Saturday, September 6, 2014

Staying on track is better than getting back on track

Yes, it is.

I was tempted by a tiny little piece of [insert food porn here] yesterday, but I resisted. I wasn't hungry. I just wanted the taste of it. And I felt better after I brushed my teeth and found something else to do than I would have had I had that tiny little piece of [insert food porn here].

One thing I forgot to write about yesterday was a bit of mental gymnastics I went through on Wednesday and Thursday.

I had been way off plan, eating whatever I felt like, whatever sounded good, whatever was handy. I felt like an unruly child, turning my nose up at good-for-me options and going instead for, basically, anything with sugar and flour in it.

If I ever had any doubts about the addictive qualities of sugar and flour for me, I'm over them. I cannot be trusted to leave them alone.

Because I also wasn't food journaling during that period of, um, indiscretion, I can't say what set me off. I remember making rice one night, a couple weeks ago, which was delicious. I hadn't had rice in more than a year. It was an experiment – some folks following a paleo/primal plan can handle an occasional serving of rice.

I'm not saying my otherwise-paleo stir-fry with rice was the tipping point. But I'm not saying it wasn't, either.

ANYHOO. On Wednesday, when I finally decided enough was enough and I had to get back to what worked for me, I toyed with the idea of fasting on Thursday. I even said it aloud to my husband, who said he would support anything I felt I needed to do.

When I woke up Thursday morning, I was hungry. Hunger pangs are a sign of health, and I nearly always wake up hungry. I usually delay breakfast for a couple hours, because I wake up insanely early. So I decided to wait it out, to see if I could get through the hunger and stick with the fast.

After obsessing about it for far too long, I made a paleo pumpkin mug muffin (this new recipe is easier than the one I'd been using and tastes terrific) and the fast was over. And it was over because fasting felt like punishing myself for going off the rails. When, in fact, going off the rails was the punishment. I decided the best thing I could do for my physical and mental health as I began anew on Thursday, September 4, is nourish myself.

If and when I'm hungry, I'll eat. If and when I'm restless, I'll distract myself with a book, a walk, a knitting session. I've been doing a lot of graphic design work lately, and I find that hours can go by without any thought of food. That can be both good and bad. Eating paleo means I have to plan ahead and have suitable food ready. Working for hours and then suddenly feeling hungry means I. Want. Food. NOW.

As in most things, it's a balancing act, but one worth working on. I love being busy and creative.

But I love slipping into those size 10 jeans, too.

(And there's a pair of size 8s waiting in the wings.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been meaning to chime in here for a few days. You and I started on a similar path at pretty much exactly the same time. I went dairy, egg, and gluten-free in April of 2013, and I think that's when you did your first whole-30 (I think that's what it's called). While egg has reentered my life, dairy and gluten have not, except for rare exceptions (my birthday, Christmas day, Thanksgiving), and my food life has changed dramatically. You're right--it's a lot of planning. Even more for you than me. But when those things dropped out of my food life, my head became so much clearer. That food voice that would never stop talking finally did. And to be honest, if I need to avoid dairy and gluten to keep from having the voice back, it's an easy choice.

I also know how quickly we can fall back into old habits...I noticed for almost a week after my 2 "regular" Christmas meals that the voice was trying to sneak back. Not nearly as loud, but it was whispering. I am cheerleading for you, because I know how much better you feel physically and emotionally when you're eating paleo. None of this "back on track" business, because that feels like dietspeak to me. You are resuming the eating habits that really changed your life this last year and a half.

We have been on the same road for a long time, and finally it's a path that feels good. Stay on it :)

(I'm on a different device tonight, which only lets me post as "anonymous")