The trouble shooting I did and what worked


inska

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I started a Whole 30 hoping for help with some stubborn weight and better performance in running...I'm a poky puppy and wanted some speed and endurance improvement. I struggled in the beginning...I didn't expect huge results because I was already gluten free(I thought...more on that later) dairy free and almost sugar free, and I was eating about 1200-1500 calories a day while running 25-35 miles a week, stressing a lot because my weight just seemed to creep up slowly despite obsessive tracking and exercise. I haven't had even a sip of soda in five years, have not eaten fast food in six, and still I was getting belly fat from seemingly nowhere!

I really didn't have food cravings or anything but I experienced a gigantic crash in energy in the first few days. Huge. Bonking a mile or two into a run, crying with exhaustion, and feeling like my legs were stuffed with lead. I went to the doctor on Wed for a metabolic check up (they thought I might have Hashimotos) and was weighed and I had gained two pounds which was discouraging. My doctor scorned the Whole 30 saying I should just do intermittent fasting if I want to lose weight and I'm clearly just eating too much, in spite of being kinda hungry going to bed and the healthfulness of what I was eating. The doctor was irritated that I had quit calorie tracking and said that was responsible more than anying else for weight gain and ordered bloodwork on me, saying she guaranteed my cholesterol would be through the roof eating two eggs a day and warning me I was setting myself up for serious depression issues reducing carbs. I felt pretty discouraged and at a really low ebb last week...cried myself to sleep that night.

Rather than abandon it, I decided my last two and half weeks I would absolutely immerse myself in the program. I stuck my scale in the closet so I couldn't even see it and be tempted. I never even realized how much I worried about walking by the scale til it wasn't there anymore. I deleted the calorie tracking app. And I ATE. Until I wasn't hungry and even felt full after every meal. I ate prodigious amounts of food for this week. Three eggs, giant plates of veggies and a huge apple with pecan butter. A chicken thigh, half an avocado in a giant container of lettuce and shredded veggies. A heaping serving of pork, paleo coleslaw and sweet potato. Cashews for pre run snacks, chicken and dates for a post snack. I ate a LOT. I didn't feel hungry ever. As I began to feel peckish, I realized it was lunch and time to eat anyway, vs staring longingly at the clock waiting to eat again. I realized I must have been restricting my meals a great deal without really intending to...telling myself I couldn't possibly eat more than two eggs at breakfast, or that the citrus viniagrette didn't really need all that oil to be good. I figured out I really needed a starchy vegetable or fruit daily to run well. I also discovered to my shock that at some point in the past my multivitamin I had been taking for years added wheat germ! I hadn't thought to check it, since I'd taken it for years and it had been gluten free at the outset. I called the company and asked and six months ago, they switched their formula. Sheesh. That went in the trash and I found a compliant one to replace it.

By Saturday, I was running much more smoothly...no crazy tired legs, and my Sunday 7 mile jog went really well til the last 400 m...but I didn't fuel during, so I blame that one on my lack of snack. I went back to the doctor today to hear my metabolic results and my doctor told me (shocked...she couldn't believe it) my cholesterol had gone down from last year (when I was vegan!) to 145 from 170, while my HDL had doubled. My blood pressure had come down to 95/68 from 108/72. My thyroid was low, but normal, a first, even with meds. And my weight had dropped FOUR pounds in a week. I felt significantly better, ate amazingly more, and finally lost something. I mean, jeez, really?! Then this morning, I ran a short four miles and was absolutely astounded to see that I beat my best four mile time by four minutes without even trying or feeling like I was overextending myself. The scale is still locked in the closet and will stay there for the foreseeable future. My husband and I are thinking seriously about extending this to 60 and beyond.

After growing up with a mom with disordered eating issues and hearing calories calorie calories as a instant refrain, I feel like I could have taken that doctor visit to heart and really given up. Instead I recommitted and made enormous conscious effort to reorganize the way I was thinking. It really helped to know that I was going back to the doctor today so I knew if I showed evidence of it getting astoundingly worse, then I knew Whole30 wasn't for me...but overall, I feel like this proved to me and the doctor that I'm not crazy for doing this and to actually trust the process. Trust the fact that you don't have to be Hungry and watching points, calories or whatever. That it's okay to eat some grapes and sweet potato if your legs are tired and tight.

I wanted to offer some comfort for people who are frustrated or worrying about program recommendations that fly in the face of 30 years of conventional wisdom...I am feeling better and better everyday!

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Thank you for sharing this.  The whole 30 is just a puzzle piece (a giant one) to help us get healthy.  As long as people realize that the whole 30 is a tool, not the solution!  It is up to us to make it own - to find what works for us as an individual.  I am so happy to hear your story, and wish you many successes in the future.  And maybe work on getting a more supportive doctor.

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This is really lovely, and I actually got chills partway through as you described your re-commitment. The determination to really throw yourself into the W30 was great, but what came through was that you started to actually FEED yourself, that there was a sense of nourishment and satisfaction. Especially coming from a home/past/medical guidance of restriction, calorie-counting - wow, this blows me away.

 

And... umm, your doctor....

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You must be so proud of yourself. You went with your instinct and it has for sure payed off! It is fantastic reading such a wonderful experience as a result of the Whole 30. :-) I would use that doctor for blood results only lol!! Congratulations on being so strong.

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