lose as I get older, and that I will require more and more medical care and intervention as I continue to age if I don't lose the weight.  Plus, my diagnoses of hypertension and osteoarthritis put me in the category of candidates.  If anything, this conversation has made me think.  I have to get labwork done, too, and I'm anxious to see what my cholesterol, etc numbers come out to be.  I go back in January if everything goes ok.  

Mood-7, Energy 7, Pain 0.  Good day yesterday, better mood today.  

M1-3 eggs and banana cooked in olive oil.  

M2-chicken salad with celery and spinach

M3-pork chops and zucchini

Short walk with the dog this morning, plan to ride my bike this afternoon and do a yoga session.  

Thinking about goals for August...I think I'll do a daily yoga practice.  I really enjoyed doing it daily for the first 2 weeks of July, and only got out of it because of a weekend away (and then not consistently back to it).  I'm also thinking that I will make the jump to going to the gym.  I know several people who have been going and they all feel safe, so maybe it's time.  I would like to get some barbell work in, so even if I go twice a week for half an hour.  I'll keep thinking about that.  I also want to get back to working the C25K program, either in the early morning or at the gym, since it's so hot outside.  It would help if I would pick a 5k to run in late September or October.  Things to think about.     


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@KelseyClaire - I'm still in shock over his suggestion.  And yet, I've thought of nothing except staying compliant since!  :lol:  That's awesome about the elliptical - don't you just feel healthier making decisions and doing things that are for your own wellness?  

When are you starting C25k?  That will be cool to compare notes as we go along!

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Continuing to be on-track food-wise, but ran out of time to bike and yoga yesterday.  Well, I didn't want to yoga during a thunderstorm (Why??? That seems so strange in the light of day....) and I got involved in scrolling through social media.  My school district voted to start virtual yesterday, and i couldn't tear myself away from the trainwreck created by various posts of differing opinions.   The excuses I make just to myself are really pretty hilarious...and sad...but, I'm going to keep calling myself out.  

Mood-7, energy-7, Pain-0.  My mood is continuing to improve.  

M1-ham roll-ups, spread with mayo and spinach.  I have almost no food to make (Lots of boxes of mac & cheese, though.  I will be packing these up to send off with my son to his new home).  Today needs to be a grocery day.  

M2-I'm thinking about cooking the last bit of chicken breast, maybe combining it with one of my Primal Kitchen sauces...the only veggies I have left are zucchini and yellow squash.  And tomatoes.  But I'm not feeling like dealing with achiness right now.  

M3-TBD.  I'm going to do some meal planning and  grocery shopping.  I slacked this past weekend.  

Thinking about walking under the shade trees again this afternoon just before watching a softball game, may be bike riding with my buddy later this evening.  On a positive, my new gel seat cushion just arrived - so there's an incentive to get myself back on wheels.  I'm craving a long, chakra-based yin yoga session, but I don't think I'm going to have time today.  Work, a/c repair man, softball game...busy afternoon and evening.  

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I am also into bike riding and I do yoga with my kids sometimes.  I bought a new bike seat cushion as well, but I've had it over a month without installing it!  Don't be like me.  :)  Hope you had a relaxing evening.  You seem like you are doing a great job with food choices!  Good luck with dinner!

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