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SimpleNotEasy

SimpleNotEasy's Whole 30 Log December 2015

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I'm back for a third Whole 30. Why now? Why in December of all crazy times? I'm grabbing hold as if it is a lifeline. It is a lifeline. I need simple (though not easy) rails to run on to navigate this stressful month. I've fallen into some unhealthy habits lately, and I want to stop and get back to better choices. I want to wake up on December 31 and feel proud of my past 30 days. I want to start 2016 in a better place than I'm in today. 

 

That's my plan and I'm sticking to it. 

 

I take photos of my meals and post them on the app YouFood if anyone wants to follow me there. My user name is TXGirl.

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Day 2 and all is well. I feel at peace, knowing that I am making all good choices for the whole month of December. 

 

It is amazing that after only 2 days of eating right (I ate according to Whole 30 on Day 0 & Day 1), I can already tell that my belly is flatter. I'm hoping that my sleep will start improving shortly. I'm excited to see various non-scale victories.

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Actually, though, I have realized that I am feeling kind of cruddy as the afternoon has gone on and now into the evening. I have a headache and am kind of grumpy. Not surprising, I suppose. My past few weeks pre-Whole 30 were a lot higher carb than usual (can you say tortilla chips  :o ), so I guess I am experiencing a bit of withdrawal from all that.

 

Non-scale victories I'm hoping for:

-better sleep

-more stable moods

-reduced PMS

 

I hope there will be some others which will surprise me.  :)

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It's Day 7! I forgot my password (doh!) and was not able to get a reset email sent to me despite several attempts. But I am still going, and got it reset today. 

 

Things I have noticed:

-I can remember my dreams again. My sleep has been very poor this fall, and I wonder if I was even dreaming at all. 

-My belly is flatter.

-My son has had a cruddy virus (the one that causes croup in little kids; he's 12, so it's just been causing him awful coughing fits) and so far, I have not caught it. Hoping that all the veggies I've been eating are warding it off!

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I love when the great sleep kicks in! I sleep like a rock during my Whole's.

 

I am not yet sleeping like a rock, but after some very poor sleep all fall, I am noticing improvement. I'll take it! 

 

Today is Day 9. A few observations:

-I feel more upbeat emotionally. Some of this comes, like Alison said the other day, from the lack of guilt & shame that I was feeling as I was eating poorly in the weeks leading up to the beginning of this Whole 30.

-When I don't feed the sugar demon, he dies (or at least goes into hibernation). I have no cravings for sweets at this point. 

 

That's all for now.

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Day 10 - definitely feeling (from the timeline) that my pants are a little tighter and it has crossed my mind that maybe, despite excellent compliance, I am gaining weight rather than losing it. But I know from previous Whole 30's that good things are around the corner! And I did sleep better last night! The best sleep I've had in a long time, actually. 

 

So a few more thoughts on not feeding the sugar demon... (I know that Whole 30 calls it the sugar dragon, but it's a demon to me!!  :D )

 

I remember from my previous Whole 30's that when I stopped eating processed foods and sugars, I stopped having cravings. Here I am again. I can eat healthy carbs - green veggies, nuts, even sweet potato and butternut squash and brussels sprouts - with no problem. They don't cause the cravings that breads and chips and other processed foods do. But when I allow myself processed carbs (when trying to ride my own bike), it's like a demon takes over and I cannot remember that all I have to do is stop eating them and the desire ceases. 

 

Are y'all familiar with the idea of looking at whether you are a moderator or an abstainer? Moderators are people who (when not on a Whole 30) could have ONE cookie, or ONE serving of tortilla chips or ONE glass of wine and move on with their life. Abstainers are people who can eat really healthy as long as they choose not to eat ANY of the things that awaken the sugar demon. I have had a health coach tell me to strive for moderation and to explore the gray area, because "health lives in the gray area" and "too much restriction cannot last." However, I find that I don't really moderate very well. This is probably why I like Whole 30 so much. Abstaining works well for me. Moderating, not so much. I wonder if I could change this about myself or if it is more permanent - maybe having to do with brain chemistry or the like. 

