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Whole 30: 5 Times A Charm.


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October 16, 2017: Day 1 of my 5th Whole 30 Start. 2 Full Completions, 1 Ending at Day 27, and 1 Going to Day 42.

I've been trying to think about what's going to make this one different. What can I do to make these healthy changes stick? Why do I insist on self-sabotaging the moment I don't have the strict guidelines of the Whole 30 to hold me back? To be honest, I don't know. Yet.

I've got all of the Whole 30 books. The original, the cook book, It Start's With Food, and Food Freedom Forever. Part of my plan was to read the text books throughout the course of my program. Remind myself what those foods are, what they do, and why I really don't want to go back. And that will help. Maybe.

But what it's really going to take is me being uncomfortable. Upset. Whiny. Grumpy. And realizing that no matter how much of a fit I throw on Day 31 that I won't let myself have that candy bar I've been hiding since Day 1, I'll live. And I'll live better than I ever have before. 

The Whole 30 is supposed to be a tool, to teach your body how it feels to fuel itself with good food. To show myself that my previous diet fed into every other aspect of my life, in a negative way. It is my slingshot, to face my Goliath that is a sugar addiction, mixed with emotional eating and self-sabotaging lifestyle. It is a tool, however, and I need to figure out how I am going to use it, and what else I will do to ensure that my happy home of health is complete.

Day 0:

Sunday, Oct 15. Up at 6.30am for whatever ungodly reason. Get ready for the day, head out to get all of my Whole 30 groceries. Farmer's market, meat shop, Wal-Mart, and Save On. Done. Enjoying my last 1 & 1 Coffee, muffin, sushi for lunch, beer in the afternoon while helping in-laws with reno's, leftover Thanksgiving turkey soup and sandwich for dinner, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for dessert. And in one day, a summation of all of the reasons I need to get on track.

Day 1:

Woke up 5.30am. Helped sick husband get out the door for work. Began meal prep for breakfast and lunch. Chicken & potatoes, roasted, and beef sausage grilled for breakfast. Balance it out with a few veggies and we've got a plan til I return home. Grocery list for a handful of missing items to get on the way home.

Going to visit my cousin (best friend) and her babies on my way home. My bundles of cuddly joy to brighten my caffeine-free day.

Dinner is my deconstructed turkey "burgers" (seasoned turkey patties with mustard/Frank's with sliced pickles, paired with yam fries and Whole 30 dump ranch.

In all of my Whole 30's, that is one thing I have learned: take joy in my food, cooking, preparation, and make it diverse. It is not about "powering through" and "mass meal prepping" so that I don't have to think about cooking for days on end... My first Whole 30, I make 5 chicken breasts, 5 portions of roasted potatoes, and 5 portions of roasted broccoli every Sunday night, and cooked two other meals for dinners throughout the week, with each having enough for it's own leftovers the next night. Sure, it worked, but by Day 30, broccoli was my least favourite vegetable, and leftovers was a dirty word.

It's all about learning, progressing and moving forward. Adapting to what works for you, and what's going to make it work for you past Day 30.

And you know what they say... 5 times a charm.

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Day 2 (delayed):

I couldn't even draw the energy to write for Day 2. OH MY GOD. I've started 4 Whole 30's before, I've had 4 other "hangover days". NEVER, EVER, have I had a hangover day like yesterday. I woke up to feeling like my head was going to explode, and a nauseating feeling like I was going to be sick, and I was. Dry heaving on an empty stomach and sitting at the bottom of my shower like I had a date with Jose the night before... but it wasn't tequila or wine that did it to me, it was the sugar. Sugar and caffeine. Melissa says the hangover is directly proportionate to how you ate prior to Day 1, and let me tell you... HOLY *@#$. I knew I was starting this program the heaviest I'd been in my life, but I didn't think it was THAT bad.

After being awake/alive long enough to take a shower and get ready for work, I took a 2 hour nap on the couch. When I woke up I felt well enough to go to work, and made it through the rest of the day. I had my leftover turkey patties and yam fries for lunch, delicious, and even stuck to my food prep plan when I got home. I've made Stupid Easy Paleo's buffalo chicken tenders a few times now, with pork rinds, coconut flakes and now ground almonds, each time, oh so good. So much prep work, but oh so good. Of course I smother them with additional Frank's before eating them, but that's just me.

