Day 26 is today. I cannot believe I have made it this far! I should also add that yesterday I cheated and it was great.

My cheat? It was a big one. My students did a food project. They are learning commands in regards to cooking (affirmative and negative tú, tener que & hay que expressions and impersonal se expressions) so I bribed them to do a video project with a food day. If you make a cooking video of you speaking Spanish explaining a recipe you all can bring in food and have a food day. The catch? A video of you speaking Spanish and you have to cook it (re: not your mom). If you choose to buy something you can pretend to cook on your video, as long as you speak Spanish and use the aforementioned grammatical structures & appropriate vocab.

Yesterday my babies rolled up into first period BEAMING, I mean beaming with pride over various cakes, brownies, cookies, dips, burritos, gorditas, etc etc. Some of my boys baked for the first time ever (one brought a very well done pineapple cake) so how could I NOT try their creations? Anywho, I made everyone try a little bit of everything (there were a few Hispanic dishes that kids looked at warily) and Cool Teacher 101 says you can’t tell your students to do something and not do it yourself. I made myself a little plate and tried a little bit of everything.

First: sugar is delicious. I mean, there was this cookie/brownie/Reese cup thing that one of my girls made that was good, but by the time I sampled a bite of all I could feel the sugar thumping through my veins. Tasted good, did not feel good.

Second: I wanted some eggs. I was feasting on delicious after delicious and I really wanted some meat to go along with it. I went back and got some more of a bean/beef dip that one of my students made. I wanted some veggies.

Third: I felt fine after. I wasn’t bloated, my stomach didn’t hurt.

Fourth: I thought about sugar most of the day. I had a brownie at small group last night. A sugar, dairy and gluten cake. Ate it up. It was good.

So, today I am kind of back on the whole 30 wagon, but I have what seems to be a little head cold. Mostly my throat hurts so I went to target looking for some comfort food and medicine. Since I am a) sick b) cheated yesterday which I feel like totally ruins the integrity of this whole thing, I decided I would get whatever looked good to eat, whole 30 or not. I went down every aisle. Every aisle. I ended up buying four little steaks. These 26 days have changed me.

First, I weighed myself (a total no no on this program) and I have dropped 8 pounds since I started on April 8. This means a total of 18 pounds since my senior year of college. Which makes me super happy to feel GOOD again and to not feel poured into my clothes, but is also terrifying because Wednesday this little challenge is over and I’m pretty sure those pounds are going to come right back once I eat dairy/grains/sugar again. Which means I have some decisions to make in regards what the future holds for food… And I should probably finish the book (It Starts With Food).

Second, I can put away some food. At some point a year or so ago I got on this whole “portion control” kick. On whole30 there is no such thing. Have your palm sized protein and then load that plate up with veggies & fruit (or plant matter as the book likes to say). My body tells me when I am full.

Third: my eczema is still here and going strong. My sister tells me that dairy stays in your system for 6 months so if that is the cause there would be a whole150 in my future and I’m just not willing to do that right now. I am going to keep taking Allegra (which helps my eyes) and keep moisturizing like crazy and live with it.

Fourth: except for my current sore throat and overall sicky ickies, I feel awesome. I sleep good, I stay awake all day, it is good. Exercising is still not fun and I am still fairly bad at staying focused but all of that boils more down to self discipline and motivation, which does not start with food. I will say, running wasn’t that bad the other day and I felt like I could breathe better. My chest wasn’t tight, but I was definitely out of breath because I am out of shape.

Fifth: This has been super spiritual for me. I was not expecting that. I have been so convicted because whenever I have a good day my first instinct is CELEBRATORY MILKSHAKE! Whenever I have a bad day my first instinct is FEEL BETTER KELLIE, MILKSHAKE! I want to thank God and be joyful on good days, rather than rewarding myself with sugar. On bad days, I want to take my grumpies to God and let him comfort me, rather than drowning myself in a chocolate chip cheesecake milkshake. I never realized how so much of my happiness or sadness is dependent upon food. Also, and this is super geeky and Old Testament lovey of me, but eating fruits & veggies (and meat) on more than one occasion just brought me back to the Garden of Eden and how God just provided EVERYTHING our little bodies needed for us. Every fruit, every veggie was made especially for us in perfection (then I get off on this whole other thing about ‘the fall’ and how eating meat plays into it…another post for the future probably?) to nourish us and keep us alive and working the best. This hit me especially about a week in when I had kiwi for the first time since my taste buds had adjusted sans sugar. I mean, what a wonderful maker to create KIWI? Oh how he loves us! Then I get into this whole thing about imports and exports and do we have enough of a variety of fruits and veggies locally to sustain us or do we have to rely on imports to get full nutrition, was that part of God’s plan for us? Because in the Garden I guess everything was there so since we are out of the garden maybe that is why we eat meat because we didn’t have access to all the fruits & veggies… does anyone else contemplate the spiritual/theological implications of food? I think about things like that a lot.

Anywho, I am so glad I did this. It was challenging, is rewarding and has seriously spurred me into making changes in my life in a lot of areas I never thought I could change in. I am super grateful to my sweet Marshall for being so patient and loving and open to eating weird things.

Currently I have one more cheat planned for Sunday: a margarita. It is cinco de mayo and I cannot, as a Spanish teaching professional, justify not partaking. Ciao for now!

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