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Captain's Log

The Captain

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07 March 2013

Sleep: ~5 hours.

First day, first entry. Feeling pretty good. Struggling with a headache and fatigue, which I can safely blame on my "Last Meal" of non-compliance junk last night. Should have quit while I was ahead. I won't feel too bad about it though, because if anything it's just made me more committed to breaking the habit. I guess I always tried to block out the connection that treating your body like crap will make you feel like crap. Still, despite the physical unpleasantness, my emotional outlook and mental energy are both pretty great.

So. Let's begin with some numbers.

Now, these are very special, very secret numbers that have never, ever been shared before. Not even with myself. I avoid taking measurements beyond bust/waist/hips, and I do my best to fudge a little on those the few occasions I have needed to take them. Consider yourselves lucky.

Here's the whole, honest truth:

Starting Weight: 202lb

Starting Measurements:

Bust: 43

Chest: 38

Waist: 38

Hips: 47

Thigh: 29

Calves: 18

Upper arm: 14

Forearm: 11

Neck: 14

Starting Body Fat: ~35%

...That hurt a little. Weight loss isn't the only or even the main reason I'm beginning Whole30, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to feeling those numbers start shrinking.

Thanks to my little farewell party (of one) to my old eating/thinking habits last night, my measly five hours of sleep still gave me a wake-up time of sometime after 10:00AM, and I didn't have breakfast until a bit after eleven. As of 12:20 while I'm writing this, I'm feeling pretty satisfied, although I will probably try to have a small-portion lunch soon just to get my schedule back on track.

And now for the food log, which I want to stick to at least in the beginning.

I'll edit in the rest of it as I get to it.

Day 1, Breakfast:

Blackberry glazed, thin-cut boneless pork chop (clarified butter)

~1/2 dozen blackberries in balsamic vinegar.

Sweet Potato hash with cumin and garlic (clarified butter)

Handful of spring greens (drizzle of EVOO)

Day 1, Lunch:


Base: Spring green/spinach mix.

Protein: Steak pieces, one hard boiled egg.

Filler: Pear, mini crunch sweet peppers, chopped dates.

Dressing: Whole grain mustard, EVOO, shallot, apple cider vinegar.

Edit: Still hungry after the salad, so added another boiled egg, a few more mini peppers, and a small handful of cashews. Feeling good now!

Day 1, Dinner:

​Still struggling with headache from this morning. A couple hours ago stomach started giving me trouble, and now halfway through dinner I'm massively, massively nauseated. Not sure if it's from general crappy feeling today or from the food changes, but the headache + stomach combo is making wish for a rock to curl up and die under at the moment. Can't even stomach sipping on ginger tea.

Taking a break for now, I'll come back to dinner later if I'm up to it.

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08 March 2013

~8+ hours of sleep

Fighting off feeling nasty for most of yesterday, I finally managed to eat about half a sweet potato made with an awesome recipe someone shared with me on these forums. My stomach seemed to calm down after that, in combination with getting up and doing something positive rather than laying in bed focusing on how miserable I was, I think. Fell asleep accidentally close to midnight, but I slept through the night and woke up naturally just before 8AM. Since it's usually a huge ordeal for me to roll out of bed after slamming my alarm on snooze 10+ times, this is a big deal. Since I felt so good about waking up, refreshed from a long sleep (albeit one plagued with anxiety-filled nightmares, which have been troubling me for the last three or four nights), and didn't have to be at work early, I stayed in bed and slept for another hour and a half or so, again waking up before my alarm.

I feel pretty good today. A little restless. Eager to get up and do more. I know in some ways that's a good feeling, but it's something I need to watch out for. I have the tendency to jump into some hardcore exercise that my body can't possibly keep up with because I want to be intense about my effort to change this time, then end up a quivering heap of sore muscles and exhaustion and give up whatever exercise/eating I have been doing entirely because I need a break. So. Going to take things slow. It's finally sunny here (Pacific Northwest) for at least a little while. I'll probably go take the dogs for a walk after breakfast and then get to work. Can't wait to stop at a store this evening and try some Kombucha, but for now I'll fight off the fizzy urge and get through my gallon of water first.

Day 2, Breakfast:

Dijon pork, zucchini, roasted yam, mini sweet peppers, onion, handful of spinach, all chopped up and tossed in a skillet and scrambled with two eggs.

