whole30challenge

I used to be ‘morbidly obese’. In the top photos I am approximately 300lbs. At my heaviest I was 312lbs. Those pictures were taken in 2009 prior to my weight loss surgery. My weight is something that I have struggled and obsessed with for most of my life. In 2009 I was 25 and i was borderline diabetic, I had high blood pressure, constant had back pain and was heading down a road of depression and significant health issues.

I had tried EVERY diet available to me at that time. Cash diets, fads, weight watchers, Jenny Craig, Dr. Bernstien’s, Herbal Magic, diet pills– you name it, I did it. I lost weight with many of them, but would quickly gain back the weight once I stopped the pills, ate 'normal’ (unhealthy) food, or stopped exercising. I joined gym, I hired a personal trainer- nothing was working. I talked my doctor and was referred to the doctor that could do my weight loss surgery. It was a long process- a huge and in-depth process of assessment to see if I was a good fit. First, the doctor made me quit smoking and the I was return to him 3 months after I quit. So after smoking on/off for 10 years, I quit. I wanted this so bad.

Backtrack a bit to 2006-I had always been overweight, but became extremely overweight while married to my ex (which was an extremely unhealthy and abusive relationship). Some people drink, some use drugs, I ate. I ate to cope and ate to numb my feelings. Fast forward to 2009 and I had been apart from my ex since 2007 and I met my soulmate in 2008- who loved me at my heaviest—- and encouraged me to become healthy and take care of myself. Without his support and encouragement I’m not sure where I’d be.

Anyway, so after multiple lectures from my surgeon “30% of people gain back the weight after survey, I won’t do the surgery again!” I realized that this was a big deal. This was my opportunity to change my life. It was my choice. I always loved a challenge and love to rise above. It didn’t take long after surgery to lose the weight. 100lbs fell off, the remaining 50 took longer, but I total I’ve lost 150 pounds and been pretty stable. That’s been amazing. I’m normal in everything- blood pressure, blood sugar, BMI, and I’m back pain free. I can run again without nearly having a heart attack!

But I’m not perfect and I don’t ever claim to be. I still struggle with my appearance and sometimes still see the 'fat’ me in the mirror. But I’ve been working on that.

We are all a work in progress. Nobody is perfect! I have a lot of extra skin since losing weight and I do not plan on having surgery to remove it all. For a few reasons- the cost, the pain, the time off and the amount of surgery I’d need (belly, boobs, arms, legs). It’s just not worth it. So my plan is to tone and build as much muscle and lose as much fat as possible. Tone it up!!

So the reason I am doing #Whole30 is to create healthier relationships with food. I’m looking for non-scale victories (NSV). I have grown and changed a lot since 2009 and 300lbs- I eat basically the opposite of what I used to- but bad habits have been creeping up- especially at night- so #Whole30 is a great challenge for me with the trade off of breaking some bad habits!

Whole 30 - Good, Bad, Ugly

The Good:

  • I lost weight - 13 pounds to be exact!
  • All my clothes fit so much better. I’m wearing some stuff I haven’t worn in more than a year.
  • I felt really good and confident about the decisions I was making.
  • I proved to myself I could make a goal and stick to it. (this is huge for me, I’m constantly making blanket statement goals and not sticking to them.)
  • I realized I can say no to offered snacks, and it actually made me feel stronger.
  • My energy level was consistent. Definitely no huge 180 in the way i felt prior to the Whole30, but there were a few nights that I was up and down with Maverick, and I didn’t feel nearly as tired the next day as I usually do when that happens.

The Bad

  • It was really expensive. Cashews + almond butter + lots of meat = $$$
  • Eating out felt like a huge waste of money while I was doing Whole30. Nothing was fulfilling and I usually felt disappointed.
  • My face was really oily during most of the month - worse that it has been in years
  • Sugar is in everything.
  • I realized I was snacking on a lot of stuff that the boys eat. A cheeze-it here, a chicken nugget there, apparently it all adds up.

The Ugly

  • Weekends. I actually dreaded them. I was a big, whiny baby for most of them so kudos to Southey for putting up with me. I just really missed being able to have a beer and relax on Saturday nights with him after the boys went to bed.

Overall, I’m really happy we did it. There were lots of times I wanted to quit, but I’m super proud of us for sticking it out. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone.

I will say this:

Having the choice element of food removed is doing wonders to quell my constant obsession with it. I feel as though now I’m through the ‘but I wanna!’ stage, where typically I would rebel against the edict that certain foods are verbotten by seeking them out and gorging on them, the acceptance stage is setting in. I recognise that certain foods are off limits, so I simply don’t eat them. Previously the inner monologue would have been:

Man, I could really go for a brownie.

