by lauraeglen

I started a eating *mostly* paleo diet when I returned to Denver after spending this summer in New York, where I worked for a summer camp and ate gross amounts of penne pasta/whatever filled the office candy bowl. I was so ready to feel healthy again when I got home, so the transition from a high carb diet to paleo didn’t affect me mentally as much as I would have thought. There were also some quick physical changes which I think helped too.

As many participants can probably attest to, the WLC has taken my diet up another notch (or three). Cutting out sugar has been tough- not necessarily because I miss eating sweets everyday, but because now that I’m hyperaware and read every food label I can get my hand on I have found that sugar is added to EVERYTHING. The somewhat disturbing thing is that sugar shows up in the ingredients of food items that aren’t even supposed to be sweet. What? Even when you don’t think you’re eating sugar, you are! Ugh. I’m wondering if that might have to do with the diabetes epidemic plaguing so many Americans.

I have to say, the novelty of the Whole Life Challenge is wearing off just a bit, and I’m wondering if that means tedium is approaching. Like, here I am, five days (that’s it?) in to the WLC and a little over month into eating paleo, and I already find myself pining for the days of convenience. Like, how great does some thai takeout from that place down the road sound instead of eating leftovers because studying’s made me too busy cook tonight? Pretty damn good.

However. I didn’t order any yummy asian food tonight because I thought about this too:

I was introduced to yoga in college and have been practicing for a couple of years. In class, a popular instructor mantra is “be present.” Though I often toss this aphorism aside as cliche, today I found some depth in it. For this challenge, and at this point in my young life, sometimes presence is all I can muster up. Concentrating on future goals (eating strict paleo for all 8 weeks, big weight loss/strength gain at the end of this challenge, getting As in my classes, getting into med school, figuring out how the hell I’ll ever be able to balance my life if I become doctor, etc. etc. etc.) can be exhausting and intimidating and even demoralizing. Personally, when I get wrapped up in this spiral, it’s very enticing to make an easy/convenient decision over the right one.

Obviously a sense of the bigger picture is necessary. However, if I want to make it out of this alive, I think it’s actually necessary to just focus on mindfulness of where I am today as opposed to where I’m going to be in 7-ish weeks. Taking it one step at a time (in this case, making the seemingly trivial but actually annoyingly difficult decision to just. eat. the leftovers.) is what’s going to get me, and I suppose all of us, through the WLC. We all just went through a pretty drastic lifestyle change, it’s all about baby steps if we want to sustain in.

I’m in a post-chemistry/genetics exam haze, so apologies if that got a little too deep for anyone. I’m going to make a soup/stew/chili tomorrow and I’ll let ya’ll know if it’s any good. Thanks for reading!