15 days

7 May

It was the free wine that did it.

I made it 15 days out of 30 before completely falling down on the job with the Whole30 challenge adventure because of free wine (and food).  Oh, that is sad!  I went to a College Senate mixer on Thursday after work, and lo and behold, I was handed 2 free drink tickets and on the tables sat a passel of serving trays offering onion rings, sliders, and chips and salsa (there were chicken and shrimp skewers as well, but let’s not beat around the bush here.)  The devil on my shoulder said “DRINK THOSE NOW, THEY ARE FREE YOU IDIOT.  EAT THAT TOO.  DON’T FORGET TO DIP THOSE CHIPS IN SOME QUESO.”  (My inner devil is kind of a yeller).  And so I did.  *sigh*  Part of it was that I didn’t eat beforehand and was heading to another social event after the mixer (life has been busy lately).  But let’s get real—I didn’t adequately inoculate myself against the smell of fresh fried food and the possibility of free booze.  Not good booze, per se.  Just free.  So I was ready for a big crash.

I could say I’m disappointed in myself, and of course I am a little, but frankly I’m impressed that I was able to stick with something so radical as long as I did, and I know I’ll try it again since I liked the (temporary) results.  Seriously, in the end, it’s just a damn diet.  It’s not Sophie’s Choice.

But it’s not just that the diet is restrictive—no grains, alcohol, dairy, sugar, or legumes—it’s the socializing part that’s the biggest challenge.  And that little devil.  

30 days doesn’t seem like much, but having the discipline to go out to dinner when there’s bread at the table, or when friends are having a beer or glass of wine, or everyone wants to grab dessert, or visiting a new friend’s house and the table is covered in brownies, pita chips and hummus (my favorite, and illegal in both instances) and free wine—that’s a head trip.  It’s amazing how your own brain can completely undermine you.  Shut UP, you.  

I can't help it--this picture makes me laugh heartily.

Of course it would be easier to stay home for a month, but that’s not really the point, is it?  There are ALWAYS going to be temptations, and even if I didn’t stick to this paleo thing 100%, people eat like crap regularly with the chips/fried cheese/french fries/etc. (and that was just me on the Derby Day bar crawl last weekend with a couple of martinis…when I fail, baby, I go BIG TIME!)  I’m always going to have to make a choice of easy (and sometimes tasty) versus healthy.  And really—I’m making the choices.  I’m a big girl.  Those pita chips didn’t jump into my belly—I put them there.  

But that devil—that devil is the WORST.  I can’t say that I was feeling 100% awesome during those two weeks, but I wasn’t feeling any worse, and I wanted to see if I could do it.  But the voice in the back of my brain whispered “It’s not that bad.  You know you want to.  You’ve been so good!  How bad can it be?”  And then it gets louder: “You are really hungry.  Look at all that delicious salty food.  Mmm…wine.  Smacky smackity smack—I’d bet that would be so tasty.  And you’re not paying for it!  Just drink it!  Ooh, french fries…”  I resisted that little bastard for two weeks, but then I lost focus.  Who knew something so silly (in the grand scheme of things) could be such a bizarre negative mental trip??

So, Mr. Temptation: I have been beaten by you, sir.  I have failed.  TODAY.  But that’s ok!  I will try again soon.  I will look you in the face and say to your lackeys, NOT TODAY, CHIPS AND QUESO!  NOT TODAY.  And maybe next time I will not schedule my next Whole30 challenge adventure when leaving town on a beach retreat SURROUNDED BY BAGELS AND SNACKS AND WINE, or working 12 hours at the election without being able to leave nor with access to refrigeration, or flying home to see my parents.  Maybe my next Whole30 can during a time of relative social quiet.  And hey, I’ve already tested some recipes and strategies, so that’s half the battle right there.  You gotta just keep trying, right?

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