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When I was working on the last section of my book, “Eat Your Blues Away,” I titled it “How to Prevent a Back Slide.” It focused on the problem of how you keep yourself eating clean and avoiding the temptation of a doughnut now and then (my all time favorite), a piece of crusty white Italian bread with Gorgonzola cheese, or something else that used to be an irresistible treat.
I’m currently coming out of a few days of FLC Syndrome, a condition coined by functional medicine guru and all around brilliant guy…Dr. Mark Hyman. FLC stands for ”feel like crap” which many of us do as a result of the way we eat. I’ve been eating really “clean” for more than six years now and have been feeling great. No depression, lots of energy, sleeping well…just feeling really, really great all, or mostly all of the time…hey, nobody’s life is perfect all the time!
A few weeks ago, for some unknown reason, I started to crave stuff I don’t eat anymore; specifically doughnuts and muffins. I decided to indulge my craving, and I had a blueberry muffin and a cruller. That was on a Thursday. I didn’t even go the route of the lemon filled sugar covered doughnut that used to be my favorite. I had a plain cruller. I got an intense sugar rush, probably heightened by the white flour, gluten and who knows what preservatives, etc. After that subsided, I felt OK.
The next day, I had another muffin; again blueberry. Another sugar/white flour rush, but still OK. The following day I didn’t feel as well as I usually do, but had to go to a family function and dinner. I tried to eat carefully, but may have eaten a few “not on my usual menu” ingredients without meaning to. The day after, I struggled with my mood more than I had in ages. By Monday I was in full-blown FLC syndrome and was edgy, not happy, moody and had no energy or patience. I was pretty darned miserable. I had a really awful day at work and had no patience with people. I took someone’s head off; not that the person didn’t deserve it. She did; she had been a real jerk, but I don’t usually react like that to situations any more. Then I was upset with myself that I had gotten so upset. I didn’t sleep well because I was still ticked off at myself and at the person to whom I read the riot act, so I woke up tired and still feeling awful. It was lose-lose all around.
This is a long way of saying the best way to prevent a back-slide is to be acutely aware of how good you feel when you are eating clean whole food. If you have to go back to the way you used to eat, even for a day to be reminded, try to enjoy the trip; I doubt that you will. To feel so unhappy, moody, edgy, listless and just plain miserable is motivation enough to stay on track.
Will I fall off the wagon again? Perhaps; but it will be down the road quite a bit. This detour will last me for a while. It’s Monday evening, and I’ve been back on track with “clean eating” for three days now. I’m finally starting to feel more like my new normal. Those blueberry muffins looked so good, but they weren’t worth it.
I missed being my new happy and energetic self. Remember it’s progress not perfection that we’re focused on.
Helping You Make Major Improvements in Your Life!
Cheryl A Major
I am a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. My TV show, “Thin Strong Healthy”, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of my blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com I offer ongoing information, live and online courses and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. Follow me on Twitter @CherylAMajor.
My new book, “Eat Your Blues Away” in which I chronicle my recovery from depression by changing how I eat is now available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback! Remember you DO NOT need a Kindle device to read this, and that the Kindle Reader is a no cost way to read books on your laptop, desktop, tablet, or phone.
If emotional eating is an issue for you, be sure to pickup my new free focus guide that will help you rid yourself of the cues that can set off eating a bag of chips or cookies http://EndYourEmotionalEating.com