Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Problem with Labels- MamaEatsChips

I'm baaaaaack. After almost two years, I finally had an overwhelming urge to write again. Like most things I do, all or none baby! Kind of like my approach to clean eating. I went ALL IN for a few years, obsessively trying various diets and protocols, all in the name of clean and then........BAM - full on GLUTEN, SUGAR and CHIPS this school year.

I would have, or really should have, changed the name of this blog to MamaEatsChips...........if only I could. I've learned quite a lesson over the past couple years (and most severely over the last couple of months) as I've fallen off the clean eating bandwagon. 1) My body does not like a Standard American diet and oh boy, is it going to let me know that in a series of unpleasant and unusual symptoms and 2) Labelling yourself as something like MamaEatsClean is going to set yourself up for some pretty unrealistic expectations from others............and more importantly yourself. Hard to not feel like a failure when your Insta handle, Facebook name, email address and personal blog all boldly claim to the world that your body is a temple of clean eating purity when in reality you dive into a bag of chips like you've found the key to heaven.

What the heck happened to get me to this point. Firstly, as my kids are getting older and more involved in after school activities. Which means we're running all the time. And keeping my fridge stocked with "clean" and ready to eat food just became overwhelming. I tried. I did. But I gave up  after a while. I just couldn't do it and still get us to the (insert hockey rink, soccer practice, music lesssons............). And it was okay for a while. My body didn't seem to object too loudly when I ate a piece of pizza or scarfed down some mac and cheese. I'm very clearly an abstainer not a moderator. Its a lot easier for me to completely give something up than try to "eat it in moderation". F@#$ I hate that term. God didn't wire my brain for moderation. Go big or go home!

Unfortunately, my body had enough by March of this year. I got a very severe case of anxiety (which I've always been able to link, at least partially, to my increased grain consumption), my digestive system basically stopped moving and my joints started screaming at me.

I gave up desserts for lent (for the record it took 5 weeks for my cravings to go down to a reasonable level.............I thought it should take 5 days but clearly I was a severe case). Giving up desserts was actually not super difficult for me. Hello - Abstainer.

I'm now trying to get back to eating less processed foods again and cutting WAY back on grains. I'm just struggling to figure out how to eat grains in moderation. I don't think I can realistically go fully grain free with our schedule and the fact that my body feels perpetually hungry (ravenous really) anytime I have been on a fully grain free diet. I know - eat more fat - blah, blah, blah. Whatever, doesn't really work for me. So for now, I'm trying a "once a day" rule and I'm sticking with certain grains/breads that are generally gluten free and don't seem to bother me. I'm feeling a lot better already - anxiety dropped way off, stomach feeling better and my joints aren't much better. Unfortunately my neck is really messed up and doesn't want to cooperate but that's an issue for another day.

I'm working with my Naturopath, that for the record, doesn't think she needs to school me in nutrition because she says "you know all this already mamaeatsclean so we'll just skip this part". Argh. Well actually I could use a reminder and I'm paying for it so.............

So the lesson here........don't believe most of what you read on the internet/social media and definitely don't compare yourself or beat yourself up for not being as disciplined as you think they (we) all are. And don't give yourself a name like mamaeatsclean. The very lovely and normally kind school secretary at my kids school even burst out laughing when I told her my email address (mamaeatslcean@...). She said "I didn't think anyone has a worse email than me". Apparently her kids set hers up as princessmarilyn and she's been stuck with it for 10 years. I kind of like it actually.

Love and best wishes,