But they’re really bad for you.

One brownie isn’t going to hurt.

That’s what you said yesterday. You’ll feel shame if you eat it.

Yeah, but my tongue will do a happy dance if I do eat it.

You don’t need it, you should know better.

Screw you. *goes out, purchases brownie, eats brownie* Delicious.

You’re useless, you’re supposed to be intelligent and you can’t even work out that a brownie isn’t going to help you lose weight, you’re so stupid.

Ok, now I feel a bit sad.

Serves you right. 

When’s the next meal?

I can’t take you anywhere.

Etc. etc. ad nauseam. Now, I eat when I get hungry or just want to eat, but because the choice is taken out, the bargaining and the self-loathing are gone as well.

I’m not there yet, and I still get cravings, but for the most part they are for more reasonable foods (yoghurt, ketchup), and are easier to deflect. Yesterday, after my little sook post, I went to the supermarket and bought some Whole30 junk food: skin on chicken thighs, which I baked to get the skin all crispy; sweet potato to make salty fries with; and 'sweets’ - date and almond rolls. Not 100% within the spirit of the law, perhaps, but a damn sight better than my previous binges. Plus, I didn’t feel even one shred of guilt or shame about it.

I know this style of eating isn’t particularly healthy or sustainable over the long term, but I hope that I can retain some semblance of it once the 30 days is over. The lessons this experiment are teaching me will be so useful going forward.

Day 25 - Whole 30 Challenge

Guys! I am on Day 25 of the Whole 30! Can you believe it?? All in all, I have to say that this is one of the best diets and lifestyle changes that there is out there. As you all know, I have hypothyroidism and it feels at times like I will never lose the weight. This diet is different

My jeans feel looser, my shirts and blazers fit better, my face is skinnier and I feel so much better. I have been sleeping better, I have more energy and I just feel all in all in better spirits.

A lot of this lifestyle change and eating plan reminds me of the old Weight Watchers Power Foods plan which I lost about 20 lbs in two months. I loved it until they did a an overhaul of the plan and took out a lot of the rules and foods that I enjoyed.

With just 5 more days and not one cheat meal or a sip of alcohol, I feel like I can conquer the world. Watch out ya’ll. I am feeling different and more inspired than I have ever before. The Whole 30 plan is for people that love food so be adventurous, trust your instincts and remember your end goal. That goal should be to want to FEEL better, not just look better. I get hung up on the number on the scale and I think that I will for the rest of my life but when those jeans get a bit looser and people start to notice, there is no better motivation.

The goal for the rest of this week is to eat all foods that I have prepared, not ordering or going to a local spot near my office. This is not only to save money but to also be able to control everything that goes into my body in the last days of this epic challenge.

Here’s what I ate today so far:

Breakfast:

  • Two eggs scrambled cooked with ghee
  • ½ avocado
  • Frank’s hot sauce
  • Pancetta 
  • Blueberries and pomegranate

Lunch:

  • Organic ground chicken prepared with EVOO, salt, pepper and sliced prosciutto
  • ½ avocado
  • Yellow peppers
  • Roasted sweet potatoes and onions
  • Clementine

Dinner - TBD but will most likely be left over steak or something else I prepared for the week!

Have a lovely week ya’ll! xx

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katiegirlchasesinfinity - nah, it’s not so bad, and it’s a good lesson in not using junk food to soothe or comfort myself.

notjuststrongforagirl - if you mean can I have a non-compliant meal/day, then go back to it, then yes, I thibk I can. But the challenge is 30 days or bust, and I would feel disappointed if I threw away 20 good days.

So, I put together a compliant picnic, including new season local strawbs and asparagus (squeeeee!) which we will eat on the beach on this lovely spring day.

Whole 30 Recap :: Days 6 & 7

So, the first week of the Whole 30 is done and I’ve had a surprisingly easy time of it. Based on previous experiences, I thought I would struggle more with navigating cravings, but so far so good.

I don’t know how related to the process it was, but I felt utterly rotten Saturday afternoon through Monday morning: achey, sore throat, phlegmmy. Normally, a cold or flu is a green light for junk food, but I stuck to my guns. The challenge has caused me to make more of an effort with cooking, which has resulted in some pretty tasty meals; chicken curry, and spare ribs with stirfry vegetables have been two of the favourites.

The biggest win of the weekend came on Sunday morning when we went out to Mount Barker (50km north of Albany) and met some friends for morning tea at the bakery. In the face of wall-to-wall sweet delights - doughnuts and pastries and tarts, oh my! - I bought a bottle of water and nibbled on my almonds and coconut flakes, and chatted to our friends. That felt so good.

