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I do not normally join forums or comment but trying to follow all the recommended steps for success including getting support and encouragement. I'm on day 2 and feeling that icky, tired, head fog feeling. Having tea right now instead of my nightly glass of red wine.
As the Grateful Dead says, "What a long, strange trip it's been." Yes, I do know how to count, and I do realize 39 is more than 30. 10 days into the Whole30, I realized my husband used vegetable oil to cook some salmon. When I read the vegetable oil ingredients, I found (with great frustration) that it contained soybean oil (jerks!). Here I am, on the eve of the last day of my Whole30. I really enjoyed reading these posts when I was just getting started, so I figured I'd share the love. First, if you're just getting started or are considering getting started, I want you to know it will be simultaneously very easy and incredibly difficult to do this. And that's exactly why you should definitely do this. In the first week, I had a sticky on my computer that said, "just because it's easy, doesn't mean it's not worth it." And then it got really hard, and I took the sticker off. The Whole30 has not just changed my relationship with food, it has changed my relationship with alcohol, with my friends, and even (most importantly) with my husband. When I looked back over my journal, I realized that before the Whole30, I was hung over or not feeling great (tired, angry, unmotivated, foggy) nearly every day. I started the program because I have my own business and I also do contracting work for a large company as a Marketing and Content person. Life was very stressful, and I literally couldn't afford to go around foggy and unmotivated. We have a huge conference coming up and I'm largely a one-woman-show marketing the conference, so the stakes are high. I figured if I could have only one benefit from the Whole30, I would want to get my motivation and focus back. Spoiler alert: I got it back within the first week. I also had 40 lbs to lose to get to my goal weight, I would regularly wake up at 3AM with panic attacks, I had a rash on my leg for the past 15 years that wouldn't go away no matter what, and more importantly, my life just wasn't going how I wanted it to go. I was bored a lot, and boredom makes me suicidal. Literally. Oh yeah, did I mention I also suffer from depression, anxiety, and ADD? My husband, while a sweet and valiant and wonderful man, didn’t want to commit to my “crazy diet.” He halfheartedly committed not to drinking at the house (more on that exciting story arc later). The first two days hit me like a truck. Thankfully, I had felt so bad before, it hardly seemed much different. Headache, nausea, muscle aches, sour mood, etc… all the familiar trappings of a regular old fashioned hangover. Familiar! No big deal! After that, it was really great. I went through a couple rough patches in the first week or two, but mostly it was smooth sailing. My energy was up, my mood was good, and I was thinking clearly. I honestly think 100% of that benefit was from not drinking. A side note about my drinking: I was a pretty heavy drinker. My husband and I probably drank a bottle of wine each per night. I knew the alcohol would be a big part of the thing, so two weeks into the whole thing, I found a book called the 30 Day Sobriety Solution. If you are reading along thinking, “oh no, but my wine!” (or even if not) I truly recommend this book. It has daily exercises that address every aspect of the psychological trauma that eliminating alcohol (or really, anything, but it’s about alcohol) entails. I don’t know if I would have been able to do it without the book. On day 10, when my husband cooked that fateful salmon and sent me back to day 1, I can’t even tell you how mad I was. In retrospect, it seems silly. 10 days in? Psha! Nothing! But at the time, it felt like I was playing Monopoly and I just got sent to Jail. (don’t worry, I wasn’t mad at him, just at the oil) Some people would say that a tiny little vegetable oil was fine (it’s in the acceptable food list), but I had set my intention that I wanted to do this right, and so I reset my emails and started over (btw, the emails are a great resource). But then, day 13 happened. Predictably, there was a massive setback in my journey. And also predictably, the setback was around alcohol. See, my husband and I have been drinkers forever. Like, since we were 18 (we’re in our 40s). As you’ll recall, he was not enthusiastic about giving up alcohol, and my not drinking was really difficult for both of us. We went camping with some friends on day 13, and I asked him to support me by not drinking on the trip, since I knew that was going to be my biggest challenge yet. He agreed. But when we were camping, “not drinking” became “not drinking in