Days 9 and 10

March 9 and 10, 2019

The weekend was nice. Boyfriend and I made our first adult purchase together- a new mattress! Very exciting. Both of our mattresses were old to us and we had them for four or five years so it was about time.

We treated ourselves to Olive Garden afterward. I haven’t been to an OG in like 7 years. That is what happens when you live in a city and rarely get to venture to the suburbs great American chains like that really fall to the wayside. To be honest, I am not that hurt about it. Although I could really go for fast food and Red Robin more often…. mmmm…

But OG was good. I only ever get the soup, salad, and bread sticks combo but man did I chow down on some bread sticks. SO YUMMY.

I had to turn away the card with their chocolate dessert lasagna. It looked so good. Layers of cake, and creamy chocolate… I need to stop thinking about it.

On Sunday I had my long run. 7 miles this time. Usually we run at around 10 or 11 in the morning but this time we were going to wait until it warmed up in the afternoon. Unfortunately I did not adjust my eating schedule to the run schedule and forgot to eat lunch and we didn’t start running until 2 pm. I completely hit a wall at mile 6. We finished out the last mile, but I felt absolutely sick by the time we got back to the car.

Sunday would have been one of those days I used my 7 mile run to eat whatever I want. Oh wait. I did do that. I had a tuna sandwich right when I got home  from the run. Then for dinner we ordered barbecue! I will say that past me would have ordered the barbecue, a soda, and then eaten a pint of ice cream on top of it. Instead I had a brisket sandwich, an ice tea, and some blueberries. I saved a few calories at least.

So it has been 10 days since I have had dessert. Overall it hasn’t been that difficult, but I haven’t really been confronted with sweets other than donuts so I anticipate this will get tougher.

I also haven’t lost any weight though, and that is definitely part of why I am doing this. I really thought that once I stopped eating a pint of ice cream or 600 calories of sweet snacks a day the weight would start to fall off. I guess like I said before there is an adjustment period of getting used to eating other food instead of sweets and right now I am adjusting by overeating. I’ll have to continue to watch and then start to make some changes as I get farther in this journey.

Day 8

March 8, 2019

What I did not expect on this journey is that I am always so HUNGRY!

I knew that I was skipping out on eating more real food to leave room for dessert but I guess I didn’t realize to what extent. I am seriously always starving. Think about it- I talked about inhaling a plate of lo mein and chowed down an entire bag of popcorn. That isn’t normal for me.

At this point in the journey I am not restricting calories. My goal right now is to just fill up the space desserts would have taken with more healthy alternatives. And let’s be real- just about anything has more nutritional value than a pint of ice cream or a chocolate cake.

I hope that over time as my body gets used to this I will naturally pull back in the amount I eat. For now, I am going to be better about filling some of that space with vegetables which I’ll admit have been lacking this week.

There have definitely been some struggles this week in craving things but again, boyfriend is having a much worse time of it. Today is international women’s day and another of his coworkers brought in cupcakes. The guy doesn’t even like cake but told me was just drooling over them. I am honestly surprised that he seems to be struggling more than I am. He is usually the more disciplined one.

I have had cravings as well but I find that they pass pretty quickly. There is something almost easier about saying to myself no, I am not going to eat this rather than taking up mental space wondering if I should or shouldn’t.

One thing that is making me nervous though is the prospect of a whole year. I think about not eating ice cream on summer vacation, or no cake on my birthday and I wonder if I’ll be able to make it. I just have to tell myself to take it one day at a time.



Day 7- Donuts AGAIN?!

Yes. Donuts again. Good grief. What is it with American work culture and donuts? And what is it with people who won’t take no for an answer?

It is especially confusing because I live in DC where the vast majority of people are in really excellent shape despite being surrounded by donuts and pizza and going to happy hour every night.

Anyway- another morning meeting. Another donut smorgasbord. Another food pusher telling me I really need to grab a donut, and then grab another one to take back to my desk with me!

How many times do you have to say “no thank you” or “no I’m fine” before they stop? Also does this happen to thin girls too? Or do they just weed out the portly ones for harassment?

(Okay side note: did you know that a smorgasbord a type of Scandinavian meal, that originates in Sweden. It s a buffet with multiple hot and cold dishes of various foods. I did not know this until just now when I looked up the spelling) 

So here I am on Day 7 of no desserts. It has not been as hard as I thought it would be but there are definitely some challenges. I think I made the right choice not trying to cut out all sugar but just focus on the big culprits. One step at a time!

Day 6- Dances with Donuts

March 6, 2019

Suuuper busy at work today. I had back to back meetings all morning until 3pm. I got tacos at the cafeteria for lunch at 12:30pm and finally got to finish eating them in between meetings at 2:30pm. Cold tacos. Delicious.

Even though I was so busy I was still really craving sweets. We had a meeting this morning with donuts and coffee so there they were staring me in the face for an hour.

Like many people I have an emotional attachment to donuts. My parents were in charge of circulation for a few newspapers for much of my life and sometimes (often) we would have to go do paper routes with them when there were down routes with no substitute delivery folks.