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I remember from my previous Whole 30's that when I stopped eating processed foods and sugars, I stopped having cravings. Here I am again. I can eat healthy carbs - green veggies, nuts, even sweet potato and butternut squash and brussels sprouts - with no problem. They don't cause the cravings that breads and chips and other processed foods do. But when I allow myself processed carbs (when trying to ride my own bike), it's like a demon takes over and I cannot remember that all I have to do is stop eating them and the desire ceases. 

 

Are y'all familiar with the idea of looking at whether you are a moderator or an abstainer? Moderators are people who (when not on a Whole 30) could have ONE cookie, or ONE serving of tortilla chips or ONE glass of wine and move on with their life. Abstainers are people who can eat really healthy as long as they choose not to eat ANY of the things that awaken the sugar demon. I have had a health coach tell me to strive for moderation and to explore the gray area, because "health lives in the gray area" and "too much restriction cannot last." However, I find that I don't really moderate very well. This is probably why I like Whole 30 so much. Abstaining works well for me. Moderating, not so much. I wonder if I could change this about myself or if it is more permanent - maybe having to do with brain chemistry or the like.

SNE--I totally hear you on this! Moderation is not part of my vocabulary with certain foods (sugar, Diet Coke, and peanut butter--3 foods I can't be trusted around). And it took me a long time to figure out that I can't trust myself with 'just one' cookie or whatever sugary treat is available. It might be counterintuitive to some, but completely abstaining from foods that fuel my sugar/craving dragon is so much easier than trying to moderate myself! It takes all of the pressure off! It might seem, to some, that this causes an abstainer to 'miss out' on the treats that they can't trust themselves to eat in moderation, but I disagree. I think we are strong and self-aware and know that we choose to not eat these foods because they mess with us psychologically and have control over us. They make us binge and gorge and replace healthy foods with less than optimal poor foods. They make us regret and feel bad psychologically. They make us feel physically bad too, and lead to GI disturbances, poor sleep, and so many health-related problems! I think it's great that some people are able to moderate, but I am so glad to acknowledge and OWN that I am not one of those people. I am an abstainer, and I am so glad that I know that about myself! :)

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Today is day 12.

 

I can't express adequately how much my emotional state has improved over the past 11 days. I've gone from feeling very low to feeling very good. I'm so grateful! 

 

I went to a party last night (the first of this Whole 30) and I took a gorgeous salad to share. It was baby romaine and baby kale, pomegranate seeds, toasted pecans, a little green onion and Tessamae's balsamic dressing. Meant to dice an avocado, but I forgot. I also took a baggie of roasted chicken to dump on the top of mine so that I could get some protein. Delicious! I didn't even look at whatever else was on the table. The hostess had a big container of water with sliced lime and Meyer lemons in it. Wow - that was delicious water. I didn't even miss having wine! 

 

 

I think we are strong and self-aware and know that we choose to not eat these foods because they mess with us psychologically and have control over us. They make us binge and gorge and replace healthy foods with less than optimal poor foods. They make us regret and feel bad psychologically. They make us feel physically bad too, and lead to GI disturbances, poor sleep, and so many health-related problems! I think it's great that some people are able to moderate, but I am so glad to acknowledge and OWN that I am not one of those people. I am an abstainer, and I am so glad that I know that about myself! :)

 

Alison - your words totally resonate with me. Yes, yes, yes. I cannot deal with how I wish I could be, I must accept how I am and learn to work with my own strengths and weaknesses. 

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Thanks, Alison! I did feel great yesterday.  :)

 

Today is Day 13. Last night, I slept poorly again, after 2 nights of better-than-usual sleep. I think it's because it was hot. I ran one cycle of the air conditioning before bedtime, but did not set it to come on automatically during the night since a cold front was coming through (and because it's December, for crying out loud!), but I guess I should've. Oh well. 

 

Food is going pretty well. I see that I do still have a tendency to get "snacky" at some points - it tends to happen in the late afternoon. Right now, I am satisfying that with olives and sometimes with nuts or coconut butter if I am truly hungry (stomach growling is my cue, not just feeling "snacky" in my head) and need to stave off things I would have gone for in the past (ahem, tortilla chips). 

