operation 100-mile diet – day 30 progress report

By SOLO

Yesterday was day 30 of my 100-mile diet experiment – which means I have completed yet another bucket list item, AND have been reunited with my coffee.

Now what? So far today my breakfast, lunch and second lunch (ha!) were from within 100 miles. Although I added black pepper to everything! Of course, we have not yet gone grocery shopping, so I do foresee some nonlocal goodness in my future.

Over the course of the last month, I have been learning about my own patterns, and asking the tough questions. Although the experiment has finished, I continue to learn and ask.

I missed some foods, but not others.

My nutrition coach asked something incredible last week…
“If there are certain foods that you never missed, are they worth bringing back?”.

Hmmm…

I am asking myself if I truly need soy sauce? Or ketchup? I have missed coffee (as you well know by now), olive oil, bananas, avocados, black pepper. I have not missed ketchup. I love the empty-ish fridge without weird sauces that have not been used for months – everything there is fresh and perishable.

I needed to adjust the amount of food I was eating.

I noticed needing to adjust the amounts of food I was eating – for example, upping the number of eggs in a typical breakfast from two to three. Here’s a sample breakfast:
– 3 eggs
– a bit of sunflower oil for cooking
– 1/2 cup potatoes
– 1/2 cup or so of carrots

And here’s a sample snack:
– 1 cup of plain yogurt
– 1 peach
– 1 tbsp maple syrup
– 2 tbsp peanuts

I think my prediction of decreased protein intake and increased carbs still came true – it’s kinda hard to eat animal protein three or four times a day, so I’d resort to things like oatmeal for breakfast, or soup for lunch with toast on the side and maybe a sliced tomato. Plain yogurt with sliced fruit made a great snack, but I was not able to find Greek yogurt, so once again – protein content was down.

It’s hard to get full on less protein! I discovered that I pretty much HAD to have eggs for breakfast – anything else, and I’d be feeling dull hunger all day and munching on fruit (and more fruit) unsuccessfully trying to satisfy it.

One definite upside to this month has been feeling a bit more relaxed around the macronutrients. While the above mentioned soup with toast would not be my lunch of choice (what with no chicken breast? or boiled eggs?), I realized that nothing scary happened over choosing such meals once in a while. And oatmeal with ACTUAL peaches and ACTUAL cream is absolutely luxurious.

I am the queen of anticipatory eating.

If anticipatory eating is not a thing, it should be. Because I am the queen of it. That’s eating when you are not really hungry, in case you get hungry later. Yeah, I know it doesn’t make sense. Yet this is what happens when I bring Quest bars (just in case) when I travel, and then end up eating them, just because they are there. Or pack lunch to take with me to a coffee shop (for WHEN I get hungry), only to eat it as soon as I sit down. What if I actually WAITED to be hungry? Radical, right? Sigh…

I kept up my strength, but lost weight.

Over the last month, my strength has been pretty good – no changes that I have noticed, but I’ve been taking naps more often and feeling a bit more “bruisy” and sore. I have also hurt my back few weeks ago, and it’s been slower than usual to heal. I will be curious how this will change, once I up the protein and return to my beloved BCAAs.

I am also feeling smaller, thinner and softer. I am not sure if I like it yet. 🙂 I am five to seven pounds lighter than I started – not surprising, given that I have cut out sugary snacks entirely by sticking to foods from within 100 miles of my house. Most weight has been lost in the first week or two (when I also felt moderately hungry), and it took adding some extra carbs (homemade bread, pasta or potatoes) to even out the satiety. As I added the carbs, the weight has stabilized.

I’d say that my weight fluctuates five to seven pounds, depending on where I am in the season – so I am on the light end of normal right now. I would not mind hanging onto the weight loss for at least the next few weeks – that’s five pounds less that I have to carry up the mountain in Squaw Valley (Spartan Championship is two weeks away!). 🙂

I would not mind hanging onto the weight loss for the next few weeks though – that’s five pounds less that i have to carry up the mountain.

It is quite restrictive to eat this way.

It continues to boggle my mind that eating only foods that come from within 100 miles of your house represents such a radical departure from the norm. Eating this way was restrictive.

How do I know when a particular way of eating is too restrictive? When I start “cheating” – sneaking samples in a store, invoking the “special occasion” rule is a bit too often, considering buying a coffee while I’m out, because “no one would know”. I have no desire to cheat when I stick to my regular “diet” – because I eat whatever I want. Nothing to push against.

Of course, restriction is only way to look at this experiment. What is also true is that we CHOSE to eat this way for a month, and while I almost drove myself to insanity smelling coffee everywhere, it was worth every moment.

This is what I will be working on for the next few weeks – reframing. Have you ever tried local 4.8% milk? How restrictive is that really? What about fresh vegetables – most of them grown in our own garden or on the neighbouring fields – only a short run away.

IMG_5736

I am the designer.

That’s another brilliant thing my coach told me, when I shared my concerns about overeating after this experiment was over. That’s what you are SUPPOSED to do, right? I mean I practically planned for it in my initial post.

And I quote:

In the first few days and weeks, after the experiment is over, I expect to overeat many of the “forbidden” foods. I am human, and will probably react to restriction just like any other human would – compensatory eating. I could be optimistic and shit, and tell you how I will aim to stick to meat and veggies, and just re-introduce coffee with local organic cream, but that’s probably not what is going to happen. Instead, I will spend a week with my face in a peanut butter jar, holding a cookie in each hand, and feeling like a failure. That’s ok. This too shall pass. [And the fact that I can anticipate and plan this is pretty freaking incredible. Even though it will still feel awful during].

I KNEW that restriction leads to overeating. I made peace with it, for God’s sake.

Except… what if I didn’t have to overeat? If I didn’t miss protein bars and cookies for a month, do I HAVE to eat them now just because I can? If I CHOSE not to eat certain foods for the last four weeks, why not continue making that choice today and tomorrow?

Can I choose to bring back what adds value, and leave out everything else? Unless I really really want a cookie, of course?

You know what the hardest thing is? That this approach leaves the ball in MY court. Oh, but I just spent a month in restriction – poor me! No protein bars or anything! Must eat all the things! See how easy that is? Just like that, I let go of the steering wheel, and settle in on autopilot. With a bag of chips on my lap.

I AM the fucking designer.

Do ask me in a couple of days, how the designing is going, will ya?

Missed earlier posts? Read the blog post announcing the experiment and the guidelines, as well as my 10-day  progress report and 20-day progress report.

Hugs,
SOLO

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Posted September 16, 2015

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