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I am over 60 years old, need to lose over 60 pounds, and have probably tried over 60 diets in my lifetime (although that artificial number may be taking the "over 60" bit too far).  In this topic thread I decided to create my list of over 60 non-scale benefits.  I started on July 25th and am now in Day 8.  I started the list of over 60 benefits the day after I started Whole 30.  I wanted to keep my eyes on the prize(s), and not need to look at the scale to judge how I was doing everyday.  I wanted to keep things positive by not looking at the negative numbers and deprivations, but to look at the emerging positives every day.  So here is what I have so far, day-by-day:

Day 1:

1) A change in my attitude.  I started the plan on Day minus 5 by preparing. shopping, cleaning, etc.  During those five days I came up with a mantra, of sorts, but not because I had planned to have a mantra.  With each step, I kept telling myself "I am changing my life".  By the time I started on Day 1 and for every day since then (now I am in Day 8) my attitude has changed. I AM changing my life.  It feels good.

2) A pantry purge.  I like things to be organized.  Cleaning  out my fridge, my pantry, my freezer felt like detox.  It was a purge and I LOVED what I was seeing in all those places.  No long-leftover jars of jam.  No slightly stale noodles.  No ketchup (I LOVE ketchup but, wow, sugar demon averted).

Day 2:

3) Bless-ed sleep.  OK, probably too early to say this is permanent.  But I have trouble falling asleep at night.  Last night I dropped into bed and was OUT.  If this is all that comes out of this W30 thing, I'll be grateful.

4) Early to bed, early to rise.  Related to #3, I was awake by 5:30 am and I LOVED it.  There is so much more time in the day to be alive, and I adore having a cup of (black) coffee while I watch the sun rise.  Just me and coffee and the breaking of a new day.  I hope this is trend-ing.

Day 3:

5) Scale-release.  There is emotional freedom from NOT having a scale in the morning to pass judgement on myself every day. My days--good or bad-- used to be triggered by a number on a scale.  Was I a "good" girl the day before? Tell me, scale.  Gosh, it feels good to have permission from W30 (and now myself) not to continue that soul-sucking self-sabotage.

6) Listen to my body.  OMG, I was the waking dead today.  I was so tired, so tired, so tired.  What I learned was to listen to my body today.  If I am tied, take a darn nap. It I am hungry (LOVE the steamed fish and broccoli test), then eat.  I can honestly say that trust and my body have never been in the same thought or sentence before today.



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Day 4:

7) Food freedom.  I feel emotionally free from food.  I don't need to evaluate everything I eat.  I eat clean.  There is no anxiety about what to eat.  I follow the plan.

8) Snacks? Who needs them?  I've found that if I eat the three meals as the recipes allow, I don't need snacks.  I feel full and I am usually hungry for the next meal.  It keeps me from snick-snacking all day long as I used to believe was how "healthy people ate: 6 small meals a day.  6 small meals a day = overeating in Over 60 world.

Day 5:

9) Epiphanies. I am learning things about myself, my habits, and my relationship with food and drink everyday.  Cheese, crackers, and a glass of wine?  I had a mental model about how adults behaved at 5pm, and I strove to replicate it.

10) Breakfast breakthroughs.  Isn't breakfast about cereal or bagels and cream cheese?  Nope. I cannot believe how much I enjoy dinner leftovers as a breakfast. 

Day 6:

11) Honesty. I have used the whole 30 as an opportunity to be brutally honest about my challenges when asking for the support of family and friends .  Instead of disguising the truth with something as simplistic as "I am on a diet".  A friend and I now text daily about our successes after I came "clean" about my own challenges.

12) Decisions, not habits. I am much more thoughtful, in a less obsessive way, about food and about not allowing old habits to dictate my future.   "The past does not equal the future".

Day 7:

13) Sniff, is that honeysuckle?  I lost my sense of smell a few years ago when I had a terrible cold.  I haven't smelled anything much since then.  It appears that may sense of smell is re-emerging.  OMG.  All the sweet summer stuff, the smell of the food cooking, and the not so good stuff (when I walk the dog). 

14) Proactive, not reactive.  I am going away this weekend.  Long airplane ride, foreign country, great food, open air markets.  Whoopee!  I already made a plan for the plane to bring what I can eat.  I made a meal plan for while I am gone, taking advantage of local ingredients at the open air market.  It feels good to not panic about the wieght I'll gain, or what till i do?  Whole 30 is easier when proactive.  Eating is easier when proactive.

Day 8:

15) Energy to burn.  Oh, I think it is beginning to kick in.  I don't feel the need to take a nap in the afternoon.

