Monday, August 14, 2017

Whole 30 / Completion and Reintroduction

Whelp, that's a wrap.  I have officially completed my first Whole 30 challenge, and I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself.  It wasn't easy, especially since I was doing it alone...without any other family members to join in on my journey.  Watching them eat pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches while I munched on yet another kale salad was a tad bit frustrating at times...but I pushed through and am glad I did.


So, here are the deets on my physical results:
I lost a whopping...wait for it...two pounds.  Yes, I said TWO.  Whoopty freakin do.  I was very frustrated when I stepped on that scale.  I kid you not, I even stepped off, removed my underwear and bra, peed, and then got back on the scale.  It didn't move a millimeter!  Ugh.  I am not saying I'm fat.  I know that I am not an overweight person.  But, I do still have some fluffy leftovers from the babes I carried...so while losing weight was not the #1 reason for doing Whole 30, I was hopeful that a few pounds (more than 2) would melt away in the process.

I lost a total of 2.5 inches.  I took measurements on my waist, hips, thighs, and upper arms.  I am pleased with this!  However, I haven't noticed my clothes fitting any differently than they did 30 days ago.

All in all, I am happy that I did it.  I have to be honest with you guys though...I am not as pleased with the overall results as I thought I was going to be.  Maybe my expectations were too high, but I had hopes of several things that didn't seem to happen.  To be more clear, let me break down my reasons for doing Whole 30 in the first place.  But before I do, I will warn you that I don't have the glowing results you have probably read about on other blogs or sites.  I definitely don't want to discourage anyone from trying this or switching to a healthier lifestyle.  But, I wanted to be honest and let you know that I wasn't super impressed with how things shaked out...mainly because I wanted you to know that if you have gone through this and didn't have stellar results, you are not alone.  So, let's get to the "why's" and I'll explain how each one changed/didn't change as a result of Whole 30.

Sleep better at night
I have always been a night owl, for as long as I can remember.  I get this from my mother, who often stays up until the wee hours of the morning.  I have trouble turning my brain off and falling asleep.  I have never tried any sort of medication, other then the occasional over the counter sleep aid, which I usually will cut in half.  And, I rarely take those because I don't like the idea of medication in general unless it's absolutely necessary.  I had heard of people saying Whole 30 helped them sleep better and they required less sleep yet felt more rested because the quality of their sleep was better.  I can't say I experienced this.  I was super hopeful, but I still laid there many a night, watching the clock, and waiting for my mind and body to drift off.  One sheep, two sheep, three sheep.....

Clear up my adult acne
I've mentioned this before, but I consistently have multiple breakouts on my face on any given day. It's so annoying to be an adult who has zits!  I've tried lots of things to get rid of them, but they keep coming back.  I had done a sugar detox last year and did notice a slight difference in my face, but it was hard to tell if it was just monthly hormonal changes or the sugar.  The clear skin didn't last long, but I also went back to gradually eating sugar again, so who knows.   I had never previously removed dairy or grains from my diet, so I was hopeful that I'd see a signifigant different in my skin.  Well, I still broke out.  WTH!  What is wrong with my skin?  I don't get it.

Find relief for my shoulder and hip joint pains
I've had a pain in my shoulder that flares up if I sleep on my side.  I have no idea what happened to it, and I try to aovid sleeping on that side, but if I happen to wake up in the wrong position, it hurts extremely bad.  I also messed up my hip while working out after I gave birth to Beckham.   I was trying to get back into shape for my brother's wedding, and I think I did one to many lunges with still-loose hips.  It has never been the same.  I have a hard time crossing my legs and if I sit in an odd position, then my hip hurts for days.  So strange.  Growing older is the pits, man!  Anywho, after reading in the Whole 30 book that some people experienced relief from chronic pains, I was hopeful that these two issues would see some improvement, but unfortunately, they are the absolute same as they were before.  Bummer!

Determine what is causing me to feel so bloated
Recently, I have been feeling very bloated.  I feel pretty good most mornings, but as the day progresses, and more meals are consumed, I start to feel very bloated and I look like I am 5 months pregnant.  It's such a joy to have a baby belly with no baby (insert eye-rolling emoji here).  I thought surely Whole 30 would help me feel better, I mean afterall, you're eating meat, fruits, veggies, and nuts!  How could you not feel better?  Well, I am starting to feel like a broken record, but I didn't see a change with Whole 30 and I'm still experiencing the same bloating, no matter what I eat.  I don't know what's going on.  It's nothing major, but it's annoying and sometimes uncomfortable.  On day 30, the last day of Whole 30, I was actually extremely bloated!  I hadn't added any forbidden foods back into my diet yet.  For breakfast I ate that Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl, BLT lettuce wraps for lunch, and then chicken sausages and snap peas for dinner.  And that evening my stomach was huge.  What on earth is causing this???   Add it to the list of mysteries.  Maybe I should call Dateline to see if they would like to investigate.

