Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The finish line

So, I completed my first Whole30 with various success. Success being--I didn't harm anyone or myself; I got some good sleep; I worked through cravings; I got to wear some clothes I couldn't wear a month ago; my nails look really healthy; and I've had a relatively consistent joy about me (unless, you know, I was kinda pissed off.)

I also had my share of failures, if you call it that. Like the bad breath. Ugh. And sometimes wondering (early on) what was the point of this deprivation.

Things I learned: that I really feel a lot better eating real food. Real food tastes good. Real food helps my body work better. Real food helps my body look better.

All the products I was buying before, the stuff in boxes, the sweet stuff. All of it came with a promise of ease and convenience. And sweet stuff, certainly a temporary and addictive satiety. But that sweet stuff wears off and calls me back, again and again. It wasn't really filling.

Resisting temptation, however, early on seemed like a fight and a victory all rolled into one. Of course I would feel tempted for something I love to eat (ahem, chocolate). But when the wrestle is so strong in the beginning, the dilemma is obvious, and sometimes the victory in resisting is easier. When I was just starting out, I expected I would be tempted. I was prepared to be tempted. And I was also prepared to fight the temptation because it was early on.

And as the weeks went by, resisting wasn't a question. Of course I would. Of course I'd choose a healthy choice over a junky choice. I was counting down the days.

Mere days.

So can you imagine how caught off guard I was when on DAY 29, I succumbed to a few bites of Lanie's flourless chocolate cake? That morning I had been singing victory over myself with one day to go. And that night I felt like I had a rock of defeat and shame in my stomach.

One more day. I was looking at the finish line. I could hear the cheers.

I think that's how temptation works. It can be easy to resist when you're expecting it. But when you get to comfy in your success, and it knocks you flat.

"It's just a bite."

"What's one more day? You're pretty much done anyway."

These lines in my mind didn't even make me question how I would feel afterwards. I thought I would be fine. I had no idea how I would be pelted by failure and regret.

Yeah, that's temptation. Things are going smoothly and your guard lets down. You think you're invincible. And what would have been a glaring stop sign in the beginning becomes a yield overshadowed by a finish line.

I did finish my Whole30, with one glaring cheat before I crossed the finish line.

The numbers are in, and it was successful. I learned a lot in the journey, and this lesson on temptation--invaluable.

Overly full from dairy introduction today, and birthday pie tonight. Lanie and I baked it together this afternoon. Tomorrow? Back on the program. I actually feel a whole lot better treating my body better. And while the cream in my coffee was a nearly forgotten delight, I almost prefer the simplicity of a sugarless tea.

No comments: