[Standard New Year’s Resolution/Promise to Change Here]

We are on the third week of our latest pass of P90x and this time… drum roll… the diet as well. Here are some thoughts I’ve had along the way.

Days 1-5

These days were difficult as we got used to the sheer volume of prep and clean up there is. This type of diet was also a shock to our buying habits, as we did not have many of the baseline ingredients. Certainly not any of the protein supplements, and certainly not as many vegetables and fruits as we might need.

The first day was fine, but from about day 2-5, the headaches started for me. My partner didn’t report any changes, though. But for me… oh, the headaches, the cyclical headaches. How quickly the onset was once my body realized that I was not going to feed it the carbs and sugar it wanted! The worst was the pre-lunch headache, followed by the late-afternoon/evening headache. Usually, eating the large meals alleviated this some. I do have to say that a few times, I supplemented with herbal tea and in one instance, some Advil when I needed to be totally present at a meeting.

Days 6-7

The first weekend, sort of shockingly, was not as bad as I thought. I had some plans that kept me busy on Saturday, although I did have a slight headache throughout the day. Sunday was our cheat day since we were hosting brunch with the family. Really, the only cheating we did was the brunch itself; we had a decent dinner as I tried to cook a big enough meal to carry us through the next day as well.

Days 8-12

Shockingly, this week went fairly well. No real headaches. I will say I was fairly tired a lot of the time, especially towards the end of the day. The worst days were the late ones, where we’d work out after coming home from work and then climb. Here, dinner wouldn’t be until at least 9 PM which was just rough. One day I supplemented with an accidental dairy drink (I thought it was non-dairy)–this sort of satisfied my hunger and protein needs for the day but made my gut feel iffy later on since I hadn’t taken a dairy supplement. Oh well.

Day 13-14

Saturday the 13th was rough. Not so much because we didn’t have food on hand, because we did. Good food, too. I think it was rough because we spent much of the day being sluggish, and so the sheer boredom after working out that set in–relative to a work day–was enough so that there was just more room to think about food. All damn day.

Sunday though was cheat day again, and I cheated good… The first thing I texted to my partner in the afternoon, as I’d gone to a wedding show, was I just had some cake…and mushroom bisque. Later, we had dumplings. And later after that, Indian food. Interestingly, after I’d come home from dumplings, I’d complained I was extremely tired. Then, after the Indian food for dinner, en route to our movie, I said the same thing. My partner retorted that it was no wonder! None of the cheat food we’d eaten was any good. And people wonder why they have trouble getting up the energy to burn it off. Hadn’t I ever eaten clean before?

Well…no. No I had not. Not in any kind of strict or official capacity. Had I generally tried to control what I was eating and cut out some of the crap? Yes, but again. Not like this, and certainly not paired with this kind of workout regimen.


So some impressions in general:

  • The carb and sugar withdrawal is real. This was probably a good reason for my headaches in the first few days after starting the diet.
  • Life is about food. I think about….when will I eat next? Will the snack be enough? Is this enough protein? Am I going to feel full after this entire plate of food, or will I be hungry again in an hour? I’ve had to make sure that I have healthy snacks on hand in case the hunger is just too much, while also keeping in mind that I shouldn’t be going overboard.
  • There is a certain…mental clarity that happens after the muddledness of the first week. I like it. I feel slightly more alert during some periods.
  • People react in interesting ways when you make a change. This probably applies to any change, really. To me, most people’s reactions have been, why are you dieting? You don’t need to go on a diet. I find it difficult to talk about with people when this is their first reaction, even if they press me. I am changing my eating habits for a time because I am not happy with what I’ve been doing, is all. I shouldn’t have to explain beyond that, but too often I feel pressured to. On the flip side of this, the more positive side, I’ve had some unexpected people light up and begin discussing their diets, share recipes and tips with me, and this lifts me up.
  • I haven’t been quite a sore as I remember being the first time we did P90x. I’m not sure if it’s because of the increase in protein (my body is rebuilding itself better), if I’m not trying hard enough (it’s possible), or if just in general thanks to continuing climbing and such, I’m more used to the soreness and recover faster in general (also possible).
  • Semi-related: Since starting this regimen, eating better, and working out regularly again, my shoulder has come back slowly. Occasionally, I can still feel it twinge and I feel nervous weighting it in certain ways at the gym, but I think continuing to stretch and strengthen the key muscles in and around the area will help.

We have only one more week of this, and then onto Phase II. Where I get some of my great loves back…like potatoes!

If you’re curious, here is the P90x nutrition plan we’ve been following. It’s designed to be followed in conjunction with the P90x workout (we’re doing Classic).

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