Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Giving In (Not Up)

Well, I faltered. I slipped up. I let myself fall off the wagon. Now, before I tell you about my dramatic downward spiral, let me say this: I didn't end in my gorging on chocolate and white flour-based products. However, I veered off the path of Whole30, and I feel like I should (very) humbly admit that to you.

For the past 10 days, I have been eating clean. As you may have read in my prior post, I was quite the legalist about doing everything by the book. I even lost 7 pounds during my brief journey through the sugarless, dairyless, grainless land of Whole30. By Monday this week, I was feeling ill. Yes, I was likely reeling from the missing sugar and grain that dominated my diet pre-Whole30. As I stood at my desk with a pounding headache and incurable nausea, I plead with God to give me strength and to make my grilled chicken and mashed avocado lunch seem appetizing. Since then, it's been a constant battle of will, i.e. I'm consistently disgusted with eating yet another grilled chicken strip, avocado, and handful of almonds.

So, I did it. I went to Chipotle, and I ordered a kids quesadilla. I know, I know - cheese and white flour? Yes. And yes. It was delicious. And maybe I'm justifying here (probably), but I started this journey to lean on the Lord for wisdom in making healthy decisions - something that I had also veered off path in doing. I could have ordered a burrito, and in my state of hunger, I would have eaten the whole thing. But, I didn't. I know the Lord has given me the strength to be prudent in the midst of my deprivation. And, though I feel that we are called to be long-suffering, I don't know that it comes at the expense of unrelenting nausea and headaches. Seminary students, feel free to educate me on that.

So, if you were taking bets, it was 10 days. Congratulations on your winnings! But, I should tell you that I feel as though I hit reset on my thoughts about food, and that the Lord is in this because I can't exactly be trusted to keep my hand out of the candy bowl on my own.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

8 Days, 7 Nights

It's been one week since I introduced you to my Whole30 adventure - you know, the uber restrictive eating program that will reset the way my brain craves food, or something like that. Well, after one week, I can say that I've had less than five hangry outburts, and I'm feeling like I want a cookie and a diet coke good. (Note: for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term hangry, it's when your hungry-angry, and don't act like you've never experienced the sensation.)

The biggest trial to-date has been my inability to grab food in a pinch or to go to most restaurants in Dallas. It's not just the no sugar / no grain combination that's hard. I have to concern myself with everything from cooking methods to oil used in the cooking process. On Friday, I bombarded a poor waiter with questions about what oil was used when cooking their sweet potatoes. He thought I was a total freak. Then, last night, I went out with some friends. When we couldn't decide on a restaurant due to my limiting restrictions and Kyle's limited preferences, I suggested we go to a fresh salad restaurant. Andrew's response: "Amanda, it's nighttime." Are salads only a day time food? No one sends me food memos anymore.

So, I start another week of prepping a lot of food for Whole30 meals. There's zucchini pasta in the fridge for dinner (y'all, this is really good!). I'm currently smoking out my roommates grilling 4 pounds of chicken strips. All in the name of resetting my body and my mind. I know what you're thinking, and yes, I do think it's working. There's a lot of body chemistry mumbo-jumbo that I will totally bore you with if you ask me about it. But, more than that, I truly feel better. (I feel less good when I smell the muffins and kolaches at the coffee shop, but that's because they smell like everything I can't have.)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Craving Something Wholly Different

When it comes to dieting, I'm pretty vocal against quick-fix solutions that promise extreme weight loss for little-to-no-effort. Maybe it's because I've tried everything (and I do mean everything), and when I found what worked, it wasn't a prepackaged meal plan or mystery serum placed under the tongue. What works is being smart about the type of food and how much of it you put in your body. Oh, and exercise.

Based on these sentiments, you can safely assume that I've been skeptical about recent trendy dieting plans: gluten-free, intermittent fasting, and Paleo. I mean, betches do love to be gluten-free (sometimes). With all of these details on the table, I humbly admit that I am going with the trend. But just for 30 days. Several of my friends have gone through the Whole30 program. Like so many before, I chided them. My brain totally needs whole grains to function. Well, that's what I tell myself so that I can eat at Chipotle two or more times a week.

Lately, my cravings have been out of control, and I have sought to satisfy them all with food. From the delicious mini Kit-Kat bars in our candy bowl at work to the family-size box of Wheat Thins in my pantry, I have become a creature of indulgence. Whatever I crave, whenever I crave it, I let myself go. But what if I sought something else in those cravings? What my craving is justified, and I'm using the wrong thing to satisfy it?

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life - is not from the Father but is from the world. - 1 John 2:15-16

My desire for food has weakened my desire for God. For me, that's just unacceptable. So, for my health and for my soul, I'm taking on the Whole30 challenge. It's Day 2, and I'm feeling like I want a chocolate chip cookie good. The plan is to go 30 days without processed foods, dairy, sugar additives, etc. After 30 days, I will systematically reintroduce these things into my diet - but (hopefully) with decreased cravings for all of the bad stuff.

For the next 28 days, I'll need support. I'll seek it in God, but don't be surprised if I call one of you at 2AM for a 4th meal. Just refer me to His word, or block my number until April 1st.

Mama's Got a Brand New Blog

It has come to my attention that my life is the subject of much attention, and people around the globe are clamoring to know my every move. So, I'm bringing the old blog back. Actually, neither of those things are true. I'm bringing the blog back because I miss having a creative outlet to dispense wisdom and random life occurrences to my tens of readers. If you've been reading me since the day I arrived on that llama ranch in Bartlesville, welcome back. If you're new here, I hope you stay a while.