Food represents a wealth of emotions for most people: Joy, Achievement, Pain, Anxiety, Celebration, Happiness, Stress...and the list goes on. The emotions and ideas that food triggers lie on such a vast scale and are different for everyone. Think about it - when people come to your house, where do you gather? The kitchen. When family and friends come to visit what is one activity you almost always do together - Go Out to Eat or Cook a Big Meal. Most Holidays are attached to principal dishes that trigger thousands of memories - Grandma's Ambrosia Salad @ Christmas, Turkey @ Thanksgiving, Ham @ Easter, Box of Chocolates for Valentine's Day. Food is also a very private thing, many people reward or punish themselves with food or beverages. Someone once said food is as sensitive a subject as Politics & Religion.
So I had to ask myself - why am I taking on the 30 days of Paleo Challenge? Is it simply because I love a good challenge and want to see if I can do it? If at the end of this 30 days I go out and "celebrate" with some non-paleo food what then have I trained my brain to do?
The Answer: More Bad Habits. This is about changing your lifestyle not taking on a challenge and returning to bad habits when you've completed it.
Ardith, a CrossFit Central client and powerhouse entrepreneur recently came to speak with the coaches & staff about being debt free. She said that you have to make decisions from a place of power and live in an abundant mindset vs. a poverty mentality. It is more powerful to say I choose not to buy those pair of jeans than to look at the jeans longingly and think, "I can't afford those jeans" :( Turns out the same kind of decision making applies to food choices.
The third time I sat across from a basket of corn chips & salsa I didn't flinch, it didn't even seem appealing. So there within lies my progress! Now going to a TexMex restaurant and not having chips and salsa is not a big deal. I now choose to not to eat the chips and salsa vs. looking at the salty crispy goodies thinking oh man I could have just one!!
Bottom Line - Eat good, clean foods most of the time. You know what will happen to your body if you don't so be ready for the consequences (no energy, bloated, sluggish, stomach ache, etc). I think many people get into a cycle of disappointment. Example: Suzy eats a cupcake after dinner one night. She feels guilty because it's not on her "plan" or "diet" So the next day she thinks I'll fast until lunch and eat a good lunch. Lunchtime rolls around at the office and she eats what she packed - Cabbage, chicken, and a few nuts with lots of water. Suzy holds off until dinner time to "make up" for that cupcake she ate the night before...problem is now she's REALLY hungry. So at dinner time she eats 2Xs as much as she should, plus a few handfuls of nuts, and some yogurt and fruit. Suzy goes to bed sluggish, bloated, and feeling guilty...and the cycle of disappointment begins again.
Instead wake up the next day, give thanks, and eat good clean food.