We would get up at 3 am and all pile in the car. I would sit in the back and roll the papers and tie them with rubber bands or fold them into the plastic bags to protect them from the rain. As I got older I would also get out and run the papers to the houses. My parents were serious about making sure they were on people’s front steps- never in the yard or the bushes so you couldn’t throw them like they do in the TV shows.

Anyway, we would usually get done around 7 am and on the way home would swing by the local donut shop. I won’t call the memory bittersweet but let’s be honest getting up at 3 am to deliver newspapers and get ink all over your hands and then put in a full day at school afterwards isn’t glamorous. Donuts helped make up for it and signaled sweet relief for my poor fingers. (Fun fact- did you know newsprint over years and years of constant contact can wear down your fingerprints? True story my mom barely has fingerprints anymore)

So that’s my donut story. Fast forward to today- I can tell myself logically that they were from a chain brand that I don’t like very much, and that they are super high in calories and not remotely filling. In fact- donuts are one of those foods that I swear make me hungrier after I have one. But I still want one. And after not having any desserts for six days I’m really jonesing for something cakey and sugary and…. well a donut.

Day 5

March 5, 2019

Feeling really proud that I did those four miles yesterday. I had the option to do three or four and I chose the extra mile (Hah!) Yay me!

Exercise is such a great mood booster for me. I honestly am addicted to it. I start to feel down if I skip too much. This is for two reasons- first because of whatever chemical effects it has releasing endorphins etc. and second- because I tend to be hard on myself when I don’t do what I intended every week. Setting goals is an important part of how I live my life and I always have a goal of working out 4-5 days per week. When I don’t hit it, I know I could have done better.

Today was a little bit rough. I ate breakfast really early and then was starving at lunch time. Sadly, the lunch I packed wasn’t all that substantial. It was leftovers from dinner last night and I was still really hungry afterward. So I ate some blueberries, and then I wolfed down an entire bag of popcorn. And then I ate an apple. I was full after that and it helped dampen my cravings but I still really wanted a coke or a brownie.

….And then dinner… well the chicken wasn’t thawed so I ate a pb&j sandwich so I didn’t go to the store hungry and then got some precooked pot roast for roast beef sandwiches. We had chicken burgers on the menu for later in the week so we had buns and fries. It wasn’t the plan but it also wasn’t fast food so it could have been worse.

Boyfriend is having a difficult time too. I used to be grouchy that my office never had treats but now I am counting my blessings. He is having hard time saying no to everything his coworkers keep bringing in. Someone brought in a Mardi Gras cake today- I forgot it is Fat Tuesday. Hopefully we both can stay strong.

Day 4

March 4, 2019

Today is going to be a good day! I have baked oatmeal, I have soup, and I am having pork tenderloin and cabbage for dinner. Yummy.

I actually don’t hate Mondays- the nature of my job allows me to sort of ease in on Monday, and prep for the craziness of the week instead of just getting thrown in.

I did realize today that I only have five weeks and four long runs left until the 10 mile race I am running early April. I need to make sure I am very intentional with my workouts and don’t skip any more runs until then. I got in a four miler today on the treadmill and made a plan with my running buddy to get our weekday runs in for the next few weeks. Spoiler alert- it is going to make me crabby. Four weeks of 7am runs. I have never been a morning workout person but I guess I’ll have to try. It is the only realistic way to guarantee I get those runs in and don’t skip out.

As far as desserts go- I am still a little concerned about how little I am craving them. This isn’t supposed to be miserable but right now it is feeling too easy. Is it really this easy? Is it really just a matter of changing my habits? I hope so.

Apparently boyfriend is struggling more than I am. That makes sense because at his office they have a pantry full of sweets. I haven’t come into contact with anything I want except those chocolate peanut butter candies on my coworker’s desk. I now walk out the office through the opposite door to avoid them.

Day 3

March 3, 2019

Ok, so I was supposed to go on a long run today. But that didn’t happen.

Last night some friends texted me to go out since Lent is coming and they’re going to have to wind back for a while.  I had a few drinks but no sweets so I count that as a win!

Unfortunately we stayed out so late I didn’t get up before the rain started and it poured all day long. An empty excuse? Yeah maybe. But the point is I didn’t go.

So what is a girl to do when she skips her long run and it is raining cats and dogs? Cook of course!

I made black bean soup from scratch! Soaked beans, ham hock and all. I also baked homemade biscuits. Not quite as successful- I may have overworked them but still pretty good with a hot bowl of soup! And then I made baked oatmeal for the week.

I have been making this frequently lately. It is super easy and super filling. Most recipes call for a bunch of sugar or other sweetener like maple syrup but I have found just two tablespoons or so works pretty well if you’re putting in fruit. This week’s flavor is triple berry.

Hopefully the big batch of soup and oatmeal will keep me on track this week. I think it is tough to overeat too much when you have such high fiber foods.

