Tuesday, September 30, 2014
I survived the Whole30 and am a better person for it!
I decided on August 28th that I was going to have to dig deep and do something I've known I should do, but bucked. I've been on the Paleo track for a year now but have fallen, compromised, cheated, whatever. I've eaten fully gluten free for 3 years and have been on a weight loss/getting healthy journey for 992 days. It's been a long, winding, road of learning about myself spiritually, mentally, and physically. I've given stuff up to fix my gut, I've given stuff up bc I felt addicted to it (although every time I did this I quickly found something else to take up in place of given up said food or drink), but this time, what I have given up is bad food habits.
Whole30 has helped me to kick my sugar addiction.
And I know what you are thinking...
"I could never do that."
I never thought I could either, but what I realized is that I never wanted to.
There is a big difference.
It seemed hard and daunting, but really, I just wanted to hold on to what I wanted, which was sugar.
Sugar is one of those things that has a strong hold on all of us. It's in everything. Even things I thought I was doing well on were contributing to my sugar cravings. ( I.E. pickles and lunchmeat...even the good Applegate kind)
The large handful of chocolate chips every afternoon I never thought I was doing well on.
I knew that was just giving in to an afternoon craving for crap.
And now you are thinking...
" But chocolate is good for you."
Real, dark chocolate is good for you.
Chocolate chips with sugar and soy lecithin and other crap, not so much.
Plus, the more I ate sugar or put something sweet, like honey, in my tea, the more I wanted sugar and sweetness.
I knew I had to kick it and this is why.
Man were my energy levels tanking mid afternoon. It was bad. Some days I felt like I couldn't go on for the day. I was just dragging.
Ugh, was I being a grump. I felt on edge and grumpy and sensitive and frustrated and IMPATIENT.
Not to mention anxious and worrisome.
Stalled Out Weight Loss
Whenever you lose a large amount of weight (60 lbs) but still have 20 to go, that last 20 will kick your butt. So for the past year I have gained and lost the same 7ish pounds, which is not helping me lose the final 20ish. Sometimes you have to do something drastic again.
Whole30 is pretty drastic.
BUT! It's not all that hard. I mean there are hard days. And there are mental things you have to get past.
BUT! Once you get going and start FEELING different, you realize that this is the way you are supposed to live...
With ENERGY, and good MOODS, and weight LOSS moving in the right direction again.
The positives FAR out way the negatives...i.e. what I've deemed as hard or impossible.
The following are changes I've seen in the past 30 days:
1. Improved mood- I don't feel on edge and ready to explode. I feel much more even keeled and chilled which I think is much more my natural personality. Sugar has a bad way of changing our personalities.
2. Better energy- I wake up feeling rested and get through the day with energy. By the end of the day I am exhausted, but this is the natural flow of things. You should have energy throughout the day and go to bed tired.
3. Sleeping Better- I sleep really hard and uninterrupted. It's nice.
4.- Skin- My skin is clearer and softer. A friend said my skin was glowing. I'll take it!
5. I Eat better- I mean, duh. That's kind of the whole point, but it bears noting.
I have really tried to stick to the program as it's written which means no swapping of one comfort food that is crap, to trying to make it Whole30 compliant. That's kind of what got me into this mess in the first place.
So I've tried new recipes, and learned to like new foods.
Enter colorful PEPPERS! MMM, they are my favorite!
6. I think clearer- My brain seems to be functioning on a higher level and firing faster than it was.
A fog has been lifted and I am functioning at a better mental level.
I can't emphasize enough that it really feels like a fog lifting!
7. Enjoyment- I enjoy the foods I eat. Because you have to be aware of everything you eat, it forces you to find enjoyment in what you eat. (Versus mindless eating)
I enjoy the flavor of my hot tea and not the sweetness that used to be there.
I enjoy the crunch of spinach instead of the sogginess doused in dressing.
I enjoy the sink full of colorful veggies.
8. Personal Satisfaction- It's a nice reward to have the mental satisfaction of sticking to something and completing it. The benefits of the first 7 points are the results of something that is personally satisfying.
What have I learned?:
*I have learned to not eat mindlessly, to not snack for the heck of it, that I CAN make homemade pizza for my family or carry a 3 pack of mini sundaes on my lap and not even lick my fingers.
I CAN DO THAT! I can resist temptation.
*I have learned that the food I eat can and should be fuel for my body and that I am the one that controls what kind of fuel I eat.
*I have learned that I set myself up for success or failure by planning.
I have to spend the time and make the effort to cut veggies, grill meat, make a breakfast casserole, etc in order to succeed. My life is busy, so I have to do these things in order to succeed.
*I have learned that I don't need to snack. If I eat really big and healthy meals, they hold me over til the next meal.
This is the one I'm still working on. Yesterday for instance I was hungry most of the afternoon and hadn't done anything differently. I ate some pistachios, which is fine. Somedays may be like that.
The point is, I ate a good healthy snack that would hold me over to the next meal.
Chocolate chips don't do that.
*I have learned that having a support group is very helpful and keeps me motivated and encouraged.
And I love me some "Hey Girl" memes.
*I have learned that God has given us some pretty amazing foods that don't come in packages.
*I have relearned that my sin and bad eating go hand in hand.
*I have learned that I enjoy eating this way and want to continue doing so.
So yeah, today is the last day of my Whole30, but I have decided to continue and make it a Whole60.
There have been many ups and downs in the past 30 days. There have been days with horrible headaches, naps because of no energy, and a general feeling of blah. But the end result has been worth those hard days.
I want to spend the next 30 days learning to love some new veggies and really kicking up my workouts.
I want to me sure that mentally I am ready to have a treat, enjoy it at the time, and not keep having a treat for the next 287 days.
November and December will be here soon and I want to make sure my new eating habits stand firm and my old ones don't come back to roost.
That means 30 more days of zero sugar or sweetener of any kind ( honey, etc) and lots and lots of veggies.
When I'm done with 60 days I will allow myself to have occasional Paleo treats and will hopefully have such a new found love for veggies that my treats will be few and far between.
(Although I do have my sights set on an Apple Chaider at the Steaming Bean Coffee Shop in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in late November. Holla!)
But basically I will stick with the Paleo lifestyle in general as I believe for me it is the best thing for my gut health, sanity, and general health. I have known that for a year I just lost sight and needed to refocus I guess.
So yep, I survived the Whole30 and am ready for round 2.
Let's do this!
P.S. If Whole30 sounds like something you would like to do, join me! You won't regret it and I will support you all the way. I'll even buy you your first pack of peppers :)