Lead me not into temptation

Photo credit: Whole9life.com
Photo credit: Whole9life.com

If you’ve said the Lord’s Prayer once or twice in your life, you might recognize the title of this post. In the strictest Biblical sense, it means what it says – keep me from sins, protect me from my own temptations that will likely do me more harm than good.

But this isn’t just about not having sex when you’re not supposed to, or disobeying the Ten Commandments. We face temptations on a daily basis, and if you’re into the seven deadly sins and that sort of thing, you may find that they tend to revolve around those: we are too lazy to be productive, we eat too much and then our bodies hate us for it, we want too much and then we end up with nothing, and so on.

And in the New Year, temptation can seem to rear its ugly head even more than usual, just after you’ve settled upon those pesky resolutions. It takes a lot of willpower to get through a tough day sometimes, much less a year’s worth of goals and rules you’ve set for yourself. Along with declaring 2013 to be a dedication to love (perhaps temptation isn’t such a bad thing for that project?), I decided to dabble a bit in a hardcore resolution of sorts — for one month.

When my trainer asked all of the people who have been doing My Bootcamp with him to try a 30 Day Transformation through the Whole30 program, some of us were skeptical, including me. I don’t even eat out as much as my friend Tammy, but the thought of finishing football season with no beer, having water at happy hours instead of wine, and giving up favorites like peanut butter, cheese, and beans for a month to go paleo was hard to bear. “It’s just a month!” I told myself…and Grant told me. So I said yes.

Bison Meatballs
Bison Meatballs

We’re on the 12th day now of the 30 Day Transformation, and it’s actually gone pretty well. It’s in line to start my training for a couple of big races I’m signed up for in April, and it is the kickstart I wanted after missing a couple of months of training and gorging during the holidays. It’s not meant to be forever, and once February 1 hits, I guarantee I’ll be having a glass of wine and a hunk of bread with some Brie, but I do think that this will probably be somewhat of a lifestyle change – who can say no to more delicious combinations of meats and veggies? This experience forces even the experienced cook to be more creative, and is a nice little test of willpower…and of course, temptation. In my first week, I idly sipped water while watching friends down a few bottles of wine one night, and again a few nights later while watching the BCS Championship at a sports bar – and I had to have salad of course, given the menu. It makes me give a harder look at restaurant menus, to really see what the ingredients are, and to try new things. My biggest temptation yet? An office birthday celebration with macarons (not even a favorite sweet) and cheese. It was the cheese that got to me. That day I had been unfocused, tired, and could have killed for anything with carbs. But, I had berries and went back to my desk. Phew — glad I passed that test.

That’s just one temptation out of many that I’m facing – there are other blog posts for those. But as I near the halfway point of this challenge, I’m feeling good about my commitment and dedication — no cheating, and since I can’t control a restaurant’s entire menu, I’m in as control as I can be. It feels good, and it just too me deciding to do it, just like anything else. If you can’t do something for 30 days, when can you?

Check my recipe section for a few of the new things I’ve tried since I started…and share your own Whole30/Paleo experiences or other ways you’ve avoided temptation of any kind in your life in the comments!

P.S. I didn’t address any of the science stuff behind why the Paleo diet is so recommended. Why? Because I’m still trying to decide myself what I think. That being said, this is more about trying some lifestyle changes, and seeing how your body reacts to it. The bottom line is about experimenting and seeing what works and what doesn’t. It may not work for everyone!

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