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Angela's Whole 30 -- This Time Is For Real!

Angela N

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Hi all,

I'm Angela, I'm a 30yo, 5'7", 150lb female. I've been struggling (and, recently, recovering) from adrenal fatigue for the past 2 or 3 years. I've been doing my best to be paleo/primal since late 2009 but due to the total lack of energy from adrenal fatigue, over the past couple years, that's been downgraded to just plain gluten-free. This spring, for the first time in ages, I now have enough energy to go to work, come home, exercise my high-energy young dog, cook a meal, and probably even clean up after said cooking! To say this is a big deal is an understatement.


Unfortunately, over the past 2.5 years, I've put on 20 or 25 pounds (I don't weigh myself regularly, so I have no idea what I weighed when I was diagnosed with AF). At 150lbs, all I know is that NONE of my work clothes fit, and I won't be caught dead in a bikini until something changes.


I've tried to do a Whole 30 before--numerous times. Last summer, I made it to day 7 before I overdid it and failed to factor in how much energy I needed to reserve to make myself food--and ended up eating out, which I thought was off-roading, and so gave up.


I am starting today, with lunch, as I finished off the last of the cream in my coffee this morning. I am completely giving up coffee for the next 30 days because, even though I only drink 1/2 of a cup of real coffee per day (and another cup of swiss water decaf), I think I am far too attached to it. I know it doesn't help the adrenal issues, so why keep it?


The biggest challenges for me over the next 30 days are probably going to be:

1) Coffee!!!

2) Alcohol. It's summer, a good friend (who loves to go out) just moved to town, and I loooooooove my wine and cider.

3) Dairy. Mmmm cheese.

4) Planning... I suck at meal planning. I really, really do.


Why am I doing a Whole 30?

1) To be healthy--which means fit and energetic! After struggling with AF for so long, I want to get back to the 'me' of before: super fit, energetic, someone who loved weight lifting and biking and thought nothing of going for a day-long brutal cross-country bike ride.

2) Honestly--to lose weight. I have always sworn that I would never be this heavy. I don't feel sexy, it adds to the social anxiety I already have, and I want to fit into all the nice work clothes I already own!!

3) To get back on track. I need to learn how to plan meals and cook for myself ;)


I'll post measurements later today.

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Well, a computer crash last night ate my food log for yesterday, and I am in the "KILL EVERYTHING" stage and don't feel like retyping it. I'll summarize: it was f&*(ing CLEAN and WHOLE30 COMPLIANT!!


Today so far:


I slept in until 9:30. Multiple alarm clock failure. Whoops. Didn't get breakfast--had to get to work, where more computer issues took up my morning.

Lunch: fried ground beef with salt, pepper, and chipotle powder on butter lettuce leaves with 1/2 avocado, 1/2 tomato diced up. Ate until I was slightly stuffed, since I won't be eating dinner until late-ish.

Snack: Coconut cream Larabar.


I am craving a coffee with cream, a few pints of Strongbow cider, and a giant gluten-free burger from my favorite restaurant... but I will resist. Going to finish work and then go enjoy some sun.

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Still on track. I have never been good at weighing, measuring, or logging my food--which is one of the reasons paleo/primal appealed to me ;)


I've got a calendar that I'm marking off the days on, using a big red sharpie. I feel so good about the 6 checkmarks on there so far--especially Saturday, when I went out with friends to a pub, and consumed nothing but 2 bottles of sparkling mineral water. It helps to have great friends who don't even question WHY I'm not drinking. 


I definitely went through a couple days of "kill all the things" but today I'm into the "I wanna NAP!!!" stage for sure. I can barely keep my eyes open to type this. Will likely give in shortly and take a 30 minute lay-down. I didn't sleep well last night for various (non-food) reasons, so that's probably part of it.


I think my skin is clearer and I *feel* skinnier... I can now fit semi-comfortably into a pair of shorts that were REALLY tight before, so I'm guessing some bloat/inflammation is gone.

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Still chugging along. I have been incredibly tired the last three days, as well as moody and weepy. I thought it was (TMI alert...) PMS, but I haven't gotten my period yet (usually I get 48 hours of PMS right before it starts). Not sure what's going on. I took two 1-hour naps on Thrusday and a nap yesterday at lunch, as well as sleeping 10 hours on Wednesday night and at least 8 on Thursday night.


Yesterday I tried eating more--Fitday said the total was upwards of 2800 calories--but I woke up feeling lethargic and WEAK. I'm guessing my body is still trying to switch to burning fat rather than sugar, but HURRY UP ALREADY! ;)


Taking it easy today because I have an all-day commitment tomorrow and I don't want to crash and burn this week (still dealing with rationing energy levels due to adrenal issues).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Today is the last day of my Whole30. I measured myself this morning, and I am flat-out ASTOUNDED. I was strict with the no weighing/measuring during the last 30 days, just kinda went by how my clothing was fitting. I figured I'd lost *some*, because I could fit into a pair of dress pants that were well-nigh impossible a month ago, along with a pair of my mountain biking shorts that I wore "only in a pinch" because they were so uncomfortably tight. Both pairs were comfortable yesterday.
So, without further verbosity:
June 11/2013:

Bust 39"

Waist (2" below navel) 36"

Hips 40"

Thighs (l/r) 24"/23"


July 10, 2013:

Bust 36" (-3")

Waist (2" below navel) 33" (-3")

Hips 38.5" (-1.5")

Thighs (l/r) 23"/22.5" (-1/-0.5")




But, it gets even better... 

  • I have figured out that coconut flour REALLY does not agree with me (horrible bloating, burping, "basketball in the tummy" syndrome, dizziness, muscle weakness, shortness of breath)
  • Large quantities of almond butter, although tasty, also leave me bloated and nauseous
  • I don't *need* sugar to get through the day
  • I do need protein at every meal
  • Going very low carb makes me depressed, moody, irritable and apathetic
  • I now know when I am actually full, and stop eating
  • My short term memory is better--I can remember more than 1 thing at a time (up to three now)
  • I do not go into a "food coma" after a big meal; I'm comfortably full and satisfied but functional
  • And best of all the non-physical changes, I am now confident I can make changes in my life and see them through. This is a dramatic break from old habits.

My boyfriend and I are going out for our anniversary tonight and we are planning on having steaks at home, followed by (good) tequila and creme brulee at one of our favourite high-end restaurants in town. Tomorrow morning I will get up and start my second Whole 30, basically back-to-back. This journey ain't over yet!

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