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I have started and stopped a post about four or five times in the last week or so. I start it, decide I don’t like it, and delete it. I don’t know what’s up aside from a case of writer’s block, I supposed.

However, I ran into someone the other day who said to me, with sincerity: “Don’t ever stop writing.” For some reason I felt compelled to explain why I hadn’t posted in awhile. I felt guilty. I felt guilty because I decided at the outset of this year to make writing a priority again and all it took was one week long vacation and a family member to become ill and it quickly fell off the priority map.

The vacation is long over, the family member is on the mend, and so there is no reason why I cannot write, so write I shall.

Unfortunately the most exciting thing I have going on at present is officially being half way done the Whole 30 challenge or whatever you want to call it. I’m calling it a challenge because that’s what it has been! While things have settled a little bit, the first 10-12 days of being completely sugar, dairy, grain, and alcohol free were a bit of shitshow, just ask my husband. He has been nothing but supportive but said and I quote: “You’re doing great. I’m really proud of you but I’ll be glad when you’re done. You’re just extreme.” He held out his hands to indicate the extremity of my being and I can’t even argue it. I’m typically pretty extreme on a good day never mind when detoxing or withdrawing! I have been ready to cry at the drop of the hat and even more rage-y than usual. Instead of just getting the regular amount of angry over whatever I deemed unjust in any given day I would feel my body seethe with barely controlled rage. On the other side of that I broke out crying not once, but twice, on two separate occasions while singing along to ‘Your Song’ by Elton John and watching Anne of Green Gables? Forget about it. It was like I was reunited with long lost family members and experienced more emotions than are probably appropriate for and with fictional characters.

Physically I was exhausted for a couple of days but not bloated. Bloated is generally my constant state. I look with child by the end of most days but since starting this nonsense, no bloat! I’ve had my suspicions about dairy for sometime and this kind of clinched it for me but also suspect grains might be an issue too. Which is straight up karma because I am the asshole who will joke about asking for “extra gluten” with my meal. I mock the gluten sensitive. Basically I mock just about everyone but was rather smug in my ability to ingest gluten. This has come back to bite me in my (now somewhat smaller) ass.

That’s right, I’ve lost weight! How much, I don’t know. Part of the deal is you don’t weigh yourself. If the mood is right for me when I do something, I do it 100%. No cutting corners and as such, Type A Angela over here gets hella bent out of shape when others do not do the same but I digress. I have no idea how much weight I’ve lost but all of my clothes fit better and I’m down a hole (up a hole??) on my belt (as in I need to literally tighten my belt) and that feels awesome.

So yay for Whole 30 right? Yay except it’s obviously not sustainable nor is it meant to be and I’m starting to have some anxiety about re-introduction of everything I’ve cut out. Like how will it work? Will I instantly gain weight back? What about the bloat? I must not have the bloat back. Ban the bloat!

Today is Day 16 meaning exactly 2 weeks from today will be my very last day and I need to get to reading to find out what the hell I do on Day 31. Besides dance and loudly proclaim my success to the world that on the last day of my being 39 years old I completed a 30 day challenge whereby I stopped eating all of the good things. I have not had a gummy candy of any sort since February 26th. I have not had yogurt, oatmeal, sugary, or vodka. I have also not had a lot of fun.

Well that’s not entirely true. I’ve had fun it just wasn’t food based fun and since food based fun (food based anger, food based sadness, food based being awake) is what led me to this business that’s actually a good thing.

I am not out of the woods yet. I veer between thinking how I’ll try to keep this up, not as strictly thought,  when finished, and asked my husband to simply get me one cupcake for my birthday (well one for each of us) so there isn’t an entire cake in the house for me to ingest. Then the next minute I find myself on Pinterest doing a little naughty scrolling…cake recipes, cookies in mugs, all things chocolate, and then I dream. I imagine exactly how the cake/cookie/candy would taste. Last night I fantasized about chocolate cake and Mini Eggs. Then I thought maybe I would treat myself to a small bag of Mini Eggs on Day 31. Why not just mainline some sugar the moment I’m finished? Uggghhhh.

In a way this helps me understand how actual addicts feel. You know how good it feels in the moment but how awful you feel after the fact and it’s a constant effort to convince yourself that the bad outweighs the good and not vice versa. That’s how I feel about junk food and I’m in no way trying to trivialize alcoholism or drug addiction. I can just finally appreciate how strong that pull is and the rationalization of “Well, I didn’t do/have it for X number of days, weeks, etc.” and that means I’m still in control.

Except I’m pretty sure I’m not. Hey, show of hands, who’s tired of me talking about what I can and can’t eat? Oh, there in the first row, my husband, Ryan! The most patient of patient men who constantly supports and encourages me and listens to my diatribe on weight, body image, social influences on body image, and subject to questions/accusations like: “Men don’t even care what women look like do they?!” Truly though, this man of mine has never made me feel any less than. It’s all me. I’ve been 20 lbs heavier than I am right now (I think – see above re: no weighing allowed) and he had nary a complaint.

So who am I trying to impress?

Myself I guess. Every morning I get up, turn sideways in front of the first mirror I see, and lift up my shirt to expose my abdomen. I have wanted a flat stomach since I was 10. Literally. Fun fact is that I am “Apple” shaped meaning I carry any and all excess weight in said abdomen. So a flat stomach, while truly not unattainable, isn’t going to come easy and what I’ve been asking myself more and more lately is what will it really mean if my stomach were indeed “flat”? Would I actually be happier? Would I be a better person? Who really cares? I think the answers are: Yes, for a minute (but then I would be irritated by the notion that keeping it flat also meant never eating caramel corn and Twix bites at the movies again); No, I would not be a better person and finally: No, no one actually cares except for me.

So why? Fuck, I don’t know! I don’t. Right now I’m going to finish because I am not a quitter. I made it this far so I know I can do it another 14 days. I physically do feel better. After that? Remains to be seen. I still have an unhealthy relationship with food emotionally speaking and maybe the next 14 days will change that and maybe I’m just on a countdown to binge town. My thoughts on same literally changes from day to day and sometimes hour to hour.

As far as the Whole 30 goes I would recommend it. It hasn’t been easy but the food I’ve been eating is good – there are great recipes – and I honestly do feel better. I feel like I have gained some control again and perspective on food. I can make it through a meal without having to have something sweet when I’m done. I actually enjoy a movie more when I’m not struggling to stay awake after the sugar crash I typically experience. A crash induced by my predilection for Peanut M&Ms mixed in with popcorn and eaten as fast as humanly possible as though I may never see popcorn again. This hasn’t been easy, to say the least, but that’s part of what I enjoy, being able to conquer the cravings, staying committed, and ultimately ‘winning’. Winning what, I’m not yet sure, but I’ll have won some bragging rights at the very least! Bragging rights and maybe a panookie….

#notoutofthewoodsyet #giantcookieinapan #coveredwithicecream #dairyandglutenohmy

 

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