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For the first challenge of 2016, I’ve decided to tackle my biggest struggle head-on, improving my food habits and my relationship with food. This challenge will involve the first stage in the battle plan to tame my Sugar Dragon; another Whole30.
 
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Yep. You can’t call your challenge “taming a dragon†without everyone’s favorite cat-bat-dragon gifs. It seemed to fit, considering my struggles during the holidays, and admittedly, even before.

I realize that I just recently completed a Whole30 in September. I struggled through it and did my best to do a slow roll reintroduction, then migrated over to tracking macros in order to find a way that I could live with moderation. I paid close attention to my thoughts and feelings during the holidays as my Sugar Dragon grew stronger. I reflected on my previous attempts to change my food habits and noticed that my Sugar Dragon’s behavior adapted to the situation.

What I learned was what I suspected; while I completed the Whole30 as per the rules, I adapted the slow roll and macro tracking to fit my cravings that still whispered to me near the end of the Whole30. I will admit, I chickened out on making it longer to tame my Sugar Dragon. I wanted to dive right back into moderation so I could have the foods that I was missing. With macro tracking and the holidays looming, my Sugar Dragon kept getting fed, so I spiraled back into old eating habits.

With these observations in the back of my head, I revisited the method and purpose behind the Whole30 when it was suggested by my husband that I should probably do another one. As a big girl, I must accept that I still do not have the control over my habits and cravings that I wish I had, that moderation cannot work for me unless I truly get over these habits and cravings. I understand that it’s a work in progress to make these habit changes solid, but I’ve found nothing else that works better for me in the long-run than Whole30’s black and white rules, while temporary. I cannot eat in moderation; not yet, anyway.

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This challenge will focus entirely on my Whole30. I’ve said good-bye to the foods that hurt me (though I imagine that I’ll still be going through some food grief), and I’m ready to accept that this Whole30 will probably go beyond January. That’s okay. I’m making it a point to focus on my habits pertaining food during this run, so a lot of the following strategy isn’t just about following the rules, but paying attention to my cravings and finding ways of forming new habits to replace the old.

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Main Quest: Tame the Sugar Dragon (make solid changes to my food habits/obtain food freedom)

Goal One: Follow the Whole30 rules (CON +1.25, STR +0.5, STA +0.5)

  • meat, veggies, fat, fruit
  • no sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, artificial food

This is a no-brainer. Focus on following the Whole30 rules to the letter, especially when dining out (which is where I usually get a little laid-back).

Goal Two: Follow the Whole30 recommendations (CON +1.25, STR +0.5, STA +0.5)

  • three meals a day
  • meat, veggies, fat at every meal
  • pre & post workout snacks

While not part of the rules, I believe that following the recommendations as though they were rules will definitely help keep me satiated and keep cravings in check.

Goal Three: No separate desserts/snacks (including fruit) (CON +1.25, STR +0.5, STA +0.5, WIS +1.5)

  • do not eat fruit or dried fruit snacks when craving sugar/stressed/super hungry
  • when eating fruit/dried fruit, eat as part of meal, not on its own afterwards
  • snacks should be part mini-meal (include two of the three macros)

This is something that needs focus. I tend to still reward myself for eating compliant food with fruit after I’m done eating the meal. This is obviously a reward habit that needs breaking. If I’m having fruit, it’ll be eaten WITH the meal or as a separate snack, and not when I’m craving sweets.

Goal Four: Follow the battle plan (CON +1.25, STR +0.5, STA +0.5, WIS +1.5, CHA +2, DEX +1)
 

