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Four days left to go on W30 and not seeing the results I hoped for. Really cranky. Help!

Lil Gigi

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Hello, So this is my first W30 regime. I have 4 days left to go and I'm pretty cranky (yesterday I was angry, I'm "just" cranky today)! I haven't had the victories I had hoped I would. Two reasons I started the W30 was because 1) I wanted to lose some poundage and 2) I wanted to clear up my eczema. Neither has been affected.  (I've even done allergy testing to try and figure out the latter.)

I've held extremely strict to this way of eating. Haven't licked a spoon or even tasted my cooking when I'm making non-compliant meals for the fam jam. I literally took my own food to a cooking class party, cooked with all the gals and then ate my own compliant meal and I've navigated Canadian Thanksgiving (made myself a grilled brussel sprout salad etc) and put coconut water in a wine glass even after bringing bottles of vino to parties.  As far as I know, I've rocked these rules and stayed steadfast. And no, I'm not chugging back juice. In the last 25 days I've had 2 glasses of coconut water in total. 

I assumed that because I eat pretty clean as is, that maybe that's why I didn't suffer any of the symptoms as posted on the timeline. Two days (maybe day 4 - 6?) I had wicked headaches (but could have been because my ponytail was too tight and I had a couple of days I was exhausted - which again, could have been anything.) I have amazing skin to begin with and bright eyes so those things are measurables for me. 

Here's what I've mainly been eating (and yes, I eat a lot of the same meals and it's what I enjoy and I feel great eating them): 

Breakfast: two poached eggs, often on a healthy bed of raw spinach and sometimes an avocado and some fresh tomatoes. I f I feel my skin is dry, I drizzle some avocado oil on the spinach - sometimes. A couple of times I had a grapefruit or some strawberries on the side of my eggs. 

Lunch: I eat very similar to this almost every day. Raw veggies like, red peppers, lots of cukes, carrots and 50% of the time I create a big salad of peppers, dark greens, cukes and tomatoes. On occasion, I add in some olive oil and lemon. For proteins I eat sliced left over meats like pork tenderloin or chicken. If there's not left overs, it tends to be canned (compliant) tuna. 

Snacks: If I'm having a long day or feel hungry, I eat two hard boiled eggs (sometimes the whites only), and an apple. Sometimes I've had some almonds or cashews (maybe about 15) with the apple versus eggs (I've been pulled over before just after eating boiled eggs and my car smelled like fart! Try explaining to a copper why you're hesitant to roll down your window!)

Dinner is compliant protein like chicken or steak plus a ton of grilled veggies like broccolini, cauliflower, peppers, roasted beets and/or a very clean salad. 

I don't eat a lot of potatoes even though they're compliant, In the last 27 days, I've had 1 and a half baked potatoes. This is normal for me anyways. I tried adding sweet potatoes to my eating regime but I had half of one and it was a bit too sweet in the moment so the rest of the bag is still sitting in my fridge. I don't feel I need the carby starches. I have pretty good energy as is.

Hubs and I are major night owls and often go to bed at 12:30am - 130am so if we have dinner at 6-7pm, I'm hungry again at 11:30 so I've had a little bit of dried apple chips or a few dried figs. I'm not going ham on them however because I know they're not ideal. As of last night though - I'm not eating any nuts or dried fruit just in case this has anything to do with my goals not being met. 

Here's where I HAVE cheated, brace yourselves! I have weighed myself. I'm not run by numbers - never had been, but it's a great measure for me. I have lost two pounds since beginning this. My BFF who I asked to do this with me, has lost 11... ELEVEN! *grr* As most women, those two pounds have depleted from my boobers. 5 days into this I did feel like my stomach flattened a little bit and I was impressed. I was rubbing my belly as if about to make a wish I was so stoked! So yes, those are great mini victories but I want more than this. 

My plan for post W30:

I plan to continue this for a while still I think but need to figure out how to work through a high end (all pre-prepared rich meals) dinner party event I'm hosting come Nov 10th. I'm also the MC so don't want to be ill during it! So in my mind, I think I'll introduce something like popcorn (that's my fav treat) a day or two prior to this party to see if I react. If not, I'll keep on doing the W30 and cheat at the celebration dinner then go back to W30. 

