De-Puffing and Re-Framing

I can count on one hand the number of times I consumed sugar during the month of January. Really, I can. Here they are:

Thumb: Hamburger bun
Pointer: Dried cranberries
Middle: One piece of salmon sushi roll with white rice
Ring: Two small breaded clam strips

This is a pretty huge achievement for a sugar addict. But by January 31, I felt completely defeated and discouraged. In choosing to eliminate sugar, I expected to de-bloat and gain energy. But I only puffed up more, and my energy stayed about the same. Humph.

Now I am four days into Phase Two of Operation De-Puff: a two-week gut reset. Low-FODMAP foods, no added sugar, no dairy, no gluten, oh my!

Sigh (again). I know I should be proud of the fact that I have given up sugar for over a month now. This is the same pouty malaise I felt when I had stopped drinking but realized that I had an even bigger problem with sugar. When a major achievement only seems to open the door to a lot more work, it’s a bit of a bummer.

But: onward. I woke up at 6am on Saturday and immediately set to work making baked egg cups, blueberry oatmeal cups, and prepping veggies and chicken. I also drank black coffee for the first time at home! I was in the zone, if grumpily so.

And I’ve stayed in the zone since then. I did my February Lifetime weigh-in today, and I have lost a pound of puff! As I start to de-bloat and re-energize, I am also reframing my thinking around cutting sugar.

I cut sugar to slim down after the holidays. But cutting sugar did not slim me down. Instead, and even more critically, No Added Sugar January dealt a lethal blow to the emotional side of my sugar addiction. I can survive without sugar! And not really miss it all that much! THIS is a revelation, my friends.

I am rewiring my brain to stop relying on sugar. And now I am also helping my gut get back into a better balance so that I can identify the foods that give me digestive trouble. This is GOOD WORK. Necessary work. And it’s working.

Free February

I have decided that I am going to think about this month as Free February. Which is a bit contrary to my rule-following nature so I’m interested to see how I do. Here are the freedoms I am granting myself this month:

1. Free from labels

2. Free to explore my relationship with alcohol

3. Free to commit to Freestyle

4. Free to not track while I am in London with my family

5. Free to love and accept myself just as I am

As I wrote yesterday, I am feeling the need to be free of labels right now. I am not ready to label myself as “sober” or “alcohol-free” and that is ok. I need to be free to continue to explore my relationship with alcohol. To take my own authentic journey through this tricky territory.

I am also going to stop stressing about whether or not to commit to Freestyle and just give it more time. This weight loss journey is a marathon not a sprint.

And since we are taking our kids to London in a couple of weeks, I am also going to spend some this month not tracking. I plan to make good choices – some of the time. I also plan to eat all of my favorite foods without guilt, knowing that I will get back on track as soon as I get home.

This month I am going to make an extra effort to love myself just as I am. Even if I drink wine. Even if I eat an entire jar of Nutella while in London. Even if I gain weight.

I hereby embrace my flaws. I hereby love that I am a work in progress. I hereby accept that life is a constant recalibration and I love that I have come so far in achieving a healthier overall balance.

Five days in to Free February, and on my first February weigh-in day, here’s where I am:

  • 0 lb lost
  • 1 lb gained
  • -19 weeklies
  • 4 blue dots
  • 5 workouts
  • 1 glass of wine

Relieved the gain was just a pound considering the degree to which I allowed Super Bowl Sunday to be an excuse to overindulge. This week I will get back to six blue dots, maintain my workouts, and stay within my weekly points.

More on that glass of wine in my next post.

 

Dry January Day 31

So that happened.

Dry January has been a joyous journey. I expected it to feel like an uphill climb, and at times it did. But mostly it felt like a happy dance.

I feel free. I feel unlimited.

And I never could have gotten through this without Connect and everyone who inspired and supported me along the way. To think that I have been able to inspire and support others makes my heart burst with joy and gratitude.

