The power of the psychology of food has become clarified for me in this last month of no sugar. It is now almost the end of day 30 of our Whole30 month, and I am seriously craving the chocolate that’s in our snack drawer. The chocolate that didn’t really bother me this month of no sugar, no dairy, no grains, and no legumes. The chocolate that isn’t worth it, that I intellectually know wouldn’t taste as good as it’d have to in order to make up for my disappointment in myself if I ended this month in that way. So, I have to put some effort into visualizing other things.
And Ted and I have to decide how to proceed from here. What is clear to me, though, is that rather than sticking like glue to a set of rules, we have to go by how we feel, and be honest about that. I put the ingredients for Paleo Caramel Brownies on our shopping list. We’ll try it. We’ll make them and see what happens if we eat them: does doing so make me crave other things that are full of the ingredients we’ve decided not to eat? According to the folks at Whole30, eating things that are sweet will lead down the same path we were on before, regardless of the ingredients. But we want to try it and see. I may wind up continuing a diet which is just as strict as the one we’ve been on this month. The trick is to find out what amount, starting from zero, of non-Whole30 foods I can eat without re-engaging cravings, having problems with my digestion, or finding that my knee is flaring up again.
What I do know is that I don’t want to go back to where I was before, struggling with powerful cravings, feeling awful about myself when I ate things I knew, felt, or believed to be bad for me, attaching that to my self-esteem and feelings about my body. One of the best things about this month has been proving to myself that I am capable of not eating sugar if I put my mind to it. I truly didn’t believe that was possible. So now, as we experiment, I believe that I’ll be able to hold whatever line I decide upon, based on my body’s feedback.
Another positive is that the babies, who are now eating a lot less dairy, are having healthier GI tracks too. Emily hasn’t done her stiff-as-a-board routine in weeks. We are all more consistently eating protein and vegetables as a matter of course.
So, no matter what comes down the pike, Ted and I both feel more confident in our ability to make healthy choices, and are functioning as more of a team in terms of the planning and production of our family’s food. I’m glad we took the plunge and did the program.