BUT, since I'm not having much luck on this, I will do W30 but count calories as well. I don't think I over eat, if anything, I have a hard time eating all my calories (I know this forum isn't about calories and that's ok - just giving you an idea of where I'm at). I consume about 1400 calories per day (when I was tracking them and I think I'm eating similar quantities on W30 despite I haven't been counting.) I'm Greek so truthfully, this isn't about me starving myself either trust me! I'm eating lots of food but they happen to be very clean foods. 

Ok, long winded write up - probably got all my womanly words out for the day!

Please, any guidance, correction or input on how to get better results? Nobody wants me to be cranky for another day, trust me! 

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Hey there, @Lil Gigi - sorry to hear that you didn't get the results you'd hoped for. Could you please let us know if you have any underlying medical conditions? You mention eczema which can be related to auto-immune. Thyroid? Arthritis? Digestive difficulties?

The only thing I can really note in your meals is that they seem on the small side and they are mostly not reporting any fat. 

When you go to bed at 1:30am in the morning, what time do you get up? Are you hungry when you wake? Do you eat within 1 hour of waking? Do you find yourself tired mid-evening and then get a "second wind"? How are your menstrual periods, regular? Missing? Spotty? Erratic? Painful?

Do you notice that your clothes are fitting nicer? How was your mood before you discovered you didn't lose a bunch of weight? You don't have to answer this one, but be honest with yourself, do you really have a large excess of weight to lose? Comparing ourselves with others is a fast-track to unending disappointment. 

How different is Whole30 from your previous diet?

You gave some good background, try these questions and we'll see if there is a pattern.

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Hello @ladyshanny great questions thank you! Ok here are my responses: 

I'm super healthy (other than being overweight). My doctor likes to tease me because my medical file (since I was about 8yrs old) is pretty thin. Most of my doctor's appointments are to get traveling vaccinations or complain about my eczema. Now my eczema is not brutal as some people have it, but when it flares up, it's fast and very distracting! In my mind I was sure it's food related but I've never been able to pin it down - hence why the W30 had a great appeal to me. My thyroid is great, good blood pressure, cholesterol, no arthritis and I don't really have any digestive issues. I don't even really get headaches often at all - expect when my neck is strained or I have a tight ponytail. I'm pretty fortunate that way. 

My meals are not small. I enjoy my food and enjoy quantity so for sure, I'm not being a stingy eater. My friends literally Instagram photos of my fridge because of the baskets of overflowing produce - and I pound the produce back! I'll attach a photo of my current lunch that's sitting in front of me right this second. I've eaten about half of it already. (5 ounces of pork tenderloin, roasted beets, a boiled egg, 1 cup of cukes, 2 cups shredded power greens, 1 tbsp of olive oil, one pepper) 

I get up around 7-8:30am. We thankfully get to sleep in a bit and so our late nights are easier. I'm not often hungry when I wake up - sometimes but that's typically if I overate the night before (seems random). I sometimes eat within the first hour of being awake - sometimes an hour and a half later. I sometimes feel tired at about 4pm, but then I'm ok once I've chugged some water or moved around (I'm pretty sedentary during the day). Also, I enjoy caffeine but I can also take or leave it. I'm not running my energy up with caffeine by any means. 

My menstrual periods are good. Nothing there I'm concerned about. They're very simple and healthy. I cramp the first day when they start and then I'm fine. I don't PMS a whole lot (my hubs agrees I'm safe to be around - or perhaps he's playing it safe by saying that ha). But I think I'm pretty good here. 

My clothes are fitting a tiny bit better in the arms and I lost 2 inches around my torso but those happened pre-W30. In July I weighed 236 and I lost 27 lbs pre-W30 by counting calories, walking and chugging water like it was going out of style. I cheated for 3 wks while I traveled etc and gained almost 2 lbs back so now on the W30, I re-lost those two pounds - so they're not even "new" pounds. Boo. Truthfully, I'm not as worried about my number in how many girls might be. But again, it's a great measuring stick for me... to a degree. My goal is to get to 174 to see how I look at that point. It's still considered obese but for my body, that's a decent goal. I'm 5.7" and I saw a pair of jeans I wore at that weight (due to a very unhealthy one time only, never again type of diet). Those jeans looked small to me - they also looked healthy for what I believe looks good on my bones.

