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Major workout changes.... help....

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I'm almost done with my Whole 30 and I can honestly say that I let the gym slack. I'm down a solid 10 lbs. My clothes fit better, people notice. I'm not hungry. I don't crave things. I enjoy my meals. I have energy for everything BUT my 5 am workouts.

Working out has become my identity for the past 3 years, and while yeah, I've seen some body changes, it's never gotten me what I wanted. My past has been 4 days a week of intense 60-90 minute lifting sessions in the gym. I go hard, The downside has been crazy food cravings and a reliance on caffeine and workout drinks. It's very hard to watch what I eat. When I do go into fat loss, I tend to use sugar free as a crutch. 

My quality of life is better now. Hands down. But I simply can't do the workouts I was doing anymore. But my gut is that I'm healthy and healing from what was well intentioned abuse.... that was also a part of my identity.

I'll be honest- I'm shocked to be down 10lbs. This easily. Not even eating for weight loss. I'm not restricting. I eat a solid 1700-1900 calories a day (which is what I was eating while killing myself at the gym).

I've read about the impacts of cortisol on weight loss and am wondering if the weight change is about that- and that the reason behind my inability to drop weight was the workout/caffeine combo. I think my next step is to continue Whole 30, and develop a gentler workout program. But TBH, I'm scared. I always thought weight loss was CICO and the harder you work the more you lose. I'm also scared of gaining back weight. I used to be morbidly obese and working out hard saved me from that. 

I guess I should view this as another transition. 

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Hi Nikki,

I'm sure someone will be along to remind you that you're not supposed to step on the scale during a Whole30, but I'm not going to focus there.  instead, I'm going to focus on your worry -- that if you slack off at the gym, you'll go back to being morbidly obese.  (Probably, if your mind works the way mine does, in less than a week of eating three corn chips and two chocolate chip cookies).

And it's a reasonable worry, if overblown.  I have proven to myself twice so far this year that I can gain ten pounds in a week.  For me, grains in the form of bread are a key indicator of my weight, as are other highly-refined foods.  Now that I have done a few Whole30s and eat much more cleanly even when I'm not doing a Whole30, I know that my weight will go up when I have a creamed soup or a chicken curry.  Heaven help me if I have beets!

So -- that 10 pounds is an indicator that your body is reacting differently to something you're eating, and specifically that it is processing your food differently.  "Different" can mean a lot of different things, from your digestion speed to the amount of liquid required for digestion (a lot!!) to a whole bunch of other things that I don't know because they're about you and not about me.

When you are done with your Whole30 and your life reverts, there is a really good chance that you'll gain all that weight back.  And that's where I really want to point something out:  don't panic if that happens.  A "slow-roll" reintroduction may help you figure out what changes have helped you the most.  That will then help you decide what you want to work to keep doing and what you don't.  For me, for example, bread as a part of regular meals tends not to be worth the adverse impacts.  My husband's home-baked treats for special occasions are worth it.  Halloween candy, while not worth it, seems to be a temptation I have not yet learned to get rid of.  But I am learning to limit it to one day, rather than two weeks of fun.

ThyPeace, The important thing is to learn and do better than you did before, not to be perfect!

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