Mid-month Check-in

My family thinks I’m crazy with all of my diet restrictions.

Normally, I would follow my own advice and eat all my meals at home, but my mom and little sister were in town for a visit, so many meals were shared together.

I nitpicked over everything, naturally (What’s in that sauce? Is there sugar in the salad dressing? What kind of oil was that cooked in? There’s no cream in that right?) but failed to convince anyone to join me on my noble journey. In fact, I’m the one who went to the dark side when I enjoyed a bunch of cocktails. Other than that minor snafu, I’ve been 100% on track.

Has it been hard?

Not as tough as I expected. When I eat at home, have a stocked fridge and plan for every single meal, I’m golden. If I make some shopping miscalculations or have a dinner out, things get more challenging – not in a “damn this stupid diet why do I put myself in these situations” kind of way. It’s more like a “what the heck can I eat off of this menu?” frustration.

In every situation I find something satisfying that works. Well there was one instance where nothing was available (last weekend at the pool that served junk food option after junk food option) so I opted to drink water and skip the meal.

And even that wasn’t so bad. That’s because when I cut out the restricted foods, I find myself eating three solid meals a day and zero snacks. As in i’m not hungry in-between meals. Do you know how huge this is for me? I am the queen of snacking. Especially in the late afternoon. Now, delaying or skipping a meal is no big deal. Wow.

So here we go, the halfway point report:

The Good

  • 2 pound weight loss. No surprise here. This past year and a half I have been exercising regularly, eating mostly well and have been at my ideal weight (before that I was either pregnant, trying to get pregnant, nursing or trying to shed the baby weight).
  • More muscle definition. I’m kicking myself for not measuring my body fat, but I can say that when I look in the mirror, my abs are more defined and my love handles are starting to melt away.
  • Clear sinuses. I am was Miss sneezy mcsneezerson. I was always sniffling, sneezing and coughing. I had sinus surgery 18 months ago to help put an end to my sinus misery. This clear nose thing blows my mind.
  • No snacking. It feels great to not be constantly hungry looking for something to munch on.
  • No cravings. Sure, I see a chocolate croissant and my brain automatically wants it in my belly, but after a few seconds, I don’t even think about it. I don’t feel the need to pick at the cheese or crackers when I’m at a playdate with my girls or sneak a french fry at the pool. I don’t even crave alcohol now. Who am I?
  • A 5 minute plank?!*&: My previous record was 4 minutes, after having trained for it. I struggled through it. But a few days ago at the gym, we began our workout with a ‘max hold’ forearm plank. Not having done anything longer than a 90 second plank for the last 3 months, and not having changed my workout regimen, I breezed through the first 3 1/2 minutes and conquered 5 minutes, no sweat. Who knows what part food played in that. Either way, i’ll take it.
  • Focus: Starting a blog (especially one that I hope turns into a success) takes a lot of work and a lot of discipline. At the beginning of the month I questioned whether I was capable of producing the kind of work that I wanted to share. 15 days in, I’ve surprised myself with my ability to focus without distraction and immerse myself in the work. It’s fueled by passion and a strong desire to learn and create, but I’d like to believe that my brain function is supported by my healthy diet. In other words, my ability to get shit done has dramatically improved.

The Bad

  • Going out to eat sucks. There’s always one thing on a dish that is off limits and it’s no fun being that person at the table who’s difficult and picky.
  • I’m still tired. I was expecting an energy spike.  While I’m not having the same level of afternoon crashes I was experiencing a few months ago, I’m still sluggish throughout the day.  I’m fairly certain that the culprit is my thyroid and that because of my dietary changes, my thyroid production is not aligned with my medication. I had half of it removed in 2006 and have been on medication ever since. Fatigue and energy problems are common symptoms of thyroid imbalance and I’m waiting on my blood work to come back so I can get properly adjusted.
  • I’m embarrassed to talk about it. Here I am feeling like a million bucks (almost) and I fear the judgement of others when put in a situation where I have to explain my food choices.  I don’t want people to see me as annoying or judgmental or preachy, so for the most part, I stay silent. Clearly I have some issues to work through as I push this project through to the public arena.

My conclusion is simple: A few months ago, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Today, it really feels good to feel good.