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Pop tarts. Peanut butter toast. Pancakes. All just part of my standard breakfast choices. Quick, easy, and, I thought, satisfying. After a 12 hour shift at the hospital with one meal break, I would not only feel hungry but physically crave McDonald’s. After all, it would just be a “light snack” before I lay down to sleep shortly after arriving home. You know—“light” as in just a medium fry and small mocha frappe…but inevitably that middle-of-the-night indigestion would make me sit upright in bed until the burning subsided. Then I started to realize my XL hospital scrubs were getting too tight, and when I would sit in my chair at work, I was resting my arms on my belly. Alarm bell—my SCRUBS are too tight!! Alarm bell--Looking down one day, I realized my belly stuck out further than my boobs. And my boobs aren’t small. Ladies, don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about! Even if you don’t notice it as you’re sitting down, it suddenly strikes you when you glance at a casual photo that someone snapped. Thus, I entered the “contemplation” phase of acknowledging there was a problem but not sure what to do about it. A friend on Facebook “liked” the Whole30 page causing it to appear on my newsfeed. I had heard of Whole30 long ago, was mildly aware of some of its elements and then promptly forgot about it. At different times in my life I have delved into the packaged diet food home delivery system. It was successful (lost 25 pounds), but was too expensive to sustain long term and I was always eating separately from my family. Other times I was determined to count Points, so paid my monthly on-line fee for the privilege of obsessing and stressing over what each food “cost me”, until eventually I was just paying the fee and not actually counting Points—which stressed me more. So when I clicked on the link that was generated by my friend’s “like”, I casually read through the info on Whole30.com. First I was surprised at the amount of information they were providing on-line for FREE! What? The common sense encouragement and the nobody’s-perfect-but-here’s-why-we-want-you-to-do-your-best style of information drew me in. I purchased the Kindle version of It Starts With Food to learn a little more. The price of an e-book wasn’t much to lose in order to learn more. The information in that book made sense, was an easy read and appealed to my nurse-mind sensibilities. After looking at an Amazon sample of the Whole30 book, I decided it, too, was worth a few more dollars to research further. Everything I read made sense, the recipes in the book were simple with easily accessible ingredients and my For Real planning began. This, now, was the Preparation/Determination phase that Whole30 references. Here’s the honest part: I didn’t experience extreme highs and lows once I started. I didn’t get constipated, didn’t bite off anyone’s head due to lack of sugar. I also did not suddenly get “energy through the roof” or “get the best sleep of my life”, “feel the best I’ve ever felt in my life” during the second week of the program. What I DID experience early on was the ease of the program. It was full of absolutes which were easy to follow—none of THIS, but plenty of THAT. Recipes that my family has also enjoyed along with me. When I say ease of the program, I’m not referring to the ease in finding sugar-free food. I was incredibly surprised at how many foods had added sugar and until I came to terms with that, my trips to the grocery store took a looooong time. My recent visit (on Day 25) consisted of going straight to the vegetable and meat aisles for what I needed and was a MUCH shorter trip! As part of true confessions, I probably did not eat as many vegetables with each meal as the authors describe, but it was a heck of a lot more than previously. And some days of poor planning before heading to work resulted in ordering the Fresh Fruit Entrée from the cafeteria. I chose not to feel guilty but, rather, felt proud that I was thinking of a fruit plate as “junk food”! My biggest success food-wise? When I had just enjoyed a sweet, crunchy handful of plain almonds for a snack at work when a co-worker came along and ate a couple. “Yuk! They’re not salted! Why would you EAT those?” Yet, I had just been thinking how amazing it was that I was noticing the sweetness of the plain nut! Another up-side of this? Your co-workers won’t steal your snack! Tomorrow is Day 30. After-planning is in effect. I’m looking forward to creamer in my morning coffee and plan to use store-bought mayonnaise in my egg salad (sorry—I just can’t with homemade mayo!). Keeping unhealthy carbs out of my breakfast and continuing with my Fast Food boycott remains in my plan. As I look back at this past month I realize I HAVE been sleeping through the night (without indigestion) and waking earlier—many times a little before my alarm. I have a bad habit of sitting with my legs curled under me and I have now noticed that when I stand up, I am no longer hobbling for a few steps while my joints unbend. I am pulling the strings of my scrub pants tighter and my scrub top hangs free instead of binding at my middle. Non-Scale Win? When my daughter asks if I have new yoga pants or were they the old ones that used to be skin tight—it felt great to reply that they were the old ones. I will admit that completing with my first Whole30 is a little scary. Will I go on a crazy binge after I get a taste of sugar again? I think not. I started out the month having to physically turn away from the food commercials on TV and, truthfully, if I look at a Pop Tart today, I can taste the sweetness on my tongue. This is not unlike the cravings of a drug addict, for whom I have a new empathy. Right now, despite knowing the sweetness that could be mine, my second thought is of how it wouldn’t be worth it. So, much like a Half Way House for addicts, I will continue to work toward healthy eating and control. I don’t like the thought of having food control me again. I pray that I can maintain self-control and respect for what food can do FOR me, rather than TO me. No matter where you are on your journey, I wish you the best! Carol
Hey guys, So I am on my Day 29 of my 1st Whole 30. I got my period about 2 weeks late and have been having really abnormal symptoms for my body so far. I have been lightly spotting and experiencing intense cramps and feeling bloated pretty much every day for the past week. Before I started the Whole 30, I had irregular periods, some months it would come, some months it would not, and barely would ever feel sore from them, but this one has been really really painful daily. I am feeling super bloated and not Tiger-Bloodish at all in my last week. I am afraid that when I take a look at my results from the beginning to the end of my journey they will not be accurate because how I am feeling now. Also, I am afraid my bloat will throw off my "flat belly" result and my weight loss total on Day 31. I know it's not about scale victories only, but I do want to get an accurate Day 1 > Day 30 comparison! Help!