16) Lessened joint pain.  I spent a total of 9 hours driving today, back and forth out-of-state for a family visit.  Usually I dread it because I am almost crippled getting out of the car.  But, what?  I drove 4 and 1/2 hours, stopped once to walk the dog, and felt so little joint pain upon arrival it came as a complete shock to me.  Who is this person?  This body?  Whose are these knees?  These hips?

Day 9 (today, August 1, 2017):

17) There's hope.  Hope of lasting change died for me a long time ago when it came to my body or my eating and drinking habits.  I just gave up on myself.  I am beginning to see the "light at the end of the tunnel".  I CAN change. 

18) Ask for what I want.  I went out to lunch for the first time since starting the Whole 30.  I saw something I could eat on the menu, asked the waitress to hold the sauce and butter and to steam the veggies and grill the fish. It was delicious, perfect, and Whole-ly 30.  I just had to ask for it.




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Day 10 (August 2, 2017)

19) Unimagined points of intersection: The Whole 30 daily email was about travel today and I am headed out this weekend.  The W30 email was just-in-time and I am finding points of intersection with my whole 30 life and issues almost everyday.  It feels like it is all coming together...FINALLY.

20) Enjoying a meal, not just eating it:   I love this way of eating and I love cooking with fresh ingredients so the meal plan and recipes weren't much of a stretch for me.  But I found that I am enjoying my meals much more.  I think it is because I only eat 3 times a day, am hungry when I do, and I take the time to cook it.

Day 11:

21) Travel stick-with-it-ness: I used to use travel as an and excuse and opportunity to jettison whatever plan I was on.  What-the-heck, I am on vacation...in this place that is KNOWN for xxx.  Whatever.  I stressed myself out afterward with all the guilt etc. This time, I packed airplane food (no kidding) and refused the snacks, lousy meals, alcohol.  This is whole new me.  No kidding, who is this person that turns down a free drink?

22) Taking advice to heart:  I used to see advice as interference or an indication that I hadn't done things right.  However, I am beginning to see that advice is well-meaning and it intends to make you successful.  The whole 30 email suggested ordering a club soda with lime and olives.  I did.  Amazing drink.  Refreshing and it makes me feel healthier. Who knew?

Day 12:

24) Leverage:  Oscar Wilde said that he could resist anything but temptation.  I agreed.  However, another wise man once said that to make a lasting change in your behavior you needed to "get leverage" on yourself.  Today I was thinking about how I "got leverage" to take on the Whole 30, and once I did then I found I could resist anything, even temptation.

25) Patience, grasshopper:  Today I had a relapse of joint pain. It seemed to be lessening (or did I just want to believe it was?).  But I've read in the Whole 30 literature to be patient with my body as it adjusts and recovers.  I am not usually patient.  I want results.  I want them now.  I keep telling myself (as I mentioned before) that I am changing my life and it took over 60 years to get where I am, I can be patient for at least 30 days (or more as I am now thinking about doing a Whole 66).


Day 13:

26) W30 email: I find it inspirational, useful, mind-broadening and I love the silly little "rewards" for clicking on the "another day in the bank" link.

27) W30 forum:  I know that nobody is really reading this but me.  However, making the commitment to find 2 benefits a day, has me really thinking and it hleps my commitment to this process.  I take my log as a responsibility to myself.

Day 14:

28) Little by little:  WUT?  I tightened my belt by a single belt notch.  WUT?

29) Looser, not loser:  Today my rings, my watch and my fitbit were loose.  I seem to be "winning" this self-challenge to a healthier me.

Day 15 (today, August 7)

30) New challenges:  OK, another point of intersection is the email about adding exercise.  That was my plan for week 3 even before getting the W30 email that siad it would be a good idea.  So, here I am today beginning the 3rd week by walking 1 and 1/2 miles at 6:15 this morning.  Boo-yah.

31) A better view:  If that wasn't enough, I looked down at the dog this morning (on that long walk) and DID NOT SEE my stomach.  I saw the dog and the road and my feet.  The view is much better.


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Day 16:

32) Power of the pooch:  I hat to exercise, so I don't.  But I now have my daughter's pup as she is on an extended business trip.  I stated Walking on Monday with the dog, 1.5 miles a day.  

33) Nature's gifts:  3 yellow finches, a mother deer and fawn, a bunny rabbit.  At 6:30 am.  With the dog.  Without Whole 30 I never would have done this, seen this.

Day 17:

34) I see my knees:  WUT?