So here I am on Day 31:

  • 5.2lbs lost
  • 23 workouts
  • 25 blue dots

And now the big numbers, courtesy of my Dry January app:

  • $200 saved
  • 10,000 alcohol calories not consumed

TEN THOUSAND calories I would have spent on poison instead of protein shakes. On sugar instead of – ok, well I definitely still consumed sugar. In fact I still consumed all my daily points and almost all of my weeklies. But instead of spending half my dailies and most of my weeklies on booze, I spent it (for the most part) on foods that nourish my body. Foods that sustain energy. Foods that build muscle.

I used to ingest 10,000 calories of alcohol every month. I am NEVER going back to that number.

But back to the scale. As of this morning, I am 143.6lbs, under my original goal weight of 145. I didn’t make it to my current goal of 138, but that is ok. For now, I am going to stick with Freestyle and my current workout regimen and see where my body settles.

I am happy with the way I look. (Omg I just typed that!) I don’t know where I will end up weight-wise but I do know these two things:

1. I de-puffed like a BOSS this month; and

2. Whether I reach my goal of 138 or not, I NEVER would have gotten there with my former drinking habits.

My former drinking habits. Have I mentioned I’m not going back?

 

Dry January Day 22

After a disappointing weigh-in today (0lbs lost… which of course can also be looked at as 0lbs gained!) I decided that today was going to be an non-scale victory (nsv in WW lingo) kind of day. I tried my best to put the scale out of my mind and instead stay present and focus on all of the nsv’s throughout my day.

Here they are:

  • I slayed at kickboxing class despite feeling very tired today. And by “slay” I mean I worked as hard as I could, learned a lot, and had a blast. I am still a newbie but I’m enjoying it tremendously – even just enjoying exercise so much is in itself an nsv for me!
  • I took my son to lunch at Whole Foods, where I looked for the cleanest thing I could find to eat (fish and kale salad). And I had a cute date to boot!
  • I baked with my kids when my daughter got home from school (nsv: staying present with my kids).
  • We made our first Mudhustler recipe – the Elvis Cake! It was delish!!
  • … and I managed to not eat the whole thing!
  • And of course, no wine. Which I have started to take for granted, but since today is an nsv kind of day I am consciously reminding myself that any night with no wine is a big nsv for me!

22 days down. BOOM.

 

Dry January Day 21

Alcohol-free for three weeks: check!

During intense and exciting football playoff game: check (even though there was a lot of buffalo chicken dip consumed)!

And through another weekend with relative ease: check!

I’ve got this.

And here’s what else I’ve got:

  • More energy
  • More patience
  • More space in my brain
  • A clearer brain
  • A more creative brain
  • Increased productivity
  • Clearer, brighter, more glowing, less congested skin (and I have always had problem skin)
  • Less belly bloat (inching – or at least millimetering – my way to #bikinigoals)
  • Deeper sleep

And a huge one for me that I am just now starting to believe:

  • Less anxiety.

This is not a comprehensive list. This is just off the top of my head on a tired (but happy!) Sunday night.

The anxiety piece is something I want to read more about. I have dealt with varying degrees of anxiety since I was a kid. I never thought about the impact alcohol had on my anxiety. Never thought to connect the two. But it occurred to me at some point this weekend that I have not felt anxious in, well, about three weeks. I am cautiously embracing the liberation I feel. Trying to stay present. And eager to explore this further in the coming days.

I weighed myself this morning (the day before tomorrow’s weigh-in) and I had gained a half-pound. Which was discouraging, considering how clean I ate this week and how great my exercise routine has been. In my discouragement, I ate too much junk today. I’ve stayed within my weekly points, but I’m expecting a perplexing gain tomorrow. Disappointing, BUT at least I have been sticking with Dry January like a boss. Tomorrow is a new day and a new week and I’m so proud for making it this far.

 

Back on Track Y’All!

I was VERY hesitant to step on the scale this morning but I’ll take a 4lb holiday gain! I thought it would be much worse. So excited to face 2018 head on, 20lbs lighter than I was this time last year and more determined than ever to get back to goal and embrace maintenance instead of fighting against it. Happy New Year!