Week 3 Derby Recap

This week did not go as well as the last. It was filled with fatiguing workouts and humiliation. ( Why YES, I DO realize how dramatic that statement sounds!) I had looked forward to training all week. It was the happy place I went to during the stress of an unusual week at work, and at night as I drifted off, I thought of skating on the banked track. I’d hoped to carry over the confidence and energy of the week before, but the warm-up of the first drill quickly sapped both.

We began with another snake drill, but several of the girls in the class had trouble keeping the line spaced evenly and together. When my turn came, I ended up sprinting to even catch the next girl in line, a hurried and draining experience. My movement between girls didn’t feel as clean or focused as the last time. To compound it, when I finished my stomach was cramping horribly again–I’m beginning to think I shouldn’t eat before Saturday morning training. Either that or I just get super nervous. (Jon says it’s the blood trying to digest my food AND supply my muscles). And of course, to really push us, directly following this we sprinted for an entire minute. I really pushed myself at this point–I wanted to go for it the complete workout, but I paid for it. I haven’t ever felt like throwing up at the end of a workout, but I was sincerely afraid I would vomit all over the track. I had to take a few minutes to cool off. My asthma hasn’t been acting up at all either, which was a pleasant surprise. At least I could breathe properly through the nausea.

Yeah, that was bad. But it wasn’t humiliating–I felt like I was at least pushing myself and accomplishing something. But as you might remember, I have a well-documented struggle with the elusive box-turn. It has become my Achilles heel in a way–the thing that defeats me. So many skaters and others tell me that they had a hard time with it for a while, but that doesn’t really help me any. I feel like I won’t be able to progress or call myself a real skater until I can master this skill–it is fundamental to so many other skills and demonstrates control over your body and skilled footwork.

All that to say–we spent a good chunk of time in class on this, going back over backwards skating, and combining the two. The very worst part of the class came when Polly had us all at the rail, then called us out one at a time to show our box turn on the track. The whole class watching. Of course, who is the second person (out of the only three people) she called? That’s right, this girl. The one miserably aware of her ineptitude. Let’s just say it was UGLY. Of course everyone in the class was supportive and encouraging and no one laughed or scoffed at me, and one of the best skaters made her way over to me to help me with it when we started again. I just couldn’t get over the feeling of “publicly” failing.

Lacy was really encouraging at that point, and helped me clarify my frustration. Am I upset because I am not meeting my own standards, or because I am unfavorably comparing myself to the other (more experienced) skaters in my class? (Mostly the first, some of the latter). She was sweet and encouraging, (oh my poor fragile ego!), telling me how well I was doing, especially for only skating a few months. I know I’ll get it one day–I had at least one breakthrough: at least I attempted it on the banked track, and managed a few sloppy turns on the flat interior. Better than nothing!

This was a weekend of derby, certainly. Pre-bash, training, Sunday Veloway training, FIRST BOUT OF THE SEASON, then the after-party following. That’s a whole other post, though. For now, I leave you with a picture of me on Sunday evening with my derby-crush (whom I’m afraid might think I’m stalking her) Dusty Doublewide. I want to skate with this girl one day.



Eating Primal: Week 3 Recap

This is a bit of an awkward post. The Primal lifestyle is about more than eating, or not eating, certain foods. It’s about moving differently, sleeping differently, and paying attention. As I’ve adjusted certain behaviors and learned to listen more to my body, I’m finding myself rejoicing in small (or large) victories. I feel rested, energetic, and ready to face what comes my way. I don’t need my morning tea and I don’t dread going into work on Mondays, because I can handle the stress now. I guess I’m making it sound like a wonder drug, and it definitely isn’t–it’s hard work–but it has still helped transform my health, which in turn transforms how I approach the world.

There isn’t much new to report on the actual eating–I’ve found a good groove, and can actually come up with quite a few meal options, without needing to resort to pastas, tacos, or pizza. (Although I dearly miss our homemade pizza nights. That’s my first planned cheat meal.)  I’m trying new dishes all the time, such as liver and onions over the weekend (YUMMO). I’m really only fighting cravings in the evenings now, or when I’m at home on the weekends. And they aren’t general cravings–they’re very instance-specific or is just an appetite craving, as opposed to a hunger-craving. The difference is being hungry enough to eat anything versus craving on specific thing. For example: Saturday I was hit with a super-intense craving for a Hopdoddy’s burger, fries, and Nutella shake after derby. Last Monday it was an office mate’s birthday, and they had Tiff’s Treats deliver red velvet cake cookies to the office. I also have a bar of orange dark chocolate sitting in my fridge, waiting for a cheat night. These can be supremely difficult moments, moments that test my resolve to be as healthy as possible. In those difficult moments, I remind myself that I want transformation MORE (sometimes barely) than I want that cookie, and I’m able to walk away. And soon enough, the cravings pass. I’m hoping that one day they will stop showing up altogether.

