It's 3AM, I can't be the only one awake.

This is a guest post by my dear friend Amy Levinson of PairofGenes.  Amy is one of the funniest moms I’ve ever met.  She has a 9 year old son and I lean on her often for tips and advice on raising wild animals, I mean boys.  We work together and spend a lot of time eating, I mean laughing, I mean working.  Wait!  We spend a lot of time at work laughing and discussing our diets!  Collectively we have Weight Watchered, 12-stepped, fasted, paleoed, veganed, binged, juiced, and resisted about 236 (make that 234) rainbow sprinkled donuts in the break room.  This is serious business.  Amy and I both have very real reasons for wanting to stay as healthy as possible.  When Amy turned 40 she tested positive for both the BRCA 1 and the BRCA 2 genes.  If you don’t know what that is, you are not alone.  This is why Amy writes her heartbreakingly candid and courageously humorous blog PairofGenes.  To educate, share and to connect with others in a way that only she can.  When I asked Amy to join me and Expressing Motherhood on the #exmochallenge she said YES.  Well actually she said, let me think about it and then she wrote me this update.  Thank you Amy for sharing your journey with us.

#EXMOCHALLENGE

So I confess, I modified the whole30- but I have a REALLY good reason.  When Shannon asked me to take on the challenge of 30 days of healthy eating, I figured “what the hell”.  I’d recently- very recently- given up the two foods that destroy my life- no hyperbole- so I figured I could add, or rather subtract, a few more things and be fine.  Not so.  When I looked at the list of foods to set aside for the Whole30 I freaked out, knowing that if I tried to remove dairy and legumes at this juncture that I would dive into a sugary bag of flour (or a deep fried bag of sugar, your call) the moment a sense of deprivation set in.I had just returned from a camping trip where the avoidance of sugar and flour is tricky.  Trail mix- forget it- the dried fruit is mostly sugar-infused.  Sandwiches on hike days?  Nope.  Smores.  Well, what can I say about smores aside from that they are the perfect culinary concoction that SOLELY consists of sugar and flour.But I had already gone through the four day headache that accompanies the abandonment of my two favorite food groups- what, sugar and flour aren’t food groups?  Tell that to my hefty sized ass.  Quit it- don’t actually talk to my ass, that’s just weird.So I spoke to Shannon about it, said I’m on board but that I couldn’t take out foods that put me at risk for adding back in my trigger foods.  I cease to crave sugar and flour when I don’t eat it.  It’s that simple, the crazy, obsessive craving goes away and I develop a healthy fear of eating something that will immediately send me off to the races again- so I read every label, I keep the food simple and I clock when I’m actually hungry vs. when I just need to eat for other equally important emotional pain dulling reasons.So here’s the update.  Today I’m 15 days off sugar and flour.  I am still eating dairy, oats and legumes which are three no-no’s on the whole30.  Oh, also, Stevia in my coffee in the a.m. but that’s down to a dull roar.  It may not have the same impact on my body as doing a strict whole30 would but here’s what has happened so far.1) I’m tired at night.  Too tired to stay up and watch TV and then bemoan my fate the next morning.  This may seem obvious to those of you who sleep at night.  To those of you who don’t sleep- you know how KEY this is.2) I’m patient.  I take a breath before I snap at my kid.  I’m not perfect, I still get impatient but my lag time is slightly longer.3) I’m less embarrassed.  Weight is a tough battle but when you’re actually fighting it, there’s a sense of pride that I never have when I’m eating my way through life in general.So my whole30 is more like a partial120 but I’m in the trenches with Shannon.  So cheers with a big glass of water with two shots of apple cider vinegar for good measure.

You can read more of Amy’s writings at her website PairofGenes.

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