Talking about dieting

I am not a fan of diets, and I am especially not a fan of talking about diets. By diets I mean the lose weight/get fit variety, not the food choices or restrictions some people have due to allergies, preferences, or social constructs. I really hate talking about weight.

And yet.

I have been making some poor food and drink choices for a while now. I am at my top weight, and my husband is at his as well. We tried to stop drinking during the week, and that lasted for all of January. In February, we slipped right back into old habits. But I am exercising, not a lot by most standards, but more than I ever have. I ran a 5K on Saturday, and I managed a steady, if slow, pace the whole time.

So yesterday, we started the Whole30. Lots of people start in January, or do Whole30 as a part of Lent. We timed our start around events — we had dinner reservations at Husk (try the Cheerwine-braised pork-belly buns) in Nashville on March 1, and we did not want any food or drink restrictions there or later at the Ryman, or even the next morning at Biscuit Love (get the East Nasty). And no one starts a new lifestyle choice midweek, especially if her friend’s 50th birthday party is that weekend, so we started on March 5th, a Sunday. We took pictures of ourselves in shorts (I wore a sports bra as well). Bulging, hung-over, full frontal photos. I had started my period the day before, and my husband had a bad cold. We weighed ourselves, but then hid the scale in a drawer to reduce the temptation to weigh.

There will be a lot of cooking, shopping, checking labels. Standing in a grocery aisle checking for added gluten, soy, sugar or googling whether or not green beans or carrageenan is compliant (green beans, yes; carrageenan , no). Thinking up meals that will distract us from the fact that we are not eating rice, pasta, bread, bacon (added sugar), chocolate, cheese (no dairy!), peanuts, soy. But yes to apples, strawberries, almonds, salads, avocado, beef, chicken, peppers, onions, spinach, vinegar, duck fat. We will be drinking our coffee black and consuming record amounts of sparkling water. I am trying to explain what the benefits are to my mother and any interested friends, but for me the benefit is in testing my own willpower.

Giving up wine completely will hit me in a day or so, and I am the one who is charge of knowing what we can eat and making sure the food is available. All the hope and energy that has gone into the planning, all the careful shopping at Aldi and Costco and Thrive Market will evaporate if I give in. My family is very skeptical that I can do it for 30 days.

It’s day 2. We’ll see.

*****

Update:  It’s day 5. I have cooked so much and made many delicious things — beef bourguignon (without wine) and seared green beans with lemon zest, chili with peppers topped with grilled avocado, spicy chicken cacciatore over spaghetti squash, pulled pork carnitas with cauliflower rice and lemony cole slaw, grilled flank steak and balsamic vegetables. So much meat, plenty of leftovers to last if I stop cooking until Sunday.

I am tired, I think I have a cold coming on, and I have to go to a Mexican restaurant tonight for a charity event my sister is sponsoring. No chips, cheese dip, tortillas, margaritas, refried beans, rice. I’ll have the Acapulco Salad with no cheese please. Just oil, vinegar, and lime for dressing please. Bleh.

Such first world problems, I know.

*****

Update:  Day 5, late afternoon. I have a headache, and I returned from a very brief walk to roam the kitchen. I wanted something sweet, or perhaps crunchy and salty. A Lara bar? One of those Epic meat bars? A Snickers (just kidding)?

I had an apple from the crisper in the refrigerator. It was perfect. I’d forgotten about the tart perfection of cold apples.

*****

Update:  We didn’t make it for Whole30. We were undone in Memphis, with the gateway drug being Gus’s Fried Chicken about halfway through Whole30. But I learned some things about what I value, what I seek, what I miss, what I don’t miss. I’ll try again.

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