So close

My plan had very little particularly to do with blogging; just writing something down every day. So I expect that as I get more interesting, I’ll post less frequently. I just figure that if I take it in a certain kind of direction I might just as well hit post. But nobody’s even hit the site in the last two days so I’m under no particular delusion that I’m writing for anyone but me anyway.

Anyway the month is closing out as is the quarter, which has some exciting implications for me this turn.

A couple years ago I was getting very concerned about my mental fortitude and willpower. It was really bad. So I came up with an idea:

Every month, give up something or make a single habit change for the duration of the month. Just do something different and difficult that’s good for me. Seemed harder then than it seems now, but that was quite precisely the point.

So I did. Every month I’d give something up or start doing something differently. Some of the things were harder than others. Sometimes I stacked a couple.

The final list had things like:

– No gaming
– No non-meal snacking
– Read an hour or more a day
– No computer use at home
– No noncritical spending (nothing but food, gas, utilities.)
– Meditate every day
– No soda
– No Amazon
– Eat something green every day
– Only drink water
– Write daily

There were more, but they’ve slid into obscurity.

The plan worked. Over the first year it was really tough, but got quite easy. By the last few months it was such a trivial exercise that it barely seemed worth the effort.

Then in August of last year I decided to try and find something a bit tougher.

No wheat.

Now… I’ve been a baker for 35 years. I eat sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, burritos, pasta, cookies, crackers, cake, etc. This was gonna be tough.

And it was. It was complete fucking torture. I did it. But it sucked. It wasn’t “no carbs.” But “no wheat” and in the spirit of The Purity Test (look it up. I won’t be responsible for what you find) “All technicalities count.”

Did you know soy sauce was made with wheat?

I did it. I got through the month. But it was just so damn taxing that I stopped doing monthly things like that. I just cancelled the program. I’d developed what I wanted to develop and proven what I needed to prove to whom I needed to prove it.

A few days after Christmas I came back from New York on a single-shot drive to Nashville (16 hours from Albany to downtown Nashville. I was pulled over at 4 in the morning by an awfully cute cop, less than one block from my apartment. She let me off with a warning and a smile.) On the trip down I’d thought myself a good thunk and I thought to myself… “Self? Whatever happened to those little monthly prohibitions? You’ve really been taking it easy. SOME of the guys in here are saying you’re bitching out. I’m not going to name names. But… there’s….been talk is all I’m sayin’.” After all, the internal monologue on a drive like that eventually becomes an internal dialog, then a conversation and finally the cacophony of an insane asylum’s common room a month after they’ve run out of Thorazine.

“You know what you should do, I mean, if you haven’t backslid entirely into bitchdom that is?”
“Three months. Three months…aaannd because it’s three, you can’t just do one thing for three months, it’s gotta be three. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So… No soda, a tight amazon allowance ($100/month) and…. Yeah, no wheat. Three months. You aren’t a bitch, ARE you?”

New Year’s Eve I ate in such a manner that would make Oscar The Grouch flinch and say “damn dude…” But at midnight it was over.

The first couple weeks were just positively awful; stomping around yelling “What the hell do people even EAT!?!” But I started getting in a groove when the novelty wore off pretty good.

Then it was just a barren road leading off into forever where I’d have to occupy myself with keto bread substitutes (they ALL suck. Take your wacky ass egg and cheese concoctions and GTFO.) But I managed.

Interestingly, the biggest problem wasn’t craving. It was just straightforward food choice. Picking things to eat without getting crazy with repetition.

Between this and some light (twitter based) reading about a carnivore diet that people keep mentioning I started eating a WHOLE lot of red meat. The sous vide always has something going and I’ve got pounds of cooked ground beef I just bring to work and eat a little bit of for lunch (today I ate half a london broil though. *urp* A bit tough to chew but holy shit was it delicious.)

I noticed something, a few weeks in: I feel fucking great. I seem to need far less sleep. I don’t drag through the day. There’s absolutely no 2:30 lunch hangover.

I’m still dying for pizza and crackers, burgers and burritos. In fact I went to the supermarket tonight on my way home from the office and bought all kinds of bread. Plus I pulled my sourdough starter out of stasis.

I’m 25 hours and 16 minutes away from being able to eat something with wheat in it. I think what I’ll end up doing tomorrow night is make myself a grilled cheese sandwich and drink a root beer. But next week is gonna be completely fucking bananas.

I’ve got to say though, after all of this, I’m seriously considering cutting carb consumption to one day out of every two weeks or something. Go for a pizza, make fresh pasta, etc. Weekday lunches will still be a logistical bitch. But the things that cuts out are almost all in the fast food category, and how can that be bad?

Especially since I’ve lost almost 20 pounds.