My chocolate shake powder ran out with this morning’s shakes. I’m not even sure we have enough of the vanilla for two shakes for tomorrow. The fiber powder has been gone for a few days, and we’re coming to the end of our other products as well.
And far from being excited, I’m apprehensive. I’ve maintained the 5-ish pound loss from the first week, lost maybe 2.5 inches off my waist and two inches off my bust and hips. But I can’t help but feel that this way of eating has been so much better for us. Less bloating, less digestive instability, just better. I’m going to be sure to take my blood pressure tonight, before we run out, to see if there have been improvements in that area, as well.
Neither Mom nor I bought things on the no-no list, this week at the store, even though we knew that we’d be done mid-week. I ordered lunch for a lunch meeting tomorrow and wouldn’t look at anything with bread or dairy, which left me with a single eligible salad. So I ordered the salad.
We probably have to talk about reintroducing foods gradually, so we can identify Mom’s triggers (and any of my own.) Life happens, and we’ll probably eventually drift back into old habits.
But I’d like to keep as much of the ground I’ve gained as I can. I’m making rules for myself. When I was a kid, I could have one soda a week (preferably fruit-flavored), usually on a Friday or Saturday. That seems like the amount I’d like to keep in my life—Diet Coke once a week only. I think I’m defining that as one event per week— like I can have one at the movies, if I want. What I’ve done in the past was expand the definition beyond recognition— if I said once a week, I’d turn that into as much as I wanted in a day, all day, or “a three-day conference is technically one event, and I could really use the caffeine, so…” I don’t think an ounce limitation is going to be effective, so if I keep it to one event, like a movie, then if I go to lunch before the movie, that’s not an excuse for soda, and if I go for a hike after the movie, that’s not an excuse for soda.
I think I want to treat bread and cheese more like a treat. Before this, I’d eat a Babybel cheese in the morning, have turkey and swiss for lunch (let’s not talk about the salt & vinegar chips), and eat something with cheese in it for dinner. Let’s say chicken, but with a side of mac & cheese and a veggie, or pasta with Parmesan and/or feta. Maybe a snack of pretzels and cheese while I was making dinner. If I wasn’t eating cheese, I might be eating Greek yogurt. Or both, if it was something with feta and tzaziki.
If I could treat gluten, dairy, processed meats, and refined sugar as the exception, instead of the rule, I feel like it would be a step in the right direction. Maybe any of these things at no more than one meal a day. That feels a little wimpy, given that we’ve just gone without for a month (except for Sunday nights), and 66% is no 80%, but maybe it’s a first workable step toward something more long-term manageable. One-third as often means the majority of my/our diet would be relatively clean foods.
Part of me wants to argue with myself about “well, what if I have only a little refined sugar in, say, an ingredient like my pepper/onion relish in a marinated salad that I eat as a side dish? Is that my sugar for the day?” I know this is why Gretchen Rubin’s abstainers find it easier to abstain— it’s to avoid this very conversation. I’m afraid it will lead to my eating a brownie with that meal just so I didn’t blow my sugar on a vegetable. And I don’t even really like brownies.
I think I’m going to have to trust myself to be reasonable, and to dial it back when I need to. I’ll make mistakes, sometimes. I’m able to rise above them.
Here’s the thing, though—- I have a doctor’s appointment in two weeks, and it would be great if, when I got there, despite the fact that I’m overweight, I heard, “sounds like you’re on a good track, so let’s see what we can do with diet and exercise,” rather than “looks like you have prehypertension and with your family history of diabetes, we’re going to need to medicate you.” I know Mom feels the same about upcoming appointments of hers.
I don’t want to rule out homemade spaghetti and cannoli and mac and cheese with barbeque for all time. But I learned as an editor that if you do everything in bold cap italics, underlined three times with a series of exclamation points, nothing stands out. I’d like those things I really enjoy to be a treat I can still enjoy, partially because they’re the exception, not the rule.