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Day 19 Of Second Whole30


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I know I'm not done yet, but I couldn't wait to come in here and talk a little bit about my results so far. I did my first Whole30 way back in 2013, I remember feeling better + getting compliments on my skin, but I went to a party on my first post-Whole30 day and just ate and drank all of the things. And continued to do so until August 1st. I attempted other Whole30's in-between, remembering how great I felt, but I couldn't make it longer than a few days. Not because I felt bad, but just because I wanted to make different choices. 

I have bad arthritis and within the past 3 years, my hormones have gone bonkers. No doctor can tell me what is wrong hormonally. All my tests are inconclusive. I've seen MDs, naturopaths, acupuncturists, multiple therapists (it has been mentally upsetting for many reasons as well). My body didn't feel like my own. I went from needing to lose 10 - 20 pounds in 2013 to needing to lose 120 pounds in 2016. That is A LOT of weight gain in three years. Because of the hormonal issues and weight gain, I got depressed. Because of the depression, I stopped taking care of myself and old eating disorder issues began to resurface. I started binging again - something I hadn't done in 10 years and have been in continuous therapy for since it began. I started that binge/restrict cycle until I just stopped restricting and I just binged daily. I ran out of clothes that fit me. My arthritis went from manageable to completely debilitating. I was sleeping until 2 PM on weekends. My skin went from pretty great to super dry and flaky with hormonal jawline breakouts. I stopped dating and sabotaged any romantic relationship that came my way. And more than anything else, the constant negative self-talk. The sadness. The loneliness. The feeling like I just couldn't change and that I couldn't take care of myself. And I could go on and on and on and on.

I went to see my rheumatologist (who is a total saint, by the way) and he told me that he doesn't like to harp on weight or BMI, but he worried about being so heavy (250+ pounds on a 5'5 frame) and he reminded me that I am only 33 and he wanted me to have a very full and healthy and active life and the amount of weight I am carrying would be tough on anybody's joints, not to mention somebody with arthritis.

So, on July 30th, I decided to do another Whole30. I know this is not a "weight loss" plan but I was just hoping that if it could help get my binging under control (combined with therapy, of course) I would feel better mentally and maybe lose a little weight and feel some relief in my joints. I also know that August and September are my two busiest months of the year - I'm taking 15+ hour work days, 7 days per week (it sounds brutal, but I love love love my career). I knew that I could either come at this super busy and stressful time as healthy as possible or I could do what I did last year which was live off the free office food (pizza, lots of M&Ms, cookies) and drink every day with my co-workers - we are working so much that by 11 PM when we are still in the office, the wine starts to flow.  I remembered how exhausted I was last year and how draining August and September were and I just thought, I know this month will be stressful, but I want to do everything I can to not feel like that again.

So, I began a Whole30. And with my "why" being so clear, it has been remarkably easy to stick to. Even with the pizza boxes coming in and out of the office. Even with the peanut M&Ms, cookies, and wine sitting right on my desk. It has been an easy no this time around. I honestly don't know why - I think I just know that I am young and I am tired of feeling (and looking!) twice my age. So, it's an easy no. Plus, the food I have been making has been so delicious and I am lucky that I am very close to many compliant restaurants by my office (living in Portland, Oregon does have its food benefits).

I have been following Whole30 to the letter - no slips, no cheats. Although, I do have a confession - at the beginning of the Whole30, I threw out my scale. I weighed myself every day. I also bought a full length mirror. I haven't had one in 3 years and I think not being able to "see" myself made it easier to not notice how big I was getting. But, I go to my rheumatologist weekly. I asked the nurse to not show me my chart or tell me what I weigh, every week. And I remind her to tell my doctor the same. But, every week, it never fails, he comes in and says "YOU'VE LOST X POUNDS THIS WEEK! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! YOUR JOINTS MUST BE FEELING GREAT!" I remind him (again!) that I don't want to know, but he can tell me after 30 days is up. But, it's actually very sweet - he's just so happy for me that he can't contain it and he legitimately forgets. That being said, I have lost weight in the past 19 days. It's been plenty - no crazy dramatic losses, but very steady, very respectable losses all the same. I am grateful to not have the scale in my house and I know that I still have some weight related habits to break (yay therapy!) But, I have to remark that even if the scale was not being so kind, I feel SO GOOD right now that I wouldn't quit.

So far:

1. My skin has cleared up. My hormonal jawline breakouts aren't happening anymore. While my skin is still dry (it always has been), I am no longer getting huge, itchy, painful dry patches on my face. 

2. I am falling asleep without a problem and waking up with less of a problem. I've always been a night owl - staying up until 1 am or 2 am, even if I get into bed at 10 PM (or earlier!) I'd be wide awake for hours. Now, I'm wiped out by 10 PM. Some days of my Whole30 so far I'll leap out of bed with no problem at 7 AM and other days it's more like 8:30 AM. Still a vast improvement to dragging myself out of bed at 10 AM (thank goodness for casual work schedules) every day and even later on the weekends.

3. I have ADD (late in life/recent diagnosis) and was taking a version adderall - not daily, but "when I needed it", I haven't taken one single pill since starting and honestly haven't noticed a difference. I am consulting a doctor on this one (don't worry) but it has been great to not depend on a drug with a host of side effects. 

4. My hanger has leveled out. I can now go between 4-7 hours without eating without a problem. I get hungry and I eat. I don't get headaches or irritable. The world doesn't stop when I get hungry.

5. I'm not snacking! Being so satisfied with my meals has really made it easier to avoid the office food. I do keep some compliant snacks at the office, but I have only had to dip into the stash twice in 19 days!

6. I'm not binging! This is HUGE. I am not counting down the minutes to get home so I can sit on my sofa alone with food. I am not spending hundreds of extra dollars on junk food to eat it all as quickly as possible. I am not going to bed feeling naseuous and overly stuffed and disgusted with myself. 

7. With not binging comes not restricting! I am not counting calories only to come home and binge at night. I am not sneakily eating two lunches of pasta with cream sauce at work. I am not trying to only eat 1200 calories per day to ultimately fail and be starving and irritable. 

8. I am HAPPIER. I am feeling better in my skin. My joints are feeling better (still not great, but better). I'm feeling my confidence come back. I am looking forward to other things to do besides eat. I am going to the expensive gym that I have been making monthly payments to for TWO years without going regularly because I was too tired / too embarrassed / didn't want to.

This 19 days has literally changed my life. I know that not everybody has such dramatic results, but I have a lot of issues to get through. I'm not stopping at Whole30, I am planning on going until September 8th and adding alcohol in for a few days (if I feel like it and if it doesn't make me feel terrible). Sept 8 - 18 is my huge work event (that is taking over my life right now) and my plan is to continue being compliant with the addition of a glass or two of celebratory champagne. But then, I'm going straight back to a Whole30 until Thanksgiving. My body needs a lot of time to heal and so far, Whole30 has been the best thing I have ever done for myself.

Sorry to brag eary, but I wanted to post this just in case anybody was struggling early on or if anybody needed some support getting through some binge eating issues.

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