Day 19: Eat all the Food.

Today I am hungry. I want to eat everything in sight.

Last night I dreamt of pizza. Cheesy, meaty pizza. I was only going to eat one slice, and “still be on Whole30”, but next thing you know I was eating the entire pizza, while crying. Is that really what my subconscious thinks of me?

Boo. On the bright side, it’s my Friday ūüôā I will be on the plane in 2 hours from now!

Is it dinner time yet?

-Ashley

Defining Progress

What is progress? It really depends on how you choose to define it. I haven’t been blogging daily about my Whole30 adventure the way I had originally set out to. I wanted to create a journal, and hopefully have it provide guidance and information to others doing Whole30 in the future. Things have changed. The first few days of my Whole30 I spent constantly searching for other people’s accounts of the program. How did they feel? What happens on Day 6? Am I going to lose these last 10 pounds? It only took me a few days to realize that it really doesn’t matter. The details of what happens to me during these¬†30 days¬†dont matter to you. And¬†shouldn’t matter to you.¬†What should matter to you are your next 30 days, and what matters to me (now)¬†are mine.¬†There are a few things that matter, though:¬†I feel good. I feel happy, I feel confident, I feel in control and so¬†can you.

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Roasted veggies (beets, zucchini, onion, and sweet potato) and salmon..

I have failed on many ‘diet’ plans. Actually, I usually last less time than the average person. If I make it a full¬†week with no slips, ‘cheats’, or ‘off-plan’ choices, I feel accomplished and¬†celebrate with¬†some ice cream (litearlly). That’s the way I am. It’s the way I’ve always been. It’s not that I don’t want to commit, and I don’t want to be healthy; it’s just that it’s exhausting. There is too much guess work for me. Too many choices, too many decisions.. You set out on the latest diet: you eat 1200 calories per day (but no fruit, because fruit has too much sugar), feel STARVING, are constantly focused on/thinking about food (maybe your body is trying to tell you something?) and are surviving off only whole-grain rice cakes and low-fat¬†peanut butter, because you seem to get the most ‘bang for your buck’, calorie and taste wise. Then you start to question if this is even working. You haven’t lost any weight and it’s been 4 days. Your body is craving¬†everything in sight and your brain is foggy. You’re not sure how much longer you can go on. You’re exhausted. Working out is not going to happen. Before you know it you’re head first into a Big Mac and fries¬†(or whatever your thing is). It’s all a blurr, and you feel out of control…next thing you know you’re¬†crying yourself to sleep because you’re such a failure. Sound familiar?

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Apple chicken sausage (so tasty..find this!) and sweet potato ‘stir fry’ with broccoli (and a salad on the side).

Today is Day 17 of my journey. I don’t feel the Tiger Blood. I don’t feel extremely energized, or super focused. But, I haven’t cried, I haven’t eaten ice cream, and I feel good. I don’t feel hungry, and I have almost mastered the art of not constantly obsessing over food. I sleep well through the night, wake up without snoozing, and at¬†3pm I am still in an up-right position at my desk.¬†I am eating large, healthy, satisfying meals. I have no idea how many calories I consume..but they taste delicious, and each one of them is helping fuel my body.¬†I have learned to distinguish between hunger and a craving. Wanting something sweet after a huge, delicious lunch is not hunger. It’s a craving, and it needs to get away from me. My pants feel looser and my stomach isn’t bloated. My digestion has improved 10-fold and my skin is clear and glowing. I haven’t given up, or even thought about it, because it’s only¬†30 days, I’m not starving, and I’m seeing positive changes. The expectations are¬†reasonable,¬† attainable. It’s actually kind of fun…like an experiment with yourself. If this was just like any other typical diet, I wouldn’t have any of those things by this point…and they all seem pretty damn important to me.

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Delicious steak with sautéed onions and mushrooms..complete with a white potato (worth it) with broccoli and green onions!

My pre-Whole30 self is still there, but I’m slowly helping her learn to get her shit together. I still badly want to weigh myself. Every day I wake up, feel good (and skinnier, for lack of a better word), and I think “HOW MUCH WEIGHT HAVE I LOST?!” (in the interest of fulfilling every last detail and rule of the plan, I have not done this). This is something¬†else fun that¬†I’ve learnt, so far.¬†I have¬†let the scale define my progress, sense of worth, and my happiness for too long. I know that if I¬†jumped on the scale right now and¬†saw I hadn’t lost a pound,¬† I’d stop feeling good. I’d be sad, feel¬†defeated,¬†and want some ice cream. But in reality, why does it matter? If I’m feeling good, gaining energy, learning lots, and fueling my body¬†for physical activity…why do I need to weigh 10 pounds less?¬† That’s right. I don’t. So basically, you should try this. Go to the website, take a read, and do it for yourself. Spend 30 days commited to yourself. Be selfish. Eat nuts and coconut and free-range eggs. Read labels, learn where your food comes from, and see what works for you. This is life changing.

