Today you are closer to the person you were meant to become.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Whole 30: Round 2

I'm happy to announce that I will be officially starting my second Whole30 on Monday, and I'm bringing some friends and family along for the ride!

I had originally planned to start my second go 30 days out from my triathlon, but after this week I've decided to move it up and start sooner and continue it out until my triathlon. So, for me, it'll end up being closer to a Whole 35 I believe. No matter.

I saw such great gains in my athletic abilities and my triathlon training during my first Whole30 that I didn't really want to delay starting my second one any longer. Sure, I had a good time out with friends last weekend (and will do so again this weekend) and have indulged a little in the food department (but not without the consequences of bloating and tummy issues!). I miss the energy I had just a week and half ago, as well as the better sleep I was getting and the ability to jump out of bed in the mornings. I want that back. So, "Whole 30: Round 2" is commencing sooner than originally planned.

The most exciting part about this time around is helping out some friends and family along the way. I've opened a Facebook group and invited a handful of interested people to join in. I'm really looking forward to having this support group and being a helping hand as they take on this journey. Included in the group: my mom, my close friend/cousin, and a few other friends and family. So cool.

I didn't finish my first Whole30. I came 5 days short. Which, in hindsight, just sounds ridiculous. But that's all the more reason to give it another go. The Gold Nugget Tri is right around the corner, and I'm going to kick some serious booty doing it by prepping with awesome food and great workouts.

Even though I "failed" (and I use that term grudgingly) at my first attempt, I do want to celebrate one win: I did not weigh myself for THIRTY DAYS. That, my friends, is a huge deal for me. If you read this post, you'll understand why. I'm extremely proud of myself for doing that, and I look forward to doing it again. Monday morning, I will get the scale out to record my starting weight, then it will promptly go back in the closet where it belongs. I'm also going to take measurements this time because I feel that's a better indicator of progress than scale weight anyway (I feel like I got a lot stronger over the last month).

Anyway, I did manage to lose a little over 6 pounds: 208 to 202.8. In 30 days, that's pretty good--a little over a pound a week. And I know that was all fat and absolutely no muscle.

Here's to another 30 days of awesome!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Whole...25

Yes, 25. It breaks my heart a little (okay...a lot) to write that. On Day 25, I fell short. When my carefully modified fajita burrito (no tortilla, no rice, no beans....just meat and veggies and guac) showed up at my table completely covered in melted cheese, I couldn't bring myself to send it back and ask for it without.

If I could do it all over again...I'm not sure I would have done it differently. But what I WOULD have done differently was to not let it completely derail me. Because here is what happened: I ate said dish, I told myself I had "failed" at my Whole30, and I had two beers later that night because I felt sorry for myself.

That, my friends, was the wrong reaction. At Day 25, I should have resolved to finish it strong, and not let a little shredded cheese get in my way. Sure, it might not be a true, completely compliant Whole30...but I should not have let perfection be the enemy of good. I could have at least finished off with a "the best I could do at that point" Whole30. Instead, I let that little slip turn into two beers that night, a few glasses of wine Friday night, a night out drinking with friends on Saturday, and then a whole lotta grains on Sunday.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Day 22: Things I've Learned

Wow, I can't believe it's day 22 already! This has been a great experience so far. I think the biggest takeaway is that I'm learning things that I really believe I'll take with me beyond my Whole30 (and that's the entire point, is it?).

I was talking to a friend of mine, and I had to explain that while my Whole30 technically "ends" on April 2, I'm not planning to not continue eating this way. I feel fantastic, I have been killing my workouts and have been getting stronger, and I have more energy, I sleep better, and I've truly been enjoying every single day. So I thought I would take this day to write down the things I've learned that, Whole30 or not, I'll continue to implement into my daily life on a regular basis.

