So I completed my Whole30 this week (on Tuesday, February 10th to be exact), but I really haven’t added anything back in yet. I’m actually kind of afraid to add anything back in, because I don’t want all my old problems to come back…plus, I *may* or *may not* be addicted to sugar too, so I’m leery of adding that back in. I’m sleeping better, my acne is clearing up, I’m not as anxious, my PMS was pretty much non-existent last month, my joints aren’t as sore/inflamed, and I’ve set a few PRs this past month at CrossFit. Overall, I feel MUCH better than I did before I started it. However, here’s the one setback. I only lost 1.4 pounds!! I must admit, I was a little bummed about that. As someone who doesn’t ever weigh myself, this was kind of a blow to my ego. Especially because Scott (my loving boyfriend who did the Whole30 with me) lost 10 pounds!! Seriously…10 in 30 days! Ugh. Men.
After weighing ourselves this morning, we took after pictures (see below for before and after pictures). Don’t mind the fact that I have a disgusted, silly look on my face…we should’ve taken the pictures before we weighed ourselves, LOL (also keep in mind it was 5am). Before I go any further, let me just point out that the number on the scale is just that…a number. It doesn’t define who you are and it certainly is not a reflection of you as a person. I’ll admit that as of this morning, February 12, 2015, I weigh 137 pounds. This is, by far, the most I have ever weighed (well, except for the start of the Whole30 when I weighed 138.4). But I looked at the pictures of myself (both the before and the after), and I see the difference. I feel the difference. And I know that if I lost 10 pounds like Scott did, I would be way too thin and wouldn’t be strong enough to continue my CrossFit workouts and PRs.
I know that my body is exactly where it needs to be. My clothes fit well (I haven’t had to buy new clothes because I gained or lost too much in quite a while), I’m happy with the way that I look, and I’m even happier with the way I feel. Because, you see, isn’t that what it’s all about? So what if I weighed 115 pounds, like I did in high school and into college? How would I feel? Would I be able to keep up with CrossFit? Would I be as toned and muscular? I don’t think so. Because I look back at pictures of myself in high school and college when I thought I was very fit and looked my best and I realize I was flabby and not toned. Yes, I was thin (probably too thin at some points), but that was it. I was just thin. I ran all the time, so I wasn’t out of shape. But there was nothing else there.
I look at pictures now and think, “Damn…I am muscular!” In fact, I just said it yesterday about a picture one of our coaches took. I said to Scott, “Holy cow! My arm looks huge! And I mean because of my muscles!” I LOVE how I look now. I LOVE how I feel. And to me, that is SO MUCH MORE important than the number on the scale! I know that I can pick up heavy items without the help of Scott (even though I let him help me more than I care to admit, LOL)…and I know that my body will support me doing the crazy things I do at CrossFit. Most importantly, I know that my legs and especially my knees are now strong enough to support me should I jump off another 6 foot wall and NOT tear something (circa 2013, I tore my ACL and meniscus attempting to run a Tough Mudder and came off a 6 foot wall wrong…it wasn’t pleasant). But now, my knee and quad muscles are so much stronger! It’s amazing what a year at CrossFit will do for you!!
So I encourage you to NOT get discouraged if you’re doing a Whole30 or some other detox and you’re not losing weight. Because the number isn’t important! Are you feeling better? Do your clothes fit better? Are you sleeping better? Is your skin clearing up? Are you thinking more clearly? Think of all the non-scale victories instead! And also remember that it takes 4 weeks for you to feel a difference in your body after working out and changing your diet, it takes 8 weeks for you to see it, and it takes 12 weeks for your friends and family to notice and see it. Keep it up! Because YOU are totally WORTH it!!!
With love and wellness,
Have you ever been in the midst of doing something ordinary and every day and realize just how far you’ve come from who you used to be? I once thought I was so healthy and ate the very best things for me. Until this afternoon, when my boyfriend’s children were eating Chef Boyardee ravioli for lunch. It literally makes me want to vomit watching them eat it. And then I remembered that I lived off of those in college. Like seriously lived off them. And I thought they were amazing! Who doesn’t want to pop open a can, throw it in a bowl in the microwave, and have an instant meal?? That’s pretty much how I lived for much of my college days and even into my early twenties, thinking I was this healthy, nutritious girl doing her thing. Boy, has that drastically changed!
