The End of Whole30, and the start of something new.

It felt like as soon as my Whole30 journey began, it was over. It was a fast month, and the time flew by like nothing, leaving me realizing more than ever: you can do anything for 30 days. Excited by my changed body structure/composition and weight loss, I set out for the next step in my journey. How was I going to take myself to the next level? How was I going to maintain this new, healthy lifestyle?

My blood results showed great improvements in my T3 and T4 levels, as well as my TSH. I definitely cannot stop with this lifestyle. I have removed gluten, and incorporated a mass amount of fresh, organic (wherever possible) fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. I have re-introduced dairy, non-glutenous grains, and sugar (yikes!) with no problems. My journey is far from over.

Although I had formed all these new, healthy habits, I was beginning to dread making my way to the gym, bearing the cold outside (it’s still very much winter here), and trying to plow my way through some form of routine. I ended up dreading every second of it, and coming out feeling like I could have put in way more effort. I hated that feeling. I mean, come on, you just gave it your all for 30 days..who are you? After hearing all the hype about Shakeology (and researching the heck out of the ingredients), I decided to try a Beachbody Challenge. One week in and I knew it was going to work for me. I am SO EXCITED that I found this. So, what does this have to do with anything?

If you’re interested, please head over to my new blog: https://healthhypefitness.wordpress.com/

My first blog post explains the “WHY” on my new decision, and I have a lot of exciting information for you. I am so excited to get in the best shape of my life (and only have to work out 30-minutes a day 😉 )

If you’re interested, contact me today and we can chat about your goals! I can even become your free coach! If you want more information on Shakeology, or the Beachbody programs, here are a few links to help you get started:

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/astefanson

https://www.facebook.com/healthhypefitness

Your (new!) Beachbody Coach,

Ashley

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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 entrée 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!

More than I can swallow

I keep thinking maybe I have bitten off more than I can chew…but how could that be? Maybe it’s a reasonable amount to bite, and a fair amount to safely chew, but the swallowing isn’t really working for me.  

In reality, I’m not doing any more than the average person, but wow, I am exhausted. This, my friends, is a whole new level of tired for me, it’s not the ‘Oh, I need to get 8 hours tonight” kind of exhaustion, but it’s more like “I need a week where I don’t have to do anything but sleep, and all my responsibilities are being taken care of by someone who has the same motivation as I do”…haaaaa. Ya think that’ll ever happen?

The best way I can explain this is emotional exhaustion..but it’s almost past that point. It’s Monday, I just had a full two days off to relax, and I simply cannot fathom sitting here at work all day.. I won’t make it. I have a pounding headache, and my eyes can barely stay open, nevermind focus on anything. I have no patience, and I am uninterested in doing my work. What the hell is going on?

People with children, I have no idea how you do it. I cannot imagine ever having that ability. You are amazing.

I am trying not to be a whiner. I am 25, I don’t have kids (see above point…and again, HOW do you do it?), I work full-time (but who doesn’t?), try to work out at the gym daily, and I have dogs (too. many. dogs.). I have a husband, and a house which is way too big for us (no one informed me that even if you don’t use your two spare bedrooms, they still manage to need cleaning..or they end up as storage areas for everything you don’t want to deal with). Still,  sound’s do-able, right? It’s a moderate work load. So why is it that I am so exhausted? I honestly don’t get it…and trust me, I’ve tried to put on my big girl panties and get it done. I can’t. Not without crying and having a break down about how everything is just too much. Every day I try to think of something to quit to lessen the load: my job (please can I win the lottery and be a puppy rescuer?), the gym (but I know that will make things 10X worse), the dogs (hahahaha…kidding, never). None of those things are reasonable. I need to get it together.

Since I was diagnosed hypothyroidism/ Hashimoto’s, I promised I’d never use it as an excuse. I will not gain weight, I will not say I can’t lose it, I will never be too tired to get out of bed, or not have the energy to stay awake at work. Nope. Screw you, Hashimoto’s. But I’m starting to think that might just be the cause of this problem…

Ahh, I need a snuggle, and my naturopath. I missed my appointment this weekend, too, and now I can’t get in for another two weeks.

Why? Because, well, this happened:

samson

Yeah, that’s a cast, for his broken knee. I cried like a uncontrolable baby when they told us the x-ray results. How could I let that happen?! (Again, people with kids….? HOW?!). Oh, and did I mention that I am IN LOVE with this little guy? Did I mention that the day after this little incident occurred, we had someone coming to meet and adopt him, and I was happy he would be leaving so I didn’t get even more attached? Oh, and now he has to stay with us for 6+ weeks while he heals? Oh, and did I mention that he’s SO snuggly, sweet, and possibly even cuter than before with his little yellow cast? Great, just great, Sam. Please don’t make me keep you, Dad will be so mad.. ❤

Thanks for listening. 😉

 

 

“45 Days Out”

It was a long, hot day. I got home around 6pm and had mentally prepared myself for the gym the entire ride home. I was hot, sweaty, and my feet hurt. “Why can’t it just be Saturday?” crossed my mind more than once (rest day!). I got home, opened the door, and my two crazy monkeys came running over to see Mom. My goodness they make me happy beyond words (that’s another post..or seven).. I don’t know what I’d do without them.

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After our workout, we came home and devoured these delicious, extra-lean, grass-fed beef burgers on lettuce buns (something you wouldn’t have caught him dead doing when we met) that my wonderful man made for us. The patties were weighed out and ready to grill! He isn’t 100% ready to be a passenger on my ‘ I weigh my food ‘ train, but he does what he can to support me and for that I am grateful. So, so good…and worth the workout, even after my long day. I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night, but that’s just the way it is for me some days. Some weeks I sleep for probably about 70 hours..others I sleep for about 35. Hashimoto’s you’re silly..and a pain in my ass.

