Variety is the spice of life, they say. I wholeheartedly believed that and lived by that mantra. In fact, I think it's one of the reasons that I gained so much weight. In my effort to eat something different every day I went a little crazy and ended up eating lots of something differents every day.
In fact, it was one of the major problems I foresaw with my ability to continue and do well on the diet because the food options were so limited and I "had" to eat the IP food. I put my game face on, though, and decided to give it a try and see what happened. If nothing else, maybe I could shed a few pounds before I got too bored with the food.
You know what I found out? That variety isn't really necessary for satisfaction in eating. In fact, I found great comfort in routine, in knowing what I was going to eat for lunch, in knowing how I was going to order when I went to a restaurant and in knowing how the food was going to make me feel.
And to be honest, it's the last little bit that has become the most important factor in my relationship with eating and food now.
I discovered, in this "cleansing" as I like to call it, that some foods made me feel bad. Really bad. Sick, swollen, miserable. They gave me migraines, made my feet swell...not to mention what they did to my stomach and digestion. I never realized which foods were triggering my ill feelings...I just thought I was "sickly." I had red rashes that would spontaneously erupt on my face, neck arms and legs. Sometimes I would have terrible eczema.
And now? I have no eczema, I don't swell...I haven't had a migraine in over a year. My stomach is mostly happy--and only unhappy when I eat one of the foods that triggers ill digestions. And it's so cool that I now know what foods those are (dairy, wheat, and grains).
How do I feel about the lack of variety in my diet? I actually like it. I like the comfort of knowing that I can have "whatever" for dinner and feel satisfied. Every now and then I'll want something specific, but there's a huge freedom in eating leftovers and pretty much the same thing every day. The freedom of knowing that I can maintain my health and my weight and that all I have to do is eat meat and veggies and fruit. It's amazing!
On a slightly separate note: The IP products provide lots of variety. I think that the company has gone a long way to try to encourage different tastes and preferences for foods. They not only have a good variety of options available--Shakes, puddings, bars, soups, chips and other snacks--but the variety of flavors available in them is also very good. I have to be careful because some of the bars (what I prefer to eat because of the flavor and convenience) have wheat in them and even that tiny bit of wheat sets off a digestive reaction in me that is unpleasant.