Jump to content

My log, plus looking for motivation!


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone! Before I post today's eats, I want to say that I am also seriously looking for some motivation here: I am on day 11 of my first Whole30, and with the exception of eating a wee bit too much almond butter and banana this past Sunday, I have been eating 100% to the rules -- lots of veggies, organic and/or grass-fed, pastured protein, limited fruit, and of course nothing on the no-no list. I'm always a pretty good sleeper, and I've been getting a solid 7-8 hours a night depending on my schedule. I do weights and strength training twice a week, as well as some cardio/stretching session inbetween, so I'm probably moving my butt 5-6 times a week.

And after all that... I feel exactly the same as I did before I started. I'm not weighing myself, but my clothes are fitting just like always, and I can't see any visible improvement. My skin in the same (not great), I have the same amount of energy as I had before, which means there isn't a whole lot to spare after a workout and work. I ate pretty clean before the Whole30, but it definitely included a regular supply of oats and wheat bread, along with PLENTY of dairy in the form a daily greek yogurt fix. I also indulged in a lot of late-night sugar yummies (chocolate, froyo, peanut butter, popcorn WITH chocolate and peanut butter, etc) before, and have not been doing so. So why do I feel like I hit a plateau before I even saw benefits? I am in good health, and am trying the Whole30 mainly to see if I felt benefits from excluding dairy and grains (which so far I have no noticed) and to hopefully drop a few pounds and get rid of my bloated (possibly just FAT) belly. The only benefit I've noticed is that I'm more in control of my cravings, but I know that's just b/c I know I can't indulge anyways if I follow the plan, so it's easy to ignore them. It's nice, but I also kinda don't care at this point, and just want some froyo.

Can anyone offer some motivation? Is it too soon for some people to expect changes? I wouldn't be so bummed about the weight thing except that I'm just not seeing the benefits in any form right now. And besides enjoying the extra fat I'm eating in the form of 'cado's and pork, I am missing my chocolate and popcorn an awful lot to feel and look the same. I know internally there is probably some improvement I'm missing, but I guess I still feel discouraged.

Here is my log for the day, which I would say is a pretty standard spread of food for me. I did a light-moderate jog for about 20 minutes today, but wouldn't call it an intense workout by any means:

Breakfast: half chicken sausage, 1 egg, some veggies and quarter of a sweet potato all sauteed in coconut oil, with some leftover guac on the side. (I have to workout in the mornings right after breakfast, so I have to eat small if I don't want to VOM, otherwise I could see adding another egg and the other half of that sausage)

Lunch: spaghetti squash topped with homemade not-lean meatballs, and homemade marinara sauce with mushrooms and onions sauteed in coconut oil. A few chunks of honeydew for a treat after.

Dinner: spinach salad with pulled chicken breast, 1/2 avocado, bits on onion, olives, and mushrooms, and dressing made from homemade mayo, balsamic, mustard.

For a snack when I get off work tonight, I'll probably have a small chunk of frozen coconut milk, some honeydew, and tea.

Eating like this I am pretty full after each meal, which is my goal to prevent my urge to snack between meals. I don't feel deprived at all, except that I really miss the comfort of relaxing with a small bowl of chocolate and popcorn (do you see the pattern?) after work. That log is pretty standard, occasionally I'll eat some fruit with breakfast, usually half a grapefruit, but in terms of fat and protein through the day, this is pretty standard.

So, any thoughts on what I could be modifying and doing differently? Or do I just stick it out?

Thanks for reading this super long post!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, congratulations on starting a Whole30 and sticking with it so far. It's a good challenge to take on.

I read your post, and there are a few things that come to mind that might help you out.

1) Your post didn't seem to indicate what drew you to the Whole30. What are / were your goals coming into the challenge? Do you have anything specific you are interested in working on or correcting? After re-reading your post, I found your goals near the end of your second paragraph. I left the strike-through text above primarily to get you to review your goals and expectations. Some people see profound changes quickly when switching to a paleo diet. Some people see more gradual changes over a longer period of time. You sound like a pretty healthy person to begin with, eating pretty clean beforehand, sleeping well and staying active. You've got a good base to work from, so any changes will likely be more gradual. As with any nutritional intervention, Whole30 results are probably more physically dramatic when people start with significant challenges such as obesity or autoimmune issues. You might just review your goals and expectations to make sure they're realistic given your starting point. That being said, don't be discouraged yet, you're not quite half way there. Focus on the journey, not the destination. :) Stay the course and review your success when you've completed the Whole30.

As a contrasting example, I came into my Whole30 attempt last month in decent physical shape, working out regularly, sleeping well and eating a pretty clean Primal Blueprint diet. I didn't start my Whole30 to lose a bunch of weight or correct any other medical condition. I've been struggling mentally with mindless snacking, snacking on paleo treats, being out of touch regarding needs vs wants and knowing when to indulge and how much. My Whole30 goals were primarily getting on top of my mental game and to see whether going dairy free offered me any tangible benefits. I reset my Whole30 a few days ago after 22 days because of a mindless mistake. It sucks that I'm not going to complete my Whole30 next week, but I'm learning and improving and will finish on May 31st.

2) Regarding physical changes (skin, hair, body composition, etc), it really depends on your starting point and individual physiology. Some people see dramatic changes within a few weeks or the 30 days... some do not. I've seen gradual changes in skin health during my paleo journey, but it's been over the course of several months. I didn't have horrible skin beforehand, but it is noticeably improved now.