Now I know what¬†some of you are thinking, because¬†I’ve heard it multiple times already:¬†“one bite won’t hurt”,¬†“it’s too restrictive”, “I could never give up bread”. Wrong, wrong, and very wrong (coming from the queen of bread, herself). It’s actually kind of fun to sit there, knowing you aren’t going to eat something, but just checking it out,¬†and thinking “would that even be that good?”. Is a¬†plain old¬†donut from your local supermarket really worth it? Probably not.¬†Maybe if, after¬†30 days, you still really want that shitty donut, you can go¬†find a really¬†yummy, deliciously fresh¬†donut…and you can enjoy it without¬†guilt because it was worth it. But trust me, that stale donut sitting on the¬†lunch room table is not that donut.¬†I mean, come on. For 30 days you can’t cut out crap, and just see how you feel? Maybe you’ll think it’s stupid, and maybe after 30 days you’ll go back to your old ways, but I highly doubt it..and really, that’s the worst thing that could happen.

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That’s my Whole30 take, so far. Yours will be completely different. You might lose 20 pounds, you might gain 2 (muscle, of course!). But I can guarantee you one thing, it will change your life.

What’s life without sugar?

I don’t like fad diets. They bother me. I’ve heard of the Whole30 before, and brushed it off, because who wants to stop eating bread? No one. And that’s probably why you¬† need to think about doing it, but that’s besides the point.

Anyways. Since then I clearly changed¬†my mind, and since I’m pretty much half-way¬†done* (Day 4, baby!).¬†My husband is not supportive. All the other blogging chicks are like “Omg! My husband made me compliant chicken for dinner!”, or “Aww..my husband made me this delicious breakfast.” *insert fancy-ass breakfast here*. Not this girl. Nope. In fact, last night during our phone call, and me trying to¬†tell him¬†about how I ate eggs four¬†times yesterday, he said¬†“We’ll go for pizza when you get home.”. NO WE WON’T, HELLO? Then,¬†his exact words were: “This is ridiculous. Just eat some sugar.”¬† Ummm…you’re ridiculous? OF course (sugar-detox induced or not), this made me cry. Trust me, we do love each other.

Sometimes we are too hard¬†on one another (aka mean). I blame it on us both being Taurus…and the fact that we have not learned how to communicate in a healthy manner yet..but we’re working on it. #blameyourchildhood (hehe)

Long story short, this prompted me into a spiral (as I usually do when upset) of talking too fast and spouting too much information and words that I often question the meaning of, mid-thought.. After a solid week of too-much-research (what did we do before Google?), I felt like a professional, and in that moment it ALL. CAME. OUT. Seriously. I should make an infomercial.

Well what do you know? Now he’s asking questions… “WHY can’t you eat bread?”, “You love cottage cheese. And think of the protein!”.¬†I think he’ll at least pretend to¬†be supportive now, but I wont be expecting any¬†breakfasts.¬†¬†Whatever, he can eat all the sugar he wants, because after all, WHAT’S LIFE WITHOUT SUGAR?

Overall, the way I see it: it’s one freaking month of the rest of your life. 30 days.¬†What’s the WORST thing that could happen? You are sad and sugar-achey all day for 30 days (which wont happen), or you’re hungry? You wont be hungry. You might be bored of eggs, and miss donuts and cheese, but you wont be hungry. If you’re hungry, eat some nuts, or some steak, or some bacon! Big whoop. Pull yourself together and do something with your life. If nothing else, you’ll learn that you have an inability to follow through with anything (I’m mean, too).

So after we got that bomb outta the way, I felt even better about my plan.

I woke up this morning feeling READY to take on another day. Again, I have a slight headache, but it’s totally liveable. Where’s my detox?!

