We are just about one week removed from the strict confines of the challenge. Time to step back and take a look at what if anything stuck. How did the reintroduction go? I am pretty sure I know that answer, but I am more concerned with what happened next. For many the scenario plays out like this. Grains, dairy, sugar, etc. are reintroduced quickly followed by what can only be described as what it must feel like to birth an alien. Your stomach does summersaults, your small intestine panics and quickly works to flush everything out, resulting in a mess in the bathroom. This is followed by poor sleep that night and achy, swollen, inflamed joints the next day.
Sound familiar, Now what?
For many, we persevere and comfort ourselves with more quick, processed carbs, because the temporary lift we get makes us feel good enough to forget the hours of discomfort afterwards. Before long we are back to our regular old habits and being tired, sick and inflamed becomes normal again. The challenge is but a distant memory. Why does this happen and how can we not let it happen this time?
It all goes back to the mindset. Why did you do this in the first place? Was it because it was the new year and that is what you always do, or because you are dead set on this year being the year you give up the swim shirt or the skirted bathing suit at the pool, or fit into that pair of skinny jeans, or get ready for the reunion/wedding/birthday party, etc. If your motivations for eating clean are based on some sort of extrinsic reward, what happens when you reach that reward? Or even worse what happens when you don't reach that reward?
We have seen time and again, when someone enters a change in their eating habits with a focus on getting healthy, on improving their lives and the lives of those around them good things happen. A gradual shift occurs where successes and accomplishments are rewarded with healthy celebrations, like a massage, an outing with the family, hiking, skiing, climbing, or a splurge on a new farm to table dinner rather than cake and ice cream. Surprisingly, to them, not us, before long, they are ready for the reunion, wearing their skinny jeans, and rocking the latest in swimsuit styles at the pool.
We hope things are continuing along smoothly for you, as we said during the challenge we are going to take a look at factors other than food that play a role in you being as healthy as you can and those posts will be up soon.
I leave you with a great post from Mark Sisson here it's called Entitled to Sabotage and does a great job helping you distinguish if your post challenge treats are sabotaging your efforts to get healthy or are they just occasional indulgences.