Whew! I Am Glad That’s Over….Not Really :)

February 20, 2013

So my 30 days of no sugar, no grains, no dairy, no booze has come to an end.  I figured I’d be saying, “hallelujah!”. Truth is though, that I haven’t felt this good in years! I’m leaner. I am at peace with myself. Doing this I didn’t feel deprived or sad – shocking for life with no treats! I have slept better than ever, all of my clothes are fitting great, my skin is crystal clear and I feel very proud of myself for sticking with it. In short, I feel really, really good about what I just did. So now what? This project was meant to do a few things: jump start my fat loss (Check! I lost 7cm off my waist, I was shocked – fat and water, but still!); show me what I was capable of; restore my faith in myself; and be an inspiration to myself and all of you. But now it’s over. What’s next? Do I binge on all those foods I deprived myself of? That’s certainly one option and I can see the temptation. Instead of that, I’m going to go back and mine this experience for gems that I can continue to do to sustain my success. What I’ve learned from this: Not eating enough throughout the day sets me up for overeating at night. I get busy with Lola and work around the house and I don’t eat enough. I get busy at the office and don’t eat enough. Come 7 or 8PM I’m completely foggy headed, nauseous and looking for food – and a lot of carbs. Eating more regularly through the day when I’m home works better. Eating regularly and adding a snack before I leave the office around 8PM keeps me in a better place to eat a sensible protein + veggie dinner when I get home. The meat and nuts breakfast works soooo much better for me than eggs and veggies. We discussed this in Ultimate You as a very low insulin breakfast option for us insulin resistance types. I works great for me yet, I haven’t done it in years. I still do not drink enough water, but if I put lemon in my water especially first thing in the morning I drink more. How simple is that? Why I fail to do this for myself is beyond me. I have a way easier time giving up any sugar, desserts, treats, chocolate, carbs, bread, pasta, etc. than I do giving up being able to have a glass of wine or a drink once in a while. Surprised? Yeah, I am a little too. I’ve had such great success in just this short time and I didn’t work out once. Yup you read that right. My neck and back were so out of whack so I focused on foam rolling, stretching, rolling my feet on a Lacrosse ball, and seeing my chiropractor. I did go for some long walks but for the most part, all of my success these past 4 weeks was from diet alone. Great reminder that, at least for me, diet is about 85% of the battle. Like my fellow fitness experts always say: “you can’t out-train a crappy diet.” So while I would love to work off every treat at the gym – I like it there – it doesn’t work for me. When I have 100% integrity with myself, a whole bunch of awesome stuff happened unrelated to me dieting and fat loss. I got clear on a few mental snafus that were holding me back and I feel like things are really taking off! I learned a few things that really work for me and I just need to keep doing more of that (hint: same will work for you). For example, it works much better for me to eat earlier at 6 with Lola, get her to bed and if I need a little something before bedtime I will have a piece of fruit. This gave me a little something to look forward to (causing me not to overeat at dinner) and I didn’t go to bed stuffed or hungry. I know typical advice is to not eat after dinner, and if I hit a plateau or this stops working that is one of the first variables I will look at. Also, on my workdays dinner is very late. Nothing I can do about my schedule those two days right now, but something I may need to reconsider soon. This was a stricter plan than I’d been on but there is a lot of room for me to up the ante if I want to. I did not restrict healthy fat so I could cut back on nuts or nut butters for sure to get more progress – I ate a lot of peanut butter this past month! I did not cut the coconut creamer I splash into my tea in the mornings (there is 1g of sugar in there and of course, fat from the coconut). Something else I could play with reducing if I got stuck. And while I said my intention was to only use protein bars and shakes in place of real food if I absolutely had to, I ended up using them almost daily. This did keep me on track and kept me from over eating by not getting too hungry, but I would do even better if I kept up the meal schedule that worked (not going more than 3 hours without a little something) and did it with real food instead. And most importantly…I realized that if I want a better body, I have to have a pretty damn clean diet. Just a fact for me, I knew this and I railed against it because, it’s not fair! But it is true. I can do it and feel like crap or I can do it and feel good. I felt great about what I was doing this entire time, although I had a few cravings I did not feel miserable, punished or restricted. I felt calmly in control. The best part of this experiment was that I regained confidence in myself. I know that I can do what it takes…should I choose to. What now? 30 days with no cheating is a drop in the bucket compared to what I’d need to do if I were to enter a body building or bikini contest. It would likely take me 5 months of this level of strictness get into that kind of shape. But 30 days was tough! I don’t think that’s likely sustainable for me for the long term – a strict program like this was a great kick start, but now time to think about what I can keep doing so I can keep getting results. A planned splurge once a week is the new plan. Not an entire meal full of carbs, topped off with dessert and washed down with a drink but rather one of those things. Again, this is what I think will work for me and I’ve been playing with my diet for years. If you need more or less, listen to that – and more importantly, trust that! I need to take what I learned this past month and keep doing what works like eating dinner earlier and avoiding getting overly hungry. I also need to transform the behavior of “had a rough day I need a treat”. I simply need to not make a glass of wine the reward because let’s face it, there are several rough days some weeks!! I need to make a glass of wine a special thing for myself vs. a routine stress buster. This is the idea of taking something we enjoy and making it a special, fun, enjoy the heck out of it indulgence vs. a reward. Using food as rewards is dangerous territory – and a topic of a future post! How do I feel today after having some hooch and some sugar?

Pregnant bride and all the booze.  Whether I could partake that night or not, our intimate little wedding in a beautiful  (and very special) West Village apartment was perfect for us :)

Pregnant bride and all the booze. Whether I could partake that night or not, our intimate little wedding in a beautiful (and very special) West Village apartment was perfect for us 🙂

Last night was Joe and my second wedding anniversary.  We celebrated with a nice dinner after Lola went down and popped a bottle of cava – the one we had at our wedding (that I couldn’t really enjoy because I was 11 weeks pregnant!). It was a lovely evening and I really enjoyed the bubbles and a bit of chocolate.  But today…. I am much more tired today than I have been in a month. My face is certainly puffy and have a breakout or two (already!). It’s still early in the day but I definitely have more carb cravings than I’ve had in a while – telling me that little bit of sugar and alcohol has really thrown my blood sugar off this morning. Physically, I don’t feel so hot. Mentally, I know I’m just a day or two away from feeling great again. And I learned several things that if I get them back in place today, I’ll be back to doing much better here quickly. And that’s what it’s all about: continually righting the ship after we’ve gone of course, unintentionally or intentionally, as I did last night. Thanks to this little experiment I know I can do that. Whew! I hope sharing my struggles with this stuff was helpful even in some small way to you all taking the time to read this.  We may know better, but even us experts, struggle sometimes to always do better.  Especially those women like me who have stubborn metabolisms and need to do much more than most women to get results – it’s easy to get frustrated and just say forget it! Learning to live this lifestyle is the key to success now and sustainable results (read: no more on again off again dieting). Thanks again for being here 🙂  

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