Day 52… I think? I don’t know, I’ve been a bit absent, haven’t I. There’s a reason for that, but it’s not a good one. It’s a guilty one and not one I’m proud of. As for the last two days, I have slowly and steadily, but truly madly deeply fallen off the wagon.
When I started this blog, I made a promise to myself to keep this as an honest account of my challenge. And it has been for the most part. When I’ve over-indulged on dates or other fruit or even when I tucked into the tricky treats at Halloween, it has been recorded on this blog for all to read.
It was important for me to be honest for a number of reasons. I wanted to be able to look back and see patterns between what I was eating and the level of pain I was in. I wanted a place where I could be 100% candid and reflective. I wanted to be held accountable. And I wanted to make sure that if I was finding this challenge difficult then anybody else stumbling across this blog and thinking of embarking on a similar journey wouldn’t get the impression that it was easy and then feel bad if they fell off the wagon also.
But the absence of blog posts over the last few days is dishonest. It may not be lying. But it’s definitely withholding information. This is part of the reason why it’s so important (in my opinion) to keep a daily blog entry – and I mean DAILY – when doing something like this. I think if you don’t, it’s easier to allow things to get out of hand.
It started off not so bad. I reintroduced nuts into my diet as I felt I needed something to snack on that wasn’t dried fruit. That seemed to go well. No adverse reactions. But I didn’t leave it long enough until reintroducing the next item, which was eggs. Despite not leaving it long enough, that seemed to go well too. No noticeable reaction to eggs. Good times. And then it all just went wrong.
Last Friday, I ended up having a full English breakfast for lunch, which also had tomatoes on it. I had them swap out all the non-paleo foods such as beans and bread and hash browns and swapped in some sweet potato fries so I was definitely still in a more positive state of mind at that stage. But the sausages were almost definitely not gluten free and it was the first day I was introducing eggs (too soon) so I definitely shouldn’t have been having tomatoes yet. That was bad day number 1.
I didn’t blog on Friday. I told myself I was too tired and it was OK to miss one day, but really I think I was feeling guilty. I had put so much hard work into the elimination stage of the diet. Why was I falling off the wagon so close to the finish line?
The weekend went by without any issues, but then it would. I don’t cheat when people are watching – especially boyfriend. I’ve said before that he’s sacrificed so much and has been such an amazing support. It’s not fair to him if I don’t put in the effort on my side. He can never know how incredibly hard this diet has been at times though. And it’s difficult to be perfect all the time.
Yesterday, I had been pain free for a number of days. And that’s when I realised I was invincible. The whole thing had just been a big mix up. It was just an infection, which means I don’t have any food intolerances, which means I can basically just reintroduce anything I want at any time… including half a bar of dark chocolate. Wow. I can literally talk myself into anything.
So I ate the chocolate. And gave myself a headache. I haven’t had caffeine in over six weeks. My body wasn’t happy. But I didn’t listen. Today, when nobody was looking, I did something so out of character, I can’t even believe I did it. I ate a ton of flapjack. Basically oats, butter and sugar. Three things which are explicitly banned not only on AIP, but on paleo. Good one, Sam.
But it gets worse. I somehow managed to rationalise the flapjacks to myself by looking at the ingredients and seeing there was no gluten in them. I think I actually remember the words ‘well, if I’m going to cheat, at least it’s not gluten’ running through my head. But not two hours later, I was eating chocolate brownie and millionaire shortbread. Definitely gluten containing frankenfood. It was like someone just opened the floodgates… except the gates were my pain and the flood was ALL THE FOOD I’M NOT ALLOWED. Ridiculous.
At some point in the day I also decided not to order my usual loose leaf peppermint tea, but instead ordered a gingerbread latte. So caffeine as well.
It’s fair to say that today has been the worst day of this diet so far. I literally cannot believe that it happened and I think I might not have been of sound mind when it did. How could someone just lose control on such a huge scale? I have a couple of theories:
- Diets that are overly strict such as elimination diets naturally make you want the things you can’t have. Once you give in a little bit, it’s a slippery slope
- Part of me thought I could get away with it. Maybe I’m hoping all the pain was just an infection and I can eat what I want.
- The need to rebel!
So, how do I feel now? Terrible. It definitely wasn’t worth it. As well as the headache I had yesterday, I now feel pretty nauseas as well and I’m starting to get a stomach ache. This must be how really small kids feel on Christmas morning when they let loose on ALL the selection boxes. I also feel emotionally a bit pummelled and I feel like I’ve let myself down. But worst of all, I think I’m detecting the tiniest twinge in my bladder. This is definitely not a good sign as I haven’t had any pain in over a week now.
What can I take from this that’s positive? I think every setback and failure can be learned from. I also think it’s perfectly OK to fail as long as you do learn from it, so here’s me not rationalising my behaviour, but trying to turn it into something I can use to get me through tomorrow cheat-free.
- I have done my body good by how I’ve been treating it over the last few weeks. This may be a setback, but it doesn’t necessarily mean square one. I’m starting from a better stage of health than before.
- Because I haven’t been ‘treating myself’ every day, my body is giving me quick feedback about the foods I’m eating. It’s telling me to lay off the freaking sugar and gluten. Duh! It’s been telling me that for months. But it does let me know almost instantly now. I felt dizzy, almost drunk straight after.
- There are still eight days left of this challenge. Let’s get back to elimination + nuts + eggs and back to daily blogging.
I want to end by saying sorry for abandoning you over the last few days. You probably thought because I was pain-free I didn’t think I needed you guys any more. But that’s not true. I was just too ashamed to show my words. But here they are… as honest and candid as they can be. And hopefully tomorrow, they’ll be reading a little bit differently.
How do you break bad habits and stop yourself from falling off the bandwagon?