The end of the year is drawing close and I am trying to decide what the “plan” is going to be for my upcoming food experiments. (I have even been thinking of doing an actual Whole 30. WTF). I am so curious as to how my body would feel with the elimination of so many foods. But at the same time, the thought of starting a plan that restricts me from food I really enjoy (and wine!) is enough to make me cry. I think the problem is this: I don’t feel POORLY ENOUGH about my weight or health right now, and because of that, there isn’t a major DESIRE for much change.
Honestly, I would really like to lose 5-10 pounds. I am fairly comfortable though where I am with my weight (I already work out and watch what I eat) and therefore I don’t have a ton of internal strife, desire, or motivation to change. If a magic fairy came along and granted me this wish of losing 5-10 pounds (and a million dollars too while she’s at it!) I would of course happily take it and probably feel great about it. But since that magic fairy isn’t coming, do I want to put in hard effort for it when I am already “comfortable”?
I would also really like to know how I would feel by doing an elimination diet. But again, my body is not that fatigued, that ill, and my digestion isn’t THAT bad that I can’t stand another day of my present reality. If that was the case, I suppose that my motivation would be much higher.
Honestly, this is the reason for much of my “failure” of following a plan in the past. So where does this leave me? I have been back and forth about what I am going to do first. But I have decided.
I have been doing some major research for these experiments I told you about earlier. I want to share two major forms of resistance that come up repeatedly for me when I ponder this.
1) Breakfast. It’s clearly not just about food. (It never is). It usually isn’t as simple as food in – food out, or we would all be the right weight, we wouldn’t struggle with food issues, and the diet industry would be in the toilet. Here’s the thing for me…I find tremendous comfort in my breakfast. Coffee with cream and creamy peanut butter on crispy toast is truly an event for me - it’s not just a meal. I am going to let you all in on a little secret too…one that really up until now was only shared with the staff of Good Earth Café. For the last year basically – almost every morning after I drop my child off at school – I stop by for my toast & peanut butter, and a coffee. I’ll tell you what I love about it.
First of all, I really enjoy the environment. Now that I no longer go into work, I miss a bustling environment. I like that while enjoying toast and coffee on my own, that I can still be near people, and hear the hum of people engaged in conversation. The coffee is alright, and I know I can make toast at home, but it’s the environment that I cannot replicate.
Another thing I really enjoy is not having to prepare or clean up one meal of the day. This is big for me. I am the only cook in the household, and I can tell you that having to plan, shop for, prepare, serve, and clean up meals is a slog sometimes. ESPECIALLY when you are often putting together three variations of a meal: for my daughter; my husband; and myself. And let’s not even talk about lunches here – props to the parents of more than one kid who have to do school (and husband) lunches.
Anyway, that’s pretty much why I like it so much. I also love the routine. Maybe now you can understand why my breakfast is just NOT ONLY breakfast. It’s actually a form of my own self-care and something I enjoy very much. (And in case you’re wondering – no, there isn’t a lot that I could eat as an alternative in any of the types of experiments I have in mind).
2) Ok, so the other form of resistance is this: I guess I am very much a product of society’s ‘instant gratification’ culture, in that I do enjoy a ‘treat’ for good eating behavior.
I would consider the day a success if I consumed a small amount of carbs, ate a good amount of vegetables and had no or little snacking in between. I would then want to be able to have something ‘special’ for having a good eating day – and almost always at night - after my daughter is put to bed. (Because one deserves a special treat for that alone!) ;) The “treats” aren’t terrible (we’re not talking chocolate bars and cookies) but I do have a bad habit of snacking on a few things throughout the evening. I have said it before and I will say it again: I know damned well that if I simply took away the ‘treating’ portion of the day that I would likely lose that 5lbs I mentioned before, but I guess I don’t want the loss enough. Also, I am honestly often hungry after dinner so it’s more easily justifiable – and I don’t want more of the dinner I had. I want something else. I want a TREAT!
So you can see some of the thought patterns here that aren’t in line with what I “say” I want. After all, my actions speak louder than my words and it’s clear where I place my values. So the question then becomes…do I really want a change or do I need to wait for a time where the stakes are higher and the desire is burning?
Come back tomorrow to find out what I have decided.