Get rid of my sugar cravings
Ok, this was one of my top reasons for wanting to do Whole 30, and it's why I did the sugar detox last year.  I LOVE sweets!  I crave them all of the time, and if I give in and have something sweet, it rarely satisfies me...I want more and more and more.  I could make myself sick (and have on several occasions) just eating unlimited sweets.  The fact that I'm a grown woman, educated, I know what's good for me and what's not...but I still feel helpless when it comes to sweet things, is very concerning.  Sugar is definitely like a drug.  I can say that after doing Whole 30 I feel more in control to the point that I could enjoy a sweet treat and stop at one (or two), but I was definitely still craving sweets up until day 30.  The book recommends that you don't give into your sweet cravings, even with natural sweets like dried fruits or dates.  And for the most part I didn't cave.  But, I still had the cravings, almost daily.  I don't know if avoiding sugar for a longer period of time would help them disappear, or if I am just wired this way?

Avoid the 3pm tired slump
Around 3:00 pm every day, I start to feel tired,  I think it's just from running around chasing kids all morning, and then cramming as much productivity as possible into nap time.  It all catches up with me around 3-4:00 and I get really tired.  I usually just have a snack, and sometimes some tea, and push through.  I have to say, I felt the same way this entire month.  I am chalking it up to motherhood.  I've been getting up at 5:00am to workout, so that makes for a long day.  I suppose I should allow myself a little grace in feeling tired mid-day, but I was just hopeful that it would diminish while on the program.

So, all of that seemed very negative, and if you were planning on doing Whole 30, you are probably rethinking your strategy.  I definitely don't want to be a Debbie Downer, and I debated how much I should share with you guys but I wanted to be honest.  I do think that this is a great way to get yourself back on track to eating healthy and being aware of what you put into your mouth.  And, although I didn't experience a lot of the changes I thought I was going to, I am still open to doing it again in the future.  I think the hardest part of the entire thing was planning meals.  I had just a couple of days where I didn't know what I was going to have for lunch, and it was very depressing and frustrating.  Staring into the fridge, trying to come up with something on a whim wasn't easy.  But, as long as I had all meals planned out and somewhat prepared in advance, it was pretty easy to make the healthy decision to stay on track.

One positive thing I am taking away from my experience is the realization of how much I snack or unconsciously consume random bites of things here or there.  I used to eat the crust from my son's toast, the last few goldfish left in the bag, the meatball he refused to eat for dinner even though last time I made them they were his favorite meal.   You get my point...as a mom, I am constantly picking up after the boys, and I just didn't realize how much I tossed into my mouth without even thinking about it.  A few times I literally tossed a cracker or whatever the item was into my mouth, then spit it in the sink after I realized what I had just done.  So, I am going to try and stick to not eating things unless I am consciously deciding to consume the food.  It's ok to throw away the pizza crust and the last bite of mac and cheese.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I ate somewhat healthy, homecooked meals before starting Whole 30, so I was not one of the people you read about who went from eating fast food daily, to Whole 30 and losing 30 pounds in a month.  Nope.  Not even close.  I guess part of me is happy that I didn't see a dramatic change because that tells me I have been doing a pretty good job.  I'm going to try and focus on that.  But, I'm not gonna lie...two pounds is still a little lot frustrating.

So, for the reintroduction--because of the mysterious bloating problem, I have good intentions to gradually add back certain foods and see how they affect my gut.  The first few days have been hard.   Once you let your guard down, the lines get very blurry and it's not so black and white anymore.  I have tried dairy without any ill side effects, and I've tried bread (and a beer) to see if gluten has any effect.  I'm not making any promises beyond those two things, considering I have some fun social plans coming up (and I rarely have fun social plans!), but I am going to do my best to take it as slow as possible and really assess how I feel in hopes of narrowing down what's going on.

What I Ate:

For breakfast, I pretty much stuck to my trusty Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowls, and the Nut Porridge I discovered last week.

Lunches consisted of BLTA (bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado) stackers and salads

Coconut Curry (minus the sugar and rice) over cauliflower "rice"

Chef Salad with Dump Ranch Dressing

Chicken Fajitas

Adele's Chicken Sausages--These were a life saver one night when I unexpectedly didn't have time to prepare dinner.

Tilapia baked with ghee, garlic salt, and poultry seasonings; green beans.

To catch up on the previous posts about my Whole 30 journey, you can read them here:
Week1
Week2
Week3
Week4

Thanks for following along with me!  I'd love to know if you have tried, or plan to try Whole 30 in the future and what you think of the whole process.  Like I said, although I didn't have the results I was expecting, I am still open to doing it again.  I think it gives a good foundation for healthy eating and being conscious of what you are consuming.



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