  • always have emergency snack on hand (jerky and nuts)
  • give yourself a break and do the best you can
  • if I end up traveling to visit my parents’ for my brothers’ birthday, then I will ask about food choices in advance and research/prepare accordingly (if going out, research restaurant; if home cooking, pester about meal options and contribute compliant food)
  • if there’s cake/cookies for my brothers’ birthday, then I’ll politely decline cake/cookies with “not right now†and/or “I’m too fullâ€
  • if Kitrina invites me over to hang out, then I’ll bring an approved snack
  • if Kitrina wants food/to feed me while I’m there, then I’ll politely decline and consume snack
  • if Kitrina wants to eat together in advance, then I’ll suggest restaurant and/or research and prepare accordingly
  • if I arrive home from work starving, then I will immediately begin dinner when I get home
  • if I’m stress hungry or craving when I get home from work, especially during dinner cooking, then I will drink some lemon water and stretch (instead of stuffing my face with raisins)
  • if the husband wants to go out for dinner/not cook, then I will suggest restaurants with complaint meal options and make a selection before arrival (and budget for those instances)
  • if the husband wants to get dinner that’s non-compliant, then I will cook something special just for me that’s compliant
  • if I’m craving sweets at home, then I will take five minutes to do one or a combo of the following to allow the craving to pass: read, stretch, drink lemon water, play with the dog, play with the ferrets, talk with the husband, journal
  • if I encounter the candy dish at work, then I will glare at it and give it the cold shoulder (no matter who’s watching)
  • if I come home and there’s not enough time to cook a proper dinner, then I will have a compliant mini-meal
  • if I wake up too late for proper breakfast, then I will have a compliant mini-meal/snack
  • if Alex/someone brings contraband to Pathfinder Thursday evenings, then I will politely decline it
  • if I get home late, then I will ask Justin to help prep dinner before I get home
  • if Justin can’t help prep dinner before I get home, then I will hit up the store on the way home for some emergency meal fixings (within the budget)
  • if I’m at the store and I’m craving sweets/contraband, then I will walk a lap around the store
  • if I forget to bring lunch with me to work, then I'll walk to the store and pick up a compliant salad (weather permitting)
  • if I’m tempted to raid the snack cabinet while warming up my lunch, then I will drop and do as many push-ups/as long a plank as possible while the food heats in the microwave
  • if I’m down and don’t feel like eating, then I’ll take a moment to recall fond memories then eat anyway
  • if I feel the need to console myself with comfort food, then I will do one of the following: talk to the husband, send a message to someone, hug Bowen, or listen to some music
  • if I don’t like my food, but if there’s honestly nothing wrong with it (doesn’t taste horrible, hasn’t gone bad, doesn’t make me feel sick, etc.), then I will recall that food’s purpose is to be eaten, and uneaten food is unhappy food, and I don’t want anyone, especially my food, to be sad (yes, I do this, it’s bad)


Part of the Whole30 preparation strategy is to come up with battle plans so that you don’t need to dip into your willpower reservoir all the time. I’ve tried my best to come up with every incident that might come up this month, so I can make the conscious effort to change my food habits. I’ll probably come up with a few more here and there as the month goes on, and I’ll edit and update them accordingly.

I’m not putting the rest of my habit foundation on hold. I’m keeping up with my strength training, stretching, and sleep cycle. And I’m even adding regular capoeira classes during the week (SO MUCH FUN). But I won't be counting it against me if I miss a few of those. It'll be hard to anyway; they're pretty habitual by now.
 
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Now that I’m done talking, it’s time to get started on my 2016 goals!
 
Here are my mini-challenge feats. Yes, they are all inspired by my new found interest, capoeira.
 
Strength Feat: AMRAP push-ups, assisted/negative pull-ups, & plank (with proper form). RANGERED
Agility Feat: NF Yoga session on rest days.
Stamina Feat: Practice basic capoeira moves for min. 30 minutes. RANGERED
Ranger Class Feat: Practice Portuguese for 30 minutes.

  • Like 11
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Woohoo! Ski this is a great challenge. When you get your food dragons tamed you will be unstoppable. You have a great plan here, now stick to it.

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Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53,54

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Oh man.  The Sugar Dragon.  Mine is strong.  I struggle with stuffing my face with sugar when I'm alone. The second I am alone, I immediately want a cookie!  I particularly love your Battle Plan for combatting cravings, and I will be following (and stealing) and cheering you on.  

 

You can do this!

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Level 6 Ranger

 

Current Challenge - Scrubs!