Instead of telling you about my eggs today, I figured I’d compile a few fun-facts from my short little¬†journey, so far:

  1. I actually am looking forward to black coffee in the morning (weird)
  2. I’m starting to think less about food (amazingly enough). Day-dreaming about the mid-afternoon muffin you’re going to have is not nearly as enjoyable as dreaming about a vegetable stirfry with hard-boiled eggs.
  3. Reading ingredients is interesting and eye-opening. The apple-cinnamon or lemon tea I usually drink in the morning has nine ingredients (?!), one of which is SOYBEAN OIL.
  4. I feel bloated when I eat fruit
  5. I have been sleeping the entire night, which is miraculous considering I usually cant manage to sleep in camp (when’s the last time you slept in a twin sized bed?)

Loveee.

*They need to invent formatting for sarcasm: bold, italic, underlined, sarcastic. Clearly someone missed the memo.

Whole 30: Day 3

I have been toying with the idea of doing daily entries/updates for my Whole30 plan I’ve recently embarked on. But does anyone really want to hear daily about how I eat salad for breakfast, can’t find grass-fed bacon without 75¬†ingredients, or am so. over. eggs. it hurts? Probably not. Then, when I woke up this morning feeling okay, and searched frantically on Google for other people’s Day 3 symptoms, finding¬†very few¬†matching mine,¬†I had another idea. Maybe the vast majority of you don’t want to hear about my weird little adventure..but I can tell you right now that I’d LOVE to hear about as many people’s Day 3 as I can get my frantically-typing fingers¬†(hands?)¬†on.

I woke up feeling okay. I have a faint headache, but can’t be sure if it’s attributed to the ‘The Hangover’¬†the Whole30 timeline references, or if it’s a case of ridiculous pressure systems in this crazy province.¬†Can one¬†really be sure? I will tell you one thing though: this is no where near as bad as I expected. I’ve gone low-carb before, cut out bread (and fruits, that time), and the withdrawal symptoms hit me hard. Granted, I was eating a lot worse¬†at that time in my life¬†than I was before started this little endeavor. So I am questioning myself now…where am I going wrong? Is my body using¬†the few pieces of fruit a day I have been consuming as a crutch? Stop it body! You know you have problems when you’re wanting a splitting headache and to feel like absolute garbage..that’s how you know it’s working, right?

Camp food has limited options (for breakfast and lunch especially), so I am really looking forward to the variety I will have when I get home. I plan to pack some snacks, and definitely some lean proteins for my return back. That will save me from eating hardboiled eggs for lunch every day (they also offer assorted¬†lunch meats and bacon for protein sources..but I’m going to go out on a limb and say the camp offerings here are definitely not Whole30 compliant: sugar, nitrates, soy, anyone?).

So, right now, my typical day consists of:

Breakfast: Egg whites with tomato slices¬†and “fruit-of-the-day” on the side (which is either strawberries, blueberries, mangos, or raspberries).

While technically, I’m sure Whole30 would prefer me to eat whole eggs here, and¬†not just the whites, but they make the whites like an omelette (with no fillings), and I’ve grown to love it. It’s like a blank canvas and can be eaten like a crepe with fruit in every bite¬†(I know¬†..I’m a freak).

Lunch:

Salads, with whatever lunchtime vegetables they offer me that day (with hard boiled eggs)…and usually a banana (because I am a fruit addict, which¬†I am weaning down slowly).

I am lucky enough that I have a mini-kitchen at work. I brought a big bag of vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots and celery) and I’m going to make a veggie stir-fry today (with hard boiled eggs on the side ;)). Can’t waittttt.

Dinner:

Usually they offer two entr√©e choices which so far I’ve been able to select a plain-looking meat (no sauces!) and lots of delicious vegetables. There is also a salad bar that is far better than anything I would do at home and gives lots of different vinegars and oils to make your own dressing. Go camp! Last night I had two turkey burger patties with mustard, tomato, and lettuce,¬† a small roasted sweet potato (score), and a salad creation, and an apple for “dessert” (I love apples..).

Snacks:

Whole30 does not encourage snacking, and suggests you consume 3 meals a day (plus pre and post-workout mini-meals). I’m so used to eating 6 or so¬†mini-meals a day that it’s been super difficult for me to stick to this so far.. I’ve decided to give myself a week..and if I’m hungry between meals I will eat a compliant snack:¬†¬†celery sticks¬†with nut butter and a hard boiled egg, for example..

Anyways, that’s my “only interesting to a very small percentage of the population but I simply don’t care” blog post for the day.

Love!

