I Tried the Green Week

I have been attempting to come up with a system of “dieting” that allows me to feel freedom and avoid binge-ing and anxiety. I came up with and tested the idea of a “Green Week” – a week where I spend 7 days eating between 1400-1750 calories a day.

I posted along the way on my Instagram story, but here below is a journal record of each day:

Saturday, September 12 – Day One

First day completed – not too shabby. The only draw back I experienced was going out to eat that night. We had some friends over and went to eat at my favorite local Mexican BBQ place. Normally, I would order a beautiful large Kansas BBQ Nachos, but today I ordered the small and a margarita. Surprisingly, I felt very satisfied when I finished.

When we stopped by a frozen yogurt shop, I ordered a latte instead and capped my calories at 1750. I would have felt a little left out if not for the latte – but I rank lattes and ice cream at the same pleasure level, so I was very happy.

Sancho’s Kansas BBQ Nachos are heaven – if you haven’t tried them, you haven’t lived.

Sunday, September 13 – Day Two

My husband and I walked around a local park and played Pokemon Go and bought ourselves some coffees. We ate at home, and I had mostly starches and proteins that kept me pleasantly full: even after our long walk that morning. 1600 calories

Monday, September 14 – Day Three

First day back to work for the week, and I’m always motivated on Mondays. I was already hungry when I got to work, so I had a granola bar. I made a protein shake at work (y’all should be jealous – we get a free smoothie every day for either breakfast or lunch). The husband had thawed some salmon for us to have for dinner. We polished off a filet each and some rice and I had a baked potato.

We finished the day feeling like we needed something sweet, but we luckily had some Ghost Chips Ahoy protein laying around. We each had a Chips Ahoy shake and I finished the day at 1550.

Tuesday, September 15 – Day Four

This was an EASY day. I was sore from a workout, which was reminding me to make good choices for the rest of the day. I had a coffee, a granola bar, a shake, and made some homemade fried rice ready at home.

I also walked 11,000 steps and finished the day at 1500 cal.

Homemade Fried Rice – click for recipe
Wednesday, September 16 – Day Five

This day was a hard day – I had only a coffee for breakfast, and some left over fried rice for lunch. I ordered some DoorDash for a friend and I to get some Sonic (frozen lemonades for the win) and the husband made some Beef Stroganoff that I horked down really quickly. By the end of the day I was still hungry and only had about 200 calories left.

I finished it off with a baked potato (I have been LOVING baked potatoes lately) and finished the day at barely 1750.

Thursday, September 17 – Day Six

Hard by design – I woke up hungry and took no lunch to work. I had a coffee, couldn’t stomach another shake and ordered a breakfast wrap from ProteinHouse. This would normally be okay, as I’d be at 900 calories for the day and could have something filling for dinner – but we had plans.

Our friends came over so we could finish the big finale for my husband’s D&D campaign. We had homemade pizzas (by my estimation, about 700 calories), and I couldn’t resist dipping in the candy bowl several times. Between the drinks I had and the candy I ate, I easily went over a yellow day, and probably into a red day.

Friday, September 18 – Day Seven

I’ve been trying to figure out why yesterday went so poorly, but as I look back on these entries I can see why – when I went to bed on Day Four, I was easily very far below my calories burned for the day. I woke up hungry on Day Five and had nutrient-poor things to eat. Day Six I ordered something that had sounded healthy – a protein-dense lunch, but when I looked up the calories afterward, the avocado and other items inside had racked up the calorie count to close to 900.

So when dinner came, I ate the pizza and wanted sweets. I didn’t restrain myself to just the carrots and by the time I’d had my second drink in hand I knew I was at yellow. I gave myself in to “Oh well, I’ve blown it,” and dove in headfirst. I have to find a way that lets me feel like even if one meal throws me off balance, it’s not too hard to correct.

Today I woke up not very hungry, but could feel it setting in by the time I got to work. I had a granola bar, my coffee, and a friend bought me my first Acai bowl (which was freaking delicious, wow!). By the end of lunch, I had about 700 calories in my system.

Banana Berry Acai Bowl from Nektar

Hubby and I did a Datebox with Happily.co on Friday – we made some scones together (that turned out terrible!) I finished the day barely green!

Aftermath

It is now Monday as I write this, and I’ve already noticed a couple of things:

  • With eating protein and starches still, I’ve found it difficult to even reach high numbers without being morbidly full.
  • I accidentally had a Green Day on Saturday (we spent so much of our evening at IKEA and then building a table, I had forgotten to eat! By the time it was 7:00 I was starting to feel hungry, so I had a baked potato and was pretty quickly satiated.
  • Yellow – 2000 calories seems doable to me now. I think that small period of slight restriction might have been enough for me to… recalibrate? I’m satisfied at 2000, I’m eating foods that don’t take up 1700 calories in one meal, my hunger isn’t as strong as it was…

Overall, it definitely produced some interesting results and I’m excited to try it again next month, and do some research in the interim.

Do you have any questions about how it went? Comment, message, save – I’d love to answer and talk about it.

The Tortoise Wins Again

Why must we learn the same lessons over and over again? Why do silly moral stories stay so important through generations? I’d say we just need reminding again and again.

When the heat of quarantine was going on, I remember seeing post after post about how we’d learn to slow down like we had been during quarantine and we’d learn to spend some time for ourselves, our hobbies, and our families. Yet, now, I feel I’ve filled my time and my capacity back to its limits – and I’m not the only one.

Life has done yet another number on my family. While we figure out our finances and make plans for the future, I’ve left my blog and my Instagram nearly to rot. See, I’m doing that thing I always do – trying to make Superman leaps and bounds instead of little pieces at a time. I’m trying to grow a community on Instagram in a few weeks, I’m trying to make myself write a personal blog once or twice a week!

It’s a constant flaw of mine to try and go the entire distance as quickly as possible. See, I tell my bosses this – but I expect such perfection out of myself that it comes off like I can’t take correction from my bosses. Truly, it’s that I can’t take the correction because I expect my first try to be the only try. This is an anxious flaw of mine (probably tied to the way I manifest my 2-ness and how I think I need to earn love and respect).

So a blog and an Instagram? I wanted everything to be perfect right from the start.

So here’s to breathing and scaling back. Learning that not everything has to be perfect right away. That only half a pound of difference is okay. That meditating only once a week is okay. That posting only once every 2 or 3 days is okay. That making a blog only once every week or two is okay.

Yes, I know scaling back means that progress and growth will happen at a slower rate, but to be honest, I know myself by now. If I don’t take it slow, then it won’t happen at all. So if I have to choose between inching-by progress and not changing at all, I choose the tortoise.

So deep breath, my friends. Keep your head up. Remember to forgive yourself for mistakes. Remember that small changes are better than none. Remember that life isn’t always going to go the way you imagined it. Remember that everything really will turn out okay.

Onto the second half of 2020, what do y’all think?

Shoot me an email if this speaks to you, or comment and let me know what techniques you use on your perfection to allow yourself space. How do you keep margin in your life?