And other lessons.

Diet plan weight lose concept, fresh vegetable salad with fork, knife, note pad, grey stone table copy space top view

Ben Franklin was quoted as saying “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. My husband said, no plan is also a plan.

Last year, for a number of reasons, my husband I had our blood tested for food sensitivities. The results came back mid-December and honestly, the results were surprising. I expected some of my husband’s sensitivities, I didn’t think I would have any. Turns out I have quite a few. Or at least more than my husband.

The next step is to see how, if at all, these sensitivities are affecting our health and sleep. To do this, we need to eliminate these foods from our diet.

Not wanting to fail, we waited until after the holidays to start.

We set a start date…

In early January, we officially started our 6 weeks, 42-day journey to purge our bodies of these foods that may be silently affecting us.

As a trainer and coach, I know how important setting a goal and creating a plan is! I also know how powerful accountability can be on the journey to achieving a goal. I know that setting up rules or creating automatic processes help reduce the strain of using willpower.

However, I did none of these to help myself succeed. None.

As I type this, I wonder… was I self-sabotaging myself before I even started? Did I want to make this hard and difficult? Things that make you go hmmm.

January 5th arrived and we hadn’t even gone grocery shopping, we had no meal plan and we had not done anything to set up accountability. Honestly, the last time we had been to a grocery store (online or in-person) was before Christmas. We had been trying to clean out all the temptations before our start date. Great in theory, bad for the day you start and you have little to no food in the house. Even less of the foods, you can eat!

Day 1 was hard. Really hard. After a few weeks of overindulgence, I would automatically reach for the foods I wasn’t to eat. At the end of the day, my willpower was spent and I was exhausted. Unless, we made some changes, unless we did some planning, this was going to fail.

Day 2 was all about planning… we created a grocery list, did up a meal plan guideline and did some quick research on sites geared towards kids with allergies. If it works, use it.

No plan is a plan. My husband is right. I’m not sure what I was thinking by not planning. I can assure you the rest of the week was a lot easier than the first two days. With the right snacks in our house, the food we could eat and a plan, the rest of the week was much easier.

To reduce willpower drain, I am ensuring that there are quick, ready to grab, snacks. I threw out or packed away a lot of the food we cannot eat.

After a week, we will admit that our routines, our habits, require the most amount of willpower. Driving home after an adventurous night of flying tempted old habits. Thankfully we found satisfying alternatives and disaster was adverted.

Accountability… well that is covered with the Accountability Group!

The hardest part is often starting. Starting we have. Now that the first week is behind us, I feel good. We started, (ok, my husband has started) to experiment with different flours and food combinations and creating some tasty meals. We are learning just how much out there is full of filler (corn and potatoes) and then finding some yummy alternatives.

I anticipate our next big hurdle to happen around day 20. Remember… it takes 66 days to create a new habit. The first 22 are hard, the second 22 days are messy and the third 22 days are wonderful. I’m anticipating we hit a wall around the end of week 3. We will be ready. This time, I’m planning to succeed.

Have you ever done this? What was your experience?

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”

Pablo Picasso