Recapping 3 weeks of vegetables and a side story

Today, kiddos, I’ve got two stories to share. I’ll start with the side story because it’s cheerier (TL;DR for the second story: I haven’t been eating my vegetables very well).

The News

I caught up with a friend over lunch today, and they did one of the nicest thing you can do for a masochist like me: They complimented me on my strategy.

To recap: For the last two years, I’ve gone after a big idea in small increments. Last year, it was to do a 5K every month. This year, it was a different daily goal each month. This could sound ambitious, and sometimes it is. But it’s broken down into manageable chunks.

Last year, I could have set time goals. I could have said I’ll run a whole race. I did neither of those things. Instead, I wanted to hit those marks, but my only goal, and therefore my only marker of success, was completing a 5K each month. Because I left the ambitious marks off the official goal list, I didn’t get discouraged when I didn’t hit those marks (and there were injuries and life along the way that would have been dangerous to push any more than I did). This year, I have a new goal each month, but success isn’t marked by month (and as you’ll see later, that’s a good thing sometimes). Instead, I’m marking my success every day. Falling off the wagon today doesn’t mean that the whole month is a loss, just that day. So tomorrow is another day, and therefore tomorrow’s a day I can win no matter what happens today.

And that’s what they were complimenting. They’d run into the trap of falling one day and then calling the endeavor a loss because they weren’t perfect. Instead, they’re trying to do a better job of not letting a little hiccup lead to a big hiccup.

That really meant something. Especially this month.

The Rest of the Story

On to the recap of weeks 2 and 3 of June. As you sports fans know, I’m trying to eat 3 servings of veggies. Sounds simple. A couple of salads a day, and one meal with veggies. Over 22 days, I’ve missed on 13, including an impressive 8 in a row. But let’s get rolling without further ado:

Day 8: Two Salads (sort of)
Day 8

Day 8 wasn’t a big fail, but it was an omen for things to come. I had a salad at lunch and a salad with dinner. At this point, I’m not so good at remembering to take pictures of my food, like a good little hipster. I also wasn’t feeling fantastic, which kept up for the next few days.

Day 9: Salad, stir fry, more stir fry, and sushi
Day 9

This is where we’re starting to run into problems. While this might look like a victory, it includes the stir fry dish I wasn’t wanting to eat (and I believe I threw out two meals worth of food). But this day was still a good day. Two sets of stir fry, accompanied by salad and sushi. Not a bad day.

Day 10: Stir fry
Day 10

Day 10 was simple because I had delicious stir fry for lunch, and then my issues from Wednesday came back and ruined any urge I had to eat vegetables. I have a lot of quit in me, and I had a lot of reasons to quit this day.

Day 11: pasta and veggies
Day 11

And the lack of success continues into Saturday, with a vegetable medley accompanying my garlic chicken pasta.

At this point, we’re transitioning to my week in Memphis for work. Day 12 has no log, but I remember eating oatmeal (no veggies) and a burger with fries (there was lettuce on the burger?), so we’re on to lucky 13.

Day 13: Coleslaw
Day 13

This one is misleading. It looks like I ate some coleslaw. I actually ate two bites before giving up. I still wasn’t feeling well. Earlier in the day, I had a meatball sub and some oatmeal (not in that order). Not the worst day, but not the best.

Day 14: Shrimp and scallops pasta
Day 14

At least by now I’m no longer feeling like complete crap. My breakfast consisted of some meager fruit and a croissant. At lunch, I had some crawfish étouffée (with no visible veggies), while dinner included a shrimp and scallops pasta that at least had some visible veggies. I may or may not have chased this with chocolate ice cream.

Days 15 and 16 has no record, though I remember eating another meager breakfast, a burger and onion rings for lunch, and a sandwich for dinner on the 15th (I swear, there was lettuce on the burger and the sandwich), as well as eating a weird quiche thing for breakfast and sonic for lunch on the 16th.

Day 17: Return of the salads
Day 17

And now we’ve got the return to salads because I’m back home. My salads have an obnoxious consistency I don’t like to deviate from: lettuce (plus spinach at work), croutons, tomatoes, black olives, and usually ranch dressing (though I think that’s 1000 island on the bottom salad). I’m slowly turning into a rabbit.

Day 18: salads and shrimp pasta
Day 18

And we have a temporary return to success. This was accompanied by more salads (which did at least swap the carb supplement on) and the shrimp pasta. In case you’re wondering why I keep eating the same shrimp pasta, it’s Birds Eye Voila Garlic Shrimp. It’s one of those toss-on-a-skillet meals that’s ready in 10-15 minutes. I’m lazy, and it has vegetables. That’s how we roll in this home.

Day 19: salad and pasta
Day 19

More salad. More pasta. Nothing to see here.

Stolen picture of Panda Express broccoli beef
Day 20

This is not my picture. I forgot to snag a pic of my meal, but this was basically it: broccoli beef over fried rice (that has veggies in it!). For supper, I honestly can’t tell you what I had. I met some friends at a dim sum restaurant, and I forgot what I ordered before it even arrived. All I know is that it didn’t have vegetables and a lot of it was steamed.

Day 21 wasn’t big on veggies. Breakfast was toast and a waffle. Lunch was a catered meal that led to catfish, fries, hushpuppies, fried pickles, and cole slaw. Supper, though? Supper was work. I used an obscene amount of dishes to make one batch of sesame chicken over brown rice, plus another plate for the salad. The sesame chicken included broccoli and green beans to make the grade. All that work, and I didn’t hit my goal? Ugh. Unless you count the cole slaw, and I feel like cole slaw might meet the letter of the law while violently disobeying the spirit of the law.

Day 22: Salad, more salad, and stir fry
Day 22

And that gets us to today and the story of my friend. We went to a burrito place, and I was intent on making bad decisions. As I sat in line, though, I realized I was going to order a salad. You have no idea how depressing that is for me. I didn’t even start eating salad until my 20s. And to be honest, after April’s no refined grains and this never-ending montage of salads, I was looking forward to a bad decision. My friend and I were both kind of disappointed in my decision. As I said, “Salad,” I was asked if I wanted a bowl or a shell. That caught me off guard. I had to think about what that meant. I could have the shell again? I was having the shell. Now, did I want to make it a combo to include chips, salsa, and a drink? Hells yeah, I did. This is when we had the conversation about persevering despite small mistakes.

It’s been a long couple of weeks. I’m not that proud of myself, but I didn’t gain weight, and I didn’t give up. Yet.



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