I’ve definitely seen many changes since those poor college girl days of Chef Boyardee and ramen noodles (I mean, who DIDN’T eat ramen noodles?!). I thought cooking meant throwing some noodles in a pot and bringing them to a boil, then throwing some sauce and parmesan cheese on them. Throughout my life, I’ve had stomach issues, but never really attributed it to what I was eating. I didn’t have a lot of skin issues when I was younger nor did I gain weight very easily (god bless a fast metabolism). Plus I was always really active, so eating a ton of carbs was normal for me. Having some eggs and toast for breakfast was normal; then a sandwich (I went through the first several months of my vegetarian/vegan stage eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day for lunch…can we say healthy??); and generally some sort of ravioli or pasta for dinner (but it was from Trader Joe’s, so it was definitely healthy, right??).
I was a vegetarian for about 4 years and a vegan for just about 1. I went this route thinking that it would help me have more energy and not be so tired all the time. Except I was an “unhealthy” vegetarian. I ate the frozen meals and frozen veggies and fake meat products – I mean, come on. If I didn’t want to eat meat for health reasons, why would I think that the fake meat products were any better? Have you ever seen the ingredients on those things??? I decided to become a vegan after I started having more skin issues (namely acne). I thought taking out the dairy products would help. I mean, I literally stopped eating EVERYTHING except veggies, quinoa, rice, beans, and sweet potatoes/potatoes. Oh, and don’t forget the “healthy” sweet treats I’d make with coconut sugar and coconut flour and cacao nibs…because THAT was healthy! Lo and behold, I was tired all the time and my skin didn’t get any clearer. I can remember calling my mom in tears because my face was so badly broken out and that there wasn’t possibly any other food I could take out before I was eating dirt! It was so frustrating because I thought I was doing everything right. I had learned how to cook and use fresh foods instead of the frozen foods; I wasn’t eating dairy and was gluten-free. But nothing seemed to help.
Until I came across the 21 Day Sugar Detox and the Whole 30 and I started doing some more research. It wasn’t necessarily just what I was eating, but how long I’d been eating that way, as well as the high number of antibiotics I had taken as a child. It was also the high amounts of sugar I was eating…I learned I was addicted to it!! I *needed* it! Just like I needed coffee at the time. I learned that all of those things mess up your stomach and digestive tract (very technical here, I know, LOL). I learned that you had to heal your digestive tract first before you were able to start eating whatever you want (in moderation). So I cut out all grains (yes, even rice and quinoa…the “good for you” grains), all sugars and alcohol (I actually stopped drinking for several months to heal everything), and beans.
I ate real, whole foods…I found easy recipes to make, and let me tell you…when I first started cooking this way, it took me FOREVER to make anything. I’d spend hours in the kitchen getting one meal prepared. But over time, I started making the recipes mine and learned that I actually love cooking! I love making my own food and nourishing my body with the things it absolutely needs. And it doesn’t take me forever anymore, LOL. And I know what affects my body now; I can do a little bit of dairy every now and again; gluten and grains don’t really agree with me; and almonds tear my stomach up. I can tolerate a little alcohol every now and again, but when I start going crazy, I can tell…I sleep poorly and my face starts breaking out and I get super irritable. I’m pretty sure it’s the sugar and how it affects me, but at least now I know.
It’s still a work in progress…shoot, I’m still a work in progress, but I’m light years ahead of where I used to be. I make smart choices because I know that I will pay for eating certain things. A little piece of yumminess isn’t enough to make me want to be miserable for hours or days afterwards. And more often than not, I find much healthier alternatives, so I get my “fix” but still feel good about it.
What are some things that affect you when you eat them? Do you need a reset like the Whole30? It’s not something that you do for life, but it’s a good reset of your system to learn what affects you and what doesn’t. And we could all use that every now and then, right?
I hope you’ve had a great weekend! Once again, I can’t believe it’s already Sunday, but it’s been a great one, and an absolutely beautiful, productive one :) Enjoy the rest of your day!