As with any healthy lifestyle change, along with eating properly comes exercising properly. The idea behind the Primal Blueprint is that not only are we designed to eat the way a hunter-gather ate (nuts, seeds, meat & veggies), we are also designed to exercise the way he did–low level cardio, like walking, with short bursts of high-energy cardio, such as when running from a bear. So the ideal for modern man is to walk several hours a week, and then at least once a week work in a session in which you sprint short bursts of 30-40 seconds between two-ish minutes of walking. You only do this for 10-13 minutes, once or twice a week, as well as working in some weights.

I tried interval sprinting for the first time last Monday, and it was very strange to be on the treadmill for only 12 minutes. I had the oddest feeling that I hadn’t done enough–like I should get back on the treadmill. There was a surprising amount of guilt! But, I decided to trust this…”plan”, or “lifestyle” or whatever, to work. I know there are several people who will simply not believe me, who can’t get past “calorie in, calorie out”. That’s fine. But I urge you to at least do some research before dismissing it outright. And since I know I’m not very eloquent when it comes to remembering and expressing the science behind things, here is the link detailing the “Case Against Chronic Cardio“. I found it very helpful, as well as supremely freeing.

But still, all in all, I am an impatient creature. We are all impatient creatures. I have only been seriously doing this since the beginning of January, and yet I am occasionally frustrated that there has been no miracle body make-over. I do believe that in the first six months of doing this I will see incredible results, but there is still some part of me that just wants to stamp her foot when that dress still doesn’t fit the way I want it to after three weeks of self-denial. It’s like there’s this little part of me that wants instant gratification for denying that doughnut or that gelato THAT MOMENT. I have to remind myself that it isn’t going to happen overnight, and that I won’t magically shed a pound every time I pass on sugar in my tea. It’s learning a new pattern to my days, not simply a magic pill.

Having said all that though, I feel great. I feel SO great. I feel strong and clean, I am not achy or tired (unless fresh from derby!), and my skin looks fantastic. I have noticed my tummy slimming down, and my thighs are truly becoming pillars of strength, although I must credit that to the weights and all the skating I’m doing. My chiropractor even said he thinks being gluten-free has contributed to the progress my spine has made since we began treatment, which was very empowering. There is nothing like feeling that all my hard work is paying off. It’s like when you pay off a debt, or finish that painting, or get that new job–you know that all your sacrifices and perseverance and dedication directly contributed to your success. It’s taking control of your destiny in some capacity. And now that I know I can do it, there seems to be no reason not to.

Have you taken control of something? How did it make you feel?

Derby Recap: Week 2 (In Which Our Heroine Is A Bad-Ass)

I did good. I did SO good. I’ve never walked away from a practice feeling so confident and hardcore. This is a whole different ballgame than the Level 1 class. There is a major difference between Level 1 & Level 2–the first was simply learning skating while Level 2 is about applying those skills to the game of roller derby.

First up was a pace line, which we’d done before in Level 1 training. It’s fairly straightforward–skate in a line at the same pace. The girl in front peels off and skates around to catch up with the back of the line. The first highlight of the day came when my turn came. I took off and Lacy, my trainer, yelled out “Yeah Ashley, use those quads!” And then once I’d caught up to the line the girl in front of me, a longtime vet of flat-track derby turned to me and said, “That was awesome!”. It felt so good–I’ve been working out really hard at the gym on my quads & hamstrings, so it was complete validation that all that hard work is paying off.

After the pace line, we took it a step further and did a snake drill, which is essentially a pace line, except that instead of simply catching up to the back of the line, you weave through each girl in the line–high to low, high to low–until you’ve reached the front, then you tear ass around again to the back. My stomach was cramping badly as I waited for my turn–I’d eaten a bigger breakfast than was smart, and was so nervous. In Level 1 class, we didn’t do much close-quarter skating–it was learning how to handle ourselves on the track, so I wasn’t too sure about how I could handle moving so closely to so many people.

