Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Whole30 DONE!!!

Ok I know I totally failed at blogging my Whole30 journey but in all honesty, I just cant devote time to sit down at the computer each day. I like using Instagram because its quick and its like a dairy/journal for me. I'm not giving up on blogging at all, but I'm not promising how often I'll post. Sorry!

Ok, moving on.

Last month I set a goal for myself to complete Whole30- 30 days of eating nothing but protein, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts and healthy fats. NO grains, NO dairy, NO sugar of any kind,  NO legumes, NO alcohol and most of all...NO cheating. 

In all honesty, I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish the whole 30 days. Of course I didn't admit that to anyone, but deep down I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it. I always cave and lose all self-control after a few days of "restricting myself" and end up bingeing. So I was a little nervous that this would lead to binge eating. I am soooooo glad that I stuck with it and didn't cheat because I am so proud of reaching this goal I set for myself.

First things first, cause I know the biggest question in everyones mind is always "How much weight did you lose?"  I'm gonna be real honest and tell you that I almost didn't even weigh this morning. I have finally severed that unhealthy relationship with the scale and I worried that weighing myself would bring all those feelings of failure back. I knew I'd see a loss, but in my mind, its never good enough. I'm always disappointed in myself (I have crazy high expectations for myself. Its a blessing and a curse). Anyway, I weighed after about a week and a half into whole30 and was thrilled to have lost 6.4 pounds. I told my husband I would be completely content if I didn't lose another pound for the remainder of the 30 days. By losing those 6 pounds, I finally broke through that plateau and am so much closer to my all time low weight in 2012. When I weighed this morning, I was actually up a pound. I'm expecting my period anyday, and I always weight a few pounds more this time each month. I'm not using that as an excuse, but its definitely contributing to the gain because I can feel the bloat. So if I had to give a number as to how much weight I loss during whole30- I'd say between 6-8 pounds. And thats something I'm extremely proud of and happy with. I'm not going to compare myself to others or think of all the things I could have done differently. I will add that I only worked out a handful of times during the 30 days (due to a super hectic schedule, my foot still recovering and just general "blah-ness" during the first week or so).

Here is my before/after picture. Not HUGE differences to the "public" eye, but I can see changes that I"m happy with.

Ok, on to the must more important results and the ones I'm choosing to focus on and celebrate!

Things I noticed improvement with:
-No More Bloat- by day 7, my stomach was SO much flatter. I'm not kidding even a little. My stomach looked the same at the end of the day as it did when I got up in the morning. My clothes all fit looser and I just feel like I look slimmer.
-Skin- this is probably one of my favorite things. I have always struggled with acne, uneven skin tone, blotchiness and big pores. I haven't changed the products I use (cleanser/moisturizer/makeup) and yet my skin truly is clearer and brighter than I've ever seen it. The only facial makeup I wear now is tinted moisturizer, whereas before I wore concealer, foundation and powder. Its amazing. I feel so much more confident now that my face doesn't look like a puberty-stricken teenager. 
-Sleep/Energy- I fall asleep as soon as my heads the pillow and wake up feeling refreshed when my alarm goes off. I don't hit snooze multiple times anymore and I feel awake as soon as I'm out of bed. Which is great since I gave up coffee due to the lack of creamer I was able to consume. It hasnt been bad at all! 
-Stomach/digestion issues- I am lactose intolerant and also have IBS. If you've dealt with IBS, you know how crappy it is (haha...crappy...get it?!). I am telling you the honest truth- my stomach aches and digestion issues are gone. Like completely. 
-Headaches- Also, GONE! I tend to get headaches due to lack of sleep, unhealthy eating, stress, lack of exercise, too much sodium, etc. All the reasons everyone else gets headaches. I got one headache in the beginning and I think it was because my body wasn't used to eating only 3 times a day. I was used to snacking and wasn't eating enough at each meal, so I was hungry. Besides that, my headaches are gone and my head feels so clear. No brain fog. If you struggle with chronic headaches, I urge you to clean up your diet. Really clean it up. It will make a difference, I guarantee it! 
-Relationship with Food- this is another important one for me. I no longer look at food the same. I used to plan my day/life around my next meal. It would determine my mood. Now, I truly look at food as fuel. Yes I'm still excited to eat, but its solely to nourish my body. I look forward to loading up on veggies and protein because I know that it makes me feel good. I feel stronger and happier when I feed my body right. I haven't had the desire to cheat or binge, mainly because I know the repercussions just are not worth it at all. I think back to the feelings I use to get after overeating or eating bad food and I know that its just worth it. Nothing tastes good enough to ruin how I feel. Thats major people. 

