I am delighted to report that I am now 32 days clean. I say clean because I had to look at this as any other addiction. If I thought of it as a typical diet, I have no doubt I would have fallen off the wagon by now. But an addiction is serious. An recovering alcoholic avoids alcohol for life and doesn't celebrate special occasions or reward themselves with a little drink. That is how I have had to embrace this change and honestly, it hasn't been nearly as hard as I had feared.
First I want to thank all of you who have inspired me to take this step, encouraged me to keep it up and helped me by sharing web-sites, reading materials and tips/tricks. I am fumbling my way through this lifestyle change and learning new things everyday with your help so a huge thank you!
We were just home over Halloween and lots of folks had questions on what I am doing so I thought with this update I would share.
There are lots of resources out there for detoxes, cleanses, good carbs, bad carbs and clean eating just to name a few of the buzz words. I am not really doing any official plan. I read several and am just making this up as I go. I am sure it isn't perfect but I am trying to figure out what foods help fuel my body while not totally sacrificing my soul.
I have basically cut simple carbohydrates out of my diet. I avoid processed sugar is another way to put it. That means no:
- sugary treats (you know cakes, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, donuts, poptarts...)
- no bread
- no pasta
- no rice (well almost, twice in the last 32 days I have had less than 1/2 cup of rice with a meal)
- no white potatoes
- no corn
- limited dairy (still experimenting with this one)
- practically no sauces of any kind as most have some form of sugar
- no alcohol (oh, I did have 1 bloody mary on my visit home during a girls' night out)
- artificial sweeteners (no diet coke, no sweetened yogurts, no sugar-free labeled items that still taste sweet)
For the first 3 days, I cut out dairy and fruit all together. Since then I have added in 1-2 servings of fruit a day. I typically go for apples and berries. I also switched back to coffee. Tea with lemon was ok for the 3 day detox, but I am a coffee drinker and I am now able to enjoy a cup with a splash of 1/2 and 1/2 and no sweeteners.
So what does that leave me with:
- lean meats and fish
- almost any veggie
- beans and hummus
- nuts and natural, no added stuff nut spreads
- 1-2 servings of fruit
- I mostly drink water with lemon, a cup of unsweetened coffee a day and occasionally tomato juice if I am really craving something different to drink
This isn't a simple answer:
- Things taste different. I had an apple that was so sweet I couldn't finish it.
- I have lost just about 12 lbs so that part feels great and keeps me motivated
- Pete says my face looks younger (when staring down the barrel of a big milestone who doesn't like to hear that?)
- But I really don't have more energy or notice any better sleep or anything else
I did notice the seatbelt on the airplane had more room and this morning I squeezed in to jeans that had been collecting dust. Not comfortable enough to wear out but buttoned none the less.
I know I should avoid the scale but I really like that it keeps me honest. My next step is to take more steps. This past 32 days I focused on getting my eating habits right. Now I need to get back to the gym. My company has a state of the art (or really nice) facility here on campus free to its employees so I have no excuse not to take advantage of its services.
I also might start tracking what I eat with some sort of food diary. I really don't want to as I am never good about keeping up with them. I am tired of counting calories and so long as the scale is going down do I really have to?