When my turn came around, I peeled off and caught up quickly. Catching up to the back of the line, I entered “the zone”–I was completely zeroed in on what I needed to do. I wasn’t thinking about what my feet were doing, if I was going to fall, if I could do it–I WAS doing it. It was simply incredible. I felt quick, agile, and powerful. And when I came around the back, the other trainer Polly yelled out to me “Ashley, that was fantastic!” I cannot tell you how proud I was–how big my smile was. It was just unreal. And then at my place at the back of the line, my stomach finally quit cramping up. I was so relieved and I couldn’t believe I’d done it–it had all happened, almost without my knowledge! At that moment, I felt like being a jammer wasn’t such a remote possibility.

We did pack work after that–practicing staying together as a pack, working on skating in very close quarters to each other, maintaining a pace. I will admit, I wasn’t nearly as strong here–I would grab at the girl so close in front of me. Luckily we stopped and learned how to “catch” the girl in front of us without throwing off her balance–a way to re-establish and slow ourselves and not trip up the pack. We also worked on clicking our skates together and not falling when making contact, since that’s going to happen in any bout. Most of my issues with pack-skating stem from my boots still not being completely broken in, so my feet (especially the right one) go numb after twenty minutes. As you might imagine, it’s rather hard to skate on numb feet. Luckily we moved on from pack-skating to learning whips!

I’d never done a whip before, but I went into it thinking it wouldn’t be difficult. And I was right! Of course it certainly helped that I had such a good whip partner in Callie, an experienced flat-track veteran from California, new to Austin & banked-track. We got up on that track and tore it up! It was so  fun–that extra burst of speed was invigorating, and I didn’t feel out of control once. And whipping a girl isn’t nearly as hard as you’d think it would be-there’s a great deal of momentum and adrenaline helping you. This drill only reinforced my belief that I’m more of an intuitive skater than technical–i just knew what to do, how my arm should feel, what my feet should do, how my balance needed to compensate. It was very validating. We did a whip drill afterwards that didn’t quite go as planned, but that’s what 8 more weeks of training is for.

After practice I was leaving when Lacy, my trainer, stopped to ask me what I thought of class that day. I admire her so much–she is a skillful skater and an excellent teacher–but I worry about over-questioning and annoying her with my chatter, so I generally try not to initiate conversation unless it’s a legitimate question. We talked a bit about what I enjoyed doing in class, and the progress I’d made since Level 1. The best part of the whole day was when she told me I definitely belonged in Level 2 and that I’d done well. I left feeling so unbelievably happy.

My mother definitely helped me to put things in perspective–on the weeks when I’m not having as bonzer a day to remember that I have done well, that I can do this. I know I’m definitely going to need to remember that in the next few weeks. And I’ve really been thinking about what Lacy said last week–we are there for ourselves, not to impress or disappoint them. It kept me focused and engaged throughout training yesterday, which I know contributed to my success. So however much work I put into it, that’s how much I’m going to get out of it. Going into it with the mindset that I should work hard in order to better myself overall is much healthier than trying to impress the trainers. Sure, their opinion matters and it felt amazing to hear their encouragement, but at the end of the day I was more proud that I had done things I wasn’t sure I could do. This week was the first time I felt that I could actually play the game instead of just circling the track, and that’s a damn good feeling. 

Derby: Level 2, Week 1 (In Which Our Heroine Gets Back in the Saddle)

One of my trainers has suggested keeping a journal during training, as a way to note down any progress made or goals met, as well as a way to form new goals or track current ones. I also like using this space as a way to remember what we worked on week by week, and as a way to encourage myself. So, a recap of my first Level 2 session:

I went into this class nervous, as I’d met several of my classmates at registration the week before, and could see how comfortable many of them were on four wheels. And it certainly didn’t help any that I knew several were repeating the class, two of whom had actually been in New Girl training before. So my thoughts were that if girls who had already been in training couldn’t make it, what chance did I, a fairly new skater, have at making the tryouts and completing the levels of evaluation? Serious reality check there, but one I am grateful for, as it made this week’s introductory class manageable and not quite as intimidating. I was reminded (by my wise sister) that anything worth doing is worth taking the time for, and that to be really great at it, of course it couldn’t happen all at once. And as soon as I realized that and relaxed, my skating was smoother and I didn’t feel so anxious to impress and please on the first day. Miracle of miracles, I felt like I belonged there, something I had been questioning the entire week before.

