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.

New goals, fresh start.

Before the wedding, I was getting a bit obsessed with ‘getting fit’. I was working out to exhaustion, eating specifically according to my ‘plan’, and working with a ‘coach’. I say¬†coach in quotations because, looking back, I should have listened to my husband: she had no idea. She made me cut out foods that I loved, and I listened. I’m not talking chips and cookies here, either. I’m talking organic, unsweetened coconut milk in my smoothies. But she told me it was bad, so I listened. She made me stop eating carbs at lunch, and I listened.

Guess what happened? I was cranky, upset, hungry (at times), over full (at other times)..but most of all, I wanted coconut milk, and carbs at night. BADLY.

I was so worried about the wedding. I was so, so paniced. The used-to-be fat girl inside of me kept worrying that when I got my wedding pictures back I would regret it. This was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. If I hated the way I looked in my wedding photos, I’d always regret it.

The big day came, I had my hair and my makeup done, my Mom laced me into my dress, and I put on my earings. Guess what? Not once did I think about what size I looked. Not once. For me, this was a miracle.

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I went the entire day, and I felt like a princess. I was so happy, and so surrounded by people I loved. It was magical. And I didn’t think about my size. Not once.

On our honeymoon, I walked around in my little bitty bikini…and I rocked it (at least I think I did). I ate way too much food, and I had absolutely anything and everything I wanted for two whole weeks. I didn’t worry about a carb, a fat, and a protein with every meal. I didn’t have 6 meals a day or stop eating carbs at lunch, I just ate. I just lived.

After 14 days of this craziness, we flew back home. I mustered up the courage to climb aboard the scale to judge the damages.¬†Pulling the blue glass scale out from beside the bathroom sink, all those feelings came back. I hadn’t even weighed myself yet and I was thinking “you shouldn’t have eaten all that”. Guess what? I lost 4 pounds during our trip.

I joked with J that the ‘burger’ diet was good for me, and he smiled. He loves seeing me confident in myself, I can tell. “I told you,” he said “you just have to eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full. I know you’ll never let yourself go overboard”. I love him.

So that, my friends, is my new plan. Since we only really buy organic fruits and veggies, grass-fed meats, and whole grains, I should be good to go. Noted that this ‘plan’ probably wouldn’t work for someone who’s taste buds are in a loving relationship with oreos and lucky charms, but I think I’ve got this in the bag.

I am going to up the workouts now that we’re back, and I’m going to eat like a normal, healthy person. Lots of fruits, lots of veggies, and carbs whenever I damn well feel. If¬†I want¬†ice cream, or frozen¬†yogurt, I’m going to eat it..just not¬†for five consecutive days.¬†I am excited to see what happens next. I want abs, and we all know those are made in the kitchen. Come on kitchen, get cooking! ūüėČ

I feel happy…and I feel healthy. I could get used to this wife stuff.

And two makes….six?

I’ve been back to work since Monday. I’ve gone through the natural progressions, as expected¬†upon return to work after a full month off:

  1. Denial – “I’m not going back to work. It’s simply not possible. It must be some kind of misunderstanding. “
  2. Hope – “Maybe there will be a mass power outage and I’ll get just one. more. day. off.”
  3. Panic – “I have to work tomorrow. This was my vacation and the house still isn’t spotless! I should have scrubbed the baseboards.” (pet peeve..I need a house cleaner)
  4. Acceptance – Usually occurs on the actual drive to work.. “I can do this. Only 5 more days until the weekend”
  5. Panic – I re-visited this stage on Day 2. I am just not destined for this “full time employment” thing.
  6. Acceptance – “I can do this”
  7. Panic – “NO I CAN’T! I want to be a stay at home dog Momma and take in strays and save the world, one snuggly baby puppy at a time.”
  8. Well, you get the jist….

Day 4 and I’m still alive. I haven’t quit, or walked out, or had a mental break down, things are okay.¬† So, on to the point!

Yesterday, I’m sitting at work, pondering life (litearlly, I need a career change, but that’s another story), and I get an e-mail from the animal rescue I volunteer with. Well, what’da you know..they desperately need foster homes for some dogs. Can I take one?

Okay, call husband.

“Look, babe, these dogs desperately need fosters.”

Nope, we can’t get another dog.

Okay, let’s try this again:

“But all they need is love, and understanding. And you only have to keep them until they get adopted. And they provide everything. It’s no cost to us!”

