February 8, 2014

Whole 30: Days 18 and 19

I haven't been to the gym since Wednesday, I think. I'm finally feeling hit with a lack of energy - that, and we've been trying to go out to local meet-ups the past few evenings to try and get to know people around here. Last night was young professionals, tonight was moms. It was a lot harder for me than I think even Matt knew. I've retreated back into my social anxieties since I regained the weight. I don't want to go out, don't want to be seen. I'm not comfortable in my own skin right now. I think about some of the things I did when I was smaller, and I'm shocked at how bold I became as I shed the weight. How daring. Almost extroverted, even. I'm trying to put myself out there now, regardless of my size. But it's tough.

We're heading into the homestretch of the Whole 30, and it seems the tables have turned in our house. Matt is energetically and feeling great about his food choices, no cravings or anythings. Meanwhile, I'm feeling totally beat, and I am craving junk food very intensely. Matt snacks more than I do, and mostly on fruit, so I can kind of understand. I've been trying to cut myself off from sugar entirely, keeping fruit to a minimum, and now, I am craving sweets very much.

Knowing I have to report here is keeping me strong today. Some days I have great motivation, and I do better because I want to feel better and all that. But some days, all that keeps me on track is knowing that I couldn't bear to share a good day here if it truthfully had not been entirely compliant, and I absolutely don't want to have to restart the calendar again.

It reminds me of when I first lost the weight. I ate so poorly, and one day, I dropped all my bad habits cold turkey. That was the first time I realized food was more than just food to me, that it was an addiction. My body was being deprived of its drug, and it reacted thusly. Withdrawal symptoms from no sweets, no junk foods - I shook, I got headaches, I cried myself to sleep from craving it so badly. The experience scared me straight, at least for a year or so.

Matt and I were talking today about Valentine's Day, and he suggested a local restaurant that has a make-your-own stir fry option. It will be during the Whole 30 but we would stay compliant, apart from incidental oils. And I panicked. Because they also have a dessert buffet there, and I don't feel strong right now. I explained to him what I mean when I talk about my damaged relationship with food: when I am thinking about the foods I crave right now, I am not thinking about reasonably enjoying them. Enjoyment has nothing to do with it. I want my high. I want to eat a lot, fast, and privately. And that's how I know I am still not ready for moderation. I've been successful before with moderation, but today, here, now, I know abstaining entirely from my triggers in necessary.

The goal of the Whole 30 is not weight loss but rather, treating your body well, properly nourishing it, and learning to trust your body and its processes. I still have a long way to go towards having a healthy relationship with food, but I know this is a good first few steps. I'm finding motivation where I can, and trying to get stronger every day.

February 6, 2014

Whole 30: Day 17

Today was such a blah day. I went to work, taught, then hung out in my office until my second class of the day. I am usually super productive during my office hours, but today I just had no motivation to do anything. I went on Pinterest and looked for new recipes for next week, that's about the most productive thing I did all day.

After work, I noticed Noah had a rash on his face. Yesterday, Matt brought him to the doctor's because of a different rash, and we got a prescription cream. Today, though, it looked like it was spreading, and by the afternoon, it was all over him. Very scary stuff. I called the pediatrician's office and got a last minute appointment for today, and we went straight from work. Luckily, it isn't anything to be concerned about - just a reaction to the little bit of cold and fever he's had the past few days ... very normal for babies, he said. I'm glad we went and got it checked out anyway, just in case.

After we finished up, we went to this fancy grocery store near the pediatrician's office - it's called The Fresh Market, and it's basically the closest thing we have to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. It's definitely out of our price range (their produce is insanely expensive) but some things are good there. We got some raw cashews to roast with spices, unsulphured apricots (way more expensive than at Trader Joe's, but since we only use a few here and there in recipes, it isn't too bad), and some other odds and ends. I looked in their fish department for ideas - a friend of ours is a fisherman, and he is bringing us some trout and walleye that he caught, so I'm on the lookout for recipes that Matt will eat and that aren't deep fried.

We looked in the spice aisle as well, and this brand of mixes stood out to us.

We love Moroccan food, so we checked out the ingredients...

... compliant! So we got it, and I used it for dinner tonight. I used half the apricots it called for, skipped the chicken broth (just used water), and opted to use chicken since I had already thawed some for dinner anyway. It came out pretty well.

It was surprisingly spicy, though. Delicious, but spicy, thanks to a few kinds of pepper in the spice mixture. I liked how the onions really soaked up the spicy and sweet flavor.

Tomorrow is going to be a long day for me. I have to be in the office for a meeting five hours before I teach, then I have to stay for a meeting an hour after my last class finishes. If that lasts 90 minutes, it'll be a nearly ten hour day. I don't mind it too much, though - I gave exams this week, so I can use that extra quiet time in my office to do the grading, and then I won't have to bring it home over the weekend.

What about you? What are your weekend plans? I'm definitely going to be looking through all the recipes I've saved for some new ideas for next week's menu. I'm in a bit of a slump these days, still going strong but feeling wishy-washy about some unrelated stuff, and it's making me want to give up and eat off-plan foods. I need to find some creative new recipes to inspire me to keep going!

February 5, 2014

Whole 30: Day 16

Last night, Matt reminded me that yesterday would have been our Day 30. I told him to stop worrying about the number and focus on how good we feel, because when this set of thirty days is up, I don't intend on giving up this plan.

Matt is resistant, still. Supportive, but resistant. He said he wants to be able to go out to eat once in a while, to have dairy sometimes. So I clarified: I still want to keep our good habits. I want to make a weekly meal plan, I want to try new recipes at least once a week, I want to keep our fridge and pantry grain- and sugar-free. It's pretty much impossible to eat at a restaurant and not encounter soy, so we'll have to do our best while out, and then make sure we stay soy-free at home. And once in a while, of course, there will be occasions where he can have grains or dairy or sugar. But my goal is to not have them at home.

