Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Whole, Real Food, Day 56

November was great, the first half of December was good…and then it all went to pot!  HA!

But, you know what?  I’m not giving up.  Why?  Because I want to make big changes in my life, and the only way to do that is to learn from my mistakes, try new ways of accomplishing what I want to, and find the right path that will take me to the life I want to live.


Earlier this month, I started to realize that I was on the same slippery slope as I've found myself on before, which would lead inevitably to a return to the life I used to lead.  I do NOT want to return to that version of myself, in fact I REFUSE to, and I will fight, kicking and screaming to keep from returning there.

When I realized what was starting to happen again, I decided to do something about it.  Right then my sister texted me saying that if we are what we eat, she was a potato chip.  And I was a chocolate and caramel-coated piece of popcorn.

Coincidence?  Hmmmm…

Anyway, I thought about what to do to put myself back on the path to the life I wanted to live.  In the past, I've made elaborate plans to work out xx amount each week, eat 100% healthy, walk everywhere, etc.  The problem was I wasn't considering what might actually work. 

I've also been dreaming for quite a while about what life would be like when I reached my goals, and therefore could start to live the life I wanted.  And to my mind, achieving the life I wanted could only be achieved by the elaborate and unrealistic plans I mentioned above. 

So what happened?  Well you don’t have to be a fortune-teller to see what happened:

I got nowhere.

Since I’m now of a mind of learning from my previous experiences, rather than “failing” and beating myself up for my failures, I tried another tack—to make a plan of sorts, but make it with a mind to what I’m willing to do for the long-haul, and what makes allowances for real life.

Revolutionary!  Well…at least for me. J

Phase one was starting to think about what I would do when I lived the life I wanted, and therefore what I was going to start to do right now.  In other words, stop dreaming and do it

Phase two was figuring out how to manage my food intake, while still living a real life, and in no way shape or form being ridiculously restrictive, what could eventually become automatic, but while still working toward my health goals.

So far, the form that’s taken is a plan to eat healthy, whole foods 90% of the time, stay in my calorie range 90% of the time, and try it for 35 days.  Why 35 days?  Because every 35 days our livers are renewed, and if our liver is clean and healthy, it has a much better chance to clean out the rest of our body!  Cool right?

I’m also thinking of things in terms of what I've done for the week, rather than just for a day, because I've often fallen for the trap that has also snared so many others—the “oh just for today, I can start tomorrow”.  Well that might be true, but when I repeated it to myself over and over and over, time went by and I not only didn't “start tomorrow”, I found myself further away from my goals, and on that darned slope again!!!

I really like how this plan allows for flexibility.  The end plan, after I try 90x90x35 for a while (35 days to be exact!), may look more like 80x90 or 90x80 or 95x95 for all I know.  Somewhere above 80% clean, 80% of the time.  It’s about trying new things to see what works for me, so we’ll see!
For now, it’s 90x90x35, the Liver Plan (lol). 

Phase two week one ends on Friday (two days from now), and it so far has been a mixed bag.  That’s OK, since I’m making some pretty serious life changes, and discovering what will ultimately work for me.  I’m also PMSing (sorry guys) so the junk cravings are in full swing!

This week I have given in a couple of times (a non-healthy muffin today, and too much chocolate a couple of evening’s ago) and tracked it all.  It doesn't disappear just because it’s not acknowledged!  This week so far I've also made some healthy choices, and planned for some life events as well.  I knew I was going out for sushi earlier this week, so I planned for that.  Normally I’d go nutso (I love sushi) but I figured out how I could have what I wanted and enough of it to feel satisfied, without leaving full and round like a teletubby.  Yes, it was a large meal, but it was smaller than it could have been.

Because I’m thinking of things in terms of a week, not a day, I’m going to do what I can to make up for my little PMS-y indiscretions (lol) get my exercise in for the week (activity as much as I can, actual workouts at least 2x), and try to make sure I’m as close to where I hope to be in a “good” week.  If there’s a discrepancy, I won’t beat myself up, as that is what I used to do, but I no longer do as the new me.  I’ll learn from my “mistakes”—be prepared for the PMS and have healthy versions of comfort foods at the ready!—and move on to next week. 

For those who like to track, here’s a snip of what each week will look like, before I enter the data:

To translate, 1600 cals per day is just under my max (by 50 for a little wiggle room) at the moment, per day.  The “remaining cals” line is 11200 because that’s 1600 x 7 days.  Since I’m currently allowing myself up to 10% of my food as unhealthy (anything not whole and clean, including things like alcohol) I track per day how much, if any, of my cals are unhealthy each day, and tally at the bottom.  The tally is currently at 1060 because that’s the unused portion.  My week starts on Saturday, because that’s market day!

This plan is also going to allow me to see trends.  Like “just this one thing” thinking, which will show up each time in the “unhealthy” column.  Or if my resolve wanes toward the end of the week, or Mondays mean more comfort-eating, or whatever.  I’m not just trying to reach my health goals, after all, but reach my “me” goals too, which means I want to figure out why I found myself where I did.

I’m a bit of a planner.  Not sure if you noticed.

Luckily, the hard work is done as far as the planning, and now all I have to do is copy a new little chart at the beginning of each week, be a good girl and track my food and exercise, and move forward to a rosy future!

OH!  And did I mention that I’ve started not only drinking but brewing kombucha?!  Stay tuned for a post about THAT!  So EXCITED!!!