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Whole 30 1.0 Complete (continuing on!)


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It's Day 31, and I feel great! I intend on continuing this indefinitely for now, but it's good to celebrate this first month. :)


Let me start by saying I'm a serial dieter. My pattern is usually 3 days of sticking to lower calorie eating and then on the 4th day I binge. It's completely predictable, and a wonder I managed to ever lose weight. (Eventually I didn't and just kept gaining.) My longest time on a diet without cheating was about 12 days on a nutritarian (vegan no sugar, low fat) diet. Then I caved, even though I was feeling good.


I've never in my life eaten healthy for this many days in a row without "cheating" or quitting. And I always blamed myself... lack of willpower, mostly. BUT IT WAS THE FOOD! I didn't take the sugar addiction seriously enough. I just went grocery shopping for my second whole 30 and the rows and rows of junk had almost zero effect on me. I was positively high when I got home because finally... FINALLY!... food no longer controls me and makes me feel powerless. Cookies can no longer boss me around. 




Here are all the benefits I've seen, as well as the reasons I want to continue on. And you guys were right--the weight loss is cool, but it's the other benefits that have me feeling dedicated. However, it's not healthy to be overweight, and it lowers my quality of life (out of shape going up stairs, etc.), so I will be looking forward to continued weight loss.



*Great food. I actually love this food. A lot. I feel pampered, like I'm getting to eat at nice restaurants every day (well when my recipes turn out lol.)


*Was 177.6 lbs when starting, am now 169.8. It's only ~8lbs, yes, but that's with only one day of exercising and dumping tons of coconut cream into my coffee every morning. (More about that later.) My waist is noticeably slimmer. I'm starting to have an hourglass shape again.


*Three migraines in 31 days. Those used to plague me. Two of them happened within 48 hours early on when I didn't eat enough potatoes / food. The third one happened when I was out all day and didn't eat anything except a small breakfast. I have had a few mild headaches that used to portend full blown migraines, but they simply never progress to the next stage. Hopefully the decrease continues, because I don't like having to take excedrin migraine, but my migraines are debilitating and I have to take meds to function or even sleep.


*Energy. I used to never have any at all. But during the whole30, on the days where I ate enough and got enough sleep my energy was very high. I even wanted to go on a walk or clean my house. I want to get back to that, but I need to fix my appetite and sleep schedule over the next few weeks. I'm having issues with that.


*Depression. GONE! I suffered from constant, low-grade depression before I started this. I wrote this in my diary at the beginning of the program: I’m desperate. I’ve hit rock bottom. I CAN’T GO BACK TO THE WAY IT WAS BEFORE. I can't believe I felt so hopeless just a month ago. Seriously. Every day I just have this low-grade happiness now. I'm just happy for no reason at all. I just feel ... grounded. And content. I only had 3 or 4 days where I felt a little sad or down, but some were because I needed to make some decisions I was avoiding, and the others were linked to my sweet potato consumption. As soon as I upped it, my mood stabilized again. I just can't believe how much food was affecting my moods.


*Brain Fog. GONE. Even if none of the above had happened, I would continue eating this way for this benefit alone. I've cried before because of the fog I used to deal with. My mind was quick when I was younger, but it faded, and I couldn't even do basic mental tasks sometimes. I would be good for a few hours a day, then my window was over. I thought it was my hypothyroidism or damage from the chemo I had as a teen, but nope. The fog has lifted. For that reason alone (and the mood changes), I won't quit this. I really can't convey how much this means to me. I tear up just thinking about how grateful I am to have my mind back. And who knows, maybe it'll continue to improve (I bet it will!)


My quality of life has improved, and I know it can improve even more.




Challenges / Things that bugged me:

*Certain ingredients: I want to use vanilla extract!  Why is rice vinegar allowed but not vanilla extract? I don't get it. But I can live without it, I guess. Also, date sugar is just ground dates. I may use it to make homemade ketchup, because dates are pain to blend, and I'm sitting on an expensive package of date sugar from awhile back. My homemade ketchup using raisins was kind of disgusting! However, I will only use the dates or date sugar for whole 30 approved recipes. I won't be dumping it in marinara sauce or drinks. I also found frozen grated organic potatoes that only have one ingredient: organic potatoes. They are a godsend. I've had plenty of days where I needed an emergency potato (lol), and having these in my freezer is very nice. I'll alternate them with my baked sweet potatoes and squash.  I'm very aware of the danger of triggering old food habits and addictions, so I have to continue being careful as I solidify my new habits.


*Pure chocolate still smells delicious to me. :) It's not out of my life forever, but I want to go long enough eating this way that it becomes just the way I eat and then when I break for a bite of something divine... well it will most likely be for a bite of high quality chocolate. 


*My appetite. I've had a whole week of no appetite, and my energy took a nose dive, and instead of eating more, I simply moved less (says my fitbit). My coffee plan should help with that, though. I'm also forcing myself to eat bigger plates and using more potatoes to try to get my appetite back.


*I went crazy for fat (and mayo) the first two weeks, but once my brain realized the fat wasn't a temporary thing, my consumption naturally went down because my tastes changed. (Yet another reason it took two weeks for me to notice any weight loss, I think...)



Why I'm staying on this:

I have an autoimmune disease and another 30+ lbs to lose to reach a healthy weight. Why would I quit something that's working for me, when I've never been able to stick to anything else for this long ever?


Things I hope to do in my second Whole30:


*I've switched coconut milk for cashew milk in my morning coffee and have added decaf. The goal is to switch to tea eventually. Losing weight does come down to calories, and this way of eating naturally makes me feel satiated... but *drinking* hundreds of calories in my coffee every morning and skipping breakfast isn't smart or healthy. So it has to go. Plus I'm addicted. I don't want to NEED anything to get my morning going. I want to wake up with the sun, have a clear head and be ready to write.


*I tried for my entire Whole30 to fix my sleep schedule, but my energy levels were up and down and the coffee didn't help. So I'm still aiming for waking at 6am and going to bed at 11pm.


*Try new recipes. Maybe I'll use that case of coconut milk I ordered to try some curry recipes. Or get that device to make zoodles. Or both! I've had some recipe fails, but I'm excited to find more go-to meals I love.


*Start walking / running regularly.


*Successfully limit my TV and internet to make progress in other areas, including a goal I have for writing every day. I managed to write a whole novella and edit it while dealing with the ups and downs of my first whole30, so I would love to be halfway (or more) through the first draft of this novel I'm plotting by the end of the next Whole30. 

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