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.

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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.

Library Loving.

I’m addicted to books….

But there’s a bit of a loop hole. My Grandma is addicted to books, and I remember her saying on some occasions “this book is no good.. I can’t wait to be finished with it.” Well, I can tell you, I would never get to that point. Call me a quitter if you will..it’s probably justified, but I can usually tell after about 15 minutes if I’m going to finish the book..I’m very selective. Just ask the stack of “attempted” books on my bedside table.

For this reason, I rarely buy books new, I am more of a garage-sale/library/raiding my Mom’s bookshelves kinda girl.  This approach usually prevents me from getting my hands on any of the “top 40” of the book world, but I figure if they’re that good, I’ll come across them in a few years at a yard sale.

Last night I headed out to the library while Jamie had his boy time (his best friend/ best man is staying with us right now–bro-mance!). I only had 45 minutes before the library closed, so I stumbled around, looking through the non-fiction categories (I don’t do well with fiction..I’ve maybe read 5-6 fiction books in my lifetime). I stocked up! I walked away with 5 books about marriage, love, and/or sex (all the current themes running my life right now).IMG_20140730_105120

Then I drove to my little spot, parked the truck, opened the windows, hung my bare feet out and layed back in the comfy seat. The first one I opened, I read the first page, and before I knew it I had been sitting there for three hours and was on page 76. Whoa. Nice work, Dr. Ruth…I brought the books to work today (shhh) so I can get all my reading, with pay!

I’m going to be a marriage professional before you even know it… What are your favorite books?