Forgive me Father, for I have eaten cannoli...

Take two and call me in the morning.
Whooo doggies, my joints are achin'!  My wedding ring is snug.  My tummy hurts.  Kinda full.  Sharp pains.  Going potty isn't as easy as it was a few weeks ago.  My ankles look like I'm eight months pregnant... And I've had to start wearing my glasses at night and in really dim lighting.  I feel bloated, gross, and old.  Even the flesh around my neck feels poofy and stifling up on my chin... Dear Lord, are there TWO chins already??

It started the morning Matt arrived in Massachusetts.  The prior week was a nerve wracking agenda of flying to Texas, booking another flight within hours of departing on my Austin flight, attending a time and brain intense (albeit insanely awesome and informative) Paleo Symposium, playing with Olive, early wake-ups, late bed times, more flights, stupidly tight connections, seeing my dad, re-meeting my paternal family after nearly a decade of non-communication... and 24-7 of watching Baba's final breaths.  During this time, I was able to accurately and easily sustain myself on homemade beef jerky, macadamia nuts, dried fruit, and a few Paleo dinners here and there.  All the rest of the time, I just didn't eat.  Couldn't.  But my body felt good.  My mind was sharp.  I was calm.  At least I think I was calm... Matt can better attest to (or more likely, DENY) that assertion.

At least I got my servings of vegetables - spinach, tomatoes, basil... right?
I lost my grandmother on Monday.  I helped my aunts with funeral preparations and miscellaneous errands on Tuesday.  I eagerly awaited Matt's arrival late late late Tuesday night... which conveniently marked the end of my prepacked Paleo snacks.  And then it started - the rapid tumble down the carbohydrate hill...  A sandwich hereA donut and iced coffee thereA rice ball.  A crispelli.  A cannoli.  Some pizza.  Some more pizza.  We had Regina's, but still needed to give Tripoli's a try.  Wash it all down with a few beers.

Aside from the biological and digestive implications... I just plain felt like shit.  By the time Matt left to return to LA, I had spent five solid days of self-medicating with sugar and carbies.  I was numb to the stressors, events, and expeditiousness of the previous week and a half.  And when I boarded my plane in Manchester en route to Austin via Detroit... I promised myself I'd leave all of it behind.  The Food Therapy would stay in Massachusetts... But it didn't.  It followed me to Austin.  I did a hearty amount of damage to my blood sugar levels in two and a half days.  But now... now I am on a plane again.  After a Salt Lick BBQ combo plate, a "tiny" serving of Amy's Ice Cream... and some Jelly Belly Jelly Beans... I AM leaving it here... at 32,000 feet, somewhere over Deming, NM.  My wild ride with Mr. Toad is coming to a close.  I will be home.  In my own kitchen.  With the comfort of my routine and the return to CrossFit after a three week hiatus.  And that feeling of normalcy can't come soon enough.

What am I looking forward to the most?
* No swelling - in my fingers, feet, or ankles
* Clarity of thought - go away brain haze!  I had some great things in the works until you set in...
* Not needing my glasses at night - don't understand this one?  Ask me.
* Feeling good in my new post-Whole30 jeans again
* Normal, comfortable, regular potty breaks
* Getting back in the gym and lifting heavy, moving quickly, and doing another pull-up

Conveniently enough, somewhere between Regina's and Mike's Pastry while strolling through the North End, the Whole9 posted a fabulous and timely article on how to survive life after a Whole30.  (Read this article!  It is fantastic!)  I'm pretty sure not everyone starts day 31 with a family tragedy... but I knew it was an important article for both me and Matt at the time.  The article makes suggestions to journal the triggers that throw you off track.  And to journal repeatedly.  The more data, the easier it is to find a pattern.  Since reading the post, I have documented the location, the time, the people present, the feelings, and the actions that accompanied my habits these past two weeks.  And I will continue to journal every time I struggle.  I like problem solving!

And with that, I want you all to know that I didn't "fall off the wagon"... I'm not "getting back on my diet"... instead I look at it like this:

I accept responsibility for the choices I have made about my food.  I was in a highly emotional, stressful, and unique situation where I did the best I could for as long as I could.  When the one element of comfort and security entered into the picture, I felt safe and protected and resorted to food to enhance those feelings in that situation.  I did not "fall off the wagon."  I am not "going back on my diet."  This is part of who I am.  Part of my journey.  Tomorrow I will choose to eat the foods that I know will nourish my mind and body.  I will not look back.  I will not punish myself (either with food, a lack of food, or exercise).  I will not verbally or mentally beat myself up.  I will pick up where I left off three weeks ago... cooking, documenting, exercising, planning, playing, and laughing...  And that is that.  Life. Will. Go. On.

It's okay to hurt.  It's okay to make a choice that isn't a good one.  But be able to acknowledge that choice or those choices for what they are.  And be strong enough to pick yourself up, dust the pastry crumbs and powdered sugar off of your face... hands... shirt... pants... maybe even out of your hair... and proudly and confidently carry on.  Life. DOES. Go. On.


  1. first of all, you didn't tell me i had powdered sugar in my hair. rude.

    secondly, i never thought of your diet as a wagon-based ride. i just hope you don't think of me (or my house) as a bump in the road. anytime you want to come here and stink up my kitchen with cabbage and pork, you know you are welcome.

  2. Thanks, Jess! Actually, the powdered sugar was from the cannoli(s) that I consumed while sitting in a rental car at the beach... I can only imagine what the guys at Enterprise must have thought when Matt returned the car. White powder was everywhere!

    I'll be stinking up your house aplenty. Hopefully sooner than later. And hopefully with my cooking and nothing else. Love you guys! You're awesome and I love your kitchen, too!