October 10, 2012

Whole30 Days 8 - 11: Sugar & Rationalization, Part 1


I have some things to share. Things I’m not particularly proud of. However, I’m a strong believer in learning from our actions, especially the negative life changing habits that we just can’t seem to let go of.

It’s funny how when there is something we really don’t want to do or really don’t want to give up, we rationalize. We make excuses. It’s just too hard. I’m too busy. Whatever the reason, we do it. I do it. We say things like, “I couldn’t turn down cake at a wedding” or “Someone brought in donuts and I didn't want to be rude.” Or we say, “technically it’s Whole30 compliant.” Okay that last one is a more current one for me.

Whether you consider it rude or not to politely decline that slice of heavenly wedding cake is irrelevant. I'm not going to say it's easy to navigate through a grain and sugar filled world while doing the Whole30 program. Trust me, it's not. You might have to seem rude when you turn down the food at the office sponsored "Pig-out day" (yes, it exists). Or you might have to devise a response to give your turning-six year old niece when she asks why you aren't eating a cupcake at her party. While I could easily give in, especially to my niece, I have to remember that I am doing this for a reason. I am doing it for myself. For my health. I am on a mission and a piece of cake, even cheesecake, is not going to stop me. As for my niece, I'm not worried about her. She will still love me. She's more understanding than those adults that literally shove donuts in your face or inquire about your "diet" when you are eating a banana or brussel sprouts or insert-any-real-food-here.

I might have control of the pressures around me, whether from others or from the junk that surrounds me in the grocery store. Yet, I still sabotage my progress. I tell myself that because what I choose to eat is still Whole30 compliant that it is okay. But it's not...

My Whole37 Diary

Day 8: Last night, I had a dream. About cookies. I was baking them, of course. I was baking cookies for others, as I like to do. To make other people happy. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a cookie? In my dream, I was making cookies and tasting them. At first, I did it secretly. I would sneak a crumb while no one was looking. Then I gave in. Everyone else was eating them, so why shouldn’t I? I suspect I felt guilty about this cookie-gorging dream so I was extra careful about my eating today. Besides the normal veggies, meat, and fat, I stuck to just a few almonds. Not a bite of fruit.  Though, I’m not even craving sugar at this point. I was grocery shopping today and surrounded by tiers of goodies filled with sugar, HFCS, evaporated cane juice, agave nectar, honey, and all those other forms of sugar. I came out with meat and vegetables. I call that a successful day.

Day 11: What a difference a day makes. Okay, a couple days. I had a few great days and was feeling positive about reaching my mid-way point. Then disaster struck. I drowned in a big bowl of creamy ice cream. Banana ice cream, that is. Breakfast and lunch occurred with perfect Whole30 success, but all day I was struggling. Not struggling with a need for sugar, but for a need for comfort. It was the comfort that I could only find in something sweet and preferably creamy. Something chocolate or cheesecake related. Any kind of cheesecake would do. Even a vegan one.

I struggled and tormented over a situation, a difficult part of my life, not anywhere near a sugar-related one and I felt as if all the cheesecake in the world would not cure me. But I wanted it anyways. My strong will and dedication wouldn’t allow me to actually eat that cheesecake, not to mention there was none in the house. So I rationalized the creation of a Whole30 approved dessert. Banana ice cream would make an appearance once again. This time made with cocoa powder and mint leaves. Mint that I went outside to pick just to satisfy this idea of a mint chocolate chip inspired ice cream. Did I mention this was my dinner? The ice cream plus an apple with almond butter. That’s it.

So that night as I sat there with my bowl of banana ice cream, I realized what I was doing. For weeks now, I was Whole30 compliant. Yet, I was replacing my daily sugar in my coffee or replacing my random baking sessions with larabars, banana ice cream, and yes, I even made a sweetened coffee creamer out of dates. Okay, so I only drank this coffee a few times during my Whole30, but I did it. I figured since I was still compliant then it was no big deal. It was. It is. This isn’t even entirely about sugar anymore. It’s about so much more…

Let's say goodbye to banana ice cream and to rationalization.

Update: Read Part 2 here.

Update 2: I did end up sharing that banana ice cream recipe. 


  1. The banana ice cream looks good....I think you are stronger than most people....

    1. Thanks! I should probably share the ice cream recipe for those not doing the Whole30, huh? It is good :)


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