Quarter Check-In

I have officially made it through 25 days of eating real food. I thought I would reflect on the experience so far…

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. A LOT. 

I realize this is a given when you are making your own food, and I did anticipate spending a lot of time in the kitchen. But, I am spending even more time in the kitchen than I need to because I’m finding myself wanting to try new things – things that aren’t actually necessary for me to achieve my goal, but things I’m curious to explore. I also spend time in the kitchen making sure it doesn’t get out of hand or cluttered, which brings me to my next point.

I spend a lot of time with dishes. 

Not only do we run the dishwasher 2-3 times more often than before, but I always seem to be handling dishes. When it comes to washing dishes by hand, I used to loathe the idea. I had an unhealthy relationship with dish-washing. Sound ridiculous? Perhaps it was. But, it was real. I always felt like there was no end in sight. It was as if dirty pots and pans had some unfair control over me and my time. It took some time, but I did change my relationship with the task once I actually paid attention to how much time dish washing by hand actually took. I even timed it on a few occasions and realized they would be done in a matter of minutes – and I realized I had made the task out to be far more cumbersome in my head.

However, since I’m now cooking even more and experimenting with new recipes, it feels like I’m constantly washing, drying and putting away dishes. Thankfully I’ve stayed on top of it, but there are times where I can’t even start to clean newly dirtied dishes until I spend a few minutes putting away the newly dried, clean dishes. It’s almost comical. Almost.

I get less nervous about social situations – but I still get nervous.

The advantage of having tackled a few social settings is I know I can make it out unscathed. That has translated to an increased level of confidence about going out to restaurants or meeting up with friends. However, I need to remember that it still takes some advanced thought if I’m going to do well. I don’t want to be so comfortable that I assume I’ll be fine only to find myself really hungry with no options.

There are still some grey areas I should work out.

I realize I said there are no grey areas, and that was helping me stay on track. I still believe the cut-and-dry nature of the challenge is advantageous, but I have stumbled upon a few grey areas that I have yet to decide on. For example, can I eat something made with cane sugar? I have these dairy-free organic chocolate chips with very few ingredients, but one is cane sugar. Part of me says it could be a fine line and part of me things I may be over-complicating things. In the end, I need to decide for myself what works for me.

Something other than processed food, refined sugar and refined wheat is causing a problem. 

I started the challenge with the intention of making amends with my insides. And, well, a quarter of the way in, this still eludes me. I know it’s a change and my body may need more time to adjust, but my gut (no pun intended) tells me something else is at play. I think I need to dig deeper to figure out what my trigger foods are and work to remove or reduce them. In the past, the notion of removing a given food completely felt overwhelming, but now that I’ve made it this long without some past staples, I know I can manage living without a specific food or component of food.

I can’t get comfortable. 

I have a long history of seeing progress, patting myself on the back, then getting comfortable, treating myself and ceasing momentum. This is applicable to a number of parts of my life, not just eating or exercise. Once I feel like I’ve made strides towards something, it’s the kiss of death for that goal. So, while I’m taking time to reflect on the first quarter of my challenge, I need to pay attention to my former self who would start to relax right about now, and I need to stop that from happening.

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