Day 14: FAQ day and Treat Yourself Tuesday

So I have dubbed Tuesdays now "treat yourself Tuesday."  Since I started my new lifestyle on a Tuesday, I thought it might be a good day to treat myself with a non-food item.  So today, I bought a beautiful feather clip for my hair.  It really is the little things.  Pic to come soon.

Since people are interested, I've been asked a few questions that I thought I would address today.

Question: Is there a good time to start this? Or should I just jump in whenever? Or is there NEVER a good time?

Well, it took me 39 years to take the plunge.  I have a few ideas about this.  I think it's symbolic to start it on a date that is remarkable, not just a random Thursday.  I'm very seriously considering starting a "group" of people who go through it together, and if I do that, it will be starting on the 1st of the month.  I think there is a psychological lift to knowing that you are doing a whole month, and the times when I'm tempted to give in, I think to myself, it's only ONE silly month, and in September I will have food A or a cool tall gin and tonic.  It's more psychological than anything.  We are already half way through the month!

Also, I think that you need at least a week to prepare yourself mentally for the changes that you are going to have to make.  There are FOR SURE things that are going to come up in a month that are going to challenge yourself, so you have to be mentally ready to not eat cake or drink champagne at a wedding, or bring your own food to a party...etc.  August was a relatively calm month for me, so that helped.  Doing in this in December would have been challenging.  Although, spoiler alert, with the exception of some red wine, I probably will be doing this in December!

How do I do this if my family will NOT participate?

It's super hard to do this if your family is not supportive.  However, this is what I will say, my family is totally on board with my decision to eat this way, but my husband and son are NOT following the plan.  So, I have a shelf in our cupboard with their food (bread, peanut butter, granola bars, cereal, cookies) that I do not TOUCH.  I cleaned off all the other shelves with only foods that I can eat.

What I find is that the boys just add some carbs to what I make. For example, I made a delicious pesto sauce last night, and Nick ate it with some of my prepped ground beef over some pasta.  Delicious meal for him, and I just left off the pasta.

You have to be firm with your loved ones and tell them that you are 100% committed, and that you need their support.  NEED. IT. TO. SUCCEED.   So no unexpected trips to the frozen custard store when you're in the car.  Mad props and respect to those who are trying to make themselves healthy.  Then you turn to a support network (ME!! ME!!) if you need emotional support.

How do you stay on track? This seems so hard and drastic!

I did two things differently this time (oh yes, my friends, I have done this before and failed.  I'm a PRO!).  This time, I told everyone I know that I was doing this challenge.  Social pressure is huge for me.  I am the kind of person, for better or worse, who cares what people think about me. (working on this, but it's true, so I'm using it to my advantage!)  So I told my yoga students, I told my Facebook friends, I told random people on the street.  There is NO WAY I will quit and have to tell all these people that I gave in to a doughnut. That is very, very motivating for me.  I think each person needs to figure out what works for them.  I have one friend who didn't want to share every step of her journey, but promised to pledge $1000.00 to the Republican National Committee (she's not a Republican) if she cheated.  The thought of parting with that money to a cause she didn't care for (*trying to be sweet here) was so horrifying to her, that she stayed on track.  Whatever works.

The other thing I did was really plan, prepare, and think about all the things that were going to have to change.  It's hard to go out with friends and not drink, it's hard to go to events and be snarfing chicken breast in the car on the way home, it's hard to eat out (holy cow can that be challenging.)  You have to be ready for the obstacles.  I think of them as hairy green monsters that pop out and try to sabotage me.  Then I pull out my cucumber guns and blow them away.  What can I say? I'm dramatic.

Dear god, Katie, this "diet" seems so boring.  What about the wonderful sweet parts of life? Like wine, chocolate, pie, donuts, french baguettes with warm butter, pasta?  Is your life worth living?

Ok, this one is the most common one I get.  It is ONE MONTH, people.  I am not going to live the rest of my life without chocolate.  Fact.  But the thing is, I have an issue with food.  I workout 10 hours a week and my body has not changed.  The key for me is getting control of my eating habits.  The things I was eating were making me fatter, sluggish, lethargic and blah.  Eating Paleo makes me feel healthy, strong, and vibrant.  I sleep better, I think clearer, I'm not as up and down and all over the place emotionally.  My face is clear, I'm losing weight, I'm happier.   So, at the end of the month I am going to assess my life, and decide what to do from there.  I plan to keep eating this way 95% of the time, and once and awhile have a KILLER treat...something so good it's worth the pain I'll feel later.

The other thing is that withdrawal from sugar and carbs was NOT fun, and I know from previous experience that even a little bit of sugar makes me crazy and I'll have to go through the withdrawal again, although not as bad. So I will save it for special occasions.

How much weight have you lost? You look great!

I have no idea.  I threw out my scale a long time ago.  The crew at Whole 9 say do not weigh yourself at all in the 30 days, and I'm heeding this advice.  I really don't give shit about the number, or even the delta, but I do care that my clothes fit better and I feel better.  I would guess about 10 or 12 lbs, but that's just a guess. I know a pair of jeans I couldn't get into before I started made my hubby say "wow, you look HOT in those jeans."  That felt really, really good.

Hope those answers are helpful.  If you have other questions, let me know in the comments and I'll answer them soon!