 

I've been thinking about the quickly-approaching Christmas Eve and Christmas Day family celebrations and the best approach for staying compliant despite food traditions that would pull me off track. We celebrate with my parents, so I need to call my mom this week and let her know about my thus-far successful Whole 30. I'm going to tell her how much better I feel emotionally and how much better I have started sleeping (in general) and let her know that I have planned some tasty things to serve which will help me to continue in this vein. The good news is that we celebrate at my house, so it will be easy for me to have all my compliant choices here. The main things I need to avoid which she would notice are her Christmas-morning sweet rolls, the cranberry mold, grandmothers rolls and cherry pie we usually have for the main Christmas meal, and of course, wine. I think by communicating ahead of time, I should be able to avoid feeling pressured to eat off plan. 

 

The things I am thinking of making are:

-crustless quiche for Christmas Day breakfast

-the delicious salad that I made for the party Friday night to go with the meat for Christmas dinner

-some sort of fresh cranberry dish with fruit juice to sweeten it or baked apples with cinnamon and nutmeg 

 

Everyone else will still eat the normal fare, which is totally fine with me. My family eats all kinds of stuff that I don't eat, so I am used to being around those things often. I will make enough that if anyone wants to have some of the compliant items, they are welcome to eat some. 

 

I'm open to input if anyone has suggestions! 

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SNE- Glad you are doing well. Sorry I haven't been around in a few days~

 

I am not a moderator AT ALL. I cannot do it. One sugary, sweet thing sends me right into the abyss and I'm starting to understand and learn that I can NEVER be a moderator. I do wonderfully at abstaining but find that the social pressures are so hard sometimes. My family hates this and constantly questions "well!? what CAN you eat?"  It gets so old.

 

I just did my first Whole100 a few months ago, and here I am again because I went right back to my old ways. As hard as it is, I love being on a Whole100. It makes the decision for me. Nope. I can't have that!

 

and I know where you are coming from with Christmas! I'm going to do my best to stay away from everything too.

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SNE- Glad you are doing well. Sorry I haven't been around in a few days~

 

I am not a moderator AT ALL. I cannot do it. One sugary, sweet thing sends me right into the abyss and I'm starting to understand and learn that I can NEVER be a moderator. I do wonderfully at abstaining but find that the social pressures are so hard sometimes. My family hates this and constantly questions "well!? what CAN you eat?"  It gets so old.

 

I just did my first Whole100 a few months ago, and here I am again because I went right back to my old ways. As hard as it is, I love being on a Whole100. It makes the decision for me. Nope. I can't have that!

 

and I know where you are coming from with Christmas! I'm going to do my best to stay away from everything too.

 

Ok, so Britt and Alison and I are abstainers - at least with certain foods. It's good we know ourselves, right?

 

Briit - it is exactly as you say - Whole 30 (or 100) makes the decision for us. Nope. I can't have that! Just having made a decision to do the Whole 30 takes all the other decisions out of the equation.

 

I wonder how much of this is a physiological thing. I did 23andme genetic testing recently, and it explained some of the things I deal with in my life - such as poor sleep and a tendency toward depression. It doesn't mean I'm powerless, rather it means that I need to investigate means to support my particular body with its own particular genetic predispositions such as supplementation, lifestyle choices, etc. I'm working with a nutritionist on the supplementation aspect. 

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Today is Day 14.

 

I am feeling good. A cold front came through (taking us to lovely 65-ish degree highs) and it's sunny outside. I went with a friend and our dogs for a three-mile walk around the lake downtown. My belly is flatter. I don't feel any cravings. It's miraculous. 

 

Gotta get some Christmas shopping done.  :)

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Day 15

 

All is well. I tried making Melissa Joulwan's Best Chicken Ever and dipping sauce last night. It was delicious. Maybe not best EVER in my opinion since the Moroccan type spices are newer for me. I tend to cook with Mexican or Italian type flavorings and last year began trying some Asian type spices. Anyway, the whole family liked the Best Ever Chicken, so I was pleased! 

