giving up birthday cake and other things that make me happy

Our mostly paleo challenge was supposed to be easy because it involves me eating mostly the way I already ate. Except this way is more fun. It would have probably just ended up being me and L texting each other whenever we ate something obviously not paleo. Which is something else we already do. But then Kate got involved and suddenly there were spreadsheets, and we all wrote down our own set of rules, and other people got onboard.

And now everyone else is going to know if I cheat. I guess that’s the point, but really, my paleo challenge wasn’t supposed to be this CHALLENGING.

On DAY ONE, there was birthday cake. I mean, there’s always food in the office, and it’s not usually the paleo-approved variety, but there are only so many birthdays to celebrate in a year when you work for a small company. Why did one of them have to be on the very first day of my 60 days of healthy eating? I didn’t want to seem like I was anti birthdays or anything, especially not after I made such a fuss about my birthday. So I hung out while everybody else was eating cake and  tried not to be too obvious about the fact that I was sniffing their food.

At work, we have, somewhat unkindly, nicknamed the new guy Snuggles. (I know this seems like a sudden topic change now, but it will make sense in a minute.) Good thing Snuggles is a pretty good sport, because he has to put up with a lot of nonsense from the guys.

“Snuggles, you haven’t been here for 90 days yet. You should be in charge of snack time.” This is a running (and only semi-serious) suggestion that comes up a lot.

“Snuggles, go buy us some snacks!”

“Snuggles, Anna’s complaining because she didn’t bring enough food to work again. Where are those snacks you were supposed to get?”

We never expected to actually get any snacks out of him, but on the DAY TWO of my paleo challenge, Snuggles showed up with homemade pineapple salsa and lime flavored tortilla chips. What the heck? It’s like he did it on purpose because I couldn’t eat the stuff! I ate some salsa off a spoon until I got yelled at for double dipping, but it just wasn’t the same.

During spells of complaining about the food I’m not allowed to eat, I tried to enlighten the guys about our healthy eating challenge and how the point system works. It’s pretty straightforward, but some of them were a little slow on the uptake: if you eat good food for a meal, you get 2 points. If you cheat, you don’t get the 2 points AND you get -3 points for cheating.

“This doesn’t sound like a ‘healthy eating challenge,’” Josh pointed out to me the other day. “This sounds like a binge eating challenge.”

Well, we did borrow our rules from the real paleo challenge, but Josh is kind of right. I was stressed out on Friday morning, and I ate a bagel at work. Oops. It was a REALLY good bagel. In my usual haste to confess any guilty deeds, I promptly emailed Kate to tell her about my naughty-food transgression. I may have mentioned that I was contemplating eating another half a bagel.

Kate’s response: “You may as well since you’ve already got -3 points. You basically have a free pass on bagels for the rest of the morning.”


I ate another half a bagel. And a York Peppermint Patty. Just for good measure.

This is going to be a long 60 days.


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