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CharDoll

Living "Whole" for a Whole Year

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Living “Whole” for a Whole Year.

I’ve always been “tall for my age” and was never the thinnest girl in class. I’d say I was “normal” size, although through high school I slowly gained weight until my senior year when I worked out a lot and got down to my smallest size (a 10/12 and when you’re 5’11’’, that’s pretty thin!). In college I was able to keep off the freshman 15 for the first semester, but then once I got tired of the deli and salad bar at the dorms and started having the hot food (mostly fried) and going out to eat a lot then the weight started piling on and continued on that way all through college.

During my junior of college, my best friend told me she had an extremely rare form of cancer and she needed a liver transplant. Her mother was able to donate half her liver and my friend was in remission for another year or so. Then during my master’s I was stressed to the max studying for my master’s exams and then found out my friend’s cancer was back with a vengeance. Food was my solace. I ate and ate and ate. I got up to my highest but was able to lose quite a bit just by “cutting back” and working out a little bit. I still hadn’t gone below about a size 18. Then I moved to Italy for a year to teach English. I enjoyed it immensely of course but was sometimes lonely and again I sought comfort in food and gained some weight back. When I got back from Italy I was able to lose enough to get back to the size 18s. But then my best friend passed away that summer, in July of 2005 and the immense grief I felt over it stayed with me for years.

In 2006 I met the love of my life and we were married in 2008. I lost some weight leading up to my wedding, getting down to about a 14/16, and felt great. However, the happy newlywed weight slowly crept on, and then by our 1st anniversary I was pregnant and gaining quickly. After the birth of our first son, it took me a year and a half to even contemplate losing the baby weight. That was when I discovered Jon Gabriel and his meditations and visualization techniques for weight loss. His book also helped me release the immense grief that I was still carrying around after the death of my best friend. I lost about 45 pounds by working out and eating 5 small meals a day, but then I stopped working out, the weight stayed stagnant, and then I got pregnant with my second and gained everything back again.

After my second son, I started the weight loss battle yet again, when he was about 7 or 8 months old. In June of 2013, I was able to lose about 8 or 9 lbs just by eating less and walking a little more. Then someone posted something on Facebook on June 29th about the Whole30 and I decided to give it a go after reading the program rules. I was particularly inspired by the tough love section, This is for the people who have tried this before, but who “slipped” or “fell off the wagon” or “just HAD to eat (fill in food here) because of this (fill in event here).” This is for you. It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.” I started my first Whole 30 on July 1, 2013.

During my first Whole 30 I spent 2 weeks “down the shore” (at the beach in New Jersey) with my family. I made it a point to pack compliant lunches in a cooler for the beach and when my sons were enjoying ice cream on the boardwalk, I used a napkin to clean up all the drips instead of licking it clean myself. I learned to be more aware of what I was eating and why. I got a lot of support from and made friendships with other Whole 30ers in the forum. I started to win the battle against food and I began to have control over food rather than food having control over me. I lost 9 lbs and 8 inches around my waist (!) during my first Whole 30. I did reintroduction to see how I would react to things (who knew that I was pretty much dairy intolerant!) but I decided to stay Paleo and keep using the Whole 30 meal planning template with an occasional indulgence here and there (corn chips at the Mexican restaurant, ONE slice of pizza with salad, dark chocolate, etc.) Even though I wasn’t working out, I continued to lose weight. I hit a long plateau in the winter and stayed at the same weight from mid-December to mid-February. I blame the million snow days, the lack of Vitamin D and one too many indulgences. I did my second Whole 30 in February and since I was an old hand by then, my new goal was to start working out at least once a week and the weight started coming off again. I added a second weekly workout later in the spring and the weight continued to come off.

On June 1st, I started my third Whole30 so I could finish off my (first) year of Whole 9 living. Now it’s July 1st, 2014, exactly 1 year after I started this journey of Whole 30/ Whole 9/ Paleo living. I have lost 80lbs and gained so much in the ways of confidence, knowledge of how food affects my body and most of all control over what I eat and when I eat it. I no longer have that left out feeling at family or friend gatherings if I’m not partaking in pasta and bread and sweets. I make the decisions now. I’m fully satisfied after meals and not hungry in between. I have inspired 8 friends and family members to give the Whole 30 a try and they are finding success in it as well. I plan to keep eating this way forever. I never thought I’d be someone who would say that I’ve changed my lifestyle, but I have and I’m not going back. In the words of a great quote I saw in the forums in June “I already know what giving up feels like. I want to see what happens if I don’t.”

