|A few of the cookies I have not been eating, all the way from England.|
I finally found a few moments to sit down and tell you how I'm doing with my treat-free month. I swear it just gets harder and harder to find 20 uninterrupted minutes to anything for myself! You too?
Anyway, I have 11 days to go and it's honestly not too bad. I am doing it, and that's a good feeling. It's nice and sort of empowering to know that I am capable of flexing my willpower and restraint when called for, even if I'm not really given much to self-denial on a daily basis.
A few thoughts:
- If nothing else, this whole exercise has been pretty insightful in terms of understanding myself and my habits better. For example, I've always thought that I tend to snack out of habit and for something to do, but have been surprised to find that I might be a bit of an emotional eater too. When I've had a rough day and the kids are finally in bed, I really, genuinely crave cookies or brownies or some kind of sugary, starchy treat. It's like I feel like I deserve a reward for making it through the day, and that reward needs to be laden with chocolate. It will probably take a while to retrain my brain from this thinking, and I'm not really sure how to go about it. Any ideas?
- I get hungry in the evenings. We generally eat dinner around six, often even earlier, and so I'm often pretty hungry by about 9:30 or so. I think it's legitimate to eat when you feel hunger, I just need to make sure that I make better choices once the treat cupboard is no longer out of bounds.
- Roasted, unsalted almonds have been the salvation of this whole enterprise. I bought a big bag of portion-sized bags at Trader Joe's, and have been eating one bag in the evenings when I feel hungry. It's sort of amazing how much it helps! And almonds are supposed to be crazy good for you, so that has been a pretty good solution.
- Saying no completely is so much easier than trying to figure out a balance. Having a completely black and white attitude to what is and what isn't permissible to eat, means that I can serve Espen a handful of chocolate chips or marshmallows for an occasional treat and not eat a few myself. It means that when a neighbor gives Gwen a bag of chips to munch on, I can feed them to her and not eat any myself. It means that I don't even think about eating the chocolate or cookies in the treat cupboard. It means that I say "no thank you" when someone offers me a treat, and it's not even nearly as tricky as I thought it would be. But what is going to be tricky is reaching the point when I can say "yes" sometimes, and "no" at others. I'd love your ideas about finding a balance and moderation and all of that good stuff too. I think that might end up being my next projects.
- I had my book club ladies over last night, and for a treat, I made parfaits with greek yogurt, fresh berries and granola. You have to have treats at book club! It was all very healthy and above board (and delicious!), but I'm on the fence about whether or not it was a "cheat". But you have to have treats at book club!
- While this whole venture is about learning to live a healthier life, and not about losing weight, I did wonder out at the outset if it might make at least a little bit of a difference on ye olde scales. It really hasn't. I might have lost about 2-3 lbs., or that might just be normal fluctuation over the course of three weeks. I think it would take more than a month of no treats to really see a difference in that regard.
- Similarly, I haven't noticed a huge difference in the way I feel, but I think I might have a bit more energy these days. I'm still tired when the kids go to bed, but I've been feeling more refreshed when I wake up in the mornings, and have been getting a bit more done during the day. And that is pretty motivating!
- I'm mildly surprised to tell you that other than when I've had a rough day, or someone is eating something delicious right in front of me, I really don't feel deprived at all. This is a completely doable thing. But I am certainly happy that there will Ghirardelli brownies waiting for me on April 1st! (But please no chocolate-themed April Fool's pranks!)