*From Tuesday, 06 May – https://www.livebelowtheline.com.au/blogs/5386
Even though I exhausted on Monday night I was up quite late, so I went to bed with the idea that I’d be taking the Tuesday off work. As it turned out, after a bit of a sleep in, a whole lot of water and taking the morning slow, I felt quite good. Remembering how terrible the previous day had been I tried my best to take a little bit of extra time in the kitchen. I cut up some carrots (to snack on), toasted some oats (for porridge with flavour or to pick at during the day), toasted some chickpeas with Italian herb mix and chili (for some protein) which I now have to add were darn good and my favourite thing I’ve eaten so far, and grabbed a pear (for a quick yet tasty start to the day). The thought behind this selection of food was that even though it wasn’t necessarily a large quality of food, snacking throughout the day would help keep my blood sugar level steady. I made a big effort during the day to drink plenty of water since I had forgotten to account for all the tea and coffee I would normally drink the previous day.
I settled into work and my boss was a little surprised to see me. As it turns out both of us had felt quite terrible the previous day and neither of us thought we’d be up to work. At this point I have to continue giving credit to my boss for keeping up with his decision to eat away from his desk. It’s truly been the sweetest gesture on his part and has made the challenge just that little bit easier. During the day more and more people took a moment during the day to ask how I was, how the challenge was going, and asked lots of questions about LBL. I received lots of props and encouragement and of course I heard pleanty of that infamous saying we all know too well, ‘I couldn’t do it’. I find it remarkable just how important the support from my office has been in getting me through this rollercoaster of a challenge so far, and it was one of the main reasons I got out of bed and came into work… as scared as I was to tackle yet another $2 day.
A couple hours into the day I received another anonymous donation for $20 which came with the message of “You’re doing a great thing – best wishes.” It was so nice to have that reinforcement again that the people I was doing this around really were behind me. One of the ladies in the office also mentioned that she’d read my previous post and how she found my food choices really interesting. I’ve found it really enjoyable discussing the challenge with people, and it seems the more they know about it the more they seem to be keen to support me in any way they can. It’s also now become clear that I am the only one doing LBL in the office, which is great because I’ve starting thinking I might have to do a little cupcake fundraiser on Friday to get a few extra dollars. I think making cupcakes when I can’t enjoy them myself should be entertaining as I’m sure they’ll be a few people in the office that will love the idea of me making, baking and drooling over cupcakes that I can’t have.
The coffee van came and left though I had barely noticed. It was a great change from the previous days pain and the IT boys weren’t overly bad either. Even though one of them continued on his mini rampage of delicious lunch talk, it was all in good fun and to be honest, I’ve really been enjoying the banter. Plus, the more I talk about food, and have all these delicious dishes brought to my attention, I’m really starting to enjoy thinking about all the wonderful things I’m going to be able to stuff in my face at midnight… because I don’t think I’ll make it to Saturday breakfast.
At this point the hardest part of the day was having a slightly lowered ability to focus, though it was much better than it had been the previous day. Instead of slicing my hand and tripping on myself I was only walking into doors and staring into space a little. Another challenging part of my day was not being able to go to the gym. Going to the gym is something I usually really enjoy doing, but I know that pushing my body physically during this challenge is not a good idea as it’s already being pushed in another way.
By the time 2:00pm came around, I felt a little delirious. So I increased my snacking and the strangest amount of focus kicked in. The next time I looked up from my screen it was just after 4:00pm and I decided to go for a walk to try and get my mind off not going home to a delicious home-cooked dinner after a long day of work on a cool and cloudy day. The walk made me feel calm, as I was noticing the colour of all the flowers on the street. It was quite beautiful and it hit me, I’d started appreciating the smaller things in life, but as soon as I came back into the office I noticed myself drifting off again and I had to put my earphones in because I could hear everyone talking about and eating chocolate. I find it really interesting to see just how much of a rollercoaster this challenge can be. One minute you’re okay and one minute you feel off balance. But I guess it’s all part of the experience.
By the time 6:00pm came around I was starting to feel a bit emotional. It made me realise that for the next three days I was going to need to plan out a substantial meal in the middle of the day to keep my emotions under check. The last thing I expected and wanted to see when I came home was a large pile of freshly cooked chicken schnitzels just sitting on the table, so I decided to get creative with a big bowl of pasta because I was starving. I used some pasta that I’d portioned out and added cauliflower, chickpeas, zucchini, tomato paste, Italian herb mix and chili. That pasta dinner was so very satisfying, and surprisingly delicious. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the fact that I knew people that’d be having much worse dinners, and they weren’t even doing the challenge. It seems like forcing myself to get creative in the kitchen has led me to discover some new, quick and easy go-to recipes. Recipes that I feel more than happy using once LBL is over.
With a belly full of food I couldn’t have been happier, and I portioned out all the food I had left for the next 3 days. It seemed I was being quite conservative with my food over the first two daysso I was looking forward to some substantial meals over the next 3 days. I finished off the evening with a handful of toasted oats and toasted oat porridge, which by this point I’d become addicted to. It was just how I felt about pop-corn, a tasty treat that once I started I couldn’t help but polish off the bowl. I can honestly say, that if nothing more comes out of this years LBL I won’t be surprised if toasted oats are something I continue eating long after the challenge is over