 

I am officially out of ideas of what to buy for Christmas gifts. Good thing I have at least something for everyone in my family to unwrap. But the pickings are kind of slim for some members. The problem one of abundance. We are very blessed and we have everything we need and many things that we want. So it's a challenge to think of what to purchase. This is a good problem to have - I'm truly not complaining - but it does make Christmas gifting a little tricky. I saw a Pinterest post with clutter-free gift ideas for different recipients (like teens, grandparents, etc) and it had some good ideas. Not so focused on "stuff" but rather on giving experiences or consumable items like a photo calendar (which I already do for the grandparents) or coffee of the month or that type thing.

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Today is day 17.

So yesterday & the day before, I indulged in some salted nuts that my husband brought home... Uh - yeah - salted nuts are in the category of "food with no brakes." I will skip those going forward.

I really cannot express how much my emotional state has improved during this Whole 30. I think so much of it has to do with feeling empowered to live out what I believe to be true. Beforehand, I had been giving in to many temptations, even though I knew these thing were not contributing to my best health. With the decision to do the Whole 30, it's like I flipped a switch and am now living in alignment with my values. I'm so grateful.

I do have a bit of anxiety as to what my plan should be post Whole 30. Riding my own bike has never gone very well for me. It goes back to the abstainer/moderator issue. I wish I could simply live as an abstainer 100% for the rest of my life. But the truth is there are times when being so rigid isn't realistic. Anyone reading have thoughts on this? Moderators or others?

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SimpleNotEasy, I love your statement about living in alignment with your values.

Riding your own bike is much harder than Whole30 but it's my goal as it's the only realistic long term plan for me. I am very slowly feeling my way with the slowest of slow roll reintroductions (this is my second week post Whole30). I don't know yet what I will add in moderation and what I may abstain from, but this is the information I'm gathering. I'm posting a reintroduction log and I'd love your thoughts. (Link in my signature.)

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I'm copying the below here from Art Fossil because I want to remember these statements. He beautifully puts into words some things I have had on my mind, too, but have not been able to express.

 

from ArtFossil:

I really am not looking for control. For me, (and again, this is for me), "control" implies too much rigidity and has too many connotations of all or nothing type thinking. Of being "good" or "on a diet" or "clean" and then being "bad" and "blowing it," leading to a "what the hell attitude" and feeling stuck or powerless.

I have realized that I don't want control, I want balance. I want to make choices about my food and observe the consequences and adjust my choices based on those consequences. I want balance, which is a dynamic process of a little this way, then a little that way; more of this, now more of that . . . . (I think about the challenge of standing still on the bosu in Pilates and how that requires tiny adjustments, again and again, to keep the weight equal on each leg.)

I enjoyed my Whole30 because I saw its rules as a challenge, and a 30 day experiment which could give me important information about how I feel without certain foods and then, in the reintroduction phase, how I feel if I add them back..

The important thing for me about my Whole30 wasn't that I didn't have to make decisions but rather that, within the basic structure of the Whole30, I could make so many decisions about what I chose to eat. This flexibility helped me not to feel deprived. I felt relaxed about food and about eating. I want to keep these relaxed feelings and lack of deprivation.

I love structure and because because I love structure I want to design a structure for myself and my own nutrition that supports my health goals and my life goals and helps me have balance in my life.


I have structures in my studio practice that keep me on track and help me work toward my goals. The structures I have in place don't repress my creativity, they support it. I know in in my studio that perfection is impossible. Instead, I do my best with the intention to improve, and seek excellence, not perfection, which brings both failures and successes. I practice "little and often" and understand that any process takes . . . time.

I want to put some structures in place in my nutrition that function in a similar way.

I expect I will have "what the hell" moments in my eating just as I have "what the hell" days in my studio. But I don't want those to occur every day for weeks on end, or even every week but to be rare events.

I know that I "can" eat anything. And I want my eating to nourish me and yes, give me pleasure. I'm happy that I get to choose what I eat and I just want to gradually find my way toward making choices the vast majority of the time that are good ones for me.

