There is a twisting panic feeling in my stomach as I think about my first day. Why am I afraid? I might get hungry. What if I cannot make it to the next meal? I have visions of running to the closet greedily stuffing potato chips in my mouth making growling noises in case someone tries to steal the bag.
This seems to be an irrational fear. When am I ever hungry? I do not remember being hungry very often. I have days when I am running around and forget to eat but that is really rare.
Most of the time I have overeaten and am too full. I find it very hard to stop eating food that I love. I am not a huge dessert eater. Cakes and pastries do not have much power over me but, meatloaf, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, spare ribs..... these are my downfall. I belong to "the clean plate club", if it is on my plate I eat it. If my plate is clean I will go and get more food rather than wait for my brain to tell me that I am full.
That being said this is not a weight loss diet. It is a diet to change the relationship that you have with food and to find out if any food is causing distress to your body. I know that some foods cause problems for me and I am also overweight. The cherry on the top of the cake is that weight loss also seems to happen. If you take out all that sugar etc how could it not?
My first day was a little confusing as I was still navigating all the "non-compliant" foods. This is what things are called that you cannot have. You can have processed foods in cans etc but they have to adhere to the rules. This means taking your reading glasses to the supermarket and leaving about two extra hours to shop because you have to read every label.
If you think the food in the store is healthy start reading labels and just look for foods without sugar. It will not actually say the word "sugar" most of the time which will confuse you even more. Would it surprise you to know that there are about 56 other names for sugar? Did you know that ethyl maltol was one of them?
I very quickly realized that I had eliminated about 95% of the supermarket. I could go crazy in the fruits and veggies section. I could get my coconut milk in the ethnic section and then go to the meat section. My last stop would be the freezer section to buy the one brand of sausage meat without sugar or other additives. I spent about 10 minutes reading tuna cans and gave up. Soy in tuna? I did eventually find one brand last week that just contains olive oil and salt and was a reasonable price.
So on day one, I kept things very basic. My friend had posted a recipe that I had liked the look of before I embarked on this journey and I made it as my first meal. It was a sausage, kale and sweet potato casserole (a.k.a. a frittata). Ground pork sausage cooked up with onions, roasted sweet potatoes, and kale and then mixed up with a dozen eggs and baked.
I think I ate this for three meals with some green veggies as a side. I had to hide it from my locusts ( my name for my kids) as they wanted to try it and liked it a little too much. I will post the recipe next time.
The one thing I did notice was that I was stuffed. I was so full I did not want to eat the next meal. I almost had to force myself to eat. This in itself is an oxymoron. Sally not eating could be the dictionary definition of that one. I felt like a goose being prepared for making pate. Over the next few days, I adjusted my portions so that I was comfortable in between meals.
I joined a support group on facebook and scoured the posts for other recipes. It was a goldmine of information and my repertoire of meals began to expand. It was also really encouraging to hear all the other stories of success.
The first day was a piece of cake ( sorry had to get that pun in). I was laughing at how easy it was and then day two a migraine. NO!, the mother of all migraines hit. I started to panic because the pain was increasing by the second and I had no idea if I could take pain meds when doing this. After messaging a friend that could focus on finding the information I found out I could and took meds and went to bed for two hours. I limped through the rest of the day with a head that felt like an eggshell waiting to be shattered.
Day three was a slight improvement as I took meds as the pain started. Added to this were awful arthritic pains in my hands.
By day four I was starting to feel human and by day five I was done with the detox part and felt great. If you have an addiction to sugar or just eat a normal diet you will likely experience some form of detox if you embark on this. The key is to drink tons of water and know that it will not last forever.
You would think that I would be craving food that the first week. Was I dreaming of donuts and cakes? No, do you know what I was desperate for? I wanted to weigh myself. My normal routine every day would be to get up and weigh myself. Had I gained a pound? Could I get on and off the scale 5 times to make it go down a bit? Had that Ben and Jerry's made it go up 2 pounds? I was not only a food addict but a scale addict.
I had weighed and measured myself before starting and after I stopped hyperventilating when I found out how big my waist had become I was even more determined to get through the 30 days.
I didn't even take pictures because I did not want photographic evidence of what I really looked like. Plus you will NEVER see me in my undies which seems to be the normal reveal costume of choice. I do regret not taking pictures now and if you do this take them. Just wear tight clothes that show your shape or a modest bathing suit.....do I need to explain why?
After about a week the scale cravings diminished and I now have my "pantometers" instead of the scale. My pants are getting loose so I know I am shrinking. How much? who knows but I will weigh and measure on day 31 and might even let you know where I started from.
The other positives are called non-scale victories. What has improved that has nothing to do with weight. I have more energy, I am more focused, I am sleeping really well, I am calmer and I just feel so much better and my skin is glowing.