Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I Successfully Completed My First Whole30!

I did it!  I successfully completed my first Whole30!  I didn't cheat, I didn't break, and I didn't quit!  It feels a little weird to brag about myself like this, but I am REALLY proud of myself!  This picture was taken right before I ate my last official Whole30 dinner of lemon pepper chicken salad.  I feel so great in this picture.  So accomplished, energized, and proud.

Last official Whole30 Dinner.  Lemon pepper chicken cooked in olive oil, salt, and pepper with tons of veggies and some nuts sprinkled in.

What is Whole30?  First off, it is not a diet.  It is a total food reset that eliminates many food items that are known to cause problems for some people.  After 30 days of eating very, very, very clean, you reintroduce those foods to see if you have issues or sensitivities to them.

I was really trying to do some reflecting yesterday on Day 30 of this journey, and I was trying to pinpoint exactly why I wanted to try this plan.  It wasn't to lose weight.  I had already been doing Weight Watchers for a few weeks and was having success.

I don't have any major medical issues that I was hoping to improve through better nutrition. (One issue I do have is a lack of a gallbladder which sometimes makes it hard to digest fatty foods, but overall, that doesn't impact my life too much.)

When I really try to pinpoint my reason for doing this, it narrows down to my addiction to sugar and my inability to control cravings or food.  I typically feel so out of control when dealing with food and sugar specifically.

I borrowed the Whole30 book from the library back in August, but was too afraid to try the plan.  Seriously!  I was afraid to give up so much stuff: no sugar of any kind, no dairy, no legumes, no wheat, no alcohol. How would I survive?  I don't like vegetables!  How would I manage to eat?

But the idea of gaining control of my cravings and food was so intriguing that I finally just jumped in at the end of October.  The first few days were ROUGH!  But I kept going.

I never ventured into trying any fancy recipes.  Most of my meals were pretty much like this one or a giant salad.  I only ran into food boredom a few times, so that was good.  I just kept mixing it up.

My first attempt at eating out.  Chili's was more than happy to accommodate my needs.

The fact that I kept going and didn't quit was pretty uncharacteristic for me.  That sounds terrible, but I have a habit of jumping into a plan/exercise routine/hobby and quitting after a bit.  I lose interest.  But I did not give up this time, and that was something else for me to ponder.  Why was this different?  Where did the motivation come from to not quit when I am notorious for doing so?

I came up with a few reasons for not quitting.
-After the rough start with headaches and cravings, I started to feel really good.
-I started gaining confidence in being able to handle this.
-Evan made a huge impact on me.  He had a private conversation with his dad about being worried about me quitting this plan. I couldn't let him down.  I HAD to show him that his mom was going to stick to something.
-Evan had a conversation with me and told me I seemed happier.  I love the compliment, but it was sad to hear because that means I was less happy before.

Anyhow, I was in the best mood yesterday on Day 30.  I think my Tiger Blood finally came roaring to life!  I literally woke up in a good mood and it lasted all day!

1. I lost just over 10 pounds.
2. I have more energy.
3. I sleep better.
4. My skin looks better.
5. I have (for the most part) busted my craving for sugar.
6. I have the urge to exercise again.
7. I have more patience.
8. I wake up early.
9. I am not hungry for snacks in between meals.
10. My clothes fit better.
11. My confidence has improved.
12. I've become a champion label reader.

There are so many more improvements that it would be hard to list them all.  

Hard Moments
There were definitely some hard moments. The first week was a mess of headaches, cravings, and overall crankiness.  I just had to power through and hope that it got better.  It did.

Halloween was not that hard.  Of course I wanted some candy, but it was not all consuming.  I handled it.

One of the hardest moments was when Eric and I went to a very fancy dinner for his job.  We were literally treated to some of the best food around this area.  Waiters were pouring the wine (which I did not have).  I drank club soda and lime.  I had to modify the salad to just olive oil and vinegar while everyone else was eating these amazing looking blue cheese wedges.  I had to ask the waitress to modify my halibut while everyone else was eating butter sizzled entrees.  And the dessert!  Oh my heavens the dessert.  I just smiled.  That would have been a totally WORTH IT meal to enjoy.  That all being said, my meal was absolutely delicious the way I ordered it.  

The last weekend was also hard.  I am officially on Thanksgiving Vacation and in the past, vacations equal food fests.  Not this time.

Proud Moments

There were several proud moments.

I made it through three days of parent/teacher conferences without snacking on junk and without getting home feeling emotionally and physically wrecked.  I was tired, but not wiped out.  That was a huge accomplishment!

I made it through Halloween.

I made it through chaperoning a junior high Halloween dance with tons of junk food in sight.

I made it through the fancy dinner for Eric's work.  I felt really pretty that night. Even though it was hard not to enjoy the delectable side of that meal, it was still a really nice evening.

I made it through a field trip to Los Angeles without snacking on junk on the bus.

This girl (Kaitlinn) didn't ask for the job of coach, but I self-appointed her as my coach and mentor.  She is a health nut and eats very carefully.  Besides Eric, she was my number one person to whine to, bounce ideas off of, and share my successes with.  She really was great at cheering me on and believing in me!  I owe her many thanks!  She was great inspiration.

I made it through not one but two Thanksgiving Feasts at school.  I brought my own food!

I also have to say something about my husband.  He is the BEST!  He knows my penchant for jumping in to things with both feet and then giving up.  He never judges when that happens.  He is always up for me to try new things.  He never tells me no.  I asked him yesterday if he thought I was going to finish this and he honestly answered no.  I wasn't offended in the slightest because even though he didn't think I'd follow through, he supported me 100%.  One weekend he even went with me to FOUR grocery stores to buy various brands and veggies to keep me satisfied.  Let's just say grocery shopping is not his favorite!  He teased me by telling me I was eating dirt, but he never tempted me to stray.  100% behind me always.  I couldn't ask for a better husband!  I really hit the jackpot when God led me to him.

I went out to eat several times and became more and more comfortable with asking waiters to modify my meals without apologies.  That was hard at first.  I was over-explaining and apologizing while trying to order.  By the end of the month, I simply asked for what I wanted and was done with it.

I even made it through a lunch at my favorite pizza place with just enjoying the salad bar and only smelling the pizza!

I didn't quit.
I didn't cheat.
I didn't give up.

There it is!  My first Whole30 is complete. I feel great, my energy is up, I feel in control.

I have more patience as a mom (although the real judge of that would be my kids)!

I ate some very non-typical breakfasts.  My favorite breakfast was rib eye steak!  This picture was the day I tried uncured no sugar bacon.  It started off grey, but tasted good.  Eric refused to eat it.  It was good because it was bacon!

My energy skyrocketed.  Twenty mile bike ride?  No problem!

I wasn't afraid to be silly!

Some thoughts and worries I have going forward are how to maintain a relatively healthy diet.  I need to reintroduce the foods I have been abstaining from to see if I have any sensitivities to them.  I need to evaluate whether those foods are worth it to me moving forward.  I'm nervous about this. I'm not sure how to do this.  It will be a work in progress for sure.

I am so happy I did this.  I know I'll do another Whole30 in the future.  I'm not sure when, but I'm thinking about some time after my birthday.

Today is Day 31.  I have no plans to stop eating this way until tomorrow night when we celebrate Eric's birthday at a fancy restaurant!  And I plan to savor every bite!

I want to remember how great I felt on this day!

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