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Whole 30 Take Two: The Second Week


Brandon Antoinette

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Hey everyone! I'm back for another exciting and challenged filled week of my Whole 30!


 


I am pleased to report that despite several potential pitfalls, I have successfully navigated Days 8 and 9! There were two events over those days that I had identified as possibly hazardous.


 


The first event was a visit from the parentals. My family mostly lives in rural North Georgia. They are far enough away that they can't drop in unannounced once a week (as much of my family is wont to do,) but close enough that with adequate planning they can come and visit several times a year, thus keeping them from complaining to me that I live too far away. (This is one of the many reasons I chose to live in Atlanta in the first place.) So my mom and dad came for a visit on Sunday. Now, my mom is usually fairly supportive of any attempt that I make to improve my dietary health. My dad generally scoffs at the suggestion of me trying to remove things like sugary snacks and cheeseburgers from my diet, saying that he thinks I'm skinny enough as it is. The way I navigated the whole situation was to offer to make dinner for them. I made a recipe adaptation that I had used successfully last week, “The Best [Roast] Chicken You Will Ever Eat†from Well Fed. I didn't tell them I was doing the Whole 30 until after dinner. They loved the chicken and the veggies I served with it, and my dad particularly was surprised to find out that the meal he had just ravenously consumed was in fact compliant with a dietary alteration that he would have considered extreme. My mom--always the worrier--has decided to research Paleo herself, and perhaps try out the diet--and definitely the chicken recipe. (She says she isn't sure that she could give up cheese.) Her main concern is that the amount of fat in the diet might exacerbate heart problems which run in our family, but she was very enthusiastic about the idea of me eating six servings of vegetables a day and cutting out sugar and sugar substitutes. (She has been after me for the past two years to give up my beloved Diet Doctor Pepper and, if I must, resume drinking the regular soda, as she is convinced the sugar substitute will cause me to develop cancer.) At any rate, stressful parent visit successfully navigated.


 


The second event took place yesterday, my Day 9. I had an outpatient procedure scheduled, and I knew that afterwards I would not be feeling like preparing compliant food and would be heavily tempted by the lure of my favorite Chinese restaurant in Atlanta that will, as it happens, deliver some of my favorite foods hot and ready-to-eat right to my apartment door at just about any time of the day. With a little pre-planing and pre-cooking, however, I managed to escape the enticements offered by the best crab rangoons ever and sailed right through Day 9.


 


Today, I'm experiencing some major brain fog issues. For example, it has taken me nearly an hour to finish this post (a task that I could usually bat out in fifteen minutes or less,) and in the previous paragraph I had to stop for a good two minutes, searching for the word “compliant,†which I knew was just on the tip of my tongue but kept coming out as “reliant,†or “complacent,†or any number of variants on a completely incorrect word choice. Also, after a quick pre-post proof reading, I found two errors in subject-verb agreement that would cause any Grammar teacher worth his salt to scrawl the biggest red “F†at the top of this post that you have ever seen. I'm hoping that the brain fog is just the residual effects of the anesthesia from yesterday, and that I'll be feeling much better by tomorrow. 


 


Until then, never fear. Jae and I still have a day's worth of leftovers. Maybe I'll take a nap.  

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So, I haven't checked in since I finished day 9. I'm halfway through day 13 now and things are not going exactly as I wanted this week.

 

I haven't broken any rules, and I've even done a much better job at meeting my modest exercise goals for this week. The problem is I am just absolutely exhausted. Don't get me wrong, I knew to expect the exhaustion--but I was expecting it earlier. In fact, when I woke up groggy around day six, I thought that was it settling in. I was better the next day--but this week has been a battle just to get out of bed in the morning. I'm really hoping this will pass soon so I can get back to daily posting. Today I have been drinking more water and I feel somewhat better, so I think that the mid program exhaustion just might be a little hydration deficiency. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

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Week In Review

 

So, my second Whole30 week didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped. I didn't post every day, and not even most days. I spent the majority of the week almost exhausted, and I never really found out what might have caused this so late in the plan. The only thing that kept me on plan was knowing that I had done this before and I felt one hundred percent better after thirty days than I did at the beginning. So, here I am at the beginning of day fifteen, almost half-way through the program, waiting for the magic to start. I'm sure that there are other people in my situation that feel or have felt this frustration because of a slow start. I am determined to carry on. Even though this week has been slightly disappointing, I have actually gained a lot of insight. More on that in a moment.

