Back in January of 2017, I created a Declutter Cleanse in an effort to simplify my life. I had completed the Whole 30 way of eating back in October, and I couldn’t believe how much easier this made my life.
This got me thinking that there were other areas in my life where I might be able to remove things in order to have more space (physical and mental).
Did you know that there is such a thing as decision fatigue? Our brain has limited capacity for decision making. This is why it may seem easier at dinner time go out to eat instead of thinking about what to make at home. The less decisions your mind has to make in the present moment, the more likely you are to stick with your original plan.
In the beginning of 2017, I set a goal to go through the year without sugar, flour, or alcohol.
Here are some highlights of this (sobering) experiment:
-I did a 5 mile run through Washington, DC while attending a Bachelorette weekend. It was so awesome to enjoy all the festivities of the weekend, which included a silk wraps class, without dealing with an alcohol and food hangover.
-We went to Florida for a family vacation. Some of the highlights of the trip were playing with my kids at the beach, attending the Naples Zoo, and eating a ton of crap legs on a date night with my husband (not having to worry about who would drive), and returning home without gaining one pound.
-I became extremely diligent about meal planning and grocery shopping. I always had snacks on hand for myself. I stalked Pinterest for recipes that my whole family would eat.
-I hosted my son’s second birthday party complete with yummy treats I created myself. In the process of making these, I didn’t take one lick or bite of them.
I really didn’t miss the alcohol, but I was starting to dream of chocolate brownies, ice cream sundaes, and anything with peanut butter. I tried Halo ice cream, but it just didn’t hit the spot. I experimented with other keto type desserts without success.
Then in May, my husband and I went to Puerto Rico for a wedding. The first night there, the bride and groom treated us to the most amazing dinner experience at one of their favorite restaurants. It was a pre-planned menu made up of samplings of all the dishes the restaurant offered.
I ended up ordering my first alcoholic drink of 2017. It was some awesome concoction with bourbon and caramel and it was lit on fire so it had this crystalized sugar around the edge…it was something I had never seen before! It was worth the downfall of my 2017 food and alcohol cleanse.
I ate most of the food that we received and even had the desert which fulfilled my long-time hankering for something sweet. The food was such high quality that I didn’t feel the least bit sluggish or bloated the next day.
Throughout the trip I enjoyed a glass of champagne while toasting my friend’s beautiful wedding, wine while having a lazy lunch on the beach with my husband, a Pina colada (or 3) poolside, and a signature cocktail at Ruth Chris’ Steak House.
Once we returned home from Puerto Rico, I fell into a more casual relationship with alcohol, sugar and flour. Even though I hadn’t made it through the whole year eliminating these substances, I felt confident in myself knowing I went four months without them. The experiment proved to myself that I could eliminate something, if need be, and I would be absolutely fine.
The remainder of the year, I made choices about food based on how I wanted to feel after I consumed the food. Since I have spent the last year experimenting with my diet, I easily fell into a pattern of rarely eating refined carbs and dairy. I realized that my body needs whole grains to function properly. If I don’t have them, I feel constant hunger.
The biggest change that came out of the cleanse is my relationship with alcohol. I rarely drink at home, except for special occasions. I just don’t enjoy it as much anymore. And honestly, I would rather eat something that’s decadent and delicious than drink alcohol.
You may be wondering about my weight after incorporating a cleaner diet? I thought for sure I would be one of those people who drop five pounds after eliminating dairy. Nope. I am basically the same weight today as I was when I started the Whole 30 over a year ago. I fluctuate, like normal, by about five pounds.
My mind is so confused by this lack of weight loss and would like me to believe that I have to pretty much starve myself to lose weight. But my body tells me differently and since that is what gets me through my day, I chose to listen to it – most of the time ;-).
As of today, my mentality around food is all things in moderation. I don’t cut myself off from anything completely and try to pay attention to what my body is telling me, which is kind of where I was before I started this food journey ;-).
Remember that everyone’s body operates differently. There is so much information out there that can overwhelm you when it comes to nutrition and weight loss.
I love to try little self-improvement type experiments so this whole food thing was fun for me. But in the end you need to implement what works for you and not worry about the rest.
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