It was definitely an interesting first class, however. The temperature changes overnight from warm to cold and humid made the entire warehouse dangerous. We couldn’t even get on the track because it was “sweating” and would have led to several serious injuries. We skated on the flat-track portion of the warehouse floor, but even that was pushing it, as the concrete was also sweating. So we just did some low-key warm-ups and squat drills, then did some awesome stretching and talked about skate maintenance–something I’ve been needing since I first started.

This class is enormous, however, at least three times the size of my Level 1 course. The trainers are excited, as this means we can practice bouting. BOUTING! Oh dear lord, here’s where push comes to shove and I see if I’m actually meant not only for skating in a circle, but staying vertical and hitting other girls while doing so.

I was pretty proud of myself at the end of training, though. I really put myself out there and introduced myself to people, talked like I knew what I was talking about (and i did!), but proudest moment? When I realized I was doing the squat pyramids the right way, and the entire time, with easier effort than last session. It felt good to know my weight training is paying off.

The most frustrating part for me has been that I’m still struggling with getting the “box turn” down. And it’s gotten to the point that even thinking about it is stressful because a) i know I can’t do it and b) I know it terrifies me anytime I try to start. I start going through this mental checklist of what I “should” be doing, and then I can’t commit and end up fumbling around. I’m “too much in my head”, and definitely over-thinking it.

Then something Lacy mentioned at training on Saturday struck me. She was telling us how the girls who trained her were “intuitive skaters”, so she had difficulties learning at first because she needed the technical, checklist type of breakdown to finally get it. I realized that maybe that was my problem, but in reverse. I have never had to have someone teach me how to do a crossover–I have just always known how to do it. Maybe I’m simply an intuitive skater, who’s been trying to learn it the technical way. I’m thinking that when I go skate tomorrow, I’ll change my approach. Maybe if I just stop trying to mentally figure out how to do it and instead let me body do it for me, I’ll finally master this thing. And if it doesn’t work, it won’t be any different than what I’m doing now.

Next week we begin our actual training–drills, pack work, pace lines, and endurance. It’s going to be cold and hard and sweaty and I’ll probably bruise something. And I cannot wait.

Eating Primal: Week Two

–Ugh. Fighting some SUPER intense cravings this week. I knew it was coming, but I seriously almost grabbed every last chocolate in the office. Thankfully I talked myself down. “This is where discipline comes in. This is the moment where the hard choices are made.” I have yet to cheat with office chocolate.

–Surprisingly, my acid-reflux has started to act up a bit. I thought a more whole foods lifestyle would help to eradicate it, but perhaps I’m eating more fruit than I thought. Someone posted on one of the message boards I check that she had the same issue when she stretched her time too thin between meals, mostly because she wasn’t hungry. Something to think about. My chiropractor also recommended a shot of apple cider vinegar every morning to help, which is something I’ve heard a lot about as well.

–I started out wanting to do Paleo, but the more I read about Primal Blueprint the more into that “lifestyle” I’m getting. Even though they’re practically the same thing, I find myself reading a lot of Mark Sisson’s articles and they all make sense. One of his arguments makes a really great case for dairy as a small part of your diet, as long as it’s pastured, grass-fed, raw milk, which is great, because that’s the only kind I like (and buy) now. Yogurts, kefirs and hard cheeses are so good for your gut flora that I’m thinking I’ll probably add it back in to my diet, with the caveat that I make it myself.

–Had a strange…”episode”…on Wednesday night/Thursday. I left work feeling dizzy, light-headed, and head-nauseated. I was so dizzy I couldn’t skate very long, and ended up going to bed early that night. I called in to work the next day, but I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Finally I figured out that I hadn’t eaten enough calories the day before! Believe me friends, that has NEVER happened! I remember being voraciously hungry even after my lunch of leftover shepherd’s pie, but I just chalked it up to my appetite. NOPE. So Thursday I spent most of the day eating and watching movies from my couch. I still felt crummy, but at least I didn’t feel ready to pass out. Lesson learned–if i’m not going to eat easy sugars for my brain, I need to make sure I’m putting enough vegetables and meat in my body to compensate. For the first time in my life, I needed to eat more 🙂

–So, I cheated. Just a little bit, and just because I was desperate. NO it was not a raspberry-filled sugar doughnut at work (although that was a tough one). It’s the little things that get me–my favorite salad dressings (Brianna’s Poppyseed) has sugar. My homemade ranch uses vegannaise (soy=no no). And I broke down and had a touch of ketchup (sugar!). While I’m proud that I haven’t really gone beyond the self-set limitations, I’m irritated that I can’t, or won’t bother, to find alternatives.  And while I understand I need to have a healthy balance of body healthy vs mental healthy, I wanted to do this first month 100%. I’m still debating whether or not to allow myself cheat days. I’m torn because I really wanted January to be the month I quit those things before adding them back in. I know my lifestyle will be 80/20, but I wanted to go 100 for at least a month. But just in case, I bought a bar of orange dark chocolate. To be consumed slowly, and only occasionally.

