Progress on the Journey

It has been about a month since my proclamation that I was going to get my eating in check, so I thought it would be good to provide an update of my experiences over the last month:

Honestly, there have been a lot of ups and downs. When I announced that I was going to ELIMINATE refined sugars and processed starches from my diet… well, that simply didn’t happen. I have however, significantly cut back on them… for the most part.

Let’s start with the refined sugars: Mother’s day and one other family luncheon were two occasions over the last month where I [mistakenly] chosen to eat entirely too much cake. And I say that it was a mistake not because of the guilt I may have felt for it, but simply because it made me physically feel awful. Just rotten. All the sugar and gluten had my stomach in despair.

As for the processed starches, I can honestly say I’ve done an alright job at cutting back on them. Not a fantastic job, but an alright job. Each week KF and I have had sushi; it is a weekly ritual that will stand the test of time. Of all the things we’ve eliminated or reduced, sushi is not one of them and probably never will be. And don’t even bother telling me to just eat sashimi. It’s not going to happen. We have a specific order from our regular spot and we are happy with it. Period. The other “downfall” of the processed starch reduction has been pizza. I’ve probably had pizza about once per week over the last month. Some of it has been gluten free, and some of it hasn’t. I’ve gone through phases of my life where I’m frequently jonesin’ for a particular dish (hamburgers, milkshakes, pasta, etc) and right now I’m going through a pizza phase. I have felt myself overeat when eating pizza, but I have taken notice of in retrospect, and I’m going to be more conscious about that going forward.

Aside from pizza and the two “cake occasions,” I have really felt an increase in willpower for portion control. I’ve been eating healthy/appropriately sized portions on the regular, listening to my body for cravings of protein or fat, and trying to incorporate veggies whenever possible. This is a step that I’m very happy about.

Another step that I’ve been happy about is finally breaking free of the dessert vortex; sometimes after a sugar feeding frenzy, I’ll feel so sick from all the sugar that I can keep it bay for at least a few days. But other times, it just implants a “sugar craving” after meals. I’ll feel like I need something sweet after dinner every single day; it’s really twisted. If you’ve ever read Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel, then you could also refer to this as “food noise.” For the record, I think eating so much sugar that I feel sick is really unhealthy; not just because of the physical consequences, but more because of the mental ones. It’s a horrible relationship to have with food. The sugar vortex is also just plain effed up. In the last week or so, I feel like I’ve finally broken free of the sugar issues. At times where I’ve had an inclination for something sweet in the evening, I’ve chosen to brew some herbal tea. Other times, I’ve ignored it and gone to bed sugarless.

I’ve been currently eating about 80% paleo/clean and 20% not. Since I’m eating relatively clean, I have been able to really notice how my body feels after consuming non-paleo foods.  For example, last night we met friends for dinner. We ordered an appetizer of pecan crusted fried okra for the table, I had a soup (KF had a salad), we split an entrée, and split dessert. The entrée was essentially an upscale version of shrimp and grits. The dessert was two brownies with a small scoop of homemade ice-cream. For my half of the entrée I only ate half of the grits, and KF and I shared one brownie and brought one home with us. I also had one adult beverage; a delicious champagne cocktail with pickled cherries. It is basically the whole reason I chose the restaurant in the first place. I passed on a second cocktail because I knew it would reduce the likelihood of my attending a 7am HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class in the morning— my 20-something-self would never have chosen a workout over alcohol! Anyway, I left the dinner having enjoyed some great company and feeling a little full but nothing close to uncomfortably full. A couple hours later, I could feel my stomach slightly upset from the grits, dairy ice-cream, and deep fried appetizer. It’s not a huge deal. I don’t regret the meal or anything I ate. But I am aware of how the meal made me physically feel.

I concluded the week with my first go at two workouts within the same day; 7am HIIT in the morning and Sweat Camp in the evening. Typically, Friday nights are reserved for take-out sushi and a movie at home. But since we had a mid-week dinner out friends and other activities planned for the weekend, I thought this Friday night would best be served with some fresh fish cooked in lemon juice, grass fed butter, and salt and pepper. The idea to keep this Friday night dinner clean was not for guilt or reparations against prior indulgences. It is simply because life is balance. I’m making progress on this journey, and I feel pretty damn good about that.

Thanks for reading!

-Jenny

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