Day 2

My life lately has been defined by the fact that I am either working or on days-off. It shouldn’t be like that, but for some reason it is.¬†I spend both too much, and not enough time strictly deciding what needs to happen during my too-few hours at home with the fam.¬†Working days consist of merely making it through, and not thinking of how many more I have left, what I’m missing out on, or how lonely the bed¬†feels at night. It’s like my head is in the clouds.¬†I should never wish away time. Not working consists of celebration, hugs, kisses, cuddles, waiting for J to come¬†home from work, waiting for the weekend,¬†way too much sleep, and making up for everything (I think) I missed out on during my previous week. Both feel too fast, too un-tasted and under-appreciated. My life is like a whirlwind and days are flying by like they don’t even count. . I want to take time, live like¬†in a movie or the cover of a great novel, sit on the front porch and count the minutes with the people¬†and things¬†I love.

This year, instead of making a resolution, I thought back on 2014 and talked with J about our memories from the year. Not surprisingly, we had very few. I don’t know how many memories one should be able to recall from a year, but a mere handful seems too few. 2015 will be the year of remembering, a start to making memories and a stop to wishing time away. I hope this time next year we will sit down and think of many times: from hikes to adventures to camping trips, to cuddle sessions and breakfasts in bed (we had dinner in bed for our first time and it was magical).

Since I am resolution-less, and surrounded by the madness of January dieting and gym-goers, I have decided to do the Whole30 (just to fit in ūüėČ ).¬†Today is my Day 2.

Near the end of the day yesterday I was sitting at my desk thinking “Ha! I don’t see what the big deal is. This is easy-peasy“. I then went to the website to check out how other people have felt on Day 1. Well, it appears I am not alone. Day 1 is easy for most people, and the euphoric high you get from following through for an entire day (go, you!) is a happiness booster for many. The information also informed me to be prepared for Day 2 and 3 to¬†feel less than ideal. I got this.

Day 2:

I woke up with a slight headache (very minor) and it has gone away since then. I feel okay, but I would have liked to have toast for breakfast.. I will survive. I thought about why I wanted toast, and all I could come up with was that I liked it. I had raspberries instead, I like those too.

It’s 30 days of the rest of my life, so even if I learn one single, tiny thing¬†about myself, it’s a challenge, and¬†it was worth it. What else do I really have going on?

Whole30 is supposed to change your relationship with food, and how you think about what you put into your body. I tend to do best when my options are strictly limited, anyways.¬†One bite of chocolate and I’m eating the entire cupboard. I don’t know why I am like that, but for me, I am easily de-railed and the flood gates open wide after a small slip-up. I have an all or nothing mentality when it comes to food… This will be good for me, I think. I need something¬† to focus my energy on (or maybe not focus my energy on).¬†Something to succeed at and something to force me to check in with myself, my feelings, and what is happening my life —¬† daily.

Love,

A

Gypsy, not a Mermaid.

I feel like a gypsy lately. My life is filled with wonder, uncertainty,¬†a little worry,¬†and a little excitement. A lot of people write (or blog) when they’re under stress or crazy times. Not this girl. But, after a long hiatus, here I am! Back in black (and white).

I have been working up North for about two months now. Camp life is…different. I have adjusted well, and I am doing fine. It’s okay. That’s the only word I feel is adequate to describe it. If I was single (and had no doggies), I would be better than okay, but for now I will remain only okay.

There are certain pros, which help counteract the cons, that make the happy medium of ‘okay’ feel like the right word.

  • Working for 8 days and having 6 days off is nice (shh, I know lots of you work 14,¬†21, even more days at a time, but I’m just trying to live here, mmk?)
  • Having time every day for the gym is great.
  • Not having to cook, or make my own bed, great.
  • Money: great, gotta have money.

The cons are here, too. “Move to Alberta and get rich!”, they say, but they leave out a few important facts:

  • It’s easy to spend money when you’re home for¬†6 days at a time. You feel entitled. You feel like you’re on vacation. Dinner out? YES! Mini trip? YES! Hotel nights? Mmmhmm.
  • Being away from the man (and the pups) – boo…boo, boo, boo.. boohoo.
  • Missing out on life
  • Sleeping alone

Overall, as I said, it’s okay. I won’t complain¬†about having a ‘good’ job, with a stead¬†y income and a warm office, but with the dropping oil prices, uncertainty is rabid and who knows where I will be in a month’s time. There is talk of sending me to another site, back to the city, and I’m sure many closed-door whispers of layoffs. It’s funny how someone else can decide your future behind your back, secretly, hush-hush. But don’t worry, they’ll “figure it out”. Right now, being a mermaid is sounding pretty good.

Happy New Year, beautiful people.