So, starting today I’m doing another Whole30 program, a rigorous, comprehensive diet challenge. This plan dares you to eat super-duper healthy for 30 days, eschewing processed foods, all artificial ingredients, all sweeteners, grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol, and caffeine. I really, truly love how I feel when I’m following this plan, although it does present difficulty when trying to eat anywhere other than my own home—although my home does have delicious processed foods and sugar in it, so it is not 100% safe, but my teenager would starve if I took away the bomb-shelter-appropriate “food” on which she subsists. If I could summon up the personal fortitude and moral fiber to eat like this all 365 days, I would be one chill individual indeed. (Statistics bear this out: I used the word “chill” 3 times in my last Whole30 post proclaiming victory.)
Wait, though: conflating morality with the ability to resist a substance I am addicted to is probably a terrible idea. I know many people do this; entire religions and societies are built on this idea. In that thinking, I’m not a carb/sugar addict, helpless under the iron-fisted tyranny of addiction—I’m just a weak-willed glutton. True, I do feel sick in my soul when I can’t stop eating some triggering substance, when I keep eating despite feeling full to the point of nausea, then eat some more, because it is there and as long as it is there, I cannot stop. I don’t confuse that sickness I feel with weakness, though. It is just sickness. I think if you don’t have the kind of mechanism in you that causes you to behave self-destructively, you may find it easy to simply judge that behavior and feel relief in that judgment. I know I do it all the time, in a variety of situations (“Well, I USE my turn signal, so I’m a better person. Yay for me!”).
Anyway, I’m not judging myself for my food consumption patterns, just trying to attain the supremely chillaxed feeling of ingesting only food that “promotes a healthy psychological response” (the number one guideline for Good Food in the Whole30 plan). I’m just grateful for the chance to take refuge in the strictures of the plan.
True fact: I actually blew the Whole30 already by having coffee with whole milk as a snack while doing a lunchtime scavenger hunt, but who HASN’T blown their 30-day dietary challenge while on a scavenger hunt? The caffeine tapering starts…tomorrow.