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Celebrating One Year of W9 Living


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On June 19, 2012, I started dabbling in Whole 30.  A friend had gone paleo and was raving about how good he felt, and I'd heard about W30 through the CrossFit boards.  As I've said here numerous times, last June I had resigned myself to being a "healthy overweight" person - a former athlete who was still relatively active but way too heavy.  I had also resigned myself to never being able to run again.  Every time I tried to run, I'd go for a few weeks, maybe even a couple months, but then end up with injuries and give it up.  


Three years ago, I committed myself to a dedicated yoga practice.  I worked with a traditional nutritionist and took off 20 pounds and was significantly healthier last year than I was in 2010.  I completed a triathlon in July 2011 but I was unhappy with how I felt during the race (and honestly, during most of the training), and was intent on having a better experience last summer.  


So I embarked on my W30 journey last June and did close to three weeks of "compliant" eating.  I say "compliant" because this was before I read It Starts With Food so I didn't really get it yet.  I was eating a lot of fruit to feed my sugar dragon and could have been the poster child for SWYPO.  I dropped a few pounds, did a Chi Running clinic and was feeling pretty good.  But then my sister came to visit with her family in July... we ate a ton and all of the W30 practices went out the window.  All of a sudden, I found myself short of breath during my swims.  I've had asthma since high school and knew this wasn't asthma, so I went to my doctor, who diagnosed me with GERD.  She gave me a prescription so I could get through my tri training, and I went back to relatively clean eating.  My tri in July was waaaaaayyyyy better than the previous year!  I cut 13 minutes from my overall time and 4 minutes from my run alone, and I was convinced the changes in my eating habits had a lot to do with this improvement.  After buying and reading ISWF in August, I decided to start the school year off with a W30.  This was literally a life-changing experience for me.  I did another W30 in the fall, a W45 this winter, and a couple of two-week stretches when I've felt myself veering too far off track.


Here I am one year later:  


1.  Last summer, I was taking six prescriptions daily; today, I'm down to three.  I haven't touched the GERD medication since I started W30, and I only use Zyrtec and my rescue inhaler as needed, instead of daily.  In fact, I regularly work out now without using my inhaler beforehand.  I can't wait to see my doctor next month for my annual physical and see where my BP and cholesterol and glucose levels are.


2.  Last night I ran a 5K on the race course for the tri in 31:39.  In 2011, it took me over 43:00 to finish the run portion of the tri, and last year I finished in 39:38.  I am SO excited to see how the run goes this year based on last night's run!  And this was a PR for me in a 5K   :D Last July I ran a 5K in 42:01, so I've shaved more than 10 minutes off my time.  I also ran a half-marathon in March.  I've only done one other half (back in 2004) and was so racked with injuries that I was convinced I'd never run one again.  Not only did I finish my race in 2:36 without injury, but I'm planning on running another half in October (again, if my hamstrings will cooperate)


3.  I have rediscovered cooking!  After years of counting calories and following the advice of traditional nutritionists, I thought I'd never be able to eat anything except broiled chicken and steamed broccoli if I wanted to lose weight and be healthy.  When I talk to my friends/family/colleagues/random people at the yoga studio, I stress how many options there are for meals if you're willing to do a little prep and a little cooking.  Perfect example - yesterday I made Plantain Chicken Salad from PaleOMG (I'm kind of obsessed!).  It called for celery - I'm not a huge fan, but the salad definitely needed some crunch.  I cut the celery in half, then added some cashews instead.  DELICIOUS!!  I never would've done this a year ago because of all the calories cashews would've added.  Breaking the calorie-counting mentality has been one of the most liberating and delightful parts of this process.  If it's healthy, compliant and not contributing to bad habits, I eat it.  End of story.


4.  Finally, I'm 35 pounds lighter!!  I'm never going to be thin, especially by society's standards, but then again, I don't want to be thin.  However, I will never get tired of people telling me I look fit! On my way to my car after the race last night, I ran into a guy who is a trainer who stopped me to tell me how fit I look - I'm sure it was the compression shorts and hot pink compression socks  ;) - but after feeling so heavy and unhealthy for the last 7-8 years, I'll take it.  Moreover, my weight hasn't fluctuated more than a few pounds when I've been "riding my own bike" because my eating hasn't varied that much.  This has clearly become a lifestyle change for me, as my chiropractor noted last week.  I recognize when I'm feeding myself sugar, and I feel like the off-roading flowchart is imposed on my brain.  Moreover, I can bounce back after off-roading - truly remarkable for me!
Moral of the story - I'm now that obnoxious person trying to convince everyone around me to at least give this a shot.  A couple of friends did a fasting cleanse last month and tried to get me to join them.  Uh, no thanks!  My sister keeps complaining about stomach issues, and I keep trying to get her to try a couple of weeks of W30 eating if she can't commit to a full month.  Maybe she'll join me in September (fingers crossed!)  
Thank you again for providing this life-changing program!!
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