Recipe: https://stupideasypaleo.com/2014/03/30/crispy-buffalo-chicken-fingers/

Day 3:

Feeling much better today. Had my breakfast when I got to work. I have chicken tenders & veggies for lunch, and I will be making baked chicken, potatoes and green beans for dinner tonight. I like to make my green beans in a little sesame oil to add some Asian flavour into it.

I've created a daily plan for myself, to track my meals, snacks, notes of the day, and water intake. I've exceeded my 8 cups a day both on Day 1 and 2, and hope to continue on that trend til Day 30.

I'm also going to cozy up with a cup of tea at work this afternoon, I'm editing a big project and I think some Cinnamon Apple Chamomile will help counteract the cold, dreary, rainy day outside.

Onwards and upwards to better days :) 

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Thank you for sharing all of this, Brittany! Such a helpful tip to be reading back through FFF while we do this. We need constant reminding of the larger goal beyond day 30! I love part of the freedom to slip and fail and forget then reset. That's where I am. Lots of birthday celebration and socializing post-move to a new city, so I'm resetting and refocusing as well. I'm also trying to figure out what "would make this one different." Why have I done one successfully (though not perfectly and probably some unknown cheats in there) but been unable to stick with another since? Would love your tips!

I agree that I kept my meals pretty simple and regular the first time around; hoping to do some more fun crockpot meals (yay leftovers since I don't have the luxury to up and cook every meal this time) and go heavy on new spices and sauces. Trying to also do it on a budget, so I want to really dress up the same simple stuff. Would love some of your recipes that you try and love!

Thanks for sharing the diary!

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On 10/21/2017 at 9:44 PM, Abby MacDougall said:

Would love your tips!

Hey Abby! What I've said before in my previous Whole 30's was that when I get to the end I'd move to a modified Whole 30 (to which the moderators quickly corrected me there is no such thing), but to me, that means a modified version of Whole 30 living. Make your Whole 30 meals Monday to Sunday, no cheats, no slips, at least not in your own home. But if you get invited to a night out, or a Christmas party, or it's your birthday, enjoy yourself. Maybe now that you're eating healthy so much of the time, you will only take 2 treats from the dessert table instead of 5... Haha.

My biggest obstacle out of the restrictions of W30 is driving home after a long day, thinking of the lengthy process of cooking dinner, and thinking "It would be so much easier to pick something up"... and then there's no leftovers for lunch the next day, so I eat out again, and feel gross and groggy, so I have no energy to cook something good again, and so on the vicious cycle goes. 

Crockpots are apparently the best thing ever, however I don't have one. But so many of the meals for W30 are able to be made in them. Experimenting with new spices is definitely a way to mix up the blah. I have Flavor God spices, so even if I'm baking chicken 3 or 4 times in a week, I do a different spice every time, and it helps keep it fresh.

Good luck with your journey! I will hopefully be updating this more now, I've been so busy my first 10 days.

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Day 10!

Jump ahead one week. Oops...

Okay soooo, last week I was quite tired, but I made all my meals, had my leftover lunches, had breakfast every day, and had at LEAST 6 of my 8 glasses of water each day, normally I had all 8+.

Over the weekend I worked an event for a friend during the day on Saturday. I was out of the house from 8am til 4pm. No fridge, no microwave, nothing, just outdoors all day. So I had a nice filling breakfast, packed some baby carrots and dump ranch, and some larabars. I ended up only eating one larabar all day, I just wasn't hungry (maybe I was just too cold to eat). I got home and immediately made dinner.

We didn't go grocery shopping on Sunday like we normally do, we had a nice lazy day. We had enough groceries still for food til Monday. Instead we went after work on Monday, which worked out fine.

Today we've got sausage & yams for breakfast. My SO made spaghetti meat sauce last night, which I put on spaghetti squash, so I have that for leftovers today. Yum.

Overall things are going well. As I said, I've been tired, but the weather is also not great which often bogs me down. I usually keep a calendar on my fridge that I put a smiley face sticker on every day I finish. I haven't been putting them on, so I'm often not sure which day I'm on. I will need to do that tonight.

Ciao for now. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Day 23.

I haven't bothered with logging this time around. I guess I didn't need it as much. Ironic, I've been seeing Christmas baking recipes, Halloween candy, and holiday Starbucks drinks being advertised just about every day, and I think, oooohhhh awwww I can't have that. But I'm also not really craving the moment I can. Sure, I have a couple pieces of Halloween candy (I took one of each of my favourites), but I've already decided to have one at a time, when I really want it, not all at once in one sitting.

