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Am I bigger? Why am I breaking out? I'm afraid all the time... I started reading the Food Freedom book and it is encouraging but at the same time makes me feel like I've already screwed up. I don't know.. i'm feeling kinda anxious cause of my weekend get away (pizza, birthday cake.. beer) ... or the bucket of popcorn I ate on Tuesday... They opened a dunkin' donuts right down on the building I live... I've been waiting for the opening 'cause I knew they were gonna give free coffee and donuts (that was pre-whole30) and today was the day so I guessed a donut or some donut holes will be "worthy" since i've been waiting for that "free" treat. OK so I went there, asked for my free Americano and they gave me 10 Donut holes for free!! ... I haven't eaten any of them I really want to but you now.. fright... guilt... what if that donut hole is the start of a major falling of the wagon??? What if it all started the last weekend..and i'm alreadydown spiral...
Day 31 today and time from some reflection. Before I started Whole30 on Dec 26th, I tipped the scales at 285. I'm a 6'2", 50+ male with a fairly athletic build. I'd say I've been 250-270 most of my adult life but the last 3 years saw some significant changes in body composition, and not at all positive. My diet was really bad, sugary cereal for breakfast, lots of bread, mayo, processed meats and cheese and chips for lunch, maybe a salad with lots of sugary dressing. Dinners were not too bad, mostly protein and veggies, but lots of butter and sour cream on my potatoes. I would snack all day long, crackers, chips, candy, nuts, etc. Most nights I'd have a couple of Screwdrivers in the evening or most of a bottle of wine. I know the focus of W30 is not on weight loss, but just adding up the number of non-meal calories, I was probably consuming 1,500 extra calories a day right there. Add that up and just cutting that out would result in more than 10 pounds in 30 days. Ugh! So now on Day 31, my diet has transformed completely. No more snacking, maybe a few nuts or olives as I'm making dinner or lunch, but that's it. Healthy proteins and veggies for most meals. Making my dressings and sauces and actually rarely using mayo at all now, I started the day with my usual breakfast and really didn't want to reintroduce anything today. So I'll just continue to eat this way and decide whether to deviate when there is a reason. I'm walking 20-30 miles a week and am starting back with rowing and some body weight strength training. I'm sleeping better, am more active (and productive), have more energy, fit in my clothes better and feel positive and optimistic during the day. I actually cleaned out my closet last night and got rid of a lot of the fat clothes, and pared down a lot of other things I just never wear anymore. Do I really need that sweater I have owned for 20+ years and have worn may 2-3 times? Feels like mental weight loss, ha! As for the scale. I did step on it today, mostly out of curiosity. Down 25 pounds. My reaction was, "that's nice." No jumping up and down and getting excited since I experienced the real victories off the scale already. I will limit future visits with the scale to every few weeks, maybe monthly and just to have another indicator to help keep me on track. So my future goals are: 1) to continue with this relationship with food moving forward, 2) introduce more variety in my meals, 3) follow the eating template more closely, 4) establish regular exercise habits. I would guess that I will feel like I have "done it" when I'm back into size 34 jeans and weigh in around 220 pounds (give or take--this is not the goal, just an indicator I'm in the right area), combined with strong habits for exercise and continued healthy eating. As Melissa says, "This in not hard". Yes, it takes commitment and self discipline and preparation and you have to be in the right frame of mind, but it pays off in so many ways. Over the last 30 days, I went to a New Years Eve party, out to brew pubs with friends (sipping iced tea while they ate nachos and drank beer, lol), spent a week in Las Vegas and ate out 3-4 times. I never deviated from the plan and after the first week or so haven't even been tempted. I would like to encourage those just starting or maybe struggling to keep at it. If it's not working for you then take a good hard look at what you are doing vs. the plan and really shift your mentality to one of commitment and discipline. It will pay off.
I wrote this in mid Feb 2012 a little more than a week after finishing my 1st Whole30. It has taken more than a week being â€œoffâ€ the Whole30 to fully and clearly appreciate what I got from being â€œonâ€ the Whole30. Â Food wise nothing is different and for a whole 36 hours on day 33/34 I thought I couldn't cope without the rules of the Whole30 but right now I have clarity of thought and full knowledge of my intention without the outer framework of the rules. Whole30 has set me free of so many things. Â I no longer obsess about what my next meal is. Â I am in no way bothered about having yesterday's dinner for lunch today. Â I am not focused on whether my jeans are looser or tighter this morning than they were yesterday, my only real concern is â€œare they clean enough to wear to work?â€. I know what weight I have lost but it is not invading my every thought. Â I used my kitchen scale last week to bake with my kids but other than that it has only been used to follow a recipe as opposed to the near constant use to weigh and measure portions for each and every meal ofthe day. In my professional capacity I have for 15 years trusted my eyes to tell me the truth about what I see before me but I have never trusted them to tell me that the amount of food on my plate was sufficient to meet the sensation of hunger I was experiencing. Â Until now. Â Now I can look at my plate as I am creating my dinner and know when enough is enough and so 20 minutes after my meal I am neither hungry nor uncomfortably full. Â But it doesn't involve putting my cutlery down between bites or lingering and taking 20 minutes to eat my meal (which, with 2 small children, I simply don't have) just so that my body would get the signal that it was full and tell me to stop eating.Â Rather than waiting until the end of the meal I have, for the first time in my life, learned how to listen to my body and also to trust that my eyes are a valuable tool in the eating process, not just that they can appreciate the appearance of a nice meal. 4.5 months ago I separated from my husband and as bad as my nutrition had been before he moved out, and it was bad, it got worse, way way worse. Â The children and I rarely ate vegetables and had fruit even less often. Â Too often the vegetables were frozen peas or tinned beans, neither of which are actually vegetables and the fruit came from a can. Â Cakes were baked and consumed in one day and the cycle was repeated the next day. Â Last week I did some paleo baking and when I had eaten half of the product of the exercise in too short a time I threw the rest in the bin and decided not to bake for another 2 weeks. I can list all of the â€œclassicâ€ bonuses of Whole30 with an emphatic yes. Â I am sleeping better. Â I am feeling better. Â My intestines are behaving the way they should for the first time, probably ever (I was convinced last year that I had IBS-C). Â My skin is clear. Â I have lost weight and my clothes fit better. Â I have just finished the most symptom free period of my life. Â I have kicked the sugar demon to the curb and am coping with stress without eating the entire kitchen, packaging & all. But even with that entire list, if I could only tell someone one benefit of my Whole30 experience, my answer would be a single word. Freedom. So thank you guys, for the key. Â I don't you didn't set me free but you put yourselves out there, and continue to do so, and without you I wouldn't be sat here trying to remember what I decided 3 days ago would be for dinner on tonight (and the only reason I have to remember right now is that I have to go and buy the ingredients). ---------------- It is 2 months later now & I'm on day 10 of my second Whole 30. I had reintroduced diet coke & it was affecting my sleep so I dropped it 2 weeks ago. My sleep has returned, I'm working on my basic exercise tolerance so that start lifting heavy things & I'm exploring the idea of dating! 14 weeks after starting my first Whole30 I remain free & can't imagine life any other way. As ever I am thankful to Derval for clicking that Like button at that moment. I owe you more than one :-)