35) Emergency preparedness: not about anything but thinking ahead and having frozen meals on hand.  W30 email is so right.  Some days cooking for yourself is NOT on the menu.  Good to have covered it with meals in the freezer.

Day 18:

36) Blessed sleep #1: Sleeping SO much sounder.  I wake up at 6am and I am ready to go.

37) Blessed sleep #2: Falling asleep easier.  I no longer toss and turn for hours before finally falling off to sleep.

Day 19: 

38) My face is thinner.

39) My jeans (the ones I haven't worn at all this summer) FIT!

Day 20:

40) Energy to burn:  My energy is so much better.  I don't need the mid-day nap, and I am not exhausted all day long.

41) Dee-lish:  My husband loves the Whole 30 recipes, and I love to cook them.

Day 21

42) A difference you can see: I can now "see" that my body composition has changed. I see places looking better.  I see muscle tone.  

43) Prep for my goal:  In 10 days I'll be done and begin reintroduction while on vacation.  Today (day 21) I sat down and planned out what to eat days 1 through 10 after Whole 30.


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Day 22:

44) Ill effects:  Today I discovered that raw apples or apple cider are not my friends.  Horrible stomach ache after eating. rumbling.  'nuf said.

45) I can see clearly now:  I've found that my mental acuity lasts longer every day.  It's energy but not physical energy, it's mental energy. 

Day 23:

46) Strong is beautiful.  My nails are stronger without breaking or chipping.

47)  Breathe deeply.  I've had a chronic cough for almost 4 years ever since I got really sick while traveling overseas. It is lessened so much that some days I do not cough at all.  It's a minor miracle.  I'd had chest x-rays, allergy testing, etc. to try and discover the source.  And here it is almost gone just by eating better.  At reintroduction, I'll try to find the culprit.

Dy 24:

48) Zen-like.  Child of the 60's that I am, the days of Est, introspection, and Transcendental meditation.  I have never felt calmer on a daily basis and more at peace with whatever happens.

49)  Sunshine in my pocket.  On a similar note, my mood is so much better from the time I wake up until I go to bed.  Not in a perky, little-Miss-Sunshine kind of way.  But in a positive, we-can-do-this kind of way.

Day 25:

50)  Hands down.  Back to the nails again, my cuticles are healthier.  It was always a problem area of dryness.  Not anymore.  Geez, my hands look good!

51) Resolve.  I seem to be better at pushing through, getting things down, not procrastinating on the things I have to do but am not really "into".  Like washing dishes or sweeping the floor. 

Day 26:

52) Healthy doesn't mean a perfect fit.  I discovered today that eating nuts is not good for me.  It brings on the coughing.  I've cut them out of m life forever.  Bye-bye walnuts or almonds.  I love you but you don't love me back.

53)  Self-awareness.  I am more attuned to my body and its physical reactions than I have ever been.  I seem to know what my baseline healthy is, and it is easier to discern when something is wrong.

Day 27:

54) Sit down and relax.  I can comfortably cross my legs. I haven't been able to do that in years.

55)  Accelerate the positive.  I've added yoga and stretching to my daily habits.  Ow, so hard.  OOOh, so good.

Day 28:

56) Locks.  My hair is stronger, less frizzy, and more lustrous. 

57) 2nd nature.  I have new, ingrained habits now.  I read labels and am shocked how many things I have to put back on the shelf.  It's so easy to make decisions.  "Yes" or "No".

Day 29:

58) Drug free.  I had the misfortune while on the whole 30 to pull a muscle which  made it painful to walk.  I tried a couple of doctor-precribed medications.  Nothing worked to alleviate the pain or soothe the ache.  I resorted to a good old fashioned heating pad.  Hmm.  It appears to be working.  I believe in medicine.  But maybe as last resort.

59) Teetotaler.  I do not need alcohol in my life.  Not wine, not martinis, not negronis, not beer.  It is a life choice.

Day 30:

60) Totality achieved.  I decided today that this is a life choice. There are only a couple of things I want to reintroduce: rice (I LOVE Sushi) and dairy (I love a good cheese).

61) OH, and Happy birthday to me.

Day 31:

Well, the upshot is that all of the 60 benefits are true.  I've learned a lot abut myself and what I can do to maintain my health and happiness.  I also lost 14 pounds and took 6 inches off my waist and hips.  This is definitely a life choice.  And, I definitely met my goals:

Goal #1: To adhere to the whole 30 for 30 days

Goal #2: To begin an exercise routine/habit.

Goal #3: To make health, fitness and food my top priority.

l changed my life.

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