When I started my latest “plan” of doing the Whole45, I envisioned a similar process to past experiences – rough first week or so then feeling pretty good afterwards with plenty of energy. However, my medical complications, well, complicated things.
I really haven’t felt my best these past few weeks, and I decided to make the conscious decision to start reintroducing some foods after 34 days instead of 45. Though a small part of me was disappointed to not follow-through on the original idea, I made a choice that I felt was best for me given the circumstances. I haven’t reintroduced much – I’m basically eating paleo but not getting bent out of shape about products with some added sugar (e.g. ketchup or a marinade), and I’ve had some rice and a corn tortilla. I also had some wine on the weekend.
The thing I’ve been thinking about the most over the past week or so is what’s next. I pointed out in an earlier post that I don’t want to treat this process like an accidental diet where there is some kind of end date. I truly want to learn what makes me feel best inside and figure out a personalized template to do so.
In an ideal world, I would find a nice 80/20 style approach, eating this way most of the time and having some room for exceptions. The tricky part is that I’m not sure that is my nature. When reading Gretchen Rubin’s book Better Than Before, she talks about knowing yourself and goes on to detail some different types, including moderators and abstainers. Moderators would be the type of person who can, say, have one square of chocolate a day, or only a few chips. Abstainers would be the type of person who cannot compute how one can eat only one square of chocolate or who can polish off a bag of chips in one sitting. In other words, abstainers would do well to never bring the bag of chips or bar of chocolate into the house in the first place.
I think the reason I do so well when I’m “on a program” is because I am an abstainer. It’s why two years ago, I described how I love not having a grey area. And, I think it’s because I find it easier to follow clear guidelines. Because I’m not naturally a moderator.
But, life is long, and food will always be a part of life. I do not think it’s realistic to live the rest of my life (hopefully many more decades) adhering to extremely rigid rules. So, I’m trying to spend some time thinking about how I can work on changing my mindset and making some room in my life for moderation in a way that still helps me feel my best.