Or: What Garbage Will I Eat Now?
I spent 4 weeks eating “clean” in July and August as part of #SexyShred:
- no preservatives
- no pork
- little beef
- few oils
- most cheeses eliminated
- few processed foods
- no white rice or white flour
- organic fruits and veggies
- no added sugars or sweeteners other than honey or molasses
Their version of clean eating is a variation on common styles that might prohibit any added sugars at all, but wouldn’t disallow pork.
I felt pretty amazing. I’ve been working through all sorts of food stuff the last few months, discovering what foods trigger more overeating, what foods negatively affect my mood. #SexyShred came at a good time in that process. (Thanks, Dre!)
Once I eliminated a whole bunch of crap (in line with the list above), a lot of the general “noise” in my mind and body about food quieted. I craved less often, and for less time per craving. Tummy discomfort eased. I didn’t think about food as often.
Some things were friggin’ hard. I took the treasurer position in that month, and that’s a lot of work. Church and other meetings keep me away from home until 20-21:00 three or four nights a week. I ended up eating pretty raw some nights as a result–fresh fruit, nuts, etc.
I’m lucky in that I already know how to cook. I got the impression that some folks in the challenge weren’t very experienced at that. I was able to improvise and adapt, given time. Which I was low on.
The management team was pretty clearly tired of running the challenge, and I wasn’t too surprised when they called a hiatus to #SexyShred, with the intent to return at the beginning of 2014.
But now it’s over.
I traveled the remainder of August, and while I made fairly healthy choices, I didn’t eat rigorously clean.
September was pretty bad. Lots of crappy foods, and while I ran some, I didn’t lift weights, didn’t aim for 10k steps a day, didn’t do yoga or any crosstraining. I gained some weight, lost some fitness, and managed stress poorly. Clearly a too-far swing the other way.
One longer-term solution is to go back to eating normal foods. Ho hum, noisy body, but oh hey, easily-accessible and very tasty foods.
The more obvious solution, perhaps, is to find a much cleaner middle ground. Starting October 1, I’m working from the #SexyShred base and opting in carefully to more normal foods. For instance, sushi is happening. I don’t give a damn about white rice in that context; sushi is on. Rice as a side or a filler (á la Chinese food), I’ll pass. I’ll work on easing my sweet tooth, because hoo, boy, honey is amazing.
It’s a little embarrassing how quickly I go through a jar of honey.
Weightlifting is flowing a little easier. I consider working out to be pretty essential self-care, right up there with journalling and meditative study. I lifted last night, and while it was a little rough (and lo, the aftermath), it felt good even to do my warm-up jump roping.
I don’t know if I’ll do the official #SexyShred in January. I had some internal friction about the way some of the leaders chose to interact with the community. The line between “tough love” and “fear mongering” can be a fuzzy one; my interpretation edged towards “fear mongering” often enough that I might sit out the next one.
#SexyShred was incredibly eye-opening, though. I hadn’t really heard of clean eating, and learned a hell of lot about my body and my various neuroses in that month. Now I just have to move forward with the lessons learned.