With love and wellness,
I used to tell myself all the time that everything is okay in moderation. That’s how I would justify that piece of chocolate cake or the hard cider (or two) I’d have with dinner or the piece of pumpkin pie (or two) I’d have as a mid-afternoon snack. But you know what happens when you use this justification? It doesn’t become a once-in-a-while thing. It becomes an everyday thing. It creeps up on you. I know it crept up on me. Starting around Thanksgiving until this past Sunday, everything was “in moderation.” And it was okay because it was the holidays. Right? Well, for me, that meant increased break-outs, horrible sleep patterns, exhaustion, terrible mood swings (sorry Scott), and just in general feeling like crap. And while I was still working out, I didn’t like the way I looked or how much I weighed. Now, I don’t normally weigh myself, but Scott and I started a Whole30 program on Sunday, January 11th. That required taking before pictures and weighing ourselves. Needless to say, I am so happy to be doing this program! I am not happy with where I am right now!
Now you may be asking, what exactly is a Whole30 program? Check out the whole program here http://whole30.com/. But to sum it up, it’s basically a short-term nutritional reset of your system over a period of 30 days. It is set up to help you stop unhealthy cravings and habits (mine are sweets and alcohol), restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system. It removes certain food groups, like sugar (alcohol is included in this category), grains, dairy, and legumes that could be having an adverse effect on your health and fitness. The best way to see if they are affecting you is to remove them from your diet! The 30 day time period gives your body a chance to reset and heal itself. And it’s easy. You just eat real, whole food! More (and more) vegetables, some fruit, more protein, more seafood, eggs, and plenty of good fats from oils, nuts, and seeds. And it’s only for 30 days! This isn’t meant to be a life-long eating plan, just a short-term nutritional reset! The best part is you don’t have to count calories! You don’t weigh yourself every day! You eat when you’re hungry and you stop when you’re full! You just make sure to eat foods that have a short ingredient list, or better yet, no ingredient list at all!! Today, for lunch, I had Brussel sprouts, asparagus, and a deer stew with a bunch of veggies, plus a salad with guacamole. It was delicious! And kept me full all afternoon!
This will be my third Whole30 I’ve done. I’m on day three and so far, I’m doing well. I’m a bit more hungry than normal as my body adjusts to less carbs and fewer empty calories. I’ll admit, I was having a lot of fun over this past month or so (since Thanksgiving). I definitely enjoyed all the goodies that were brought over for Thanksgiving dinner, including mac and cheese and all the sweets. And I more than enjoyed all the Christmas baked goods that were brought into the office and brought home. And I slowly got back into the habit of having one (or two) hard ciders every night with dinner. With a move sandwiched in between the holidays, plus lots of unpacking, the drinks started going down easier and easier. Except my sleep starting become more and more sparse and my mood swings starting getting worse and worse. Seriously, I’d get mad for no reason…and I’d stay mad, not knowing what was actually wrong.
So needless to say, this Whole30 is definitely needed. My body doesn’t handle sugar and/or alcohol the way it used to (or the way I thought it used to). I have very quick, very negative affects when I have it. And it was becoming a daily habit! Worse, I was starting to crave it! I wanted something sweet every day, sometimes multiple times a day. And it was super easy to crack a hard cider as soon as I got home from the gym. I used to be an occasional drinker or an occasional sweets person. But over this past month, it became an everyday thing. And that’s what happens when you use the justification that everything is okay in moderation. Don’t get me wrong, I know that after the Whole30 is done, I will probably have a drink or some sweets every now and again. But I’ll also know that I feel better, sleep better, look better, act better, when I don’t have them all the time. And it will be easier to say no because I’ll have just done it for 30 days!!
What do you think? Could you use a Whole30? Let me know your thoughts on this type of program. Does it make sense to you? It’s definitely a great program, but I know it can be difficult to follow, especially when eating out or going to parties. Find a group, ask a friend, or ask me to help you with it! It can be done! And you will see great results!!
On another note, Scott and I got a new washer and dryer yesterday :) Yes, it’s totally the little things that make me super happy!
I hope you all are having an amazing week! Day three has been super easy…I’ve had a couple sweet cravings on days 1 and 2, but I’ve resisted and kept myself super full so I don’t slip up. Let me know how I can help. I’d love to help you out with your program and reset :)
With love and wellness,
Welcome back! I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving and spent it with loved ones! This was the first year I hosted Thanksgiving with my boyfriend and, if I do say so myself, it was a huge success! We had a great day (albeit a busy one) and we enjoyed great company and even better food! So think back to my last post when I was talking about my health problems and how I was attempting to fix them on my own. I ended it with a discussion on juice cleanses and how they were great, but didn’t really work for me.