front of me,” which was not what we agreed to at all. I got mad and we cut the trip short, and that kicked off the worst fight we have ever had in our four years of marriage. For the first, time I wasn’t entirely confident we were going to be together forever. I can’t even explain to you how heartbreaking and mortifying this was. I really loved my new diet, and I especially loved not drinking. He loved neither of these things, and for a time, it seemed like we might be on different paths. We could hold it together for a while, but really, can one alcoholic go sober and stay with another alcoholic who kept drinking? Was it really worth it for a diet? Couldn’t I just go back to drinking? It was a real low time. And then he suddenly experienced a lot of sharp pain and we went to the ER for his stomach. The ER determined it wasn’t an emergency, but did tell him to get an ultrasound to see what was going on in there. I think it was kind of a wake up call, and he agreed to stop drinking through the end of the Whole30. I also think he saw that our relationship was really at risk, and his behavior was the least healthy of the choices. I was and am so grateful that he decided to quit drinking with me. We re-arranged our living room and hid the TV behind the couch so our old habit of drinking in front of the TV wasn’t so conspicuously missing (it’s unplugged, but if we really want to watch a movie, we can dig it out). Re-arranging the living room set off a chain of reactions that included me finishing a painting so we could put it on the newly blank wall, and finishing the curtains I had been meaning to sew. Our whole space is reorganized for living, not watching. (All of these changes were because of the exercises in the 30 Day Sobriety Solution book.) We’ve talked about it since, and he now is glad we both quit drinking. He doesn’t want to back to our old way of life either. He’s still not on board with the food changes, but hey, that’s fine. We’re all where we’re at, right? The Results Last week, I broke down and weighed myself. I had lost 10 lbs since starting the plan! My clothes fit differently, and most of the weight seems to have come off my stomach. My depression is better (though I’m still on medication and don’t feel the need to change it) and my skin is clearer. My face used to be kind of puffy (I wish I took before and after), but now it is thinner (and no double chin anymore!). The other day, after I put on makeup, I realized that my skin looks dull with makeup on, and glows without it. I still have red patches, but now I mix my foundation with moisturizer so it’s more sheer. My knees don't hurt as much (they were pretty painful) and I sleep pretty well -- no more panic attacks at all. Not even one. Most importantly, my relationship with my husband is better. I know we’ll live longer and happier lives together because of this. I had to change my relationships with several of my friends… unfortunately, I realized some of my drinking buddy friends were just drinking buddies. Now, I seek out relationships with positive people who share my joy of life. I'm going to weigh myself again tomorrow (the official end), but I can tell I have lost more weight. I am absolutely going to stick with the plan moving forward, but I am making an exception of going out to eat. I didn't eat out even a single time on the plan just because I don't trust the ingredients in anything that I don't fix myself, but I want to go out periodically. I'll still order stuff on plan, but if someone uses vegetable oil, I'm not going to raise a federal case about it. I know this is really long, but I hope it helps. I read the forums in the beginning and didn't see anything like this, so I wanted to share. Much love, Danielle
I'm on day 1 and I'm pretty sure I am addicted to 5 hour energy. I had a rude awakening when I went to run some errands on my lunch break today and ended up falling asleep while listening to a podcast in a parking lot in between stops. After 3.5 years working at a Starbucks in my early college days, coffee doesn't do it for me anymore. I know the Whole30 is supposed to help me derive energy from better sources and a more optimally running body, but for now, I need to not fall asleep in the middle of my work day. I usually start off my day with a 5-hour and have another mid-afternoon. What can I do instead so that I'm not passing out on the job, or worse, while I'm on the road? For context: I have been drinking plenty of water (~60 oz before lunch) and I am well hydrated and I had an egg muffin (with bacon, cilantro, lime, salt, and pepper) with a banana for breakfast). I did go to bed fairly late last night, but that's not out of the ordinary for me...in fact, in a surprise twist, this NON morning person popped up out of bed at 6:30 today (I usually get up at 7 am), ready to take on day 1 with gusto!