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Today is day 17.

So yesterday & the day before, I indulged in some salted nuts that my husband brought home... Uh - yeah - salted nuts are in the category of "food with no brakes." I will skip those going forward.

I really cannot express how much my emotional state has improved during this Whole 30. I think so much of it has to do with feeling empowered to live out what I believe to be true. Beforehand, I had been giving in to many temptations, even though I knew these thing were not contributing to my best health. With the decision to do the Whole 30, it's like I flipped a switch and am now living in alignment with my values. I'm so grateful.

I do have a bit of anxiety as to what my plan should be post Whole 30. Riding my own bike has never gone very well for me. It goes back to the abstainer/moderator issue. I wish I could simply live as an abstainer 100% for the rest of my life. But the truth is there are times when being so rigid isn't realistic. Anyone reading have thoughts on this? Moderators or others?

 

Salted nuts=some of the most delicious Whole 30-approved foods ever!  I once bought a bag of salted mixed nuts from Whole Foods (no oils in them!!) and I had to give them away because I couldn't stop thinking about them!  Sooooooo good!  The last time I went to Whole Foods I looked for them again and they weren't there.  Probably a good thing...  :)

 

I am so glad to hear that your emotional state has improved and you are feeling empowered!  You are doing awesome!--already 2 1/2 weeks into your Whole 30!  That's so great!  One of the things I love about the Whole 30 is that it gives us guidelines and boundaries, and we really can't live a Whole 30 lifestyle and live outside of those boundaries.  It's easy, simple, and clear-cut.  Love me some boundaries.  Like I've said before, I am such a black-and-white, extreme person, and definitely an abstainer (vs. moderator) so these strict guidelines really work for me.

 

How many Whole 30's have you done before?  How have your previous Reintroductions gone?  Can you pinpoint areas where you need to focus your efforts during your upcoming Reintro?  I have done 3 Whole 30's in the past and the Reintro always starts innocent enough, but old habits always come back.  This Whole 30, I have different reasoning behind my intentions.  In the past it has been about weight and body fat and composition (and important but superficial things like that.)  This go round, I am focusing on my health, good feelings, and happiness.  And it makes SUCH a difference!  Just changing my perspective from weight/scale victories to hapiness/non-scale victories makes such a difference.  And this change in focus has also shaped where I plan to focus my Reintro efforts.  For example, instead of worrying about binging and falling off the wagon and gaining weight, I will be self-experimenting in hopes to feel my best, maintain my good feelings and happiness, and fuel my marathon training, despite what the scale says.  One extremely important things that I want to make sure to maintain even during my Reintro is the self-control and food freedom that I have gained through this Whole 30.  If I ever feel out of control I will need to get back to the safety of Whole 30 pronto to get myself back in control. I am going to focus my Reintro efforts on figuring out what foods make me feel my best, and which foods I should avoid...the whole FODMAP issue.  Instead of figuring out which non-Whole 30 foods to Reintro, I am going to be figuring out which Whole 30 foods I can eat to feel my best (and if FODMAPs are really an issue for me.)  I have felt the Tiger Blood, and it's one of the best feelings to know that I am doing something healthy for myself, without being deprived...when I feel the Tiger Blood, I have no desire to eat off-plan or reintro non-Whole 30 foods.  It can be a slippery slope.  Anyway, that's just my view on things--changing my perspective and goals for my Whole 30 and Reintro has really helped me figure out what my priorities are for my Reintro and going forward.

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SimpleNotEasy, I love your statement about living in alignment with your values.

Riding your own bike is much harder than Whole30 but it's my goal as it's the only realistic long term plan for me. I am very slowly feeling my way with the slowest of slow roll reintroductions (this is my second week post Whole30). I don't know yet what I will add in moderation and what I may abstain from, but this is the information I'm gathering. I'm posting a reintroduction log and I'd love your thoughts. (Link in my signature.)

 

Hey Art - I posted on your post-Whole 30 log, too, but as you can see I copied and pasted what you wrote above. Well-said! Very well-said.

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