So onto 2013…I decided I would become vegan and gluten-free and continue my quest to cook real, whole foods. I’d also been doing a lot of online research about acne and how to cure the underlying hormonal issues that were a problem. A lot of the other issues I was having (anxiety, insomnia, etc.) were also related to my underlying hormone problems. Of course, the dermatologist wanted to put me back on antibiotics or for me to go back on birth control (I took myself off them in 2011 – that’s a whole other post). They also wanted me to try Accutane, but after reading the side effects and seeing how dried out it makes people really turned me off. I already had naturally dry skin; I didn’t need the extra help. Plus, the other side effects in general scared me. So I made it my journey and goal to find out how to cure myself naturally. Being put on a drug, whether it was on antibiotics or birth control, was a last resort…and one I really didn’t want to take.
In October 2013, I was still breaking out and couldn’t figure out what was causing it, even though I was eating pretty healthy and was doing my best to eat real, whole foods. I was eating a lot of nuts (as snacks and in meals as replacement items), still drinking alcohol, and had a wicked sweet tooth. I would make “healthy” sweet treats after dinner almost every night. I think I had myself convinced it was okay because I was using paleo ingredients. That makes it okay, right?! By that point, I had had enough. I came across a 21-day sugar detox that really spoke to me – this is the one I did: http://balancedbites.com/category/21-day-sugar-detox. I knew I needed to break my addiction to sugar…because yes, sugar is addictive. Once you have some, your body continues to crave more and more of it. I stopped drinking alcohol, cut out the sweet treats, limited the amount of fruit I was eating, and quit eating food that had sugar in it or converted to sugar after eating it. Two weeks into it, my skin was clearing up and I started craving meat like you wouldn’t believe. Specifically, I started craving bacon. I learned to finally listen to what my body needed and give it the right fuel to keep me going. I started eating meat again and have more energy and feel so much better than I did before. I have my sugar moments still, but it’s definitely not as bad as it once was. And I learned that sugar and eating a lot of nuts, specifically almonds, triggers my acne. It’s taken me years to figure this out, and sometimes it’s still a learning process. I’ve also tried my hand at a couple Whole 30s – http://whole30.com, which is 30 days of paleo eating; i.e, taking out alcohol, bread/gluten, grains/rice, any sugar, etc. I feel so much better when I eat that way, but it is very restrictive and time consuming. It truly is meant as a reset for your system, not as a way to eat forever.
I also recently started using Essential Oils and became a Wellness Advocate with DoTerra. I was a little skeptical at first as to how using oils like that would work for me. But I don’t like taking medicine and I don’t like using things that aren’t natural on my skin. So little by little, I tried them out. I used different oils for headaches, which I tend to get when I’m stressed. I was amazed when they worked! I also started using different oils for PMS symptoms and cramps. Once I found the right combination and when to use them, I was once again amazed they worked. I now use essential oils for almost everything. I use lemon in my water in the morning to help flush my system and get the day started right. I use lavender, frankincense, and melaleuca as part of my face moisturizer in the mornings and evenings. I also use lavender and a blend called serenity at night on my feet and in a diffuser to help me sleep. And when I get bug bites (which is often), I either use lavender or a mix of peppermint and oregano to help stop the itching. I recently used a mixture of coconut oil and lavender on my boyfriend’s feet when he had a massive amount of bug bites from a night spent in dirty water. Within days, his feet were healed and clearing up with no itching. I’m amazed at how these oils work, and I continue to learn more about them every day.
I also stopped using any products with ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce or had to look up to learn what it was. I use all natural products for my face wash and I use coconut oil and tamanu oil in conjunction with the essential oils as my moisturizer. I buy natural shampoo and conditioner. Anything you put ON or IN your body affects you! Your skin is the largest organ of your body, so whatever you put on it will be instantly absorbed. So it makes sense that if you’re using highly processed lotions and soaps that your internal system is going to have that much more to detox out. Add that to any highly processed foods you’re eating and your body has to work that much harder to flush it all out! It’s amazing how all the little changes add up to a happier, healthier version of myself!
I’ll end this post on that note and hope that you have a beautiful Monday! And a happy first day of December! I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by! 24 days til Christmas!! How’s your shopping coming along??
With love and wellness,