Avoidance (and the Whole30)

 

Avoidance. Avoiding. Resisting,

It’s what I do well, and particularly  when it involves difficult emotions.

I beat myself up about that, use that as a bludgeon to reinforce how bad I am.

i am not bad. I am just avoiding writing about certain things. I will get there.

So…

The Whole30.

On January 1 I started a very restrictive way of eating, a sea change for me, that is to last 30 days. Today is day 15….I’ve made it this far and fully plan to go the distance. I am doing this with the help of friends in real life, but particularly in on-line community. We have a FB group, we vent and proclaim and support each other, post recipes, offer advice and cheer each other on. It is truly awesome and I know I couldn’t be doing this without them. Some of them have done it before and they are our elders, graciously doing it again in solidarity, and also to kick start their own healthy eating habits.

The Whole 30 is basically paleo, but more restrictive. There is NO sugar, NO grains and NO dairy. Basically protein, good fats a little fruit and veggies. I am using it, not as a diet, but as a way to, hopefully, diminish chronic inflammation, help me with my allergies, ease my digestive problems and bust the incredible sugar habit I have cultivated since quitting alcohol. They say that this will do it, or at least help. Like anything else this is ultimately up to us, and what happens after the 30 days is over is where the truth will lie, for me.

So, at day 15, a check-in.

I am typing this with hands that feel much better, less arthritic. Most of the pain I have in my hands is in my thumbs and it has diminished considerably.

I have chronic back problems and sciatica and that has also presented in a lot of numbness in my legs and feet. This is better, noticeably better. As a matter of fact, since my legs don’t feel numb or hurt all over, i have noticed a couple of places where they really do hurt and am planning on taking a more specific complaint to my doctor.

I don’t feel like I have been sleeping better at night, maybe that will come. I DO, however, wake up better. Less groggy, less angry and I have more energy during the day. Not that I do much with that energy (avoiding exercise..yep!), but it’s nice to have it.

I’m calmer and it is a little easier to handle certain things. Emotions and situations  that might have sent me into an angry outburst or frustration have been rolling off my back. Is that part of the diet? I have no idea, but I am calmer , more even-keeled, and I like that.

I have a chronic cough that turns into a bad cough , one where I “cry off my make-up” if you know what that means. It’s asthmatic, and I have a rescue inhaler in my purse. I also take claritin every day and a nose spray. I am so afraid to jinx this (weirdly superstitious at random times= me) but I have been fine. I stayed in a house with a smoker for a week and had a few coughing fits, but maybe at 20% of the intensity they usually are. Is it the gluten , the sugar, the dairy? You bet I am gonna figure this out because, oh my god…this is unbelievable and completely worth the price of admission!

I don’t really have any sugar cravings. The worst craving I had was one morning making some toast for the woman I was staying with and the NEED to eat that bread brought me to my knees…the sugar not so much. I am eating some fruit, but not a lot, and not as a sugar substitute, or to satisfy a craving. I eat it as fiber and extra fuel. That’s not to say I don’t WANT some ice cream, I do. But It’s not craving level uncomfortable…I WANT the muffins. I WANT the graham crackers with my tea at night.  Which tells me that  a wheat/gluten allergy is there because we crave what we are allergic too…just like alcohol.

15 days in and I am already planning how to make this a new food normal for me, how to make it work for me all the time. One thing I know is that I am going to have to learn to cook at least a little bit because my way of foraging for food is pretty boring.  I also have a problem with the idea of 3 meals a day….that may be where I am the least compliant in this plan. If I eat breakfast I do not want lunch, and I have been trying to eat a big breakfast.  But I don’t feel hungry, I am satisfied and I am getting in all the foods I am supposed to, so  I feel I am doing allright.  I am a snacker, but my snacks take the place of meals, which is not good. My meals all along have not been the size that others talk about, but the times I have tried to eat more I feel awful, full and bloated, and I hate that feeling, so I’m going with my sense of that.

Tomorrow my sweet friend is going to teach me how to roast a chicken (yes, I said it, I have no idea…I REALLY don’t cook!) and I am excited about that. Go figure.  Sea change.

I know, for me, that looking at this as a way to get to the bottom of health problems has made it easier than to think of it as a diet. I don’t feel at all deprived (well, except the bread jones) and so it feels positive and OPEN (right?). I am learning things about my eating and about myself. I am really glad i work a program around the alcohol, because that is helping me here too, giving me useful tools t use when I am disturbed or frustrated or whatever with the diet.

I feel good about this change. I feel healthier. I feel positive. I feel open.

All the ways I want to be…

I have been doing the Metta (loving kindness) meditation lately…it has been appearing over and over to me and really resonates as practice in this food plan….

May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I peaceful and at ease.

(After doing it for yourself you do it for others, it’s a very cool thing).

I want all of that for myself; and I really believe that this food plan is a way of working towards that.

I am so grateful that I was open enough to attempt it!

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5 Comments

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  1. Love this! Hope you don’t mind- I shared it with Clara. Love love love!

    Ciao, Nora

  2. Talk about open! No time wastin’ with you, girl. Day 1 word ON IT. I’m in awe of you. As you know I know, changing food is one of the biggest “opens” to do – so many people I know will change anything but THAT. Not for the faint of heart… In love & admiration, cocoon

  3. I admire you more and more Michele, you’re amazing.

  4. I really like you!! I’ve read your blog up to this point and now it is time to comment. I have some of the same struggles you have had – really need to quit drinking for example. Also don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, feeling old, etc. I haven’t experienced the death of a spouse (ow) but my Mom did when my sweet sweet Dad died and you have helped me understand her perspective a bit better. This post I love. I know there is a healthy person inside of me and I want to meet her again. Thank you for writing this. xoxo N

    • I was looking for your blog to check it out and I guess you don’t have one yet…
      get on it! LOL…

      thanks for the comment..as you read on you will see lots more changes, it’s been quite the year! Feel free to keep talking, and good luck with changes as you undertake them. It’s hard to change, there is no denying that, but in the end I have found that NOT changing is by far the worse choice.

      Hang in there, thanks for the nice comment.

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