–Ugh. It happened. It was my father’s birthday, which meant that my mother baked a delicious chocolate cake. I told her “no thank you”, but you know how mothers can be. So I ended up breaking my month-long 100% rule, and had a tiny sliver of cake. TINY. Shouldn’t really be considered a “piece” of cake. >.> ok, ok.

–This weekend I experimented a little and made a “rogan josh” lamb stew that is out of this world! I made a Rogan Josh spice (and there are a LOT of ingredients) and made this stew Sunday night. I’ll be hard-pressed to make it last a few lunches–it’ll probably be gone in a day or two! Seriously, super delicious, and I didn’t feel guilty at all about eating two bowlfuls–all vegetables and good animal fats. Proudest moment this week for trying something I normally would consider too difficult to try.

–I also broiled a piece of Chilean sea bass in an effort to eat more fish, and I roasted beets with balsamic vinegar and some other vegetables, and the meal turned out amazing! I had a hard time believing that some of those delicious smells were coming from my oven.

I took those “first week” pictures I mentioned last week, but upon further reflection, have decided not to post weekly photos. To preserve whatever sense of mystery I may still have in this imaginary universe. (ok let’s be honest–I’m embarrassed beyond belief!) I’ll post before & afters…when there’s an “after” i can still be proud of. Go ahead, call me out on it. I know I’m not quite being accountable & transparent, but we all have our issues.

My goal for this next week is to not let the little things get to me–going without homemade ranch, not needing ketchup for roasted sweet potatoes, etc. And especially after having such success with the  lamb stew, shepherd’s pie, fried trout, and sea bass, I’m really geared up and ready try more new things that aren’t in my normal repertoire, such as a chicken curry. But we’ll see–I don’t want to box myself in. I like going to the market and coming home with an adventure.

p.s: this week’s menu (I still can’t figure out how to get a decent-sized jpg inserted!) is trapped within my computer. which i know you care about so much. let’s just say there was a lot of salad, avocado, and shepherd’s pie eaten (THREE TIMES!)

That is all.

Eating Paleo/Primal: Week One Recap

Thoughts throughout the week:

This is overwhelming. There is SO MUCH information out there. Some websites like to support the reasons for eating this way with a ton of science and proof, etc. Which is fine, I’m all for it being legit. I just have never been good at science.

I thought there were simple rules: no gluten/flour. No processed, refined sugar. No dairy. So why is Gouda suddenly on the list of things to eat?

I discovered another way to eat eggs for breaky. Twenty-six years and I finally made my first hard-boiled egg. It was DELICIOUS (add avocado & ham)

I’m KIND OF afraid that I won’t be able to eat all the fruit before it goes bad. (update: It hasn’t gone bad yet, but I’ve read that for optimum weight loss, I should try to restrict my fruit intake to around 1 piece/serving a day. Awesome.)

I felt like a kid in a candy shop when I found out bacon was not only allowed, but encouraged. HELL YES I will take bacon and avocado in my omelets, salads, and vegetables. It makes ANYTHING taste decadent.

As I was making dinner this week, I thought, ‘I just need a Paleo coach. Maybe someone who can just come show me how to do this.’ And then I remembered the internets. And that I am already an awesome cook.’ Oh internets how you have come through for me time and time again! 🙂

Ok, I know it’s just under a week in and it shouldn’t be this hard already! Does it get easier? Because I keep fantasizing about Nutella-smothered waffles. Not day-dreaming. FANTASIZING. I keep saying, “when this is over” when really, I’m not looking for it to be over. I’m thinking long-term, but these waffle-ly dreams are getting obnoxious. I’ve decided it will be my first cheat meal….in three weeks.

My Jon has been amazingly supportive of this, considering he doesn’t eat meat and adores carbs. He’s been a real hero about two different dinners/meals, and all weekend at his mother’s house, kept telling me I couldn’t have something because a caveman didn’t. i wanted to punch him.

