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.

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!