Reality Checks · Strategies

Falling off the Wagon Gracefully

This weekend, E.J. and I had short vacation in Nacogdoches, TX where we went zip-lining, hiking, and shopping.  We also fell off the wagon a little bit, which is honestly bound to happen occasionally.  As tough as E.J. is on sticking to his plan, travel (especially for vacation) just requires a little leeway.  What’s interesting though is HOW we choose to go off the rails, now that we’ve been Paleo for over a year.

First, it is done with great care and consideration.  Neither of us mindlessly eats junk anymore. We think about each option and opportunity, and consciously choose when we’re going to eat something off-plan.  Here are a few of the things that go through my mind when I’m making that decision:

  • When was the last time I had this food?  Is there a Paleo analogue that I’ve enjoyed recently?  Am I likely to have the opportunity to have it again in the future?  Local delicacies and special occasions or holidays warrant some extra consideration too.  (i.e. when they buy you a cake for your birthday at work, you eat a small piece of cake.  Period.)
  • When was the last time I had something non-Paleo?  Today?  Last Week?  Last month?  When on vacation, I try not to be bad more than once a day, and even every other day if possible.
  • Am I willing to suffer the intestinal consequences of this choice?  At this point, every time I eat something off the plan, I end up with bloating at a minimum, and in many cases, severe abdominal pain, nausea, and/or gas.  Is the food I want to eat really worth it?

Generally, these internal questions guide me away from the common junk (chips & salsa, pasta, rice, bread, etc) and allow me to only step out of bounds when the occasion truly calls for it.  This weekend, we stayed at a bed and breakfast where the breakfast included biscuits and pancakes.  Was it worth it?  Yes, if for no other reason than because it pleased the grandmotherly lady that ran the place (though they really were delicious), but I certainly suffered for it afterward.  I was glad to be back on-plan today.  I just feel so much better when I stay the course.

5 thoughts on “Falling off the Wagon Gracefully

  1. Good points there Sherry – I never thought of making choices based on these criteria but I guess I did subconsciously think about some of these things when we were in Las Vegas. We too had some some non-paleo meals but we did not go completely overboard. We had reasonable portions and made better choices (wine & cider vs. sugar loaded cocktails) that may not have been strictly paleo but aligned with some of the same concepts. If you are sticking on the diet pretty strictly 95-98% of the time, you can have these non-paleo treats without major consequence and it helps satiate some cravings.

    If I had to say “I’ll never eat this”, that can be discouraging. Now, I don’t say “never” but rather “some day”. This helps me be way more patient that way. For example, I miss popcorn at the movies but have not given in yet. I will someday though, as a treat. 🙂

  2. I love y’alls teamwork. Supporting and encouraging one another. You look fantastic on Saturday. I know, I know….I’ve only said that about a gazillion times, but what an inspiration the two of you are. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing.

    Beth Andersen

    1. Neither of us would be nearly as successful without the other. E.J.’s determination is contagious – it’s really hard for me to slack when he’s doing so well!

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