Lastly, the W30 isn't a ton different from how I eat but I don't read labels etc. That being said, I never really eat processed food a lot. The items I did eat more often though would be things like protein powder (during my pre-W30 weight loss regime), peanut butter (regular old Skippy), butter, honey and milk in my tea, cheese, popcorn or nachos for a snack, and some vino. Right now, if I was done the W30, I'd add in honey, a bit of milk for my tea and my occasional popcorn or nacho treats. I'd easily survive on those non-compliant items! Giving up grains, sugar or processed things was easy peasy for me. 

As for fat intake, I have been asked that before back in the days when I did Weight Watchers as well. When I look at my macros, my goals (when not on W30) are 30% Carbs (which I barely hit - today being an exception), 25% fat and 45% protein. As of today I started back to counting calories and looking at my macros as I did pre-W30. As of right now (this is my pre-planned dinner in here) my totals are 29% carbs, 29% fat and 42% protein. So it seems my fats are ok?

Appreciate the help in this - really want to kick this and do it well! I'm not needing to lose 10 pounds in a month but I am needing to lose 5 - 8 for sure... or at least I'd like to. 

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OK, that all sounds good. The reason for the menstrual and hungry-when-you-wake questions are to determine general hormonal balance. Remember, none of us are medical professionals but we learn a lot over the years of coaching hundreds of people through this. ;)

The only thing I can see really stands out for you is the fact you lose energy mid day, get a second wind later in the night, stay up late and are not hungry when you wake. These are all classic signs of cortisol being out of balance. Cortisol should be naturally high in the morning and decrease as the day goes on. This out of balance is also a main culprit in mid-section weight gain/difficulty losing mid-section weight. 

If I were you and could make it work, I would spend the next 30 days modifying my sleep routine. Sleep at "proper" hours and eating within an hour of waking is the number one way to get that cortisol back in balance. If you think back to humans before electricity and smart phones and TVs and Netflix and constant blue-light emanating devices, we were "wake when it's light, sleep when it's dark" people. Like it or not, this is the ideal prescription for sleep and wake and chronically defying that is going to mess with your cortisol, thereby messing up hormones, eating signals, digestion etc.

You can certainly force/coerce your body into losing weight while still night-owling it up but the more effortless, intuitive way of balancing food and life is to improve your sleep hygiene back to more normal hours.  

Is this the answer? Maybe not............but if it's worth it to you to try, you won't have lost anything at the end of your 30 days of sleep revision. Let me know what you think!

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Hey ladyshanny, thank you for the feedback and insight. I'll do some research on the cortisol balancing for sure. Hey who knows? I'm up for checking into it! My weight is fairly evenly dispersed (or at least "stylishly camouflaged" that way) BUT for sure, all naked-like, my weight mass is in my midsection so maybe you hit the nail on the head.

Truthfully, adding or subtracting something from my diet seems easier to do than changing my sleeping habits but I will chat with the hubs and see if we can make some changes.

Here's hoping! And again, thank you for the feedback. Much appreciated!

Kind Regards,   

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Ya, it's probably a pretty big change. If you can't change your sleep patterns, there are some things you could do. Wear blue-blocking glasses from evening onwards, completely eliminate any blue-light emitting electronics at least an hour before bed (includes LED lights if you happen to read in bed). Make your room pitch dark and cool and quiet. 

And remember, even if you wanted to do a trial, it's only a month. And depending on where you're located, the weather is crap and it's dark out, so...........not the worst thing to turn the TV off and go snuggle in bed a bit earlier. :)

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Ha true. 

I do actually have an automatic amber dimmer on my phone that turns on at 10pm for my late night Pintersting but that doesn't block out the 60" tv screen that's in front of my face come to think of it! So yes, 30 days it will be. Hey if I can have popcorn AND lose my belly, oh hell-to-the-yeah! 

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