Not very hungry this morning/not used to eating breakfast, but I'll get through enough to keep me going until lunch time.

Day 2, Lunch:

Leftover breakfast, with a few leftover cashews thrown in.

Day 2, Dinner:

Shaved zucchini, prosciutto, fresh basil, handful of spinach, one hard boiled egg, mini crunch peppers, very scant serving of pecans, squirt of lemon juice. Also ended up trying a coconut cream LARABAR; haven't had any of them before. Had a glass of kombucha with sparkling water with dinner.

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09 March 2013


Had cotton candy (which I love) pushed on me, along with Oreos and a variety of other things. Was much easier to resist than I expected. Awesome. My 'bedtime' alarm went off and went ignored as I was unable to sleep, so I'm up about two hours later than planned so far, but I don't have to wake up for anything early tomorrow so will still try to get close to full sleep. Also ended up having an orange and about 1/4 cup of coffee a few hours post-dinner since I'm up late. Did manage to resist the urge to stuff my face as I watched an hour of telly, which I realise has become a very very ingrained habit for me. Reading, watching telly, gaming: I'm supposed to be snacking on something, RIGHT? But focusing on 'actually, I'm not hungry' helped, as did keeping a gallon of water by my desk that I can drink from when I get the urge to put something in my mouth.

Bone broth still simmering on the stove upstairs, should be ready by tomorrow evening. Going to be awesome when the crap Northwest weather kicks in again, but hopefully the sunny days will hold out for a little bit longer.

On my way to bed after this, where I will probably read ISWF (arrived this afternoon!) for a while until I can convince myself I'm sleepy enough. Really excited to crack into the book though, so maybe it's better to leave it for tomorrow so I don't end up pulling an all-nighter to finish it...

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09 March 2013

~6 hours sleep

Emotionally, mentally, physically felt pretty good. Wasn't dragging quite so much through the day like I usually am. Didn't really have any urges to snack or have non-compliant food, although I got a little bit off track.

Slept in late, which put breakfast close to noon.

Day 3, Breakfast:

Frittata with leftover dinner from day 2 chopped up.

Felt great, filled me up...so full, in fact, that between that and the very late start I ended up skipping lunch because I wasn't hungry enough to eat. That's probably where my problem came in.

Day 3, Dinner:

1.5 small chicken breasts in tomato sauce.

Big pile of kale chips in grapeseed oil.

.5 glass of kombucha with sparkling mineral water

Still felt incredibly hungry after I finished, so I added another chicken breast. Waited about half an hour, still terribly hungry, had some whipped coconut cream, about half a dozen blackberries, and one handful of almonds. Still hungry. Got advice on the forums. Thought about the 'fish and broccoli' test and decided I could probably eat a platter of it, so I went upstairs, steamed a tilapia fillet and peas in the leftover tomato sauce, and finished off the last half of the chicken breast while I was waiting. Wilted some spinach, plopped fish and peas on top, took about two or three bites...and decided actually, now I was full. Okay. Not great, but not terrible.

Went to bed a little late, but within an hour of the 'bedtime' I'm trying to hit for now.

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10 March 2013

~8 hours sleep

Woke up naturally without my alarm clock,about 1.5 hours before I usually would without it! Awesome. I'm liking this. I have a terrible, no good, very bad time getting out of bed in the morning. Still convinced myself that since I got up early and easily I could stay in bed and go back to sleep for another hour, after which I woke up on my own again and finally managed to drag myself out of bed. Much harder this morning, back to the usual fight. I'll try to learn my lesson and get up when I'm 'supposed' to tomorrow...

Food went better today. Energy pretty high, although I've been dealing with a sleepy feeling since this afternoon. I'm finding one of the hardest things to fight off is my post-dinner video game snack time. It's hard to sit at my desk without munching on something, but I've managed so far. Gets a little easier every day, right? I hope so.

Day 4, Breakfast:

Added coconut milk and green curry paste to the 'second dinner' I didn't end up eating last night. Ate that with a few mini sweet peppers, a small handful of spinach, and a few olives.

Day 4, Lunch:

Actually ready to eat lunch on time today! Going to eat a small portion of a meal when I know I'm 'supposed to' eat next time I'm not hungry enough and see if that helps with the hunger later in the day.

