Don’t hate me for having diet ADD. Really. I know it’s annoying – I start something, I stop something, I change something, I change something else, I give it up, I take it back up – I’m all over the map. 8 Days ago I said I would do Whole30. Then I decided I needed to cut out fruit but allow cheese. And chocolate. I wanted to try meat after years of veggi-ness. Just yesterday I wrote a positive post.
Well, I’m changing again. Surprise surprise. And I wanted to not blog about it. But that’d feel like lying. I have pretty full disclosure here because when I read fitness sites and want to try stuff out, I appreciate all the facts. Well, the fact is, I just can’t get fully onboard with meat. I don’t like it, don’t like eating it. I thought it would be a huge exciting change, would free me up especially in social situations. It doesn’t. I used to struggle so much with eating disorders, for years. Just in the past few months I stopped “dieting” and just followed what felt healthy and good and didn’t keep track. The one thing I tried to do was eat raw fruit and veggies until I was fully hungry for an afternoon or evening meal. I always had dessert, I always had coffees, I was most often vegetarian. I lost weight, I had fun. I still had IBS and I still have some disordered eating thoughts.
Then I decided I needed a change. I needed to get better ab definition, I needed to lose weight (yeah, mostly vanity based), I needed to see if I could heal my IBS once and for all along with other nagging problems such as feeling cold all the time. And, since we’re traveling and in limbo a huge part of me wanted to feel complete control over my diet so I could feel more in control of my life. However in the brief 8 days since I started Whole30 I have felt out of control and like I’m back on a “diet diet”. I’m constantly thinking about should and shouldn’t of food, I’m feeling like I’m getting thicker and panicking a little bit, I’m feeling good all day and then waking up with raging hunger at 4 am (true story this morning). I hate it. And I know I should give it more then a week long chance – but I think, again, I have learned that my problem is going on a diet, trying to feel in control and “perfect”. And I don’t want to feel like this any longer then 8 days. I am having a great time, dancing, working out, visiting. It won’t last long, I’m sure we’re getting work soon, then it’ll be rehearsals and more travel.
So, I quit. I quit Whole30 (not that I was really following it to a T anyway), I quit trying to eat meat because I don’t really like it, I quit trying to eat a perfect day. One the best encouragements for people with food issues like me is reading Lyn’s blog of The Actors Diet. Sometimes I remind myself that to get over her eating disordered cycle she doesn’t diet. DOESN’T DIET. You can read about her tips for recovering from eating disorders here. Here’s the thing, I can’t believe I still try when I know this big change stuff makes me unhappy and focus on food in an unhealthy way again. I do believe after everything I’ve read that Paleo and Whole30 really are beneficial lifestyles. The science sounds good to me (granted I’m not a scientist or doctor) but trying to do this brought out some nasty feelings and issues that are not beneficial to me. So no Paleo, no atkins for me. I am most comfortable as a vegetarian who leans vegan. But I reserve the right to eat a bit of chicken, turkey, eggs or cheese if it means I get to eat a bite of Dan’s food or be an easier person whilst visiting.
However I picked up some good habits that I’m going to take with me and run with.
1. Green tea and black tea – I have had just plain green tea all day every day and a few plain hot black teas and in all honesty, I haven’t missed having a latte! I really like the habit and I don’t intend to change it. It’ll only took me a few days to get into the habit of no milk and no sugar. I’m not saying I’ll never have a latte again but this is a good, happy change and I would surmise my abs have benefitted most from this habit. I’m having a hot green tea right now!
2. Taking out grains – I haven’t missed them. And I thought I’d be starving or feel really deprived. But I don’t. At dinner the thing I’ve wanted and kept myself from is the sweet potato! not the bread, or pasta or rice or even crackers and hummus! So I’m going to keep the habit of avoiding them when I can as my stomach and IBS seems to have lessened.
3. Limiting dried fruit – when I feel like I’m watching everything I eat I tend to find some “safe foods” that I can eat when I feel deprived or wanting something delicious or comforting. I leaned on dates and even fresh fruit a little hard the first couple days. It didn’t feel good. There can be too much of a good thing. I’m still going to be treating dried fruit like candy.
4. Eliminating soy and soy products – I don’t think total elimination is necessary but reading about soy milk and soy in general makes my vegetarian loving heart cringe. I haven’t noticed a difference or felt deprived so no need to run back to soy. I think taking out processed food is probably a huge advantage of elimination diets in general. Soy is processed,dairy is processed, grains are processed… candy is processed.
5. Speaking of – eliminating candy. I haven’t had a jelly bean since Christmas. This is good. For health sake I prefer to stick to dark chocolate. That change is good. There is nothing redeeming about gummy candy except that I like it.
Here are some things I learned that DON’T work for me
1. Being on an all or nothing diet. Apparently I rebel and freak out just like when I was an anorexic little monster. I feel “fat” all the time and like I’m constantly disappointing myself by not eating a “perfect day”. Bullshit all. My day does not revolve around food OR perfection.
2. Eating a diet that’s supposed to consist of primarily meat and fish. Oops. Thought I could change. Just didn’t want to in the end. Problem ensued – I can’t coax myself to eat enough meat to actually be full – then I’m hungry at 4am and can’t sleep. Eggs helped, truly. Starting my day with eggs the last several days was amazing. I didn’t feel hunger for most of the day.
3. Cutting out fruit completely – I like fruit, it’s usually naturally in one serving size “packages” (i.e. banana), gives me energy without bogging me down and is easy to pack or find no matter where I’m traveling. The thought of switching to fat burning mode instead of using glycogen still intrigues me, I’m not going to lie. But it’s not how I roll right now. I should stay away from dried fruit mostly but fresh fruit is perfection. In fact last night at 4 am, after tossing and turning is when I decided enough was enough. I had a small banana and a glass of milk and called Paleo a loss for me. I felt better and went back to bed and thought about writing this post until I fell asleep. There is nothing like feeling better to make you give something up.
Well I hope you’re not too disappointed. I’m actually feeling relieved. I’ve started Atkins before and then dropped it before induction was over. I just don’t feel good and I keep forgetting I don’t feel good. Reminder. and as much as I’d like to be, mostly because I’m a blogger, I’m NOT a foodie. I never have been. I don’t like writing about food all time, I prefer to write about workouts, dance, love and books. I don’t salivate over a good dinner or a perfect red wine or cheesecake. I don’t care to try all the best places to eat in a city. I wish I did, I’d feel more cultured and classy. I’m pretty simple. I feel best when I eat like this:
1. no set in stone rules of bad or good
2. primarily fruit and vegetables
3. lighter eating during the day, heaviest at dinner (don’t ask me why, I realize this flies in the face of what many people believe. but its my body’s preference as I like to feel light during the day but can’t sleep if I’m the tiniest bit hungry)
4. wine and/or chocolate at night when I’m with friends or feeling the inkling
Know thyself? Isn’t that what someone iconic says?
Well I’m giving it my best shot.
Now, I’m off to give myself a rest day. My legs are still really sore. I decided everything can wait until tomorrow. Those bodyrock gals are kicking my ass. I can’t believe how many dips Lisa-Marie can do! wow, I need a nap…