Solcana blog

Well, friends, I’m proudly wrapping up Essential You 201–just in time to enjoy all of the excellent Memorial Day weekend food! For those of you who didn’t read my last blog post, you can find it here. If you are feeling too lazy to click the link, here’s a quick background: Essential You 201 is a six week class with a four week dietary challenge. I gave up sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed food, dairy (except butter), grains (including rice), peanuts, soy, sweet potatoes, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I like. Here is a short list of things I craved during the first weeks, middle weeks, and final weeks of the challenge:

1) Dairy Queen Chocolate Dipped Cone

2) Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard

3) Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake

4) Dilly Bar (from Dairy Queen)

5) Dairy Queen Crunch Cone

6) Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait

7) Dairy Queen M&Ms Blizzard

8) Dairy Queen

8) Dairy Queen

8) Diary Queen

8) Dairy Queen

8) Dairy Queen

In addition to Dairy Queen’s greatest hits playing on repeat in my mental discman, I was confronted with an endless of variety sweet treats. Everyone was suddenly handing out Glam Doll donuts like they were windshield flyers for LA Fitness. Fudge kept on showing up at work like it was a new temp. And for the past three days I haven’t been able to open Facebook without seeing  THIS monstrosity in my newsfeed:

From what I can tell, they just baked together whatever was in the garbage at General Mills..


But after this weekend, I can have it all back. I can go out to eat without having to check the menu, or ask the server about what kind of oil they use. I can have that Mario Kart whatever-it-is. I can have all the hot dogs, potato chips, cookies, tacos, spaghetti, naan bread, sushi, and DQ deep-cuts I want. But…

Now that I’ve seen what effect my food choices have on my body, and on my anxiety in particular, I’m starting to wonder how badly I really want to go back.

I’ve always been a person who struggled with anxiety. Before I knew what panic attacks were, I’d had more than I could count. I was the kind of kid that would wake up in the morning in a panic, anxiety-puke in the gutter on the way to the bus stop, and then carry on with the rest of my day of worry. My anxiety never goes away. Sometimes it’s in the background. Often it’s right in my face. My anxiety spends all day painting little Hieronymus Bosch hellscapes in my mind.

I seem like such a mellow guy on the outside, though, don’t I?






My time spent doing the EY201 challenge has not gotten rid of my anxiety. But it has done two things:

  1. It has given me more energy to be able to deal with it.
  2. “Going the distance” in the challenge has made me feel like I’ve actually got it in me start making changes in my life.


My anxiety has built a wall that stands between me and life-changes. I can’t seem to get around it because it’s a brick wall, covered in concrete, with barbed wire on top. And someone wrote a bunch of nasty things about me on the side. But now I’ve made a crack in the wall, and I’m starting to see where there might be some holes forming that I can sneak through. And, because of the dietary challenge, I have more mental clarity and energy to actually be able to start hammering away at it. It’s also become easier to turn my mental Hieronymus Bosch painting into something a little more mellow. Edvard Munch, perhaps?

Someday my mental landscape will be pure Monet, but this will do for now.




So. Do I really want to go back?

If I go eat a bunch of Dairy Queen, am I instantly going to turn back to old habits? Is there a certain amount of Dairy Queen that I can have and still keep moving forward? How much of how I feel is resulting from a sense of accomplishment? Once that sense of accomplishment goes away, will I slide back?


I don’t have the answers to these questions. I’m only going to know in the weeks after the challenge is over. I will keep you posted.

I believe in you, Dad!

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