“Every day is a new beginning. Take a deep breath, and start again.” Ritu Ghatourey
Yesterday would have been Day 30 of the Whole30 Program, IF we had stuck to it for thirty days. One of the “rules” of the program is that if you go off the program, you must start over. Well, we did stumble a bit while we were in Miami. We didn’t really stumble, so much as consciously decide to take a break for a meal. We ended up sharing an ahi tuna burger and a cubano sandwich with sweet potato fries, oh yum. I could have eaten the tuna without the bun, but I didn’t. The cubano was a bust all the way around though… why eat it if you can’t have the bread and the cheese. Blue Eyes LOVES cubanos. Sweet potatoes are good for you, but not so great when fried. We know the rules. We agreed to break them. We did the same in New York City. I was totally still craving that pepperoni pizza and where better to get a slice. Most of the time we stuck by the Whole30. Honestly, I felt good. My allergies were still there. I never got much relief from that, but I never felt bloated and I did not have any stomach problems.
I didn’t, however, want to “start over” every time we went off track. How many days in a row I could follow every rule was not my biggest concern. So we kept plugging along, and then celibacy happened, and then Blue Eyes got really sick. I ended up running around town, skipping meals, and then eating in a hospital cafeteria where you would think I could make sensible choices, however, hospital cafeterias in the U.S. are notoriously bad. The salad at the salad bar looked scary. The salmon looked unappetizing. The grilled chicken, all dried out from sitting under heat lamps, was never even a viable choice. I opted for a burrito on a whole wheat tortilla (no doubt with preservatives), and it had cheese and beans and rice, carb city! And that started a downward spiral. This week has pretty much been a total bust. On the way home from the hospital one night, I even ate the dreaded FAST FOOD! This past Friday I had a decadent gourmet mac and cheese, AND chocolate cake! I was miserable all night. Time to re-group.
I have, however, been working out this week. The facility where I have signed up for fitness classes and a personal trainer has a 6-week nutrition program. My personal trainer helped develop it and is happy to guide me along the way as part of our sessions. It is not all that different from other healthy eating lifestyles I have adopted (even if temporarily) in the past. During the first two weeks of the program, I eliminate all those “bad” things we already eliminated on the Whole30. No sugars, no weird fake ingredients, and no white
shit stuff. But on this program, high fat foods are also eliminated for the first two weeks and then added back in sparingly until you reach goal. “High fat foods” include some of the things we could actually eat on the Whole30 like butter, mayo, and red meat. Some of the forbidden foods on Whole30 like my beloved legumes are good and even encouraged on this program. I have decided that during the first two week cleanse, I will continue to follow the basic Whole30, but eliminate the “high fat foods” as prescribed by this program. That way, as I add the other foods back into my diet, I can gauge how I feel and find the real culprit of my stomach ailments, and headaches… is it gluten, dairy, legumes? I’m pretty sure it is going to be a combo of grains and dairy and that will dictate how I continue eating for the rest of my life, but we shall see if my diet can be tweaked so that I feel good, I get down to my desired weight, AND I can keep my blood sugars in check while maintaining a diet that is satisfying to me. I like the fact that a thin, physically fit 20-something kid is monitoring my progress. Pretty sure he’ll keep me in check!
We will officially begin the 6-week program on Thursday, so that will be the day I do my “before” weigh-in. Some of this stuff feels like a game to me. Even though I have a weight goal, what I am really going for is how I feel and I do not feel well when eating the old way and the way I ate last week. I want to feel good. Blue Eyes weighed himself this morning and he is six pounds from goal. You’d think he would be happy, but even that depressed him. He knows how difficult it will be to maintain his diet “sobriety” along with the other sobriety. He knows his weight loss is due to illness, not a healthy eating and exercise lifestyle. He knows how quickly that weight goes back on.
The other big goal is getting off the diabetes meds. My morning blood sugars have been fine, within the range of acceptable by the doctor, but not consistently in my “normal” person acceptable range (under 100). Plus, I still take Metformin and even though I have cut back, I still take it a couple times a day. I have no visible or obvious “signs” of diabetes. Obesity, yes. Diabetes, no. Not suffering enough, and not seeing the signs, is what did my Dad in. When you don’t feel sick, it doesn’t feel real. Now I, sadly, look at my 72 year-old Dad who has broken bones in his foot (and he thankfully still has both his feet) that won’t heal. He has neuropathy so bad he cannot feel either leg from the knee down. When he breaks a bone in his foot, he cannot feel it. They are talking dialysis, the years of excessive meds have taken their toll on his organs. He has been hospitalized numerous times over the past two years. He never changed his eating habits. He never cranked up the exercise. There would always be tomorrow for that. Well, his tomorrows have come and gone and now he is staring death in the face, way too young. I love my Dad, but I do not want to make the same mistakes he did, and I have to be honest with myself, I have already made some of the same mistakes. I can see the writing on the wall… my health story is the same story being told across the country, and begins and ends with denial. Sometimes reality is a bitch, but changing my relationship with food and exercise is something I can do, something I have control over. I can’t pawn that reality off on anyone.
Life is a journey, not a destination. I’ll keep you posted…