 

Previous Challenges - Theme-Free LazinessMedieval MarginaliaBrandon Sanderson's Way of Kings Theme - AgainWay of Kings 1Top Gear ThemeStargate SG:1 themeIron Druid theme!

 

2016 Battle Log (Long term goal tracking)

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HOWTOTRAINYOURDRAGONISMYFAVORITEANIMATEDFILMINTHEKNOWNUNIVERSE

 

A;SDLFKJAS;DFLKJAS;DFKJAS;DKFJ

 

I feel ya on the Sugar Dragon - it has been rearing its ugly head more and more lately. I wish you the best of luck doing your Whole30, and I am interested to read about how it goes for you! I have wanted to try one for a while.

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toothless13.gif

This is going to be fun!  I'm interested to see how the Whole 30 goes, especially since I'm thinking of trying it myself in a month or two.  Also, great challenge theme.  HTTYD is amazing

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"Fairy tales are more than true not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten"  -Neil Gaiman

 

Mandalorian Assassin: Level 5

Current Challenge - Artemis becomes Mandalorian

Overall Weight Loss Journey: Starting Weight -     Current Weight -    Goal -160lbs

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HOWTOTRAINYOURDRAGONISMYFAVORITEANIMATEDFILMINTHEKNOWNUNIVERSE

 

A;SDLFKJAS;DFLKJAS;DFKJAS;DKFJ

 

SO MUCH OF THIS.

 

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 [ Level ?? ] Thunderbro Maximus of the Thunderlords Legion

BRUTALITY 13 | FINESSE 12 | GRIT 13  | INSIGHT 15 | MOXIE 13

Challenges1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR.

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wolfpool.

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager.

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Oh man.  The Sugar Dragon.  Mine is strong.  I struggle with stuffing my face with sugar when I'm alone. The second I am alone, I immediately want a cookie!  I particularly love your Battle Plan for combatting cravings, and I will be following (and stealing) and cheering you on.  

 

You can do this!

 

I feel you there. I struggle with the same thing constantly, which is why I took up logging all my food on my battle log. It keeps me accountable; even if I sneak candy/sweets when I'm alone, I still have to report eating it, so I tend to think twice about it.

 

The battle plan took a while to come up with, as I had to think of where my habits are and what I could do to replace them. I'm sure they'll adapt and grow as I keep going. I hope they help inspire your journey as well!

 

HOWTOTRAINYOURDRAGONISMYFAVORITEANIMATEDFILMINTHEKNOWNUNIVERSE

 

A;SDLFKJAS;DFLKJAS;DFKJAS;DKFJ

 

I feel ya on the Sugar Dragon - it has been rearing its ugly head more and more lately. I wish you the best of luck doing your Whole30, and I am interested to read about how it goes for you! I have wanted to try one for a while.

 

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IKNOWRIGHT?! DIDYOUKNOWTHATTHEYREACTUALLYBOOKS?? IAMONTHEHUNTTOREADTHEMALLOMG!!!

 

Thanks! This is technically my 4th Whole30, so I'm hoping that following the rules & recommendations will be second nature so I can focus on the habit changing aspect. If you struggle with sugar/carb cravings and can't figure out how to live in moderation yet, I would definitely suggest doing a Whole30.

 

toothless13.gif

This is going to be fun!  I'm interested to see how the Whole 30 goes, especially since I'm thinking of trying it myself in a month or two.  Also, great challenge theme.  HTTYD is amazing

 

Thanks! When my cravings get out of hand, returning to the black and white rules of the Whole30 really help me stay focused.

 

HTTYD is a prime example of how most adult movies suck and kids movies rock nowadays. If you haven't seen the TV series that went along with it, I would highly recommend watching it. The animation isn't up to movie quality, but the story content is.

 

SO MUCH OF THIS.