Prosciutto, one hard boiled egg, some black olives, handful of spinach.

Day 5, Dinner:

Lunch kept me satisfied until dinner, but the 'I'm starving!' message hit me like a sucker punch when dinner time got close. Thanks brain.

One nice sized steak.

2 parsnips cut into 'fries' and roasted in lard and herbs.

We'll see how the snack attack urge does tonight. Have my gallon of water next to my desk to keep refilling my glass instead of eating. I'm also not one of the people who 'NEEDS' coffee to function every morning, but I do highly enjoy a steaming hot cup of coffee (with cinnamon!) at night. Sipping on a cup of decaf while I work helps fight the munchies, and I usually only get through a quarter of a cup or less before it gets too cold to drink.

Started reading ISWF today and made it to about chapter seven. Things that I've always KNOWN deep down but it's been easy to bury or not think about because it's never been spelled out explicitly by someone informed...are spelled out explicitly by someone informed. Not to mention some of the things I didn't know. It's easier to turn down the packaged snack cookies and crackers and things I always liked after just reading what's going on in all of them. I think it'll definitely be my go-to guide for a while so I can re-read it when things get tough. Looking forward to finishing the rest of it.

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  • 5 weeks later...

7 April 2013

30 Days!

Yeah, that's right, I just officially finished my first Whole30. :D

I didn't keep up with the journal, but I DID keep up with the program. There were ups and downs--some pretty tough moments, but overall not as hard as I was worried it would be. As this last week has been going by and I knew the deadline was coming up, I was feeling a little discouraged. I didn't feel like I had lost any weight or inches and I was letting that old demon drown out the other progress I had made. I don't have any friends or family here who are supportive of the program, so constantly turning down temptation and explaining no, this isn't a diet fad, no, I'm not starving myself, etc. and thinking I wasn't seeing as much progress as I was hoping for was getting me down. All week I've been thinking of the first thing I want to try on Day 31.

This morning, I got up and decided to step on the scale. I thought: If I've lost a couple pounds, I'll tell myself it's working, and try it for another week or so. If I haven't lost anything, well, some people need to go longer than 30 days, so I'll make myself try it for another week or so. Not expecting any good news, I sighed and climbed on.


Post W30 Weight: 190lb

Post W30 Measurements:

Bust: 42

Chest: 35

Waist: 36

Hips: 45

Thigh: 27

Calves: 18

Upper arm: 14

Forearm: 11

Neck: 13

Post W30 Body Fat: ~33% (Almost back in healthy range!)


2 inches here, 3 inches there, 2 inches over there...!

...Okay. I know Whole30 isn't about weight loss, but I'll be honest: I was beaming. I called my mom (she's not on Whole30 yet, but she just started Paleo eating). I've been checking myself out when I pass mirrors all day, trying to notice the changes that I wasn't paying attention to. Constantly amazed at how baggy my jeans are--I had written it off as having them for so long that they were just worn out, but now every time they start to slip down I yank them back up with a secret smile.

It feels great to actually be making progress. And if ONE MONTH got me THIS FAR and made me this happy, imagine how confident and AWESOME I'll be feeling when I'm actually healthy and in shape again! This has given me the motivation to keep going and allow myself to trust that my good choices are working, even when I don't notice the slow (but steady!) change.

That being said, there have been other good reactions to the Whole30 that are just as important (maybe not quite as exciting) as the weight loss.


Since I can remember, I have always had a very hard time getting to sleep. This is still true to some degree--mostly the "I can't make myself go to bed" department. I have noticed that when I finally do wind everything down, turn off the lights, and get in bed, most nights I am falling asleep fairly quickly instead of laying awake for hours, although there have still been a few of those. I think forcing myself to stick to a schedule will help this as well.

I DEFINITELY have been sleeping through the night better. I used to wake up from pain, needing to pee, noises, nightmares, etc. I tossed and turned so much every night that in the morning all of my covers and pillows would be on the floor. For the last few weeks I have slept through the night almost every night, and although I still move around a lot it seems like I'm sleeping a little more soundly.

