Teaching Myself that Saying NO isn’t a bad thing.
Today is my third Monday on the Whole30. I have about 10 more days left on this journey, and I have learned a lot about saying “No” through the past 19 days. I am feeling better, and I am really glad that I took the plunge and decided to doing the whole30.
For me this journey has been more about teaching myself to say no to my own cravings than about learning to eat in a more healthful way.
I have known for a long time how I should be eating. I have really been eating well for a very long time, at certain meals that is. There have been a few exceptions, and those exceptions are actually pretty big.
Most of My Life I haven’t been saying NO.
My normal routine that developed after having children usually would go like this:
Breakfast: I would eat a healthy breakfast, the biggest problem with breakfast was the sugar in my coffee. I have been working for years to wean myself off the sugar in my coffee. The meal itself, if I had breakfast was usually a smoothy or gluten free oatmeal.
Lunch: This is the meal when things would get derailed pretty quickly. I usually found that I was starving by the time we were able to stop and eat lunch. This was usually caused by not adding enough protein or fat into my breakfast. My kids are always very hungry at lunch time so I would work on getting their lunches ready first before mine. By the time the kids were happily eating their lunch, I was usually too tired and too hungry to be bothered with making something extra for my own lunch. This usually resulted in my eating the kids leftover sandwiches. Well that isn’t too terrible aside from the fact that bread has a terribly effect on my digestive system.
Afternoon Snack: I don’t think eating snacks during the day is really that bad of an idea, unless you are eating the wrong type of snack, which I usually was. I would usually grab something sweet and tasty to go with my coffee, and try to make it till supper.
Supper: usually involved a healthy, balanced diet. (Not always but usually).
Evening Snack: My second biggest pitfall was my evening snack, usually ice cream or something else sweet.
I felt like I was being healthy because I was eating two meals a day that were very healthy, and might even fall under the whole30 guidelines. The problem was I was not telling myself “no” in those moments when I was craving something I shouldn’t be eating. I would indulge pretty much every craving.
There are side-effects of not saying NO.
As I watched my weight slide upward in the wrong direction I knew that something needed to change. In addition to the scale talking to me, my regular devotional time the Lord had been really teaching me a lot about my need for self control and self denial. I really didn’t like that idea much at all to be honest. Who really likes to tell themselves “NO”?
Over the past 19 days I have been practicing saying “No” a lot. This saying “No” has taught me more than I ever expected. I am learning that my cravings usually have something to do with an emotional upheaval that has happened in my day. I am also learning that I won’t really suffer at all if I tell myself “no”. Usually I am saying “no” to the chocolate, and yes to an apple, or grapes. I might say “No” to a slice of bread, but I am saying yes to a big piece of meat or a pile of vegetables. I haven’t been hungry through this journey. I don’t feel at all like I am being mistreated, I am merely beginning to practice a discipline I have needed in my life for years.
Yes I can say I am glad that I am taking this journey, and learning some valuable lessons that I really didn’t want to learn. I am glad that I am learning to tell myself “no”. It isn’t always pleasant, but the benefits outweigh the short term discomfort.
So what is next?
As I mentioned last week I want to talk a little bit about my plans for when I am done with my whole30. The first thing I plan to do is to enjoy a bit of my sister’s birthday cake. My sister had a birthday party the first Sunday after I started this journey. Her birthday cake that my mom makes every year is a homemade applesauce cake with caramel icing. Yes it is wonderful. I stuck to my plan though and I didn’t have a piece of cake, that day at the party. Instead I brought home a piece and put it into my freezer to enjoy once these 30 days are over.
Now, don’t get me wrong I don’t plan on going back to my self-indulgent ways. The choice to eat the cake is a very deliberate one. I want to enjoy a little reward for doing something I set out to do. But I do plan on keeping many of the eating habits I have cultivated through the month of October.
- I will add beans and some rice back into my diet.
- I plan on adding honey, maple syrup, and some stevia back in.
- I plan on keeping my coffee the way it is now, maybe adding stevia, maybe not.
- I will avoid corn unless it is NON-GMO. And even that will be limited.
- For the most part I will probably be living the Paleo lifestyle, with a few intentional exceptions.
Keep following up, and Please feel free to check in on me later to make sure I am keeping to plan. Next week I will have another Whole30 check in, and then the first Monday in November will be my finally summary of my experience. I hope you come check it out.