Hump day! Almost to the weekend, almost to the end of our challenge. Hopefully you guys will keep up your newfound (or normal) routine in eating clean. Finding a good balance is the key here. Time to do a little reflecting. Think about where you struggled. Was it really that hard? Were you able to overcome it? What came out of it? What have you noticed with your energy, sleep, recovery, performance in the gym/activities? Did you have an overall good or bad experience and why? What do you think you could have done better? What do you think we could have done better? Do you have plans or goals to continue eating the way you do?
A handful of us are watching Fed Up tonight at 9:15pm at the Varsity Theater on the Ave. There is an earlier showing at 7:10pm if the later showing doesn’t work for your schedule (Amy K. will be at that showing). Join us if you can!
A testimonial from one of our athletes (on hiatus), Danny G. (2012)
“My food testimony.
My Whole30 challenge was a remarkable experience with a thousand little caveats I could cover. I mean, I definitely lost some weight, I got an energy boost, I ate 5,000 coconuts, I improved gym performance etc etc. But I think what was most surprising was the heightened awareness I gained of my social and emotional draws to eating. And I thought I might focus on that for the intents and purposes of this testimonial.
So let me start by saying that probably the #1 reason I avoided any kind of diet in the past is because I was worried about becoming “that person.” Or at least that’s what I often hear others call it –”that person” who says they can’t eat the delicious (or not so delicious) meal you just prepared for them because they are too vegan, too allergic, too something. I grew up learning to clean my plate whether I liked it or not. In the two years I lived in the Philippines I prided myself on eating all of NOT my favorite foods like duck fetus and pig’s blood surprise (side note: there is not enough sprite in the world to wash down pig’s blood surprise) –just so I would be a respectable guest. Like many of us overly sensitive types, I often become annoyingly invested in not hurting other’s feelings. So I’ve stuck with that, and for a long time I’ve just ate (and drank) mindlessly with the crowd. Ironically this way of being probably played some part in why I chose to participate in the Whole30 challenge. So many people around the gym were doing it. And never to be the one without an invitation to the party, I thought it might be fun to give it a try.
Like 3 days after I signed up for the challenge we had that big January snowstorm in Seattle. My friends decided to celebrate with pizza, Hot Toddys and drunken winter walks through the park. I packed a thermos of hot tea and some almonds and trudged my way over to the festivities. When I showed up, my friends were relatively supportive, although definitely a little confused as to why I was doing this to myself during this magical snow week (and couldn’t I just put it off another week so I could enjoy myself?). It was torture to watch them eat with reckless abandon. At the risk of sounding dramatic, I honestly don’t know how I got through that night. My almonds tasted like sand, and as the night progressed their laughter got louder and I got exhausted. I ended up heading home around 9:30pm feeling sorry for myself.
The next 2 weeks went similarly to that night. I found myself avoiding a lot of social events or just leaving early when I would go. One thing that was really helpful was to read the experience of other CrossFitters who were participating in the challenge. Many of their experiences were similar to how I felt and I started allowing myself to really process what was going on for me. And I have to say, that once I allowed myself to really THINK about what was going on — well, It was simply profound to observe the many eating habits I’ve developed over the years. For example, I realized my tendency to order out when I’m tired from work or hadn’t packed a lunch. I found that I had neglected cooking skillsets (my food processor had missed me!!!). Most significantly I became painfully aware of HOW MUCH I WANT TO EAT WHEN I’M BORED. The more these things came to light the more powerful I felt, and the more I would post on our little Whole30 challenge email chain. People talk about their emotional attachments to food all the time, but I really didn’t ever see how much it pertained to me specifically.
I simply can’t neglect to mention the support of my awesome partner who played a huge role in my success. He put up with a lot of irritability and prepared many Whole30 approved foods when it was his turn to cook. By week 3 all the payoffs you read about in many of the other testimonies began to happen for me. And I was learning so much about myself.
So also sometime after the 3rd week a particular group of friends wanted to go get sushi. Because I was starting to feel really excited about the progress I was making, I decided to join in. It was a completely different experience from snow week. I walked into the evening committed to what experience I was going to have that night. I knew the foods I wanted to order, the mood I wanted to put out and I challenged myself to enjoy connecting to the people around me more than the food I ate or drank. And it totally worked. I had a wonderful evening. My friends had observed my commitment to the program over the weeks and were accustomed to the fact that I would be doing my own thing at the dinner table. In retrospect I believe they just needed some time to meet the new Danny. And I also had the thought that of course my friends wanted me to feel successful in my goals. I just hadn’t made any before! As I walked home that night with my sober and energetic mind I thought: wow. I HAVE BECOME “THAT PERSON” AND IT’S NOT SO BAD!!!
So fast forward to today and I have to admit that I feel like I’m writing this testimony somewhere closer to the middle of my journey in figuring out my food relationshit (typo and it stays) issues and the foods I’m okay with eating. And that is okay, because I imagine that some others out there might be right there with me. I do know, thanks to the challenge that the end goal for me will have a great deal to do with moderation and mindfulness in all foods I consume. To some extent I knew that before I started, but now I actually have an experience that helps me understand what that looks like and the amount of discipline that is required to achieve it. And that newfound understanding was the most amazing gift to give to myself!
Best to all of you in your food discoveries!!!!!!!!!!!”