Today was Eat What You Want Day which is kind of a funny concept, really. This is like PNLE’s equivalent of cheat day, except they don’t call it a cheat day because they don’t prescribe a strict set of rules in the first place. But designating it as Eat What You Want Day implies that I am somehow eating things I don’t want on other days, and that’s certainly not the case.
Anyway, I started asking myself what I wanted to eat as a treat. I was kind of surprised. Normally I want pastries. And cupcakes. And apple fritters. And apple streusel. And nanaimo bars. And chocolate. And chocolate with peanut butter. And chocolate covered pretzels. And ice cream. And FroYo. And gummy candies. And fries. And movie theatre popcorn. And chicago-style popcorn. And popcorn drizzled in chocolate.
In summary: I want sugar. I want it as processed as possible, and I wouldn’t mind a serving of refined corn on the side. Preferably, it would all be delivered directly into my mouth.
Except, given the opportunity to eat whatever I wanted, none of those things seemed appealing. I’ve been thinking about what I want to eat for 3 days! Like, someone is offering me the chance to eat ice cream and I don’t really feel like indulging? I’ll just wait and see how I’m feeling tomorrow. Then the next day, when I still feel like ice cream wouldn’t taste that good, I figure I’d better check in with myself again the next day. And then on the third day I still don’t want ice cream and I conclude I must be dying.
In the end, I knew that what I really wanted was a day where I didn’t have to cook. I cheated on my regular whole grains with a couple of slices of white bread. It was awesome. And maybe I did want something a little sweet. I feel like I’ve finally reached a level of awareness that I didn’t have before: I didn’t want to eat these things, because I knew I’d just end up making myself sick, and there is no industrial food product that justifies making myself feel that way. I convince myself that I just need ice cream and it will taste so good! Then I start eating it and I just. can’t. stop. There is some part of myself that wants to be satisfied by all of the junk food that I crave, and yet, I never seem to reach that feeling of satisfaction. I just keep eating until I’m beyond stuffed… and then I just want more sugar.
Lately, when I’ve been craving sugar (which seems to be less and less often), I remind myself of one of my first PNLE lessons: I will always fall into a hole until I learn how to walk around it. Well, all of those times that I found myself binge eating junk food, I was falling into a gaping hole. Being stuck in the bottom of a hole is no way to live and crawling out of it is a waste of my time and energy. So now I walk around it. For a lot of people, I think they can eat processed foods in moderation because their brains say, “Stop.” at some point. These people lead happy, healthy, normal lives with normal BMIs. But my brain never seems to have that moment. Although PNLE doesn’t believe in rules, but I still think that one of my “rules” has been to eliminate refined sugar from my house. I know it only leads me down the rabbit hole.
But today is an exception. PNLE told me I wasn’t allowed to BS them. I could eat whatever I want during my waking hours, and then it’s done. I wasn’t allowed to check-out and eat to the point of sickness, no matter what I ate. Tomorrow it’s back to eating normally, whether I think I want more junk food or not. And so with all of that in mind, I did allow myself to eat “food” that contributed no nutritional value to my body.
The problem is that today is not really an exception. I still really struggled to just. stop. eating. Although I made the conscious effort to be present when I ate, I still found myself eating to 100% full. Granted, this is not the 150% fullness that I sometimes find myself experiencing on Saturday nights, but it’s not the 80% fullness that I look for normally. And I inevitably felt groggy and lethargic from subsisting off carbs.
Still, today was eye-opening: I had a burger from one restaurant and a wrap from another place. They were pretty good. But they were expensive, and then I didn’t even eat half the food I was served. And the stuff I cook at home produces some sort of satisfaction that neither of these meals did. Then, I had a chocolate bar this afternoon and a part of me was like, “OMG! THIS IS SO GOOD!” but at the forefront of my mind, I was thinking, “This is not really that good. I mean, I think it’s good. But it’s so one note. It’s not interesting or thoughtful or even flavourful ” which I’m starting to realize is a recurring problem when it comes to packaged foods.
I’m kind of excited to wake up and eat cottage cheese and eggs tomorrow. I just want to eat some protein and vegetables like a well-adjusted adult. Today was too heavy. I can never go back to eating like that again.
8:00 – Breakfast –
- 2 slices of cinnamon swirl toast
- 2 thumbs of almond butter
- Smear of butter
- 1 tbsp of fish oil
- 1 cup of black coffee
12:10 – Lunch @ Burgers ‘n Fries Forever
- Original Burger w/multigrain bun (Lettuce, tomato, onion, bff sauce)
- I ate about 3/4 of this. There was way too much bun.
- Fries with Samurai mayo
- 2 fists of fries & 2 thumbs of mayo. Too much! This is a food I just want to keep eating, no matter how my stomach feels.
- 1 can of Diet Coke
- 1 cupped handful of blueberries
- 1 Slice of cinnamon swirl toast w/butter
- 290g Fruit & Yogurt Parfait
- Blueberries, Raspberries, Vanilla Yogurt and Granola
- 1 Honey Roasted Cashew & hazelnut milk chocolate bar
- 1 apple danish – but just the filling because the pastry was just not worth eating
20:40 – Supper – Greek on wheels
- 1 chicken souvlaki wrap with tzatziki
- 2 cupped handfuls of greek garden salad with feta & dressing
- 1/4 roasted potato
- 1 cupped handful of lemon rice pilaf
- 2 1″ squares of baklava
- 1 can of diet coke
21:30 – 1 mug of hot chocolate