 

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Who doesn't want to be a dragon-riding Viking, eh Rurik? :)

 

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Challenge Update -3

Whole30 Day 1 - COMPLETE

Meal 1 - COMPLIANT
Meal 2 - COMPLIANT
Meal 3 - COMPLIANT
Extra Meal - Not Needed
No Dessert - CHECK
Followed Plan - CHECK

 

Lookin' good so far. Since it started on a Friday, I only had to really prep mentally for the weekend. There was still enough compliant food in the house that it would definitely hold me over until Monday. It was just a matter of putting the elements together to make enough meals. That way the food also doesn't go to waste either. However, the struggle will come with planning and prepping for a full seven-day week. I only end up getting enough to last for five days, so I'd like to try and extend to seven. I don't like using up the dining out budget on the weekend because there's no other option.

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Way to start strong!

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Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53,54

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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0ac1818991af864f0b8312999b79803a_zps4tli

 

IKNOWRIGHT?! DIDYOUKNOWTHATTHEYREACTUALLYBOOKS?? IAMONTHEHUNTTOREADTHEMALLOMG!!!

 

Thanks! This is technically my 4th Whole30, so I'm hoping that following the rules & recommendations will be second nature so I can focus on the habit changing aspect. If you struggle with sugar/carb cravings and can't figure out how to live in moderation yet, I would definitely suggest doing a Whole30.

 

First, I want to applaud you on the absolute perfect use of that gif. xD

 

Second, yes they are books and it's terribly exciting isn't it!!! Same characters, but different ages/situations so it's like reading a brand-new series. I've only read the first one, but I've long wanted to read the rest. The first one is excellent.

 

Oh, nice! If you've seen success with it before, I'm sure you'll see it again this time. It just may take longer to turn it into habit, like you were saying. :) 

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HTTYD is a prime example of how most adult movies suck and kids movies rock nowadays. If you haven't seen the TV series that went along with it, I would highly recommend watching it. The animation isn't up to movie quality, but the story content is.

 

^ This. Childrens' movies and books are some of my favorites in the universe.

I haven't watched the tv series; I couldn't get past the less-than-stellar animation, haha! But I suppose I'll have to give it another try now. :)

 

Lookin' good on your foodies so far! THAT'S 3.3% OF THE WAY TO VICTORY!!!

 

ETA: Well, sticklebats, I wanted that to all be in one post. Oops :)

  • Like 2
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First, I want to applaud you on the absolute perfect use of that gif. xD

 

Second, yes they are books and it's terribly exciting isn't it!!! Same characters, but different ages/situations so it's like reading a brand-new series. I've only read the first one, but I've long wanted to read the rest. The first one is excellent.

 

Oh, nice! If you've seen success with it before, I'm sure you'll see it again this time. It just may take longer to turn it into habit, like you were saying. :)

^ This. Childrens' movies and books are some of my favorites in the universe.

I haven't watched the tv series; I couldn't get past the less-than-stellar animation, haha! But I suppose I'll have to give it another try now. :)

 

Lookin' good on your foodies so far! THAT'S 3.3% OF THE WAY TO VICTORY!!!

 

ETA: Well, sticklebats, I wanted that to all be in one post. Oops :)

 

The husband wanted to stop at the bookstore before going to the grocery store, so I picked up the first one. I'm excited.

 

I have had a good deal of success with it, but I've got to own up to my cravings and habits to make permanent changes. I'm doing my best to make that the focus this go, even if it means going into February with it (which it probably will).

 

Honestly, I didn't think the TV series animation was too terrible. The content really makes up for it, imo. I would definitely give it another try.

  • Like 1
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Challenge Update -2

Whole20 Day 2 - COMPLETE
Meal 1 - COMPLIANT
Meal 2 - COMPLIANT
Meal 3 - COMPLIANT
Extra Meal - Snack COMPLIANT
No Dessert - CHECK
Followed Plan - CHECK

 

Whole30 Day 2 is in the bag. Breakfast and lunch were relatively easy. Dinner came with cravings while we were out grocery shopping. I made the right choices (as the husband was very cooperative and told me dinner was my decision), but I couldn't help eating a little too fast. Might need to step up the size of my meals a little bit.