As someone who has struggled so intensely with disordered eating, on both ends of my adult weight extremes, I have become intimately familiar with my body and its needs. I know what fuels it, and I know what breaks it down. I know my triggers - the foods that I crave in excess when I am stressed, anxious, nervous, depressed. The foods that make me feel high in the moment, and horrible afterward. All of those foods are things we're avoiding while doing the Whole 30.

For my health and continued success with my goal to reach a healthy weight and an active lifestyle, I will continue to abstain from the foods and food situations that trigger me.

I think about stocking the fridge again with Greek yogurt and having granola bars in the cabinet, and I don't feel triggered ... at the moment. I know where the cabinet is where we put the non-compliant foods, and I don't feel tempted to sneak anything.

Still, I worry. I know my past, and I know my present. I know that these struggles are not going to go away when I reach my goal weight - in fact, from my experiences in onederland, I know it only gets harder.

One day at a time. One day at a time.

Eggs and broccoli for breakfast, pork for lunch, tomato olive chicken with spinach for dinner. Week 2, Day 2 of Couch to 5K for a workout. Not enough water, per my usual lately. I washed my water bottle a week or so ago and didn't wash the soap out well enough, so I went to drink from it, tasted soap, and then got sick. Using cups and not the bottle is not bad, but I would say it cuts my water intake in half. Need to get better about it.

February 4, 2014

Whole 30: Days 14 and 15

I didn't post yesterday - I feel like as the days go on, the meals and workouts get repetitive, and I don't want to bore anyone.

Also, the night before, Noah was up pretty much all night with what we think was an ear infection, but seems to have passed - he just screamed and screamed, and as soon as he would calm down and we tried to lay him down, he would scream. A 2 a.m. trip to the 24-hour Walmart for baby ibuprofen and tooth gel (his second tooth on the bottom is about to cut through), and he fell asleep before we even got there.

Then he was up at 5:30.

Needless to say, we hit the hay early last night, just in case of a repeat.

I made another pork shoulder in the crockpot for another week and a half of lunches. I juiced a Meyer lemon and put it in the food processor with some garlic, parsley, and cumin. I used that as a wet rub all over the pork, and put it in for 10 hours on low. It smelled amazing while cooking (the only perk, I suppose, of being up all night with a crying baby), and it tastes really good, even better than the one with the ginger and pineapple. I dished it up, froze next week's portions, and stuck this week's into the fridge.

Last night's dinner was the cashew chicken again. Matt really likes this recipe - he said it was restaurant quality, that he could eat it every week! Since he liked it so much, I made him cook it this time - and he did a really good job. It's a really delicious, totally fool-proof recipe. Tonight we made another Pinterest recipe - creamy pumpkin and cauliflower chicken casserole. I goofed a bit and made it without spaghetti squash, but it was still really good.

I'm glad we followed the recipe and roasted a fresh head of cauliflower instead of using frozen - it would have been too mushy, I think.

Yesterday I did Week 2, Day 1 of Couch to 5K - still alternating running and walking, but now 90 seconds of running and 2 minutes of running. It's amazing how much tougher 30 additional seconds of running feels! Today's workout was a strange one - I went to the gym and got on the bike, figuring I'd stay until the end of Jeopardy. Then I found out that in South Carolina, Jeopardy airs at 7:30, not 7. So I ended up staying on the bike for 85 minutes. The calorie counter on the bike is way off, for sure. But really, I'm not keeping track of calories in or out these days, so I just took note of the minutes for my offline log.

Today and tomorrow I'm giving exams in all my classes, and tomorrow I have a few meetings with the department head and for a committee I am on. So, not busy, but busy. And a big pile of grading lies in store for me this weekend.

What about you? What is on your menu this week?

February 2, 2014

Whole 30: Day 13

For breakfast this morning, I had made egg muffins with the other half of the avocado Noah ate for dinner last night. I don't know what it was, because egg and avocado together are usually a great combination, but these didn't taste as well as I had hoped they would.

For lunch, Matt had a salad with tuna - we found a brand that sells soy-free canned tuna. The cans cost four times as much as the usual ones we buy, so it's definitely a "sometimes" food. But I think he enjoyed the change from his usual lunch of the previous night's leftovers. I had the leftover piece of chicken, and to go with it, I roasted Brussels sprouts with a little salt, some black pepper, and leftover bacon fat from the last time I made bacon.

I haven't made these in ages, and I forgot how much I completely love them roasted. Matt asked if I would rather have them or a piece of my favorite candy and honestly, right now, I would say the sprouts.

Noah is teething again, and so he was wishy-washy all day. He took two naps, and had a low-grade fever in the afternoon. Once he fell asleep for his second nap, I headed to the gym and did 60 minutes on the stationery bike. My goal for this week, besides Week 2 of Couch to 5K, is to get back on the elliptical. The bike is a fun workout, but I know that the elliptical is best for me for calorie burning (besides running).

When I got home, I threw dinner together - lemon pepper chicken again, with apple slices and the rest of the Brussels sprouts from lunch. We make that once a week, it's really quick and delicious. We try to make at least one new recipe a week so things don't get too repetitive, but at the same time, it's nice to have quick and easy healthy fall backs.

Noah cuddled up right after dinner and snuggled himself to sleep. Poor little guy! He already has one tooth, plus he started really crawling this past week - it's amazing how big he has grown ... and how fast time has been flying! He will be 9 months old on Thursday.

Tonight, I'm putting another pork shoulder in the crock pot. Another week and a half or so of lunches! Not sure how I will spice this one. Maybe the same as the last one, with ginger and pineapple. We'll see how inspired I feel.