1) I can go out with friends and not drink. This is something I always knew, but without the rules of Whole30 I would kind of "cave in" and eventually have a few drinks. Which I honestly believe there is nothing wrong with that. BUT from a health perspective, and from a training perspective, I've come to realize that I can still go out and have a great time without getting buzzed. And the benefits of doing that? I still get to have a blast with my friends, I don't have any type of hangover the next day, and I usually can wake up by 9 despite being out late. Sure, I'm a little tired, but I don't feel anything like I would if I had been drinking. I can have it all: a great social life and the time/energy I need to be productive on the weekends.

2) Food prep is actually fun, and makes the week easier. I realized this mostly this morning as I peeked in the fridge and thought, "Oops, I didn't food prep yesterday!" I was a little stumped and actually kind of bummed out that I didn't have a lunch to pack and would have to visit the grocer salad bar on my lunch break (which is fine....but I've been enjoying my roasted chicken lunches). Plus, I enjoy the time in the kitchen. Since I didn't food prep yesterday, I'm kind of stuck this week doing the salad bar. I have something after work every night this week...I suppose I could figure something out when I'm cooking dinner tonight. We'll see. Anyway, lesson learned: Sunday food prep is a priority!

3) I can seriously do more when I eat this way. I can do more workouts, I can be more productive at work, I can go out with friends, I can play volleyball. Sure, I still get tired and need downtime, but I have plenty of energy to do everything I want to, without feeling dead tired. I know I need to rest (like today, when I woke up and felt how sore my legs were from yesterday), but my recovery time is improved and I can get back to working out sooner AND be stronger for it.

4) My tendonitis is not just greatly reduced, but seems to be gone. That's right, completely gone. I played volleyball both Saturday (4 games) and Sunday (2 games), and was swinging away both days. My shoulder/arm felt great. Normally, each swing stings, sending shooting pain down my bicep tendon. I don't remember feeling that once this weekend. I've never really thought about how not eating Paleo could contribute to my tendonitis, but after reading It Starts with Food, it makes sense that any type of chronic inflammation would prevent it from getting better. One of the authors of the book actually is a volleyball player and found the same thing to be true with her shoulder/arm.

5) It's okay to ask questions at restaurants. Whether it's about an ingredient that might be used or about what sides you could substitute, it's okay to do it and most times they should be willing to accommodate you. Just because you're eating out doesn't mean you throw all your health concerns out the window. Yesterday, I subbed sauteed carrots for beans and rice on my chicken verde dish. Guess what? They were completely fine with it (it might have cost an extra buck or two...I didn't look at the bill) and those carrots were freaking delicious. And I felt really good knowing I made the better choice.

6) Food will either make you more healthy or less healthy. This is a concept from the book that has really helped me stay on track. This focus on health not only helps me make good choices and stay compliant, but it also has helped me when I've looked in the mirror and thought I didn't look any different, or when I've been tempted to step on the scale. It's not about weight loss or a number on a scale, but about health. Yes, eating this way will help me lose fat. It will change my body composition. But most importantly, it will make me the healthiest possible person I can be. It will prevent disease like diabetes, which runs in my family. Eating this way along with a good exercise regimen, stress management, and sleeping will benefit me more than choosing not to eat this way. And that's what I will continue to remind myself of as a I wrap up my Whole30 and venture back to "the real world."

There's probably more, but that's what came to mind as I wrote this. I'm looking forward to the next 8 days and beyond. With 2 triathlons and a national volleyball tournament in the near future, I'm ready to use what I've learned to seriously rock this spring and summer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Day 17!

I just realized that I haven't really posted anything since Day 9. Yikes! Where has the time gone? Don't worry, I have NOT fallen off the wagon. Quite the opposite actually. I'm on day 17 of my first (but certainly not my last) Whole30. This thing is great. It's exactly what I needed, and I'm already reaping the benefits. I can see a definite change in my body comp, my clothes are fitting better (and looser) and I'm wearing some things that just a month ago were too tight. I don't feel deprived, and the things I miss most are cheese and wine and Greek yogurt (Fage, full fat...love that stuff). But that's okay, because I'm getting quality food from other things, and even been nailing my food prep, for the most part. I can't believe how fast the last 17 days have gone by! I expect the next 13 to go just as quickly...I'm even busier this week than I was last since I'm back to tutoring. It's all good, though, I like being busy, and it's a lot easier now having a full plate with all my new-found energy.

