Post hoc rationalization: I got a full night’s sleep last night and woke up 4lbs lighter. Therefore, sleep is magical.
Today is also the last day of my current PNLE habit, which is to eat only whole foods. I am insanely grateful that this habit is done. My consistency hasn’t been great, and even with the holidays factored in, I’m not surprised. Here is something I know about myself: nutritional challenges where I try to restrict myself do not work. Those whole 30 or paleo or 21DSD or low carb challenges just don’t work. Every time I try to do this type of thing, I start freaking out and I end up binge eating junk food.
It’s not entirely rational behavior, but it does seem to be a consistent pattern in my life. Sometimes I just want a handful of chocolate covered pretzels and if I eat them, then I can move on and still feel comfortable in my life. But if I tell myself they are absolutely off limits, then I just start to obsess over them until I cave and eat pretzels and ice cream and truffles – and then I feel totally shitty not only because I stuffed myself with sweets, but also because I end up internally berating myself: Why am I so weak that I couldn’t resist chocolate for 14 days? I have such poor self-control that I will always be fat and it’s not even worth trying to eat healthy. I suck.
I’ve noticed myself doing all of these things over the past two weeks. And once I accepted that this strategy was not working for me, I just said “Screw it.” I’m surprisingly okay with this decision. First of all, I give myself a pat on the back for recognizing that this doesn’t work for me. So I can just stop sabotaging myself by trying to do these challenges in the first place.
And second of all, I am comfortable with my regular diet, even if it isn’t “100% squeaky clean,” so to speak. I am not the type of person who believes that a sprouted grain English muffin with my breakfast is a poor choice, nor do I believe there’s anything wrong with a splash of Worcestershire sauce on my stir fry. I don’t even believe that it prevents me from achieving a healthy weight. I was pretty proud of the diet that I documented in my food log in December, and I wasn’t trying to achieve perfection. When I’m given a full range of choices, I usually make a choice that I can live with. It’s only when my choices start to be restricted that I become a rebel and start acting out.
So now that my “whole foods habit” is history, I am feeling less like a failure and more level-headed. I have my bodyfat assessment tomorrow afternoon, which I’m kind of dreading. But I was also hit with the realization that it is now 2014. My self-imposed year of not-competing is done and I will be doing a meet at some point between May and September. That will come up fast. So maybe I should stop straying further and further away from that 72 kg mark.
Anyway, with all of that on my mind, I did a very light workout today, and then focused on groceries, cleaning up the kitchen and doing some cooking. For dinner I made Bison Chili from Andrew Weil’s True Food. I borrowed this cookbook from the library and then asked for it for Christmas. Not only was this the first recipe I’d made from the book, but it was also my first-ever attempt at chili from scratch. The use of bison and chocolate really appealed to me and I was pleased with the end result – which was unmistakably comfort food chili, but underneath there was a creaminess that I love, love, loved. This was the perfect whole food meal for a cold winter night.
10:30 – Breakfast – Uova in purgatorio
- 1 cupped handful quick pickled carrot strips (marinated in apple juice & ACV)
- 1 large egg
- 2 cupped handfuls of ground pork, mushrooms, onion & primevera
- 1 tbsp fish oil
- black coffee
14:15 – Lunch –
- 2 cupped handfuls of beef stew
- 1 cupped handful of quick pickled carrot strips
- 1.5 oz 70% dark chocolate
- 1 cupped handful cherries
18:00 – Dinner
- 1 cup bison chili – ground bison, white kidney beans, a few diced tomatoes
- 1 palm sized serving 0% greek yogurt
- 1 granny smith apple
- 1 oz 70% dark chocolate