Whole 30, Day 24, and My Social Meter

When it comes to sociability, I’ve historically been a mess of contradictions.

Most of the time, I keep them all well hidden. Even my closest friends, when asked to describe my I versus E status, would likely answer “E!” with little hesitation. In my younger days, I was the lively, do-anything-once social director, the one planning outings, the one striking up conversations with random strangers, the one most comfortable at Chamber dinners or karaoke bars or anywhere, really.

About half of the time, it wasn’t an act. I could turn it on and really have a great time.

But for the other half, my hypersociability was painful. I didn’t understand I needed alone time, so I avoided it, though I wasn’t always happy being in the thick of things. I felt external and internal pressure around this  – wasn’t I supposed to be enjoying the attention and the frolic? It was as if there was an unwritten scorecard – how often people invited me to things, how many friends I had – and I didn’t want to get low marks, even just from myself.

Work conferences really underscored this juxtaposition – at one, I remember being at ease and content at a group dinner, chatting and making friends, while the very next night, in order to avoid a second dinner invitation, I hid in a bathroom stall until the rest of the attendees had cleared out. My social meter was still drained from the evening before, and I just couldn’t plaster on a Joe Biden smile.

Now that I’m a bit older and understand myself better, I make alone time a priority. And I’m okay with needing it. A few hours by myself in a hotel room at a conference, with no one to talk to, cook for, or pick up after, is pretty blissful, actually. It refills my social meter, and I’m ready for another day.

Since starting the Whole30, I’ve found my social meter stays full longer. My attitude is just … better. I don’t face certain events or obligations with trepidation. I’m demonstrably more positive all around, which translates into rockstar performances everywhere – including at recent social/networking gatherings. Who knew sugar, in addition to causing tight pants, had such a profound affect on attitude?

I guess the all of the above fits into the RANDOM CHANGES category, as far as things I’m tracking along my Whole30 (puke, I hate this word) journey.

And, with that, let’s jump right in to the Whole30 happenings since we last talked.

DOWNSIDES: We’ve been busy, so have been cooking a bit less, but we burned through another batch of the cauliflower hummus I’ve mentioned (with curry powder; yum). We also discovered Chipotle’s Whole30 bowl, which really helped me kill a craving for street tacos al pastor. I’ve been a bit too dependent on Larabars, too. I think not having as balanced an approach to eating this week compared to the previous two has reduced the bright energy I was feeling, making it clear that boost isn’t only from restricting the long long list of noncompliants, but from filling up on the nutrition-packed compliant foods.

VANITY VICTORIES: (Yeah, yeah, you aren’t supposed to weigh yourself in a pure Whole30. Whatever. It motivates me.) I’m down seven pounds from my holiday high (which was, admittedly, very high – Hershey’s Santa hats)!

NON-VANITY VICTORIES: See above! I’m just so chatty. Plus, there was this! I’ve never been a full “excellent” before … usually the “very good to excellent.” So that feels pretty good, too.

One week to go …

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