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Effecting Lifestyle Change, Day 36ish

Jenn B

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As I have been reading soo many people's posts regarding reintroduction (which I appreciate because it helps me to process my decision making) I have come to the conclusion that my Whole30 was about effecting a lifestyle change.

My "bad eating habit" persisted into about day 28. This is about the time I had my epiphany about the habit; I now understand the concept behind the mantra that it takes 30 days to formulate a new habit.

My bad eating habit was twofold- needing to eat until I felt stuffed combined with indulging in food without breaks (as if I was out to set a time record). Really becoming aware that I needed to have that stuffed feeling didn't really set in until 2 or 3 weeks into the program. Oftentimes after I finished a meal I went back to add nuts/fruit, coconut flakes, or stuff grape tomatoes into my mouth making sure I did not stop until my stomach indicated to me "Jennifer, you now FEEL full". I needed to experience the act of just putting food into my mouth (like the old days of just eating a whole bag of popcorn- in less than 2 minutes). However, in my 30 days, while exercising these bad habits, I did not punish myself, but made sure I followed two tenets of the program: stick to only 3 meals per day, and stay compliant. (interestingly, gorging on raw veggies with gaucamole never caused physical set backs and feeling full subsided within 20 minutes, it's like the food in my belly never existed-unlike non compliant days where you feel full for hours).

I pondered these habits well aware I was doing them as I was doing them. "What if", I thought to myself, it is not compliant food one day, but that other "stuff"? Which is why I appreciate all the warnings on the forum "don't do what I did"... And really, what good would my Whole30 have been if I am still emotional eating?

WIthout punishment, without trying to figure out why, I simply allowed myself to "be" with how I was eating. Over the course of the 30 days I started to experiment with teas, to replace my old Starbucks Latte habit (I tried black coffee, not as satisfying) When that need to "stuff my face" happens (ed), I gradually evolved into intentionally occupying myself with something, or indulge in my new habit, sipping on tea. My wallet thanks me! Tea is much less expensive than Starbucks, and I have discovered it reheats better, lasts longer than stale coffee, and tastes better luke warm when I cannot reheat it. I carry my travel cup of tea with everywhere (with an extra tea bag)!

Where I stand now is I will follow the compliant regime without punishment for minor lapses. WHY SImply because I fee so darn good. I will not stress over minor issues such as the sugar used in the bacon curing process, or the occasional Starbucks Latte, dessert on occassion... I had already for the most part eliminated bread, but I have learned I am actually fine without dairy products, and have become more aware of preservatives, I am definitely critical about reading labels now, and asking for information in restaurants before I order. I am not sure eating the bread at the meal will be worth the physical setback. I know that I will have to pay attention food without breaks. Give me a bag of chips, a dish of bread, I cannot stop at just one, or two...

One item I am experimenting with starting today is going back to drinking my So Brand unsweetened coconut milk. One glass each morning. Primarily because in over two years of drinking a cup every morning, I was "regular". I like when my body functions more consistently. If I find this product troublesome to my system, I am not attached to it and will give it up.

The other area I need to understand better is pre, during and post workout meals, which I will continue to investigate "whole" sources and check out the the discussions one the forum "for athletes". I used to replenish my body with hydrolized whey protein, have an unused bag of Arbonne protein powder (pea based) in my cupboard. But will not make any decisions until I am ready and will continue to eat my eggs pre and egg/sweet potato post workout.

My goal is to integrate better meal planning/food education for my two elementary age children. I can not expect to effect the severe habit change for them for many reasons (such as when they spend time with their father, I have no control over what he serves).

So, thanks for all your postings heeding warning! Good Luck to everyone with what you choose.

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