 

First, lets check in with goals. After the first bit of this post, one might think that I only have bad news. One would be wrong, however. My goal achievement this week was absolutely stellar. First of all, I made it through the whole week without breaking a rule, so that is two weeks in the Whole30 bucket!

 

*Singing and Dancing ensues--but not a lot of dancing, I'm still pretty tired.*

 

Next, my sleep goals. Considering the exhaustion, this might be one goal that you might think I failed at this week. But I did even better this week. My goal was a minimum of 8 hours of sleep four nights per week. Last week I made the goal barely, scoring four nights out of seven. This week...I achieved five nights! Yay! Nevertheless, I'm going to try to stretch it even one further next week and aim at six nights. Will I be able to do it? For me, it's a definite stretch. We shall see...

 

What about my exercise goals? Last week, that was the set of goals that (however modest) I didn't meet. There really was no excuses for that and I was pretty severe with myself on that front. This week, though I still had to do quite a bit of self coaching, I succeeded by reminding myself how bad it felt to miss that one goal. Exercise goal accomplished.

 

Finally, my nutrition goal of annihilating my unhealthy relationship with food. Last week I had two major fails, each in the "snack" category. I am very proud to report that I was able to go the whole week without snacking. I'm also getting a much better since of when I am full and now I don't really worry about eating past satiety. I identified another aspect of this unhealthy relationship as an addiction to ready-made foodstuffs (like hamburger helper and sandwiches) and fast foods. As these are both completely off limits during the Whole30, consuming them would break the rules and result in me having to start all over. So with the rules to fall back on, it isn't that difficult to avoid them for now. The real test will be how well I avoid them afterwards. I would think, however, that the intense food dreams I have been having of late would seem to indicate that addiction has not been broken. Last night, I devoured a whole sack full of Krystal sliders with cheese (and bacon, which I don't think they actually even offer.) I awoke screaming. Jae was very alarmed, then annoyed at me when I explained what I had done, and even further annoyed when he had to stay awake long enough to convince me that it had, in fact, been a dream and I didn't sleep drive into fast food oblivion. But, that having been said, I was able to achieve my nutrition goals for this week.

 

Finally, in a moment of exhaustion, I wondered if stress might be playing into my problems. At first, this seems to be an odd thought, as right now my stress levels are probably lower than they have ever been. Because of my joint problems I am stuck working at home and setting my own schedule. (I know that might sound like the dream to some people, but it just doesn't work for my life.) After reading about stress in the Whole 9 blog archives, I have realized that I fit some of the profile descriptions of a "stress junkie." 

 

1. I create ridiculous schedules for myself.

2. I am inattentive when listening because I am multitasking.

3. Sitting quietly for 15 minutes makes me want to explode.

4. I purposefully procrastinate--thus getting that rush from not knowing I I will be able to finish on time.

 

So, I think that I might actually be going through some type of stress withdrawal, as I can't really do any of these things like I used to in order to create that stress. (The more I write here, the crazier I sound, even to myself.) I have actually found myself preparing a meal at 7:45, which I knew needed to be done at 8:00, and thinking "What am I, and idiot? I should have started this by 7:00 at the latest." This is definitely something that I need to change in my life. So, during the remaining 16 days of the program I want to experiment with some different ways of stress reduction. I'm not sure how useful they will be in my current situation, but I want to put myself through stress rehab as it were, to make sure that when my life returns to normalcy I have broken my stress junkie ways. I'll keep track of what I am doing in this area during my goals review and report at the end of next week.

 

Cheers,

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