It wasn’t a complete failure. I’m not going to lie, I ate a cookie that my neighbor’s mom made 20 minutes after I posted the challenge on Sunday. When I finished it, I realized that I had already lost before dinner the first day. But I kept going; it’s not like I ate a cake or ice cream. Then, my aunt sent me the most beautiful care package in the world, which included cookie chips, and I just couldn’t wait. Saturday I was offered pieces of chocolate-almond and maple-peanut brittle. I simply could not say no.
Although I thought I knew what it was before, this week taught me a lot more about moderation. It is okay to eat desserts and sweets. You’re not going to gain ten pounds from eating one piece of pie; eating it every day, you probably will gain something. Usually, I would beat myself up about eating the sweets that I did, but I knew I wasn’t eating the whole pie, or even anything equivalent to a slice of it. If you’re eating moderately well for all of your other meals, and you feel good about everything that you are putting in your body, that’s really all that matters.
What people may also not realize is that it takes certain strength to cut sugar cold-turkey. Anytime that you try to eliminate something from your regular diet, it’s smartest to wean off of it slowly. There were many times during the challenge where my stomach called for Ben and Jerry’s, but for the sake of the challenge I stayed away. However, if I had gone for the ice cream I probably would have reached for a chocolate bar and then a bag of chips.
When you disconnect yourself from something that is usually around, it’s hard. I avoided the dessert tables and ice cream stands at every dining hall, and that made it a lot easier for me to forget that they existed. My friends always try to complete the challenges I set forth each week, and the moral support is also a great motivator. The key in any hard situation is to surround yourself with people who understand. So even though we were crying for desserts, we got through it together.
Through the weekly challenges, I’ve found that it is easier to stay away from the foods I say ‘no’ to the week after the challenge. You and your body get used to not seeing french-fries on your plate, or root beer in your cups as much as before. With that, I’m going to take a week off food challenges, and continue my moderation streak.