Here are the things I'm discovering so far.
- Cooking is a blessing and a curse. I've found wonderful recipes and eaten great meals. Balanced meals with tons of vegetables, healthy carbs, and good meat with all sorts of spices and nice things are delicious and they make you feel great. Lots of energy, happy tummy, no heartburn, no issues. And you'd never miss the dairy products, I promise. At the same time, there are days when I think if I chop ONE MORE ONION I'm going to go insane. Cooking from scratch meals in an unairconditioned kitchen in the middle of July is not for the faint of heart. There are days when I feel like I dirty and rewash all of my dishes. There are days when I catch myself thinking that it was just easier when I could say "Let's just go out to eat." But. When I get over my fit, creating something with my own hands that I know is going to do good things for my body is satisfying. Every time you look at a task and overcome that 'I don't feel like...' feeling and actually DO it, it gets easier to pick up the knife and go.
- I can absolutely live without all the things I thought I couldn't live without. I used to be one of those people who would say "I could never". I could never drink coffee black. I could never live without (whatever). My message is, I can, you can. Absolutely can.
- I have become aware of how many things I did simply out of habit and not even because I was hungry or wanted that particular thing. How often I'd just graze from the cheese drawer or eat slices of deli meat. How often I wouldn't bother with the overall nutritional impact of a meal, focusing only on the bad things I had eliminated. Yes, you can eat clean and still eat carelessly.
- If it doesn't get easier as you go, you aren't doing something you can sustain forever. If you are on a 'strict diet' but your relationship with food is still disordered, if you still think about things outside your 'plan' as forbidden, and indulge in things and then think of yourself as 'bad', reflect. Eating shouldn't be a punishment/reward scenario. It should be a sensual experience of vibrant, healthy food that sustains us. Things we look forward to making, sharing, and partaking of. I will never again sadly scrape the corners of a little plastic tray trying to capture the last dregs of something that did not satisfy me in the name of a 'diet'. I will never again whip four chemical laden low fat ingredients together and call it dessert because it is 'Only 2 points a serving'. (F that all the way to Tuesday. I am seriously done with that nonsense.) If it comes in a box, it had better be cat litter or trash bags, because it sure as heck isn't something that's going on my table.
- I am not a lone wolf. There are lots of people out there who have done this. They have a lot of ideas. They made mistakes along the way. Read. Ask. Listen. Complain to them if you must, But find support and learn. It makes things a heck of a lot easier. And considering how many of those wise, done-it-before people I have met along the way are survivors of life threatening health conditions, or widows at 30 with small children, or living with multiple disease states and doing what needs done despite pain and significant limitations, my excuses are invalid and yours probably are too.
I don't know if I have moved forward yet, since the scale is disabled and shelved for the 30 days, but I did find a pair of capris that used to strangle me and they fit just fine. So good things continue to happen.