Like I said before, I’ve never been one to deprive myself of food that I want to eat, so the first week of the diet was good, but definitely had it’s ups and downs. It’s a combination of excitement about starting something new that I know will be good for me if I can stick with it, mixed with the band-aid-tear-off malaise inherent with any necessary evil. Eating the same menu every week (and sometimes every day) gets old really fast. Take salt, sugar and fat out of the equation and it’s a formula for nearly instant failure. Thank god I’m as motivated as I am right now to actually see it through because taking such a drastic detour from my normal eating and training habits usually lasts about 2-3 days max. I can’t take all the credit though. Sheli has been supportive (but I think it’s mainly because she’s happy she no longer has to cook me dinner, haha!) by letting me vent and also bearing my food-withdrawal fits. Austin helped give me some perspective on the situation, which was something I really needed on Friday when all I could think of was every goddamn kind of food I wanted eat, but couldn’t! Going into this diet I wanted to see if I could do it for a week or maybe a month, but (among many other things) he told me “When you’re eating things you don’t like, it helps to remind yourself why you’re doing it. Just realize that eating is as much of a lifestyle choice as the training.” Well, I can certainly say that the latter completely reframed how I approach this diet because I love freerunning. If I can let that become my entire life, why can’t I do it with food?
With that in mind, I decided to get realistic about my new habits so I could maintain a level of comfort that would allow me to continue this pursuit. I don’t really like chicken (which is now the primary protein I’m eating) because it always tastes too dry to me unless it’s fried, in a sauce, or I can overcome the lack of moisture by drenching it in salt. In an effort to cut sodium, I eliminated salt altogether… DUMB! I realized almost instantly that there’s no way I’ll last longer than a week if I do this. So looking forward, I’m allowing myself light use of salt, and when it just won’t cut it, I stuff more veggies or salad in my mouth to mask the lack of flavor in the meat. Compromise is the key here, and examples like the dry chicken issue illustrate how you can make sacrifices while giving yourself enough of an edge to hold on for the long run. I’m still learning as I go along, but these little milestones help a ton.
Oh, and Sunday is my cheat day. I don’t completely give up that day because I’m stil rockin my protein and supplements, but I do allow myself the treat of things I took for granted like cheese, sugar, and the occasional onion ring. That definitely helps in giving me something to look forward to. It’s my weekly reward for staying on task. It’s a lifestyle change, not punishment, so there’s no reason to treat it like a death sentence.
All this to say, I’m much happier this week about the diet and think I’m past the worst of it. I’m about a thousand times more confident I can stick it out now than I was at the end of last week.
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