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Bye, bye back pain - hello, energy!


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Where we started:

I steadily gained 30 pounds and was unable to lose a single pound since being diagnosed with PCOS and put on birth control in 2008. The birth control hid my symptoms, a mess of hormonal imbalances, for years. I switched from a mostly low-carb diet (recommended by my doc for my PCOS) to eating paleo 80% of the time in late 2011. The other 20%: wine, chocolate, cheese, stolen french fries. I started crossfit in March 2012, but didn't get very good results in the gym. In September 2012, my new doc put me on metformin and I started to see the scale go the other way after Thanksgiving, losing 3 pounds in 4 weeks -- which I considered a HUGE success. I had a lot of tension in my shoulders and neck and would get pain at the end of long days sitting at a desk.

My boyfriend ate Cheerios for breakfast (if he didn't skip it), a sandwich for lunch and mac and cheese whenever he could. Indigestion and lower back pain was a way of life. He's average height/weight but lost about 15 pounds after moving in with me and eating out less and drinking less beer. He does not work out, but has a job that keeps him on his feet.

30 days later...

-My back pain disappeared after 2 weeks; his back pain is better.

-We both sleep like babies.

-I don't crave chocolate when stressed.

-I used to have to eat every 2-3 hours (actually recommended by a doctor to "keep my blood sugar stable"). Now I can go from lunch at 12:30 to dinner at 6 without getting hangry.

-I cheated a few times by stepping on the scale (a lot better than a few times a day!) I realized on day 30 that the scale really didn't reflect my progress and I'll be using it sparingly.

-I went the whole month without thinking about calories or what "damage" I might be doing by eating something. THIS was the real weight off my body and mind.

-I had a TON of energy to do my job and give my best in the gym. A long, busy day at work usually exhausts me, gives me a headache, but not in the last month! I felt the tiger blood on day 5 and energy level didn't drop.

-I lost 5 pounds!! He lost 11 without adding any exercise.

-I lost 2.5 inches off my waist, 1.5 off my hips, .5 off each thigh and upper arm, 2 inches off my bust.

Reintroduction plans:

I'm extending my Whole 30 another 2 weeks for my gym's paleo challenge. After that, I will definitely enjoy a glass of wine and high quality cheeses on Valentine's Day and a few glasses for my birthday in a few weeks, but eat Whole 30-style outside of those events. Boyfriend says he'll eat cheese, but not as much, and won't eat bread more than once or twice a week. Yesterday he had Cheerios for breakfast and didn't feel so good; today he made eggs with avocado. Last night he had a few beers last night and it definitely hit him harder than it used to.

To answer my hypothesis: Yes, all those little bites and nibbles and sips were preventing me from fueling my body for success. This is the only body I'll ever have. I'm committed to treating it right and as the book says, "It starts with food."

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