Yesterday was Day 60 of my new way of eating. A milestone, for sure. I haven’t cheated once, but I have come close, and my diet almost crumbled mid way through when I reintroduced grains.
People, it was a huge mistake to do it willy-nilly like I did.
Starting with day 31, I added 1 cup of grains to each of my three meals. I didn’t question the grain, other than to keep it whole and unprocessed. This was a huge mistake for me. For 9 days I suffered through unexplained mood swings, hunger, and frustration. That’s my version. Here is The Mister’s version: “You were an insane, raging harpy and I wanted to divorce you or kill you 8357592 times. An hour.” Jorjana said I seemed pissy, and that all of a sudden it just all seemed so hard for me.
That is exactly how I felt. All of a sudden, it was just disgustingly hard. I started skipping meals again, losing focus, and just feeling sorry for myself. On day 10 I took out the grains and went back to my old meal plan. I felt better within a few days, but the fact that I wasn’t eating grains bothered me. They are necessary. Period. I decided I needed to consult with a registered dietitian, someone who could help me introduce grains in a way that wouldn’t jeopardize my weight loss–or my marriage.
After a long search, I finally found Diane Keddy. I won’t devolve into an unhinged serial killer and list the countless reasons I love her, but suffice to say she is excellent and I highly recommend her services. Given my history of PCOS (and her extensive knowledge of the condition), she believes mindlessly adding grains to my diet was akin to making a diabetic swim in sugar water. After 30 days without sugar or grains, my body was like a bull in a china shop after reintroduction: clumsy, inept, and destructive. She advised me to eat grains low on the glycemic index. I did so last week, and have not really seen the issues I did a few weeks ago. The Mister is silent on the issue. He is currently huddled in the corner waiting for the bomb to go off, but so far so good.
What does all this have to do with the series that shamed me? Reading kept me from breaking my meal plan, as tenuous as it was at some points. Jorjana suggested that I create a list with 10 items I love to do that don’t involve food. When I felt my hold on abstinence slipping, I could refer to my list instead of the refridgerator. I know it sounds ridiculously simple, but this tip saved me. The first activity I wrote on my list was reading.
So, I read. And I read, and read, and read. I read the entire 4 book series, The Host, and two more fluffy books from my sister in law. After a while, the strangest thing happened. I noticed that in the evening, when I suffer most from false hunger, I started craving books. I no longer wish to unwind from a long day with popcorn and T.V. I mean, I don’t even think about eating, and I don’t suffer a twinge of hunger. This is huge! This goes beyond willpower or determination–it’s a completely changed behavior.
I think the key was keeping the reading materials light and tasty, like paper Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, if you will. I’m not sure this experiment would have worked as well if I snuggled into the couch to read David Foster Wallace. Over time, I think I can broaden my reading horizon into thinking woman’s territory once again, but for now I’m sticking to tasty morsels.
Here are a few of the other items on my list. Think about what you would put on your list, and if you are up to it, share it in the comments or on your blog. I’m always open to more ways to avoid breaking my meal plan. :)
- Redecorate the house, or plan out a new project for the house
- Walking the dogs
- Listening to music
- Email or call a friend