I think its also important to note that I am a CARB-a-HOLIC. Like I could go to an Italian restaurant and eat 2 entire baskets of bread and butter before my pasta dinner came out and I would be a happy camper. But after the initial carb cravings left, I was fine. I can pack the kids lunches and resist the urge to swipe a few goldfish or Fritos or Ritz crackers. I can make pilaf for my family and be content not having any. I can have a sandwich without bread (wrapped in lettuce) and feel satisfied. My body gets enough carbs from all the vegetables that I'm eating and while bread and pasta still sound delicious, its just kind of meh. Not something I just have to have. 

The only thing I did not notice a change in, something that everyone raved about....was the energy burst in the afternoon. No more mid-afternoon slump. That just didn't happen with me. I still got it. I still felt nappy (I am a napper, I love napping, I could nap every day. So...its not a surprise haha). I also work with 5 & 6 years old all day long so by 3:00 my brain is tired and wants a break. I'm not sure the food I ate could change that ;) 

Future Plans:
Lots of asked if I plan to continue eating this way and the answer is Yes and No. Whole30 is very restrictive and isn't meant to be followed 100% for the rest of your life. Some do, and thats great. For me, I'm going to be realistic. I'm not giving up wine forever. I need my sugar free gum after lunch. I want fro-yo on our monthly date night. I need a loaded baked potato every once in awhile after a long run. My plan is to shop and cook to follow the Paleo diet (google it if you aren't sure what that is). I don't miss dairy, grains or legumes much at all so giving those up isn't all that hard for me. I will indulge on special occasions if I feel like its worth it. I want to enjoy life. I have so, so, so enjoyed not measuring or counting calories. I've been an avid calorie-counter for the better part of 5 years so this was really stepping out of my comfort zone. But I'm glad I did it. Its very freeing. I'm kind of on the fence about plain green yogurt. I miss my daily Chobani but when I saw the sugars added to it, it kinda turned me off. I miss the convenience and protein punch from a cup of greek yogurt. I might try adding that back in and see how my stomach reacts. The no dairy has made a huge difference and I don't wanna mess that up. I would love to just add a handful of frozen berries to a half cup of greek yogurt and be good. Also- whole30 "rules" state that you need to eat 3 times a day. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. While that works for some people, I am much more the "eat 5 small meals a day" kind of person, so I will be making my meals a little smaller and adding snacks back in. I think an afternoon snack helps my energy slump (protein and fat, no sugar).

So whats my big splurge today, now that whole30 is over? Sorry to disappoint you with my boring answer but....nothing? I really can't think of anything I just have to have. I might have a glass of wine with dinner but besides that, I love eating real, whole foods. I already planned out tomorrows meals and they are 100% whole30 compliant. I didn't try and do it that, I've just gotten into the routine and like eating this way. 

If you are on the fence about trying your own whole30 but wondering if its worth it or you are strong enough to do it...you can! Make sure to start at a time when you don't have any upcoming vacations or engagements that you know you won't be able to stick to. Even though you could definitely go on vacation and eating a whole30 diet, its easiest not to set yourself up for failure when you are trying something new like this. I have meal ideas on my Instagram, and if you search the hashtag #whole30 there are thousands of others. You'd be surprised at how easy it is, and you really don't have to be that creative (also- 90% of the dinners I served my family were the same thing I was eating and they all ate without complaints)

Thank you so much to all my blog and IG friends for all your support and encouragement this past month. You guys are the best!!!!