He informs me that, APPARENTLY, we already have two dogs.. (duhh)

“Okay, well that’s a great reason to foster! What difference will one more make?”

Apparently we also don’t have time for another dog. And who is going to clean up it’s poop?

“I will. And maybe it will get ¬†the idea of having three dogs out of my mind. Maybe it will be a wake up call for me and I will learn my lesson without consequence. I will be happy with only our two.”

That did it! Gosh, that’s reverse psychology if I ever used it. It’s my new tactic (#crazywife?).

With a little “I’m going to be right” chuckle, he reluctantly agreed.

Woohoo! We will take one! But did we want a dog or a puppy? Who doesn’t want a cute little puppy? (someone who wants to sleep and have a clean floor…)

But an older dog could have house-training issues, too.

I let the coordinator decide: we would take whatever they needed us to.

Next thing you know I’m setting up a time (same day!) to pick up a puppy. I could have my ‘pick of the litter from Kennel 4’, and take any supplies I needed. Holy smokes, didn’t see that coming so fast.

We showed up at 7pm, and walked down the hall along the individual kennels towards Kennel 4. Little noses and longing eyes peered at us as we walked by: “are you gonna pat me?!”

Oh. My. Goodness. Kennel 4 where have you been all my life?!?! Cute little puppies snuggled eachother in every corner of the room. One was awake and walked up to the gate to greet us. Ahh!! After a solid 15 minutes of trying to pick, the coordinator stopped by:

Is there any way you can take two?

Jamie looked at me with eyes, in a way to say “You knew this was going to happen, didn’t you?”

Next thing you know, we’re loading up two puppies in a tiny crate, grabbing a second set of supplies from the shelves, and being told constantly “two is way easier than one..”. I’ll admit, I started to panic at this point. We now have four dogs.

These little monster’s have been great (granted, it hasn’t been 24 hours yet..). The shelter said we could name them for their time with us, but they would be listed on the website by their provided names, so they could keep track easier. James told me not to name them. He said I would get too attached… I think he’s right, but this little guy is definitely “Tiny Tank”:

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His brother, will remain nameless (or be called AJ, I suppose), until the mood strikes me:

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Good Day,

From the whole crew. ūüėČ

Fancy Friday and Body Fat Testing

Good Morning! It’s Fridayyyy!

Usually when I wake up on Friday’s, my first thoughts are:

  • BABE!! We can stay up LATE tonight and SLEEP IN tomorrow
  • Tomorrow is cheat day and I’m eating Indian food (I am addicted and it’s my ‘cheat’ choice every single week)
  • I get to wear jeans today

Point 1 and 2 were right on time…however today I decided not to wear¬†jeans (our office has been letting us wear jeans for the past week¬†to celebrate the¬†Calgary Stampede). Instead, I have opted for a Fancy Friday..hehe. My mom bought me this dress in Vegas, and I have to fight not to wear it a few times a week (in love). I don’t have a lot of ‘expensive’ (the dress was about $100, so only really ‘expensive’ to my small-town budget) clothes, and I think I just love the way the fabric feels. Oh, and it makes me feel fancy –hence Fancy Friday..Ben really likes it too, as you can see. He spent the entire morning following me around, flopping down, and licking my ankles (weirdo).

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After work, I am meeting with my trainer getting my measurements done, progress pictures taken, and¬†body fat tested. This will be my second test as I did another one exactly one month ago. I’m pretty nervous. I’ve been working so hard, and I really hope the number has gone down. I don’t really feel like I look any different. With my luck, it’s probably gone up a few percent.. haha.

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These are my previous progress photo comparisons. These photos were taken one month apart, I was working my ASS off and eating clean, clean, clean. As you can see..I look exactly the same.In fact, I may even look worse in the front facing one.. lol ūüė¶ Boo!!!! But I didn’t give up!! I am still working out 6 days per week, eating careful, and remaining hopeful.

P.S. I know I don’t need to loose any weight. But I do want to build muscle and tone my body.¬†3 years ago I was 220 pounds, and I’ve fought HARD to get to this stage. I’ve sweat, and cried, and thrown up from working so hard. It’s been a serious struggle…but I made it to this point. Maybe someday I will post “220lb me” photos..but not today.

 

FINGERS crossed for tonight!!! Wish me luck ūüôā