The Real Challenge is that I Love Food.

Given that my daughter will be turning ten in March, I’ve accepted that I must quit referring to my muffin top as baby weight. It’s a food baby, plain and simple.

Crappy photo
I am a master at hiding the food baby. Accessories are my friend.

Since wishing it away hasn’t had any effect on my waistline, and attempts at regular exercise have been so-so, and I don’t have the energy to go find out what this year’s iteration of the Weight Watchers plan is (since it seems to change every year – make up your mind, people), as I mentioned earlier this week, I opted for the Advocare 24-day challenge – mostly on a whim.

I’m now nearing the end of the 24-day challenge, which sounds horrific on paper and has been (surprisingly) less horrific in real life. I may have mentioned this in that same post as well.

Or you may have missed it, distracted by the LOUD rumbling and groaning of my stomach, the sound not unlike that which may be emitted by a 60-year-0ld plumbing system in a derelict high-rise, and I’m certain you can hear it from wherever you currently sit. It IS a sound which causes me concern but so far, thankfully, has just been a noisy distraction.

I survived the “cleanse” portion of the challenge, as did my family. This wasn’t a cleanse like the one my husband endured pre-colonoscopy (thank heavens). The intent was, apparently, to rid the body of toxins. The word “challenge” was also not tossed around loosely: for the past 16 days I have forgone any sort of dairy, added sweeteners (real or artificial), gluten, added fat, and – to the horror of my 11-year-old – caffeine.

No coffee, no cheese, no joy in life.


No matter where I go, they get my name wrong, but for the love of latte I forgive them.

My 11-year-old was jaw-droppingly horrified at the thought of mom forgoing her morning (and afternoon) java. While a packet of vitamins and caffeine chugged first thing in the morning (along with a packet of fiber) kept nasty mom at bay, I didn’t tell them that.

In fact, I have thoroughly enjoyed saying, through gritted teeth “Don’t mess with mama right now, I haven’t had caffeine in [x] days” even if I’m not really feeling caffeine withdrawal issues. Shh, don’t tell them.

I also have developed an innate sense of where the nearest bathroom is, anywhere, because I’m downing about 90 ounces of water a day. Yessiree, about 11 glasses. I hit half of my step goals just running to the loo, so there’s that.

The challenge is aptly named. Dining out, in particular, has not been fun. Doable, but sitting across from family members snarfing down gooey queso and chips and seeing margaritas marched by on parade while I gulp down tap water is torturous. Ditto for when they have pizza, or when my daughter and friends asked to make brownies today.



Then there was the Krispy Kreme fiasco.

Say your daughter asks if you would get her a doughnut at Krispy Kreme. She had been very cooperative while you ran errands, so feeling like you could be a good mom AND prove to myself that you do have a shred of willpower, you agree (because if you go through the drive through you won’t be tempted by all the sights and smells). And after waiting (and waiting) at the order screen, listening to the casual chatting taking place over the headphones, when you place your order you wonder if the order taker is on a total sugar high because he’s so unfocused.

When you arrive at the window, it’s no surprise that “two dozen” is not your order. And so you correct the guy. And repeat it. And he repeats it incorrectly, again, so you, through gritted teeth, repeat your order. And then again.

At the window the guy’s eyes indicated that he is INDEED on a sugar high or something (because THEY are glazed), you stupidly pull away, and then into a parking space for a peek in the box only to discover that you did indeed get the wrong donuts.

Going inside was what you were trying to avoid, because there is so much temptation. But, it’s your daughter, and NOBODY is going to eat the strawberry frosted with sprinkles that they gave you, so you take the box back into the shop.

Only to get back to the car to find they took out all the right donuts and gave you more wrong ones, so you have to go back in.

And the need for carbs and sugars and donut smells nearly drive you to strangle the dude at the counter, were it not for the sweet kid who would be stranded in the car when the police come….

And all you can think is “you have ONE job. To put donuts in a box…” while driving sweet kid with the sweeter smell of Krispy Kreme seeping through the car.

Note to self: next time, if mama can’t have donuts, ain’t nobody getting donuts!

I have an incredibly sweet tooth which makes dieting and detoxing particularly hard. I know that eating too many sugary things is no good for my teeth but that does not make it any easier.

One of my friends recently had to have some dental work done by a Dentist in Lancaster after her appetite for sweet treats left her with cavities and tooth decay. I hope my own penchant for sugar does not land me in a similar situation!


* * *

I’m happy to say that the cleanse (along with the nasty packet of fiber which needed to be chugged) is behind me (you see what I did there) and I’m now on to the “MAX” part of the challenge. I think the MAX actually refers to the amount of supplements I’m choking down by lunch time. I should mention that I’m not only not a fan of pills but that I’m also terribly absent-minded and thus generally negligent in remembering to take medication of any kind, so in addition to the reminders to pick up my kids from school and various appointments during the day my iPhone is pinging with reminders (and reminders of reminders) to take my supplements, the sound reminiscent of a Vegas slot machine.

It also means that I can have things like oatmeal, quinoa, and very small amounts of dairy and such without feeling guilt.

The fact that I had to combine “quinoa” and “guilt” in a sentence, or “I can have” and “quinoa” in a sentence is equally concerning. In fairness, the last time I had quinoa it was horribly prepared, so the dish I cooked tonight was surprisingly delicious, but still.


I will also say that I have been driven to making these cauliflower tortillas I found on Pinterest because I can’t stomach one more thing wrapped in a lettuce leaf. As I cannot stand the smell of cauliflower, you know it’s desperate times when I’m lobbing it in my shopping cart despite the knowledge that the price is through the roof (thank you snow and rain) and I may have to barter my firstborn for it at the register.


All said, I’m down about 8 pounds in the first 18 days, so something is working. How much of it is really attributed to the supplements, I can’t be sure because not only am I not doing any late night snacking, but I’m not eating as much food, period, and anything I am eating is super healthy.

I do feel like I’ve broken my super sugar cravings, although if you wave a donut in my face right now I’m likely to take you down. I don’t NEED a cup of coffee in the morning – but I do miss the ritual.

However, my eating habits are vastly improved and I have not cheated in the face of many temptations. I’ll definitely be sticking with a lot of what I’ve implemented, including the water consumption and making better choices.

At least, I will right after I head out for lunch on the first day after the challenge ends. Because I really need gooey queso and chips with a donut chaser.



Mama’s Losin’ It

I’m linking up today with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. Today’s post was (very) loosely inspired by the prompt:

1. Share the last five items you pinned, choose one and let it inspire a blog post.

Now, head on over to Mama Kat’s because there is great stuff linked up there!


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