I don’t make resolutions, but obviously I set a lot of goals. Right now, I’m revisiting a bodybuilding eating plan that I successfully completed last summer. Like most people, I enjoyed my holiday cookies and New Year’s Eve Taco Bell to the fullest extent and it’s time to get back on the wagon.
My plan isn’t something I read on the internet – it’s handed to me by my doctor who has been coaching my nutrition for a year and a half. But to sum it up, I skip sugars (including most fruit), starches, most dairy, alcohol, and red meat. I load up on lean proteins, vegetables, water, coffee, and tea. It’s more complex than that, but you get the idea.
Oh, and I get one blessed cheat meal a week (sans alcohol). Anything I want, as long as I work out.
Today is Day Three; a wretched day. Day one and two flew by. “I feel fine!” I said naively. After lunch today, the withdrawal hit. On the car ride home from work, my stomach churned, my head ached, and I had to turn the radio off because I couldn’t handle the noise.
Lucky for me, I’ve experienced this before – I know what to do. (Last year, Thor literally had to wrestle a cookie out of my hand in the first week as I screamed, “I neeeeed it!!!”). After eating a healthy snack, I felt better; not the satisfying rush that a Snickers bar could provide, but better.
Then I set to work on what I call an “Accountability Chain”. It’s not a new idea and you’ve probably seen them around before.
For me, I took a Martha Stewart magazine and cut it into a bunch of strips (77 to be exact) to make a paper chain. On each chain goes a number for each day, and I make a BIG chain for every seventh day. On that very special big chain, I also write a non-food related reward, like “Get a pedicure.”
Each night, I tear off a chain, slowly making my way through eleven weeks of eating clean.
The 77th chain is extra large, and it says, “Eat some brownies and go to Hawaii” which is exactly what I plan to do that week.
In the meantime, don’t invite me to happy hour (last year I learned that drunk people are realllllly boring when you’re sober), and forgive me if I seem tense. I’m not taking steroids, I promise.