Week 1

That sounds like Weak One.
Shut up, monkey

My monkey and I have been in rehab for 7 days now. No booze and no bread.  And this time we brought some friends along.

I knew the booze thing would be pretty easy.  I picked February on purpose.  It’s a short month, and a cold month.  We’re stuck in a polar vortex, and my social calendar isn’t very full.  I also knew that giving up bread at the same time would make going beer-less seem like a walk in the park.

It has been a challenging first week.   The other day I got a letter in the mail offering me a Free Beer at a local bar any time during the month of February.  Funny coincidence?  Or Ganesh playing tricks on me?

It’s a sign!  Go get that free beer! It’s free.  And it’s beer.
Shut up, monkey!

This morning when I went to the front door to check for mail, I found a loaf of bread hanging there.  That was not a coincidence! You might think it was a mean thing for someone to do. Taunting me, tempting me, trying to sabotage my efforts.
We should make french toastwith cinnamon and maple syrup.
Shut up, monkey!
But I see it as a real vote of confidence from someone who knows that I can do this.  I can do this, right?

The whole point is for this to be a learning experience. It’s not about deprivation.  It’s not about forcing myself to give up something that I love.  It’s not even about succeeding for the full 28 days. This is only about mindfulness and personal growth.  And that is just what I will say if I fall off the breadwagon.

But I won’t. Will I?
No, maybe you won’t, but keep eating all that chocolate.
Shut up, monkey!  Okay, so maybe I am eating a little bit of chocolate, and drinking a little more coffee than usual.  But I’m learning…

On Day 1 of rehab I had no idea what to eat for breakfast.  I couldn’t have toast. Or a bagel. And I was so hypersensitive to everything carbohydrate that I didn’t want to eat cereal, even though it’s not bread. So I had a salad.  For breakfast.  Who the hell are you? And what have you done with my friend?  the monkey asked.   Lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, nuts, chunks of apples and cheese. For breakfast.  For real. And the monkey screamed, Where are the croutons, bitch?!
No croutons.
Chow Mein noodles then, Something!
No! None of that! Shut up!

I have become very mindful of eating.   I keep asking myself why am I EATING this?  Do I really have to eat right now? Am I feeding hunger?  Do I need fuel or am I feeding something else? Anxiety, boredom, stress, dehydration? And why am I eating THIS? This particular food? Why is this food my choice?
Like brown rice and beans for breakfast on Day 2. What the hell?
Quiet, you!

Last year’s mindfulness practices already taught me that a little bit of mindful goes a long way. It spreads to other things.  But it is still a surprise to me every time it happens, and how it happens.

Making changes in community has also been a learning experience.  Even though I’m never one to care what other people think about me and my choices, I have it in the back of my mind that I won’t fail because I have gone public with this. Having their support (and their sarcasm) moves me forward through the days.

But this sense of community has also made me mindful of many other things in my life.  I am drinking more water, and every time I do I think of Jayne and her challenge.  I am working on my meditation practice and checking labels for gluten content. I’m more aware of my negative self-talk.
How much more aware can you be? You’ve named me!
Shut it, monkey!

I can’t even think about eating a cookie. Thanks to Brian.  And because of the secret rehab projects that some people are working on I’m mindful of every single unproductive, unnecessary, unhealthy behavior of mine.   What have they given up? Is it a habit I need to lose too?
Maybe it’s chocolate?
Really? Come on.

I thought this community mindfulness was only happening to me, but my cousin told me that she feels a little pang of guilt every time she eats bread.  And because of her, I have been making a conscious effort to spend more quality time with my girls, and surprise them with sweet gestures.

I didn’t set out to give up bread forever.  And I will probably celebrate making it through this month with a cold frothy beverage or two on March 1st.  But I am learning a lot of things along the way.

You really have learned a lot already. You can probably stop now. You’re good. SO mindful.
Shut it, monkey.

I’m looking forward to what weeks 2, 3 and 4 will bring. And I hope my fellow Rehabbers are as well.




  1. I can’t wait to raise a pint in your honor tonight, dear…I’d make a “toast” but you know…no bread!!!

  2. You go girl ! It really helps motivation when you know that others are in the walk with you. And although my “word” for the year is JOY, my daily word is “mindfulness”… gratitude for a healthy body, good food and the knowledge to make good choices. I am blessed and I count you as one of those blessings !

  3. […] Last year I realized that in order to stay off the bread, I compensated with chocolate and coffee. This year some of the other people gave up chocolate so I decided to make a conscious effort not to do that again. I am still overdoing it with coffee, and I did have a couple of unhealthy run-ins with Kettle Chips. […]

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