 

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Meal prep is planned for tomorrow: hollandaise sauce (I'm feeling the beginnings of my fried egg kick coming again), beef stew, shredded pork, and some form of chicken (which might need some zucchini for this awesome "pasta" recipe). I like my veggies raw, so I've got salad fixings and baby carrots for crunching.

  • Like 4
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Challenge Update -1

Whole30 Day 3 - COMPLETE
Meal 1 - COMPLIANT
Meal 2 - COMPLIANT
Meal 3 - COMPLIANT
Extra Meal - Not Needed
No Dessert - CHECK
Followed Plan - Not Needed

 

Hangover headache has finally passed. I'm now in the tired/cranky stage, but that too passed a bit during my workout (which ended up feeling much stronger than usual). Cravings honestly haven't been much of an issue these past few days, but I'm thinking it has to do with my gung-ho attitude more than anything. I'm okay with that; at least I have a plan for when they do start kicking in.

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Workouts have cured a headache or two for me from time to time. Keep up the good work.

  • Like 1

Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53,54

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Good job so far! I'm glad you haven't had to use any of your emergency back-up plans for cravings yet, but it's great that you have them in place for when the New Shiny Excitement wears off. Cravings can be EVIL, especially for sugary food. Having a plan of attack is brilliant.

 

I cut sugar a while back, and a couple weeks in I started crying because I NEEDED SUGAR. Yaaay withdrawals! It was crazy.  O_______O I have long fallen off that wagon... I really should get back on it...

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Workouts have cured a headache or two for me from time to time. Keep up the good work.

 

Thanks! :)

 

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Good job so far! I'm glad you haven't had to use any of your emergency back-up plans for cravings yet, but it's great that you have them in place for when the New Shiny Excitement wears off. Cravings can be EVIL, especially for sugary food. Having a plan of attack is brilliant.

 

I cut sugar a while back, and a couple weeks in I started crying because I NEEDED SUGAR. Yaaay withdrawals! It was crazy.  O_______O I have long fallen off that wagon... I really should get back on it...

 

Withdrawal symptoms can be the worst. They make the cravings look like amateurs. >.< I'm quite glad that I haven't had cravings issues yet, but I know they're looming over there in the shadows, waiting...

 

Whole30 can be such an awesome/awful experience so I'm glad you're going strong so far!

Good luck on your challenge!

 

Thanks! Awesome/awful is definitely how I'd describe it. :)

 

Love this focus!!!  Whole30 is hard but totally worth it in the end.  And recognizing that "moderation" isn't the key is pretty amazing too!!!  

 

Thanks!! As much as I really wish I can eat in moderation, I really can't, so getting a handle on that will make a lot of my other goals easier to achieve.

  • Like 1
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Challenge Update 1.1

Whole30 Day 4 - COMPLETE
Meal 1 - COMPLIANT
Meal 2 - COMPLIANT
Meal 3 - COMPLIANT
Extra Meal - COMPLIANT
No Dessert - CHECK
Followed Plan - CHECK

Today was a reminder of what makes this so tough. I’m still getting over carb dependency, so there was enough time between breakfast and lunch that hunger struck, and it struck hard. My cravings are activated by big hunger and blood sugar drops. Followed the battle plan and ate my stew, but ended up with a mild hangover headache when I was finished. Munched on the dang toasted coconut chips that were part of my Whole30 emergency kit to give my body a reminder to EAT THE FAT DAMMIT. I spent the rest of the work day cycling between cranky as crap and tired as all get-out.

 

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Found a second wind after work; headache and fatigue disappeared around dinnertime. Dinner itself was a milestone; I put together a salad with the shredded pork, cucumbers, avocado, and Southwest Ranch. And instead of giving up on it after a few bites, I was perfectly okay with it as dinner. No appetite or cravings ruined a simple, kinda bland but definitely packed heat (SW Ranch) salad. However, I had to split it in two; I got very anxious/nervous an hour before capoeira class (shy is still my dominant personality trait), so I opted to stop before my stomach got too queasy. I finished it afterwards and added some homemade pineapple jerky to the mix (class lasted TWO HOURS).

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