Sometimes reducing the last few pounds is a challenge, requiring additional tinkering with nutrition, sleep, stress, exercise, etc to achieve that goal. My body seems to have found a decent set point, but I could be leaner. While I wouldn't mind going from defined to jacked, the focus required to get to that next level may or may not be sustainable with my other commitments. I just go about trying to improve my nutrition and movement skills gradually over time. Form follows function. When I get my full range of motion, free standing handstand pushup, I will no doubt be stronger, more mobile and as a result, probably more defined. But, if I focused on the physical appearance rather than the skill-based goal, I lose something in the process.

3) Tolerance to dairy, grains, legumes, etc is an individual affair. Some people handle dairy, grains or legumes better than others. In my opinion, the chronic over-consumption of grain-based processed foods in the western diet is a bigger Achilles heel than a few pieces of bread now and then, some Greek yogurt, butter or a plate of lentils or quinoa. I know that sounds like a slippery slope from a paleo perspective, but ultimately we're not all genetic clones.

I've been rambling a bit, but ultimately I would suggest the following:

  • Review your goals and expectations given your current state of health. Make sure the expectations are a challenge to achieve, but not unrealistic.
  • Stay positive... regardless whether you see life-altering, immediate changes, gradual changes, or nearly imperceptible changes, you are doing something positive for yourself.
  • Take this challenge one day at a time, focusing on the decision you have to make 'right now'. Then, review your success after the 30 days is up.
  • Don't compare your results with anyone else's. While paleo nutrition and the Whole30 are very beneficial, we are all ultimately in an n=1 experiment. Our minds and bodies are all unique, with different challenges to overcome.

Good luck, and keep at it!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim, you should be promoted to moderator with awesome posts like that! It helped me as I didn't see big changes during my W30 either...but I take comfort in the pleasure of stepping up to a challenge and knowing that even if it isn't shouting it at me my body is happy thatI am eating optimally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Jim! When I look at the other things I really appreciate about the Whole30 -- encouraging me to fuel my body with fresh, clean foods, switching from mostly humane meat to all free-range/pasteured/grass fed, having me eat sardines for the first time in my life (and like them!), etc, I really can't say I'm disappointed at all. I am satisfied with the food I'm eating, it's a challenge, but it's also really fun and interesting. My expectations were probably a little high given that I cut out most processed food a while ago, and don't actually have any digestion/GI issues that I notice, so expecting a massive physical change was probably over shooting -- I just heard about so many peoples' amazing results, and was disappointed I wasn't feeling the same way. I know I should probably be thankful for that, hopefully it means my body wasn't too far behind in terms of optimal eating to begin with.

I know my emotions are such a big part of this, and I think that I'm very attached to the feelings of comfort food, both typical and not-so-typical. I got mildly upset yesterday thinking about not drinking juice -- keep in mind I haven't been drinking juice for MONTHS already, but the thought of working to remove from my diet forever seemed daunting. Juice reminds me of my family, whom I miss, and for some reason, the thought of never indulging in a glass of grape juice again became really really depressing, even though I know it's not great for me and is really just a handful of sugar in disguise. And I think I need to keep reminding myself that in cases like that, I don't actually want or need a cup of grape juice, but instead I should probably make a point of calling my mom to chat and deal with the real trigger of that craving and loss.

Even in the past 2 days since posting, and especially after reading Jim's post, I realize that the changes I'm seeing with the Whole30 are not so much physical as they are emotional and mental. By avoiding my comfort foods entirely, I find that I'm missing a whole lot more than the actual food -- I'm missing the experience and the feelings I get when I eat cheesecake, or froyo, or popcorn. And that's not healthy in multiple ways. While it's still hard for me to move past that (after a very stressful and exhausting workday until midnight last night, the almond butter and trail mix was calling to me endlessly... and I indulged. a lot.), I think being aware of my extreme emotional connection to food is really important to acknowledge and deal with, and now that it's out in the open, causing me to second-guess healthy and clean eating in favor of disgusting junk, I need to attack it and find a way to move past it. And for me, that seems like it's going to be much more difficult that simply cutting out grains and dairy...

But here's to owning my emotional eating, and working to move past it!

Thank you for the responses Jim and Dervalc!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a little detail question here: what is over-indulging in almond butter? I thought the Whole30 focuses on food choices, not quantity. How much is too much almond butter? I'd probably let myself have up to, I don't know, 4 tbsp in a day without calling it over-indulging... and even that much would be hard work to swallow, literally. I'd be more worried that I wasn't giving myself enough other/real food, if I felt the need to eat that much almond butter.

How do you know what is too much of a Whole30-approved food?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Ben, I know what you're talking about, and when I'm eating normal meals, I wouldn't be worried about over-indulging in anything as long as I'm eating a balanced meal. For me and the almond butter, it probably turned out to be about a third of a cup, which combined with the amount of dried fruits and straight nuts I ate last night, was just too much. I was uncomfortably full (and continued to EAT), so I know it was too much. My bigger issue is less with the actual numbers and amounts, since if I had actually been hungry and thought almond butter would be a good choice, I'd go for it -- last night I was eating purely from a craving/emotional place. I wasn't hungry at all, and the mindless and unnecessary eating is more of what I have an issue with than the actual amount of fat or calories I consumed last night. Binge-eating, which is essentially what I was doing last night, even on Whole30 approved foods, is a no-no.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...