Day 4 of Whole30 Round 4

Yeah, we’re doing it again. Southey and I felt like we needed a reset after the start of football season and the October celebratory madness of two birthdays and an anniversary. 

I’m feeling kind of meh about it right now, but I know I’m going to feel awesome in a couple of weeks, which is really motivating. I’m feeling very puffy all over and I’m ready for my clothes to fit better again and finish this year stronger than the last. 

Knowing that the Whole30 works for us is honestly such a relief. We know the rules. We have recipes we enjoy. We know the results. It all makes it much easier to stay on track.

Day 16

Breakfast: 1 egg + 1 egg white, large serving of sweet potato, avocado, a prune and about 10 raspberries. 

Snack: 1 medjool date.

Lunch: Baked garlic-butter salmon, kimchi cauliflower “rice” and a small apple.

Pre-workout Snack: ½ a Lara bar.

Dinner: Butter chicken and 4 prunes.

Today I did my 45 minutes or so of cardio followed by a tough yoga class. I had pretty good energy, I’m starting to feel the tiger blood! And my skin is glowing! No, I don’t eat every meal according to the template. But it’s working for me and I haven’t had a single bite of anything not allowed. 

When I started this I had visions of myself gorging on forbidden foods come day 31. My husband and me are flying out to Ohio two days after I finish (to my hometown) to go to an amazing German American festival. There will be oodles of amazing German food and beer. And I will definitely be trying some but to be honest I don’t see myself drinking a whole beer, or even close. 

When I think of it I just remember how awful it makes me feel. I DO see myself eating tons of sauerkraut and sausage :D I also can’t imagine eating the portions of junk food that I used to. I see myself having treats but finishing when I’m full or at a portion. Having half a cupcake and saving the rest for the next day or even week. Whole 30 has seriously helped me learn how to listen to my hunger signals. 

Whole 30

Well you guys, 8 days ago I decided to start the Whole 30 challenge. A friend I hadn’t seen in months came to town and looked like a completely different person. He started whole 30, and continued it even after the 30 days. He lost 30 pounds. This was incredibly inspiring! I immediately said I couldn’t do it. No bread? Rice? Greek yogurt? Milk? Cheese?The occasional ice-cream? No peanut butter?! No more granola bars either?! And…no more wine. He told me it wasn’t that hard, that I could do it, and just to give it a shot, for 30 days.

So, I did. I went all in for the most part. And now I’m on day 8. I feel…fantastic. I’m not bloated, I’m not tired, I’m not moody, I don’t crave anything bad. It’s like a miracle! And I know I’ve lost weight but I’m trying very hard to not weigh until the 30 days is up. You guys…you can do this! If you haven’t heard of the Whole 30, look it up! I’m currently reading the book it’s based off of, It Starts with Food and I can’t even handle the amount of valuable information. It’s like a nutritional slap in the face and I love it. So, hopefully for the next 22 days I only start feeling even better, so much that I continue once the 30 days is up. I will do my best to update! Life is pretty crazy lately.

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Groceries for Whole30. Starting tomorrow.

Not pictured is the meat that’s already been frozen. For prep, I grilled 2lbs of chicken, then sliced for quick protein. And grilled half a bunch of asparagus. I’m I the only one who enjoys cold asparagus? Yum.

Tomorrow I’ll be making 2lbs of apple turkey sausage and freezing most of that for future use.

I plan on checking in every day with my meals of the day and thoughts.

Day 8 of Whole 30

    So I definitely got 9 hours of sleep last night, but I ended up waking up late and my whole order of meals got messed up. I’m still have food dreams, last night I dreamt I was eating chocolate and I’ve been craving it for a few days now. Craving sushi rolls too. But other than that, I don’t miss any other foods.

    Breakfast and lunch became a brunch since I ate around noon. I had my leftover Chicken coconut almond param, and a large helping of string beans. Even though string beans are in the legume family, I’ve found enough arguments saying they are paleo friendly since they lack the characteristics of beans and lentils.

   I made the paleo chili from Paleo Comfort Foods in the afternoon and added some ingredients like cinnamon, and freshly diced plum tomatoes instead of canned. It was soooo good! I thought I would miss not eating it with beans or cheese but the flavor was amazing and the peppers and tomatoes gave it a nice texture. I added diced avocado on top. Afterwards I ate a banana. Had a smaller bowl later on for dinner with avocado.

   Tomorrow I’m going to NYC to see James Jean’s opening reception. I plan on having a big breakfast and throwing a piece of fruit in my purse. I’ve been googling for paleo friendly places in the upper east and west side all night but can’t find any. Might have to skip lunch and keep it to just a fruit, then eat a good dinner when I get home