Morning have always been THE WORST for me. When I was a kid I would sleep through every alarm I set, my mom would come in to wake me a dozen times in one morning, and when I FINALLY got forced out of bed, I would stumble into the bathroom to get ready for school and fall asleep on the rug. :huh:, right? My mom was not amused. I'm not quite that bad anymore, but I'm still notorious for setting at least six different alarms and still waking up late. Miracle of miracles, I have been waking up BEFORE MY ALARMS, ALL ON MY OWN almost every day.

...Unfortunately, I have been saying, "Wow, how awesome is that? Awake already? You still have time to go back to sleep for 20 minutes!", falling back asleep again, and getting out of bed late anyway. Clearly my body is trying to make progress and my horrible mental habits are holding my back. I'm working on trying to get out of bed when my body wants to wake up instead of trying to horde every extra five minutes I can get like some kind of crazy sleep-goblin. It's a work in progress.

Overall: Good news!


I haven't been plagued with really atrocious, all-over all-the-time acne, but it is still a problem for me. I usually get really bad flare ups a couple times a month (thanks, lady-parts) and for the rest of the month it's here and there but not very bad. It got unbelievably cringe worth during week 2. Made me very nervous for a little while. Evened out pretty quickly after that though, and since then has been steadily more clear. I don't have gorgeous, flawless skin, but it does seem like there's a marked improvement, and I didn't get my usual flare-up on my regularly scheduled date.

Overall: Good news!

Mood/Stress Management:

Hard for me to judge, and I wasn't paying very close attention to it for most of the month. Although I had a few very rough, overemotional days, for the most part I feel like my mood, quick-to-anger-issues, etc. have evened out a little. I've been able to be a little more relaxed about things, shrug off disappointments that would have sent me into a black sulk before, and in general start trying to be more positive about life. Baby steps. Not sure if it's the food, the fact that I'm simply doing something to effectively take my life back, or, probably, the combination. I'll keep a closer monitor on it for a while and see how things go.

Overall: Good news!


For years I've been struggling with chronic pain. All day, every day, not even one single minute without it. It keeps me from sleeping. It wakes me up at night. It puts me in terrible moods on otherwise good days. It keeps me from getting comfortable while I'm playing games, or watching movies, or working. Some days, it's hard but manageable. Some days it brings tears and sends me to the edge of a panic attack. Doctors haven't been able to figure out what the cause is yet, and no pain meds or PT have helped.

Although weight loss was a very large motivator for me to try the Whole30, hoping to gain at least a little relief for this was an even bigger factor.

It's hard to say whether anything has changed. Although the major pain is still there, I feel like some of the surrounding inflammation-feel has died down at least a little--strong medication used to take the edge off on a bad day but not help beyond that, and I feel like that's where I'm at now. Granted, that's off medication, so it's progress. Unfortunately the bulk of the pain hasn't been touched, but since I don't know the problem I can't say whether Whole30 could even affect it, or if it simply hasn't had enough time to work against years of build up.

Overall: I was hoping for a little more, but in general it's still good news. Every little helps!

Although I was a little tempted to add something back in--just for tonight, to celebrate the end!--I'm not going to start "Day 31" just yet. Instead of indulging in a beer, or pasta, or some cheese on my steak, I bought my favourite fruit (champagne mangos) and savoured a piece. I wasn't even disappointed to have "missed the window" to have something non-compliant. Since I did have a couple minor slip ups my first week (sneaky, sneaky sugar and soy, and a dinner with frozen peas, which I remembered right after were non-compliant), I'm going to extend my Whole30 for another week. After that...we'll see how I feel...maybe a Whole45 or a Whole60. I do want to eventually re-introduce and learn how to handle food in situations I don't have as much control over, but for now I'm committed to giving this the full amount of time to see if I can give all the positive results I'm seeing a chance to feel even better.

Here's my focus for this next stretch:

Following the schedule!

I have been incredibly strict about food (after the slips that first week :rolleyes: ), but because of laziness and a currently-hectic work schedule, I haven't been very good about having Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Some days I manage, other days I turn Breakfast into Brunch, have a small and late Lunch, and a late dinner a couple hours before bed. A few days I haven't managed to eat Breakfast or Lunch, and came home starving. At least I stuffed myself with veggies and protein instead of ice cream and crisps! I would like to try to eat properly, though. My sleep schedule is another thing. I HAVE been on a more regular sleep schedule for this month than I was, and I am consistently getting more sleep a night. I have not been on a regular sleep schedule, though, and have rarely gotten eight hours a night (usually in the six to seven range). I'm going to work on setting a firm bed time and making it whenever work allows, which will hopefully also help me force myself to get out of bed when I wake up in the mornings. Adding in a meal and sleep structure might boost my results a little, too.