I am a little worried about how I haven’t been craving desserts. You’re probably thinking it’s because of the sugar in the alcohol and the foods like baked oatmeal. That’s probably correct because again I am not ditching sugar altogether. But I am still surprised that I haven’t been dying for a pint of ice cream or some cake.


Day 2

March 2, 2019

Here we go Day 2! Not craving anything last night gave me faith this might not be as horrible as I anticipated.

Training for a half marathon is helping me really think about using food as fuel and be honest with myself about how different foods impact my body.

Eating too many sweets the night before spin class or a long run makes me feel sluggish and grumpy in the morning. Not having a good breakfast if I am going to try to run more than 5 miles makes it a total slog. Dairy before either of these? As I learned at last week’s long run- that’s just a disaster. Don’t ask.

Day 1

March 1, 2019

Okay here we go. The first day of the rest of my life– right?

Last night boyfriend and I ate chocolate cereal and a pint of ice cream each. It was a good send-off because I felt sick afterward and reminded myself why I am doing this.

(Oh yeah, I forgot to add sugary cereal to the list of no’s- definitely food with no breaks for me)

This morning was fine. I had coffee and a bagel thin.

At lunch I had a catered meeting. On my way out the door I instinctively grabbed for the chocolate peanut butter candies my coworker put out in her communal candy drawer. I stopped myself but man- it was like a reflex!

The lunch meeting was not as fully stocked as I had anticipated. There were cookies, chips, and water. I took a bag of chips and a water and thought about getting a chocolate pudding at the snack bar downstairs. Instead I had an apple and some pretzels when I got back to my desk.

Since it’s Friday boyfriend and I went out for drinks and Chinese. Another thing I don’t have a problem with- alcohol. Two drinks and I’m done.

Anyway I inhaled a plate of lo mein. It was amazing.

We got the check and the fortune cookies- I don’t even like fortune cookies! But somehow half of it was gone before I even realized what I was doing! Again it was like a reflex!

Besides the cookie accident I didn’t crave anything sweet last night. I was prepared to have a cup of tea if I felt like I needed sugar but since I ate so much dinner I was satisfied all night!

Day 0

February 29, 2019

Today is the day before I start my Ditch Desserts Journey and I wanted to talk a little about why I am doing this and set up my ground rules.

I am going to give up desserts for one year starting March 1, 2019.

Why am I doing this? One reason- my health.

According to the BMI charts I am obese. I don’t think anyone walking down the street thinks ‘oh look at that fat girl’ but the bottom line is it isn’t healthy, and I need to develop better habits and drop some weight.

Because of my eating habits I have high cholesterol. I am under 30 and my doctor is considering putting me on medication for it. Something has to change.

My doctor told me the closer I can get to vegan eating, the better off I’ll be. Well. I’m not giving up meat, but I can say I now eat less of it- and I focus on swapping out red meat for seafood, and poultry.

The thing is- my meals are pretty healthy! On an average day breakfast is oatmeal and coffee, lunch is usually dinner leftovers, I eat some fruit or some pretzels for a snack, and dinner is usually cooked at home- for the last several months it has been a recipe from a healthy eating cookbook with a heavy focus on in season veggies.

I work out 4-5 days a week. Classes at my gym, spin class on the weekends, and I am currently training for a half marathon! I don’t own a car so I walk everywhere- 10,000 steps a day- No problem!

BUUUT! When that 3 o’clock slump hits and I can’t make it to the gym to distract myself things go downhill fast.

3pm I hit up the snack bar- froyo, or a giant cookie, maybe a soda. The other day I ate an entire share pack of mini Chips Ahoy cookies it was something like 500 calories! AAND I ate a package of peanut m&ms. So that’s 750 calories I added to my otherwise healthy day.

Often after dinner boyfriend and I will eat a pint of ice cream each or an entire package of chocolate/ candy. This is another 500-1200 calories a night after a full day of eating!

‘Don’t keep these foods in the house’ you say? Hah! I don’t! I never keep soda or chocolate or pastries in my house. But I live in a city. Right next door is a corner store where I can get anything I want. Two blocks down is the grocery store. It takes no effort to go get my fix any time I want.

With that said I am not giving up sugar wholesale right now although I may work on that as I get used to the no dessert lifestyle.

For now I am just giving up “desserts.”

I think many people will think what I keep versus what I am ditch is arbitrary, but it isn’t. Last year I completed a Whole 30 and it taught me different people struggle with different foods. I do not binge eat non sweet food. I do not binge eat fruit, I can’t finish a Venti mocha, I can eat a normal serving of pizza. I rarely eat chips of any kind.

Desserts are my food with no breaks, so I am taking this year and resetting my relationship them.

The rules are pretty simple:

Nothing that can be described as a traditional dessert-

No cake, No cookies, No candy, No ice cream, No shaved ice, No soda, No pancakes, No french toast, No waffles, No Nutella, No sweet pastries, No granola bars with chocolate in them, No trail mix with chocolate in it

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list- but you get the idea.

Acceptable things:

Flavored Coffee drinks- like a skim mocha (yes skim or almond milk)

Peanut butter

Any whole, natural fruit

Yogurt- but no froyo