On another note: Today marks exactly 45 days until I walk down the aisle! I’ve decided to spend the next 45 days doing WHATEVER it takes to feel like (at least) 2- million bucks on that day. It’s time to step it up a knotch! I’ve always struggled with my body image, and although I am now at a ‘healthy’ weight, I still feel like I am that 220-pound girl who was too shy to even glance up from my own little world. I know that for myself, the better I feel about myself, the happier I am. I want to ROCK that honeymoon bikini with NO fear, no regrets, and a huge smile on my face.

My lunch today was DELICIOUS. I tend to get sick of salads, especially since I don’t eat salad dressing, but this was just perfect. It’s really just a normal salad..but the avacado ‘dressing’ is TO DIE FOR (and guilt free!!)

  • Cut up half a ripe avocado and “mix” it with your greens ( I used spring mix and baby kale) until they’re ‘coated’..I find it easiest if you use your hands for this 🙂
  • Add some lemon juice (I used half a lemon), salt, and pepper (this made a delicious, creamy, guilt-free “dressing”)
  • I also added some basil from my garden into the greens..this is optional, as you have to like basil. I LOVE basil..
  • I also added 3/4 of an apple as my carb (the other 1/4 went directly into my belly while chopping..apples are my weakness!)

I also used snap peas, cucumber, baby tomatos and orange peppers, but just throw in whatever you have/like. That’s the beauty of salads.. haha

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(I ate this along with a leftover burger patty with mustard and sirracha–PROTEIN is important 🙂 )

 

Forgive me while I backtrack..

I was unsure if I should start this blog. Does anyone really care? Well, maybe not..but I can tell you that in my recent quest for as much information as I can possibly find, I’ve come to love blogs of other’s with the same symptoms, or ‘happenings’ as I have.  It’s one thing to google hypothyroid, or Hashimoto’s, and see the “common symptoms”, and it’s a whole other thing to laugh and cry and feel relief by reading someone else’s personal accounts of their life. If even one person reads this and feels some kind of relief, it’s worth it. Plus, maybe it will help me get everything out on paper. I can bring a copy to my next Naturopath appointment, in-lieu of an update on my symptoms 😉

SO! The whole self-detoxing from Cipralex experience (as mentioned in my previous post) happened about a year ago. I felt great for about three months, then I started getting tired, and cranky. I fought with my fiance about everything. WHY DO YOU HAVE THE TV SO LOUD!? I was such a b*tch..and I knew it. I had begun losing the friends I had made while feeling great. I didn’t want to go out, I wanted to stay home with my puppies.. ONLY. EVER.

I went to the doctor several times, he told me I was fine (we had recently moved provinces and been lucky to even get a family doctor, so there was no time to be picky). Maybe it was just PMS (all month..). Maybe I should go back on Cipralex. I didn’t want to.. At this stage, I stopped going to the doctor. He had offered me a solution (medicate yourself, crazy!) and I wasn’t willing to accept it. What more did I want from him, really? Oh I forgot to mention (TMI, maybe), that I COULDN’T poop. Nope, I couldn’t. I ate healthy, I tracked my calories compulsively (something I started doing when I was 220+ pounds in University–it helped me loose over 70 lbs!) and I WAS EATING ENOUGH FIBRE!  I was drinking 3-4 litres of water, per day, and I was exercising like a crazy person. Help meeeee!

This went on for about two or three additional months. I had started a new ‘exercise and diet’ routine ( I was working with a fitness coach and entertaining the possibility of doing a Fitness Competition) and had been working my ass off for two months with NO change. And I mean nothing, not one pound. What in the hell was happening to me?! Then, suddenly, I realized I had extra money in my “Healthcare Spending Account” at work, and realized hey, you know what? Maybe I will go to a Naturopath.. Side bar: my family is anti-natural ANYTHING. If you asked my Grandpa what he thought about this it would be along the lines of “some kind of hippy doctor feeling your aura”. So, I kept this a secret and trecked off to see my new doctor. My fiance tagged along, as he had witnessed first hand the ‘fail’ of our family doctor.

Wow. Just wow. He listened, he asked questions, he had a true, genuine look of concern for my well-being. He knew my symptoms without even asking me. He felt my stomach and he looked in my mouth. He listened to my heart and checked my reflexes and blood pressure. Are you kidding me? I hadn’t had this done ONCE yet and it felt so good to have someone care. I was in there for an hour and a half, which was a big change from my recent 3-minute in-and-out visits. My fiance and I looked at eachother many times during the appointment with smiles on our faces like, “Is this actually happening?!”. He sent me home with some ideas: eating avocados and lemon juice, a special, natural sugar for my dry skin, and lots of great advise. I was given a requisition for blood work, and after everything was said and done (I had to pay upfront for the appointment and blood work), the bill came to almost $200. I didn’t bat an eye.

I went to get blood work the next day, happily, excited to have some real answers maybe. The doctor called me within two days and let me know my thyroid function was still low (despite being on synthroid), there were some signs of Hashimoto’s disease, and he wanted to try some new medications alongside the synthroid. This was last week. I have been following my “plan” for five days, today, and I feel better already. Honestly, even if not being so constipated is my only up-side of this entire thing, I’m SO happy. I go back in next week for a follow-up and we will discuss my results further and plan for more blood work in a few weeks. I have been researching like a crazy person. Every time I come across a new symptom I am astonished. I feel understood for the first time in my life, I don’t feel like such a failure. I’ve always wondered why my body was seemingly so much different than everyone elses, and now I am starting to understnad. I want to understand everything there is to understand about this disease. I am going to control it so it doesn’t control me.

❤ I am filled with so much hope!