This weekend I got to spend time up in the mountains with a group of 9 fantastic women. My best friend Dani is getting married in May and it was so fun to spend time with her, my other best friend Steph, and 7 other amazing ladies. We dressed Dani up as a tutu-wearing leprechaun, filled her up with gin, and took her to an Irish pub where we had a 3-hour long dance party from which my intercostals are still really sore. The next day we spent 2 hours soaking in a natural hot springs, then rented Magic Mike (oh yes we did) and watched it while painting our toenails and eating cookies. A girl’s weekend well spent, I would say.
When all was said and done, I actually hardly drank anything this weekend, but I still feel like total crap from all the very-not-paleo food I ate. We had nachos on Friday night, eggplant parmesan on Saturday night, pancakes Sunday morning, and cookies Sunday evening, plus chips, crackers, cheese, hummus, and, ok, a little bit of booze throughout the whole weekend. And today I feel like an overstuffed pillow. Not in the comfy way, mostly in the about-to-burst way.
A few weeks ago, as we began to plan the menu for the weekend, an email was sent out asking about food allergies. I hesitated… I don’t have an “allergy” to grains, legumes, or added sugar… Surely it would be too much of a hassle to bring it up. So I didn’t say anything. Not because I was fine with eating poorly for 3 days, not because I thought that my body would be ok with just a few days of things like pasta and ice cream. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to be that girl.
After dinner on Saturday night, I found myself flat on my back on the floor in-between the two twin beds in the condo bedroom I was sharing. After a delicious dinner of eggplant parmesan that I thoroughly enjoyed, my belly was bloated and rigid, my head was throbbing. And more than anything, I just felt really stupid. I was compromising my ability to enjoy the weekend, to have fun with lifelong friends whom I rarely get to see, because I was worried that they would think I was high maintenance if I requested that we have chicken tacos instead.
I am lucky because I was with friends who love me and would not have thought I was “just being high maintenance” if I had told them that I was just going to bring my food from home for the weekend. The fact that I was still uncomfortable about doing that, even around my best friends, is not a good sign. Will I ever learn to stand up for my new way of eating? Telling people that I’m “Paleo” can be such a pain. Because Paleo has been getting so much attention lately, it seems that people automatically assume that I’m just on a bandwagon and just choosing to restrict these foods because I want to be part of the fad. If they only knew.
Do I think that eating the way my body was designed to eat is a fad? Do I think I will ever go back to the way I used to eat? This weekend was a wake-up call for me (and if feeling crappy wasn’t a wake-up call, trying on my bridesmaid dress over my distended belly sure was) that I need to be ok with making my diet a part of who I am, not just something I do when it’s convenient and painless. I need to start acting like this is a permanent change, like this is just the way I eat, all the time, no matter what. Because it should be.