My chiropractor says the inflammation in my back has really gone down! Because even though I’ve only been doing this “for reals” a week, I’ve been avoiding gluten for the last three. So it’s nice to feel there’s some success there. It reminded me that I’m doing this as more than a weight loss gimmick.

I JUST WANT A COOKIE. I would settle for a piece of chocolate!

pssst. also. i made this incredibly beautiful, very helpful Paleo Tracker Menu in case you were wondering what Paleo looks like meal to meal. Alas, I absolutely could NOT figure out a way to get it into the post, whole and intact. So if you’re just dying of curiosity, there it is.) 

My boss asked me, point-blank, why I was doing this. What would tempt me to leave behind all I hold dear (I’m looking at you, nutella) and go primal? I had to think about it, because Greg is not someone to whom I can give a flippant answer. This is what I decided: I got tired of feeling like I’d lost control with my eating–halloween to christmas was a binge-fest. I was feeling bloated and that any healthy decisions were impossible. I knew that if I didn’t change something and quick, I would be headed down a path of no-return. I knew several people who had success with a Paleo lifestyle, and what they were saying made sense, even if it did mean giving up quite a few of my favorite things. But those were the things that got me into trouble in the first place. In short, I was ready to be in charge of my own destiny again. I’m skating my body, my body’s not skating me.I’m looking forward to feeling the changes in my body as the weeks progress. I’m excited for my chiropractor to tell an even greater difference, and I’m REALLY looking forward to looser pants. I’m planning my first cheat meal, even though I know it’s weeks away–it keeps me motivated to eat well NOW. I’d like to become a little more proficient in meal prep–I’ve had salad for at least one meal a day this last week, and I think I should be incorporating more roots & nuts into my diet.  I’m learning to listen to my body cues and only eat when I’m hungry, but habit and appetite (not hunger) have still been dictating when I eat.

So. Paleo/Primal–not impossible. Also, not fun for the first week. I’m ready for this next week, and eager to see/feel more changes in my body.

p.s. also I wanted to insert a weekly photo to compare and see if there were any noticeable changes. I came up with this idea whilst at work on Monday (while i want Sunday shots), and so will NOT be taking a weekly photo in front of my mirror today. i will update this tomorrow.

in which our heroine alternately hates, then loves, the internets

as i grow older, i’m learning that the hardest part about starting anything new is the learning curve. being brand new is so overwhelming. with the advent of the internet and our perpetual connection to the ‘world’, not only are there so many facets to ANY single program/theory/discipline/religion, but there is so much information available and so many millions of contributors that have their endless opinions and details and finer points to be debated. there seems to be no easing into anything. i feel a bit like i’ve jumped off the dock, in over my head.

this seems to be especially true in my newest adventure, a Paleo/Primal eating and exercise lifestyle change. at first i thought this would be easy–give up grains, legumes, sugars, processed foods, dairy. except that now i’m reading some dairy is ok? but only certain ones. and some wine and tequila are alright? but only 100% agave. it seems that i can’t just adjust to what NOT to eat, but i must also include an entire new subset of foods–seaweed, roots, nuts I’ve never heard of. Which is all fine and good and I don’t doubt for a minute how healthy these things are, but c’mon! i’m just giving up my soft french boules, my raw milk & turbinado sugar morning tea, my soft bries, jams, jellies, and spreadable cheeses! it’s going to take a few minutes to adjust here! (YES yes I know–it’s only day 4!)

but i can’t go back. that’s the kicker. based on solid science and research that unequivocally backs up the assertions that mark sission of the Primal Blueprint makes, there is no way i can go back to a  lifestyle filled with delicious grains, waffles, nutella, sandwiches, not without knowing that i am intentionally sabotaging my plans to be the healthiest woman i can be. without understanding that the trade-off for a life of buzzing tastebuds and spiked blood sugar is a life of too-tight jeans and avoiding mirrors.

my solution to all this? at first it was to be overwhelmed, throw my hands up in the air, and eat a sandwich. but then i thought–well there’s no harm in ONLY eating what i know is ok. it won’t hurt to give up those things. i don’t have to do the whole thing all at once. and then, then i stumbled onto something from marksdailyapple.com.  i’ve never been one for programs–i hate gimmicks, and i HATE salesmen–but i think i may, for once, try mark’s 21-day guide. because 21 days of “sacrifice” is easier than a lifetime of regret….right?