So, just wanted to post a quick update. Honestly, the hardest thing has been keeping off the scale! haha, but I keep reminding myself that I want that moment, at the end of 30 days, where I can see how this has paid off (in addition to the energy boost, sleeping better, improved athletic performance, faster recovery time, and eating great food!).

That's all for now, folks!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Day 9: Whole-y Changes!




It’s day 9 of my Whole30, and according to the timeline and my newsletters, this is about the time where I should start to feel the “magic”—more energy, stable energy, and an overall “I feel amazing” feeling.  And, guess what? I have all of that! But more specifically, here are some tangible ways to tell that the Whole30 is really working:

  • 6.45 am: I have no problem getting out of bed after a nice little stretch. Sure, I was a little sleepy and groggy and warm and comfortable in my bed, but once I actually got up I was wide awake and felt energetic. And I was hungry, which means my hormones are doing what they should be doing. Awesome.
  • Overall energy level: Stable and higher than I remember them being over the last few weeks. I feel pretty on top of things at work and it’s helping me stay productive instead of wasting time on the Internet or on my phone. I like that. It makes my day go by quicker and I feel more accomplished. And my thumbs hurt less from scrolling through my newsfeeds…
  • Coffee. Okay, this is one I wasn’t really expecting and I’m not sure if other people have this reaction, but I had gotten in the habit of putting a tablespoon or two of half and half or cream in my coffee. Before Whole30, I could consume probably 3-4 cups of the stuff, easily, and probably have more but I would usually cut myself off by 1 because of the caffeine. Since Whole30 cuts out dairy, I’ve been having my coffee black. I realized today that for the last few days I’ve only been able to have a cup or two; not because I don’t like it, but the straight black coffee is bold and strong on its own, and I find myself enjoying it and savoring it, and then, after only one or two cups, I’m satisfied in the coffee department. It’s delicious, I enjoyed it (instead of mindlessly gulping it down), and then I switch to water. I don’t need the caffeine because my energy levels are great, so really I’m enjoying coffee for the sake of coffee, and that only requires a cup or two. (I’m currently on cup 2, and I don’t think I’ll be able to finish it.) This is welcome side effect that I wasn’t really expecting. Cool.

I also accomplished my goal last week of packing my lunch every day and staying compliant. Whoop! I plan to do the same this week, and my additional goal for the week is to work out at least 3 times this week (run, bike, or swim, and lift heavy). I’m anxious to see how my body reacts during and after some moderately intense workouts. I felt pretty drained toward the end of our tournament on Saturday and am hoping I’m fat adapted enough to really tap into my stored (fat) energy reserves for some solid workouts. I’ll keep ya’ll posted.

Whole30 On!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Day 7: Food for Thought

The Daily Newsletter encouraged me to fill out a worksheet to track my progress from the last week, so I'm using that as a guideline for this post.

It's day 7, and I'm quite proud of myself right now. I woke up today, hangover free, after spending the weekend doing the things I normally would do. Let's start with Thursday. I went to a concert because a favorite band of mine was playing. The concert is a monthly series called "First Tap" because the restaurant/theater that hosts it uses it as a way to celebrate the first tap of their monthly beer special. Typically, I would consume anywhere from 3-5 drinks on this night, in addition to a dinner out: delicious beer, awesome music, and my friends! Who can say no?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

My Temptation: The Scale

While this is my first Whole30, I’ve been doing paleo/primal for a little less than two years. This has made the first few days of my Whole30 relatively painless, and I’m grateful for that. But even though I don’t have cookies and cupcakes calling my name, or a severe headache from massive sugar withdrawals, there is one aspect of this program where I’m feeling, in a way, deprived. It’s Step #7: Ditch the scale.