Getting Cocky

My skin has cleared up significantly lately – it appears the switch in products combined with exercise after work has made a big difference.

However, I’ve become cocky.

Many people who’ve been on diets have cheated and my friends, I am no exception.  Being in a position where food allergies are suspected, yet not actually proven has made me rather cavalier towards eating junk food in particular.

It all started rather innocently enough.  I purchased a bag of chips from the vending machine thinking that these would be fine (what’s a little oil?  then I realized after opening the bag that there was dairy from the enhanced cheese seasoning AND ate it anyway).  Waking up the next day with no visible reactions was a relief and liberating.  It was all downhill from there.

I somehow treated this incident as carte blanche yesterday to eat whatever I wanted.   I had Swedish fish, toffee bit cookies, and a sandwich on crunchy baguette with wasabi mayo and swiss cheese.  I’ve been pushing it and I have no one to blame but myself if there are consequences.

There’s something about the human mind that doesn’t take well to feeling deprived and I have been no exception.  I’ve made excuses for myself:  “the allergist thinks it has NOTHING to do with food, so it’s okay”.  While it may be okay in theory, I really can’t lie to myself.

What now?  Well it IS approaching that time of the month when my cravings are typically through the roof.  While I still feel slightly guilty for consuming so much (ahem moderation) I also really wanted to eat the foods I’ve always enjoyed.

If I were to think realistically many people don’t have the luxury of “slipping up”.  A taste of an allergen could end up in a trip to a hospital or an anaphalactic reaction.   This is my opportunity to remind myself how lucky I am and to not take my health and well-being for granted.  While avoiding foods may suck, tons of people do it for more serious reasons.  In other words, suck it up Erin and take responsibility.  My game plan for getting back on the wagon:

1.  Have a small portion of a planned (and diet approved) treat.  In my case this might mean buying smaller packages or single sized servings so that I don’t eat everything at once.

2.   Be more strategic in testing foods – ie. testing one at a time as opposed to 5 or 6 suspected allergens at once.  Loosen up only to the point of testing the food (I need to remember it’s not a free for all!)

3.  Reward yourself for your hard work with a means that is not food related (in my case, it might mean watching an episode of my favourite show Chuck!)

4. Look to your support network (the BH is a big part of mine!).  Sometimes all it takes is someone to remind you the reasons for what you’re doing.

5.  Don’t give up!  Your health and well-being are what’s at stake here.  Recognize small victories (a new recipe! or even decreased drowsiness from eating whole and unprocessed foods).  Keep track of what worked and what made you feel good.

And so begins the process of wiping the slate clean and remembering that tomorrow is a new day.   And to quote Finding Nemo when it comes to these things we all need to “Just keep swimming”.

I’ll leave you with a pic of today’s lunch and dinner:

Went to Pumpernickels again with my friend Amanda and ordered a medium salad with barley, couscous, kidney beans, chickpeas, tabbouleh and falafel.  Then I threw in some baby spinach and grilled chicken of my own to use up the ingredients.

Anyways, while my initial goal was to photograph everything I eat, I figured I’d show pictures of unique meals I ate for the week.  You all pretty much get the picture and living alone, it’s tough to not eat the same thing every day (plus I love leftovers so it’s even more likely that one dish will last the whole week!).

Time to clean my place up a bit and get ready for my meeting with Marcia tomorrow!  Lots of stuff to do this weekend, but I hope I can come up with some more tasty eats.

Do you cheat on restricted diets?  How do you get back on track?

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