Um, It’s Kinda/Sort-Of/Almost Getting Easier…
Okay, so I was pretty optimistic for week 3.
Well, sort of.
This is FAR from the toughest thing I’ve done, and it’s certainly a First World problem, but it’s pretty damn tough nonetheless. After a solidly healthy breakfast, it all goes downhill. That means the hours of 7AM to 11PM are pretty tough.
I am constantly tempted. Aside from the habitual snacking and subconscious “I’m bored/walking by the kitchen” pangs, the world is not meant for non-snackers. The restaurant choices where I live are limitless (and so so so very tasty), and sometimes, it’s almost impossible to plan around meals. We took my son to an 11:30 birthday party today, which meant leaving the house before 11:00. The party was too far from home to return for lunch, and between laundry and other chores, we couldn’t pack a lunch, so we found ourselves in the mall. On a Sunday. AND. I. WAS. SO. HUNGRY. The mall had a chocolate store…and a popcorn kiosk..and a Yogen Fruz…and a Second Cup…and a fry place…and deep fried everything. It was impossible. I was like a kid in a candy store…and a french fry store…and a popcorn store…
Week 3 Recap:
- Sunday. I GOT A STICKER!!! Part of me thinks I’m way to excited about it, but the other part of me knows it was hard fought, and hard earned. My biggest transgression of the day was a medium, almond milk vanilla bean latte, with 1 squirt of vanilla-whatever-it-is (instead of 3). Otherwise, I had a smoothie and toast for breakfast; that latte thing at around noon; a sub at lunch (with minimal dressing, and NO BACON–sad face) which the menu said had 680 calories; two oranges and a pear for snack; 2 egg-cheese-ham on english muffin concoctions (with margarine) and a side of 1 giant raw carrot and a massive serving of raw broccoli (#CRUCIFEROUSFORLIFE) for supper; and a handful of almonds for snack. Boom. I want some chocolate, I feel hungry but I know I’m not, I JUST WANT SOME DAMN TREATS. Worse, memories of the mall and its gauntlet of sugary (and savory) temptation will dance in my head this evening, but only in my head, and not in my belly. I was tested today, and I refrained. For that, I get a sticker. Race season is 5 weeks away, and I feel awesome.
- Monday. Good breakfast, but then the wheels totally fell off. I was caveman hungry and I only brought a salad and two pieces of fruit for lunch, so I went to the mall… The good news is that I refrained from succumbing to my usual sweet savory goodness of a poutine and 5 soft tacos at Taco Bell/KCF…or the breaded chickeney goodness at Jasmine Chinese…but there’s a new Indian place, and I ordered the butter chicken on rice. Not a bad choice, but not great either (um, cream and the eponymous BUTTER), however, under the terms of my arrangement, I was still on track for a sticker…until after school. Something possessed me and I couldn’t think straight. I had half of one of those damn chocolate covered apples (stupid chocolate covered apple). Tough day. I behaved at supper (only 1 plate of pasta, with a bit of steamed broccoli), and I snacked on fruit later on. That apple tho…no sticker.
- Tuesday. Damnit. There is no other way to say it. Today was effing tough. I was SO HUNGRY ALL DAY. I had my usual breakfast, but it just didn’t cut it, so I spent the school day thinking about all the bad food I was craving. For lunch I had a salad, with chicken breast, and some fruit, which was pretty good, but then I went for a quick lunchtime rip at Joyride, and by the time I returned to school, I was in a hunger rage. I always have emergency cookies…and chocolate…and chips…and small treats for students, and it was not pretty. However…I didn’t succumb. I basically scavenged my fridge at work in between classes and managed to scrape together a half decent snack (almonds, a bit of cheese, an orange, and an apple). It didn’t satisfy me. Not even close. I still wasn’t satisfied when I got home, so I made a molasses sandwich (still not a horrible choice) and distracted myself with chores until I made supper. Phew, I made it. Nothing horrible (except for a slightly questionable sandwich snack), and a regular dinner, and I was on track for a sticker. But then I texted one of my best friends. She’s had a lengthy illness, and we’ve been estranged for a while. It was the first time in two years that we were able to get together, and we had plans to meet for coffee. Well, I had plans for coffee. She had plans to meet at the Keg for nachos. Aw Dang it. A few hours later, with a belly full of nachos, a virgin Pina Colada (don’t ask), and a Whiskey Sour (don’t judge), I lost my sticker. Totally worth it though. I’ll gladly exchange my sticker any day for a best friend, a great conversation, and a loaded nacho plate (even though her idea of sharing was to make me eat most of it).
- Wednesday. Hmm, I got a sticker. I’m not saying this is getting easier, but it kinda is. I had my usual breakfast; a salad with chicken, and some raw veggies for lunch; two fruits for afternoon snack; a small sandwich for other afternoon snack (totally legit), and dumplings and salad for supper. Boom. What’s more, I went to my first Lapdogs monthly social that night, and I didn’t order a single thing. Nada. No food. No drink. Not even a water. My cravings were actually reasonable (or maybe I’m just getting used to them), and I went to bed somewhat satisfied. For being a good boy, I got a sticker. Noice.
