No, I have not given up.

After I stopped doing Whole 30, I had a couple of rough days. A few days ago, I ate 3/4 of a 9 inch pumpkin pie for lunch. By myself. Along with a piece of pizza, a lunchmeat sandwich, and two apples. And for the first time in over two weeks, I finally felt full. I was stuffed. And afterward, I felt just a little guilty. I felt awful like an hour later from all that food finally hitting my stomach. But at least I was full for once.

Or so I tried to convince myself.

Sunday, I was riddled with shame. And for those of you who don’t know, shame is not the same as guilt. Guilt is something you feel about something you’ve done. Shame is something you feel about who you are. I was sick to my stomach, but not from anything I’d eaten. Here I am, preaching about gluttony and how bad it is. But I was nothing more than a hypocrite.

That night, I decided to do something about it.

My mom, sister, and a few of my friends from back home were starting a challenge called the “Healthy Habits Challenge,” which, as you may have guessed, focusses on forming habits that support a healthy lifestyle. It’s a reward only system, so if you give in to something, there is no punishment (except maybe disappointment). And we’ve done this before, too, so it’s not anything new for me. It started Monday, October 12th, and ends November 30th. My goal is to lose at least 5 pounds and be able to do at least 3 pull-ups in a row. Right now I can’t do any, so I will definitely have to work hard to get to 3 in a row.

Tuesday, which I guess was only yesterday (feels like so long ago), I did not do well at all. I ate a lot of food in general, but most of it was junk. So that was a bummer. And I didn’t really workout either. Double bummer.

Today, however, was fantastic. I’ve done almost two hours worth of exercising. All different kinds, and not all at once, mind you. And I ate lots of veggies. And I drank a LOT of water. I’ve already lost at least half a pound since starting. I am so psyched! Now I just need to find a way to stay on track, as I have a tendency to go on and off a lot (as you may have noticed). It helps a lot that there’s more than one other person doing this, and that many of them are as pumped up as I am.

I think it just goes to show that the right support group goes a long way. That, and an end goal. If you’re lucky enough to find both, you’re golden.

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Not my style.

I tried. Not my absolute best, admitted, but I’m done.

Why? Couple reasons.

One, because I feel so deprived, I end up just eating more of the things that I can have. And I knew that even if I had finished the whole 30 days, not much would have changed. Sure, I was more mindful of what I ate, but only of what kind of food I ate, not how I was actually eating the food. I didn’t feel satisfied, even after killing off an entire 5 pound bag of grapes on the 15-minute drive home from work. Not cool.

Two, my friend quit, too. And I don’t know if anyone else is like this, but if I’m doing a diet by myself, I tend not to stick with it. I get discouraged, especially if I started out with someone else. Not to mention it was the night of a country barn dance with Encounter. We went out to eat beforehand. The first “non-diet” thing I had was two packets of saltine crackers. My “meal”, if you could call it one, was a small bowl of fruit. I had eaten plenty not an hour earlier, so the problem wasn’t that I was hungry. I guess what it boiled down to was, I felt left out. Sure, I was “eating” with them, but not really part of the group. And at the dance, they had pumpkin bread cupcakes and Reese’s peanut butter cups. Now, the Reese’s cups were a let down, but the cupcakes did not disappoint. Moist, cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with brown sugar. Fantastic.

Three, while I finished the all thirty days the last time I did it, the end result was the same. Once I was done, almost immediately, I reverted back to my previous eating habits. All that hard work, basically for nothing. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Whole 30 diet is not for me. And that’s okay.

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I almost gave in.

Yesterday was really just an all-around bad day. I was tired, hungry, and stressed. The first two were mostly my fault. I had stayed up the night before trying to work on homework. I was so distracted that I ended up not getting anything done, so that was pretty much a waste. I was hungry because I didn’t eat anything until 3 yesterday. I had decided to try and fast because I’d eaten a lot the night before. Mostly mindlessly munching while I tried to do homework. That didn’t work out. I was already cranky from lack of sleep, but add no food to that and you end up with snappy and short-tempered, regardless of who you are.

So I came home and had a sweet potato with salt and pepper. That was before work. After work, I made a regular potato and took it with me to small group. And I’m certainly glad I did. Someone brought bread and sauce from La Gondola, and I was really tempted to just throw in the towel. Luckily for me, they brought strawberries, too, so I was able to content myself with those. But, oh man. Bread. Most of the reason why I did not end up eating any is because I was so tired that I fell asleep in the corner halfway through our discussion. Uh, whoops. My bad.

Today was better though. I didn’t have any school, so I was able to take some time to cook and work on homework. I made acorn squash soup from scratch, and let me tell you. It was the best thing I’ve had while on this diet, by far.

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I miss bread…

So far, I haven’t had much trouble keeping to the Whole30 diet. I didn’t really have any withdrawal symptoms from not having sugar, which I am more than thankful for. But I do really miss bread. I can’t just make a quick peanut butter sandwich anymore. I went to Steak’N’Shake with some friends a few days ago, and not until we got there did I realize not only could I not get a milkshake, I couldn’t get a cheese burger either. Which isn’t all bad. It kept me from eating junk that I didn’t need. But still. I just sat there with my water, taking in all my friends’ weird looks.Don’t get me wrong, I still had a good time. It was just really strange to just sit there while everyone else ate. It used to be when other people eat, I would eat, too. Not so much anymore. I have to be more mindful about when I eat and what I eat, which is what my goal was. Now I just have to stick with it.

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“The god of millions” and me.

“One of the greatest sins of the Unites States is gluttony. Food has become the god of millions.” These are the words of Pastors Bud and Betty Miller in their What the Bible Says about Gluttony. And I couldn’t agree more.

I, too, struggle with food. And it seems to just keep getting worse. Every time I try to cut back, my body rebels and ends up just wanting more. It’s this vicious cycle that I can’t seem to break. Just last night I polished off a new bag of chips by myself. And it wasn’t that I was hungry. I was watching a movie and just felt I needed something to munch on. Like that, most of what I eat, I eat mindlessly. I don’t need it. Most of the time I don’t even really want it either. It’s just there. Or I eat because I think I’ll get hungry later and won’t get a chance to get food, like when I work 8-hour shifts.

So to make myself more aware of what I’m eating, my friend and I are doing a diet called Whole 30. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s no sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, MSG, carrageenan, or sulfites for thirty days. There’s also no alcohol or tobacco products, but I personally don’t do either of those things, so it’s not that big a deal to me.

The first day didn’t go as planned. I played frisbee with a group of friends, but forgot my water bottle. The only thing to drink was Gatorade, which not surprisingly, and I didn’t remember this until after I had already had some, has sugar in it. So, I had to “officially” officially start the next day.

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