Yesterday I added a new goal to my list. I joined Brad Gansberg's 100 Day Chip Quest.
Brad is a health blogger who has come a long way on his weight loss journey, and been an inspiration (by example and by connection) to a lot of people who are struggling with food and exercise.
Most people start out working toward his 7 Day Chip - an acknowledgement of going seven days without uncontrolled eating. But since I have pretty much gone since January 11 without uncontrolled eating, I thought I'd jump right into the fire with the 100 Day quest, which officially began yesterday. It's nice to have goals, plus I thought this might be a way to add more people to my support circle (who I can also support.)
I have come up with three rules for my personal chip:
- Thoughtfully plan all food for the week on Sunday, and follow through on that plan. I will allow for deviation in case of emergency or rearranged plans (though my eating must still be mindful.) I can still be flexible in my choices (say, a planned Indian dinner on Tom's birthday, or a dessert that I've been craving for 7 full days before I am allowed to enjoy it in moderation.) But where this differs is that I will choose not to indulge in any treats that are unplanned. For me, my process of recovery from food addiction is all about the planning.
- Exercise 7 days a week, at least 60 minutes a day. Obviously, I'll trump that at the 90-minute Slimmons classes, but I'm more concerned about the other days, when I have typically had a harder time getting myself to work out, particularly Sunday or Monday. Only real medical emergencies can be excused, and let's hope none of those occur.
- Write for at least 15 hours a week (not counting the blog.) We're almost done with our current project, and we're pushing on to the next project... so I want to make sure we're holding on to our momentum. No excuses permitted on this one, especially because it's a weekly-based goal and not a daily one.
Funny enough, the moment that I committed to this process, I began thinking of food in ways I haven't often since I started making changes in January. It was as if my id knew there were new rules, and wanted to break them. The funny thing is that I've already been doing most of this stuff. It's just the title, the commitment, the goal that set me off.
The temptation that came to mind surprised me. buffets. Even when we weren't being mindful about our food, we only went to buffets rarely, on special occasions. Generally for a holiday, or for a friend's birthday. But there's something about that seemingly endless array of beautifully-displayed foods... foods we wouldn't typically make for ourselves even in the days of mindless eating. As much as you wanted to eat. As much as your eyes told your brain you wanted to eat. And suddenly yesterday, I found myself wanting to eat a LOT of it. I talked a little with my father about it yesterday afternoon, as we both feel the same way about buffets. For me, they're going to be a slippery place that I should avoid, at least so long as I'm in active weight-loss mode, and at least so long as I am working on my recovery from behavioral tendencies. Buffets would just make those good choices too hard for me right now.
Part of the problem yesterday was that it was a less-productive day. We'd gone to class the night before, and it had really kicked our butts. Then we went to the Y yesterday morning, where I had the goal of doing at least 60 minutes. For some reason, I thought it would be a good day to try the elliptical for the first time in years, and that certainly wore me out. I managed 15 minutes there, followed by 15 minutes on a recumbent bike, followed by 30 minutes snorkeling in the lap pool. By the time we got home, I flopped. We decided to take a spontaneous rest day to recover. Which was very good for our bodies... but not so excellent for my brain, which, in its non-distracted state, was now telling me things like "orrrrder foooooood" and "youuuuu waaaaaant caaaaaaake."
Fortunately, I have enough coping tools in my arsenal these days to combat those murmurs from my id. And we had, as always, had our food planned for the day with all of the ingredients ready for us in the kitchen. And that makes it so much easier to follow through with our plan for yesterday, which was:
Breakfast: 1/2 cup fat free vanilla Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/3 cup FiberOne cereal
Post-Workout Snack: 6 oz fresh pineapple; 8 oz skim milk; vitamins
Lunch: 2 oz whole wheat spaghetti with 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1 oz goat cheese; 2 oz crab with 1 tb plain fat free Greek yogurt, the juice of half a lime, a tb of cilantro, a chopped stalk of celery and 3 cherry tomatoes quartered; 32 oz water.
Dinner: 4 oz ground turkey on Orowheat light whole wheat, with 1 tsp Veganaise, 1 fat free Kraft single, and 5 pickle chips; 1.5 cups of cauliflower with 1 oz goat cheese; 32 oz water.
So I made it through Day 1 of the quest, with goals met. Now just 99 (plus the rest of my lifetime) to go.