- Thursday. I was lying yesterday. This sucks. Okay, maybe it doesn’t completely suck, but it’s suck-adjacent. So many temptations. No wonder I found it so easy to succumb in the past–the world wants me to eat sugary sweet, and greasily savory nonsense. Between the coupons in the mail, the food THAT’S ALL AROUND ME, and 20 years or so of habitually bad cravings, I need a total mindshift for this to work. Fortunately, that’s kinda/sort-of/almost happening. I feel…well, normal. Actually, in many ways, I feel pretty good. My body feels better, I think I look better, and (trust me on this, I DO NOT KNOW HOW it happened but after a few times on the Bowflex) I kinda/sort-of/almost feel a bicep. So maybe it’s not just a mindshift that’s needed, but a body shift. If I feel this good after less than three weeks, I can’t imagine how I’m going to feel after two months! So now I have two carrots dangling in front of me: I’m not only going to RACE better (and hopefully sans side gut flaps), I’m going to actually FEEL better. And if that’s not enough, I think I’m instilling a few lifetime habits. Hmm. I just wish those carrots weren’t dangling in front of me along with Aero chocolate bars, tubs of ice cream, rows of Oreos, and a crate of BBQ chips… UPDATE @ 10:46PM: I’m on my way to my third sticker this week, and my second sticker in a row. Boom. It’s almost bedtime and I’m handling my cravings. Boom. 1 sticker for me (say that like the Soup Nazi).
- Friday. Not a bad day. Not a good day. I had my usual breakfast, and no snacks, but I had half of a chocolate covered apple at lunch. My cravings were actually pretty minimal, and my meal portions were acceptable, even though I ordered Greek food for my colleagues and we ate it buffet-style in my office. No sticker (because of the apple, but I can live with that.
- Saturday. It was Bike Show day, and I hosted a non-birthday party at night, so waking up, I knew I was going to gorge myself, and the chance of a sticker was between “Never” and “Like, really, never”. However…while I ate a LOT at my party, I didn’t completely over-eat (not out of line for a party, anyway), and I ate somewhat well during the day. I had my usual breakfast, and a decent lunch before going to Bike Show, and spent the morning getting ready for the party, but here’s the big news: I didn’t eat a single speck of ANYTHING in between. Let me paint a more clear picture. I put chips, G.H. Cretors Chicago mix popcorn, and cheese balls in bowls, and I even unwrapped a chocolate tray, AND I DIDN’T SUCCUMB! That’s big news. Then, at the bike show, I didn’t sample any food (or the beer at the Niagara Tourism booth). This is big news for me. Like, GIANT news. Coming back from the Bike Show, it was after 6PM, and we decided to eat at A&W. I had a Mama burger (with ketchup only–no cheese), and a poutine. Not a great choice, but I have kids who needed food, it was getting late, and my house was in party form, so making a meal for us would have caused too much pre-party stress. At the party, I ate, well, a lot. I drank some too. But I was super mindful of my intake, which is rare. I’m actually craving less, and (sort of) learning to control my desire for sweet and savory wickedness (much of the time). However, I am terrified that the party will fling the wheels off the bus, and bring my cravings back on Sunday. The first 20 days of this program have been a killer, and I don’t want a repeat. So, I’ve got a bit of a hangover, a full and bloated belly…and no sticker. Happy Non-Birthday/Bike Show day! Now, all I have to do tidy the house…and try to NOT vacuum the leftover sweet and savory stuff into my belly. On a side note, so great to see so many pals at the bike show, and at my party. Awesome day.
Hey, here’s a revelation. After eating all of the so so very good, but so so very bad stuff on Saturday night, I felt crappy. It (sort of) wasn’t worth it. Laying in bed after the party, I felt bloated, guilty, and not at all sated the way I thought I would be after eating the stuff I craved so hard in the prior weeks. Feeling bloated and guilty wasn’t a new thing. In fact, it was all too familiar. It’s the way I ALWAYS felt after eating lousy food, and prior to starting this program, I ALWAYS ate lousy food. Hmm.
Race Season starts in 5 weeks.
- Weekly sticker tally: 3 (Boom)
- Joyride x 1 (Dang)
- Nightly core + morning smoothie/vitamins: 7
PS. The support I’m getting is awesome. My kids tell me to “remember your sticker daddy”; my buddy Geoff sent a link to a cool video and made a calf stretchy thing for me; my friends and colleagues help me; my Facebook friends encourage me; and my wife pushes me. Heck, even my students are encouraging me. It’s amazing.
Check it out. I got the idea for stickers from my mom. She’s pretty hardcore, and she loves stickers. She gave herself an actual sticker for each day she followed her rules.
She’s pretty adorable too, eh? It’s totally where I got my adorability from…