Last thing I will share:

It was both my weakest and perhaps strongest moment during Whole30, and it's going to stick with me for a long time. Honestly, it's rather humiliating and I hesitate to put it into text out on the internet with my face next to it, but you're all lovely and I trust you, so here goes.

I am a pastry chef. Currently I manage a bakery, but we're in the middle of moving/remodeling so I haven't been baking for a while. On...about the end of week one, I think? I got a large order that needed to be finished, and the kitchen was ready so I set to it. 200 cupcakes, multiple cakes, big giant batches of frosting, and sugar cookies--and let me tell you, my stuff is good. At first, I was okay. As the day wore on, and I got hungrier, and the people working with me were eating scraps and broken cookies slathered with frosting and tasting cupcakes, I wasn't so okay. At the worst point, I was ready to give in. I didn't. I DIDN'T. Not even one bite of cookie. Not even a tiny crumb picked up off the counter. Not once did I take a lick of frosting, although there were a few times where I almost picked up a broken piece of something and popped it into my mouth on auto-pilot. But I didn't. Not even a tiny bit.

Sounds good so far, right? Except...

I was in a foul mood when I left. When I got into my car, I broke down in tears of rage and frustration and disappointed entitlement. I was so angry that I couldn't have any, I was ready to stop this stupid Whole30 thing right then and there. What was the point? Why wasn't I allowed to have one single cookie? All I wanted was one little bite! It was a horrible rush of emotions. So much anger, and frustration, and a very strange, VERY disproportionate sadness.

Because I didn't have a cookie.



For a long time, I was miserable. Then, I was simply ashamed and embarrassed. Was I really that emotionally invested in a bite of frosting? I didn't even eat sweets all the time before Whole30! Despite the rather crude stereotype about 'fat kids', cake was not one of my major dragons to slay!

After the shame, I was able to (mostly) laugh it off. Seriously? I was that upset about a COOKIE? How ridiculous! :D

It was a good "learning experience" too. This was obviously about something bigger than a cookie. This was about cravings, and addictions, and my confused brain begging me to give in to something it was trained to accept without question. And it was hard, and embarassing, but I didn't give in. The next day, I went to the store with my boss and her son, and they opened up some Oreos and Candy Floss as "car snacks" (why yes, they are both stick thin). Not only did I not sweat it when they offered me some, I honestly didn't even want any.

I wish I could say it was that easy to overcome my cravings for the rest of my Whole30, but it wasn't. There were still more than a few times when I almost gave in, when I almost fudged just a little, just one time, but I didn't. I could always look back on that night with a bit of a laugh and say, "If you made it through THAT, are you really going to ruin this NOW?", and then grit my teeth and move past whatever was giving me trouble.

So, ups and downs on the Whole30, some smooth sailing and some very rough waters.

Tonight as I write this I'm sipping on my "congratulations treat": a coconut milk latte with decaf coffee and a dash of cinnamon.

Tomorrow will become Whole31.

Overall: Good news!

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Clapping and Smiling - Congratulations to you!! It was fun reading your final post and hearing about the things you've noticed. It's rather remarkable the amount of change in just one month and it's motivating for me. Thanks for sharing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, everyone! :D

Update on the last 15 days I added on:

No more weight loss, but I did lose another inch from my waist, upper arms, and about a half inch from my calves. :rolleyes:

My sleep schedule has evened out pretty well, although I still have bad nights, and I'm waking up more consistently every morning, although I'm still fighting the actual getting up when I wake up part...

It's been hard for me to notice progress over the last week or so, which was a little disappointing, but as I think about it this has been an incredibly stressful week for me, partly due to work, and very largely due to a personal (and very emotional) situation. I think simply the fact that I'm staying in a good place instead of going backwards, even if I'm not making big progress, is a good sign given the situation, and I feel that I've been able to handle things a little more easily and reasonably right now than I would have in the past, which I do contribute in large part to the changes I've made over the last month and a half.

So far so good. I think there are definitely more W30s in my future, but for today, I'm moving on to "Day 31"!

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