I have lots of Christmas baking planned, but I'm going to make gift bags for my co-workers. I love to bake, but I don't need to have 10 dozen cookies in my house.

I've been making my basics, which I think is good, because it's become the norm. And I can continue it on Day 31 ongoing. It will be normal to add a different recipe here and there in the future, not feeling like I have to great a different gourmet menu every week.

One more week to go. I'm excited, yet scared for my numbers. I know I can already tell my skin tone has evened out and warmed up, my hair feels healthy, and my sleep is way better. I know I've slimmed down in shape because of the way certain items are fitting... but my last W30, I'd lost 4lbs. I think I ate quite a bit more in that one, and I had more snacks as well. I've really managed to control my appetite and portion control through the past 3 weeks which has made me not have as many cravings.

I know the number should be an after-thought, but when you're 50-70lbs above your "healthy" weight range, it actually does. Not that I would expect to correct years of poor eating in 30 days, but I'm really relying on it to jump start my motivation to stick to it.

Anyways, in a week we shall see! I always make sure to make a full list of NSV's before I jump on the scale or re-take my measurements. (And I always take my measurements first too, you can lose 5 inches off your waist and still only lose 5 lbs)...


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Day 31... 

My last words a week ago ring true today. The scale is a very small factor into the reality of what Whole 30 has done for me. And I have to be honest with myself now, after 5 W30s, what I do in each one differently that gives me my different results.

My 1st and 2nd W30s, I worked in a warehouse. I was on my feet 8 hours a day, walking. No gym, no calorie counting, just eating my compliant food and walking at work. I lost 16 and 13 lbs respectively on those cycles. It set me up for high expectations for my next 3, which were all done while working a desk job. Then my numbers were down in the 5-7lb range. Only major difference? Walking. But it still discouraged me soooo much.

So Round 5: What happened?

Today, on Day 31, I woke up pretty refreshed. No fogginess, or headaches, or "omg-just-snooze-the-alarm-I'll-be-late-for-work-I-don't-care". I showered, did my make-up, noticing I needed virtually no face make-up (no blemishes, blotchiness, or uneven skin tone).

Then I put on my "outfit" I wore for my before pictures. I noticed instantly the shorts did not feel like spanx when I put them on, and my bra is now being done up on the 2nd notch, not the 1st. 

I took my measuring tape, and took my new measurements. I accidentally left my notebook with my Before stats at work, so I knew I'd have to compare them later. I took my photos in the mirror, and then took a deep breath before grabbing the scale. Now, normally I'd have calculated my inches before weighing in, so that I knew there were big changes regardless of what the scale said. Unfortunately I couldn't do that, so I just reminded myself that any progress is progress, and most definitely better than going backwards.

Scale reads: 214.4 lbs. Down 6.5 lbs. Not too happy, but then again, very happy.

I got dressed, noticed how my shirt didn't cling or grab to my stomach, put on my coat (which I bought brand new the first weekend of my W30. I bought it half a size too small so it would fit after my W30. I couldn't do up the button 30 days ago, now it fits perfectly).

When I got to work, I heated up my still compliant breakfast, and pulled out my stats notebook to compare my before and after.

Neck: Down a whole inch.
Shoulders: Down 2 inches
Bust: Down 4 inches!
Waist: Down 3 inches!!

And the list continues. To a grand total of 30.5" lost. 30 days: 30 inches. Booya.

Yes, I ordered a 1 & 1 coffee on the coffee run today. It will be here in 10 minutes. I'm going to carefully evaluate if I still like the taste, how I feel soon after (sugar/caffeine rush? crash? dizzy? headache?), and if I even finish the coffee. I've lived 30 days without it, now it's up to me if I want it back or not.

I have leftovers from last night for lunch today, and compliant groceries for the rest of the week. I will have compliant days, mostly compliant days, and non-compliant days, but my biggest step will be rewarding myself for my hard work by staying with this, prepping my meals that my body deserves, and knowing I'm a big girl who can grab a candy bar whenever I want, but do I really want it?

Overall, a very successful W30. I'm very pleased. Now to moderate myself over Christmas holidays, and ring in the new year with Round 6! (When I will actually have time to plan my 10 day reintroduction as well!)


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