What's Your One Thing?
A few weeks ago I participated in a cleanse or a detox (I’m still not really sure of the difference – but I have learned that Facebook does NOT like the word detox…..and if you use it in any of your posts those posts will be shown to less than 1% of your audience…but I digress).
On day 3 of this 7 day program, I wrote this blog explaining how the program worked and what I was feeling on that particular day. Today I want to share with you some of my results from this cleanse/detox program as well as some of the crazy observations I had about myself in those 7 days.
First, my sole intention was not to lose weight fast, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for this program to kick start some weight loss. When I started, Dr. Keila (the program creator), took my measurements and asked me to step on the scale, something I had been avoiding doing for a solid 6 months. The number she shared wasn’t surprising…I could tell approximately where I was at just by how my pants were fitting (or were not fitting as the case may be). Dr. Keila just confirmed that I had 30lbs to shed if I wanted to get back into all of my favourite jeans. Of course – she didn’t say that – but the scale number along with my quick accountanty math skills told me all I needed to know immediately.
I absolutely have a formula for clean(er) eating that I know works for me….but apparently the ‘er’ part of the clean has been expanding, and along with it so have my hips. This program showed me with certainty that while I thought I had been eating relatively clean before the program, I was certainly a ways away from the way I was eating when I was feeling and looking my best. Okay, let’s call that bonus #1 of the program – a serious wake-up call about lying to myself about just how much crap I was really eating.
Bonus #2 would be the fact that I did lose a solid 5.5lbs and I felt less bloated and my pants were more comfortable for sure! Unfortunately, then Thanksgiving weekend hit – and while my intentions were not to go hog wild even though we were at our vacation spot up north, there was wine and yes…. there were chips. In fact, an entire bag of chips…… But there were plenty of greens as well, so the weekend certainly wasn’t back to all bad habits.
Coming back to reality after that last long weekend of beautiful weather meant I’d gained back 3lbs of the 5 originally lost and mentally – I knew I had to keep a rein on things, or I’d be right back where I started in no time. Okay, if this is going to be a lifestyle thing for real, I told myself, the less clean parts of my diet have got to be the exception! The accountanty/planning part of me wanted to take the 80/20 rule and go to town with calculations of cheat meals or cheat days….but who am I kidding if I do that? Making this a lifestyle means there have to be conscious food choices EVERY FREAKING DAY!
So – how did this first week back into routine and real food go for me? Not too bad I believe (and that comes from my new, no blinders about the extra cookies, reality). I kept up the greens at every meal – I mean; I’m going through kale, spinach and chard like nobody’s business! But I also met some of my fave gals for a mid-week lunch and ordered a Greek pizza – real pizza crust topped with sauce, mozzarella, feta, black olives and zucchini and arugula (greens!!). It was large enough to feed me for two lunches this week and two afternoons I found myself feeling sluggish and bloaty. The pizza was delicious though – but note to self, this is a “treat” and in my general new philosophy about treats, I’d like to limit those to once a week (so I probably should’ve ordered the smaller pizza).
The rest of the week went without really falling off track, except of course the wine on Friday night. Three glasses to be exact. This week, work was overwhelming to say the least, and while I do not want to use wine as my vice to relax and chill out with…. I really enjoy sipping a few glasses. Specifically after a hellish week, I want to look forward to something I truly enjoy. What that means is I’m not eliminating wine entirely from my life, but it doesn’t have to be an every Friday and Saturday night thing. If, most of the time, it’s a few glasses here and there on a weekend – those are treats I’m going to allow as part of my lifestyle.
Let me get to what I’ve decided is bonus #3 - the mental shift over the 7 days. With the amount of protein in the 3 shakes I was drinking each day and the unlimited amount of greens I was able to eat throughout the week, I have to say I did not feel hungry. I think I was expecting that ravenous, embarrassing stomach growl in the middle of a meeting kind of thing for a few days – but that never came for me. I wasn’t hungry but I almost felt like I was mourning not being able to eat a variety of food. Now, is that not the weirdest thing you’ve read today? When I’d come into the kitchen after my workout each morning, making breakfast made me feel sad….drinking a green shake while I skimmed Facebook was not the same as munching through some scrambled eggs. Driving home from work in the evening was ridiculous as I’d actually feel like there was nothing to look forward to in the evening because I was eating the same protein shake and green stuff as I did the night before. Seriously, is food the only thing I have to look forward to in an evening? That’s just sad! And the weekend was particularly killer. I mean, I’m a busy gal, but every time I slowed down for five minutes I was longing for the snack cupboard and a chocolate covered digestive cookie or even a freakin granola bar for heaven’s sake. Boredom strikes me quickly when I slow down and in those moments of “what to do next” – apparently I eat! The surprising thing was that I didn’t find myself craving the taste of those snacks at all…..I just missed the activity of eating them.
Let’s call those 7 days, and now the weeks that follow, a time of rediscovering the clean(er) eating formula that really works for me (and is one where I’m not lying to myself about how much I’m really sticking to it!) I can see myself doing this program annually just for the mental shift it brings alone.
To wrap this post up, I want to share with you a podcast that I listened to this week while out walking my boy, Titan. Lori Harder, the host of the “Earn Your Happy” podcast was interviewing Geoff Woods, the Vice President of The One Thing Team (I had no clue who he was or what The One Thing was before listening to the podcast). The title of the podcast certainly caught my eye though: “The Key To Locking In A Habit”. Shit – give me that freakin key please!!!
Anyway, the morale of the podcast was that no matter what habit you are trying to develop, you need to narrow it down to one small thing that you can do to get you to the point where that habit is something you don’t even need to think about. Also, you MUST NOT work on more than one thing at a time. That’s totally me right there (see very recent blog post where I’m all over the map with the 3 big areas I want to focus on right now). It makes such total sense to place your focus on one thing, just one small thing to help move you in the direction you want to go. And Geoff Woods emphasized really trying to be strategic about what that one thing really is for you. Like what is your ultimate top priority that once achieved is going to make everything else far easier? (I believe Chalene Johnson calls this your Push Goal as described in her book Push).
Okay….so what is my one thing? I obviously have many areas to consider when it comes to fueling my body, so where do I start? I’ve been pondering this all week since listening to that podcast and I think the most important place for me to start is probably pretty obvious. I need to eat when I’m hungry. And ONLY when I’m hungry. I don’t mean ravenous – because then I’m grabbing the cookie or chips for sure, but I mean finally slowing down long enough to pay attention to what my body is telling me. It truly will be multiple conscious decisions for me each and every day to rewire that part of my brain that has used food as comfort for boredom and/or stress for so long. But this is my “one thing” because if I can get a handle on eating when I’m hungry and notice what it is that my body is craving in those moments, I suspect I’m going to find that my body is telling me it wants real food, and not crap! And when I eat well, I feel well, and my pants fit well, and I’m more confident and so the snowball goes.
I really think you should take a listen to that podcast and then give some consideration to what habit you are trying to develop right now that perhaps you are struggling with (maybe you are just simply trying to change too much!) But what is the one thing that you could do to ensure that habit will be locked in for good?
Happy investigating and I’ll be sure to keep you up to date on my “one thing” as I move further into the habit of only eating when I’m truly hungry.
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