THANK YOU WHOLE 30!!!!

Edited to add:

In one year I've lost 13 inches at my waist, 10 inches at my hips, 5 inches off my upper arm, 6 inches off thigh and 7 inches off my bust/rib cage/back. :-)

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I so needed to read this. Thank you and congratulations! it is so inspiring to read someone being freed  from the food/weight prison.

I dabbled one month and this past month tried the whole30. i agree, it's definitely a wonderful lifestyle to live by that does allow freedom once one feels comfortable and ready to open up to what works for them and what doesn't.

 

You should be so proud of yourself. I hope you find sweet potatoes or some other italian replacement on your trip. enjoy!

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This is exactly what I needed to see today! I'm your height and also in 18s, and today is my first day of my first whole30. If I'm where you are a year from now, I'll be thrilled!

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This is exactly what I needed to see today! I'm your height and also in 18s, and today is my first day of my first whole30. If I'm where you are a year from now, I'll be thrilled!

You can do it! When I started last July I was a 22/24. Now I'm a L/Xl, 14/16. I'm going to just keep eating this way and exercising and see where my body wants to be. Just think about where YOU will be in 1 year. :-)

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I'm cryin' over here. Love the quote at the end. Thank you for sharing your story and your inspiration. :wub:

I cried yesterday when I put my two pics together. Thank you for reading and for your support. :-)

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I so needed to read this. Thank you and congratulations! it is so inspiring to read someone being freed from the food/weight prison.

I dabbled one month and this past month tried the whole30. i agree, it's definitely a wonderful lifestyle to live by that does allow freedom once one feels comfortable and ready to open up to what works for them and what doesn't.

You should be so proud of yourself. I hope you find sweet potatoes or some other italian replacement on your trip. enjoy!

YES! it is like a prison. Constantly searching for the right keys. You get through one door then are locked in another room. The Whole 30 gives you the all access master key to get out of the food/weight prison that you're living in.

The rules actually give you freedom! Freedom to eat until you're full, freedom from feeling deprived, freedom from nutritional starvation now that you're giving your body the nutrients it needs.

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This is exactly what I needed to read. More than anything, the fact that you emphasized how you gained control over food instead of it controlling you is what I am looking forward to the most, as that is my main goal. The quote at the end hits the nail on the head and is a simple summary of what the whole30 is: a test run of 30(+) days of not giving up in conquering your lack of control over food. Awesome stuff.

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This is exactly what I needed to read. More than anything, the fact that you emphasized how you gained control over food instead of it controlling you is what I am looking forward to the most, as that is my main goal. The quote at the end hits the nail on the head and is a simple summary of what the whole30 is: a test run of 30(+) days of not giving up in conquering your lack of control over food. Awesome stuff.

I'm glad this helped you. Whole30 helps so much to gain control. :-) good luck!

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CharDoll, you are an inspiration!

I had lost a ton of weight doing the body builder life - lots of gym time, heavy weights and six protein centric meals - but how many pounds of chicken and oatmeal can a person eat in a day? My dad died then my dog - and it almost all came right back on as I quit the gym as a grieved.

 

Feeling like there's a long road ahead - so happy to read your story. It is possible. I've worked through my grief now ready to love me more. Thank you for showing the way!

 

- Cyn

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Truly an amazing transformation! Thank you for your story. I am on day two of my very first Whole30, and I believe that I will be posting photos like yours a year from now. You are an inspiration!

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Wildflowers


 


When it rains in the desert


The wildflowers bloom


And the night air is 


Sweetened with hints


Of perfume


 


Wildflowers are fleeting


Sand always endures


I'll choose to remember


Wildflowers allure


 


I'll always remember


Wildflowers name


And warm


Summer rain


 


 


You were always beautiful, Chardoll


 


 


 


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CharDoll, you are an inspiration!

I had lost a ton of weight doing the body builder life - lots of gym time, heavy weights and six protein centric meals - but how many pounds of chicken and oatmeal can a person eat in a day? My dad died then my dog - and it almost all came right back on as I quit the gym as a grieved.

Feeling like there's a long road ahead - so happy to read your story. It is possible. I've worked through my grief now ready to love me more. Thank you for showing the way!

- Cyn

Thanks you for sharing too, Cyn! :-) grief is hard and never goes all the way away, but it can be removed from being related to weight. Good luck on your journey

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Truly an amazing transformation! Thank you for your story. I am on day two of my very first Whole30, and I believe that I will be posting photos like yours a year from now. You are an inspiration!

That's great! I believe in you! You will be posting 1 year pics! Keep it up

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