Jump to content

Musings on my second (caffeine-free, nut-free) Whole30

Snappy Shark

Recommended Posts

I have been much more of a lurker on these boards as of late, but I wanted to share a few thoughts that I have on Day 30, #2. My first Whole30 in August of 2012 rescued me from a very screwed up place nutritionally: that is, mostly-vegetarian, low-fat, calorie-counting, Weight-Watcher, food-fearing misery. Since then, I have continued to eat 90-95% Whole30-style while getting quite into CrossFit. In the last eight months I have piled close to 15 pounds onto my 5'7" frame - most of it solid muscle that's helping me throw barbells around in ways that I never thought possible. While I no longer fit into my old "skinny" jeans, eating Real Food has helped me to come to terms with the fact that I 1). probably shouldn't be a size 4; and 2). am a much happier, more functional person when I weigh more and am not malnourished.

My goals for Round 2 were to examine some interesting habits I'd developed surrounding nuts (see also: eating an entire bag of raw cashews in a weekend), and see if I couldn't get my sleep back on track (waking up at 2:14 am to check the CrossFit WOD on the iPhone does not make for a good day at work) by eliminating coffee - even decaf! - and my beloved green tea. Here are some of my thoughts my second time around:

What was positive:

  • I love to cook this way, so it was fun to really focus on making delicious food I was excited about eating. I didn't have a crock pot for Round 1, so I treated myself with at least one roast per week. My favorite was leg of lamb - delish!
  • Oh, the sleep. I noticed better sleep by Day 3, and the last three weeks have been blissful. I am planning to re-introduce caffeine over the coming days, but I think that my days of (caffeinated, anyway) coffee and tea are over. I'm a little sad about that.
  • Gym performance. I love how complementary eating clean is to kicking butt in the box. I felt like a superwoman most of the time.
  • This time, my sister did the program with me. The support and accountability were GREAT to have, and something I really missed the first time.

What was difficult:

  • Honestly, not much, and not very often. I've been eating this way for such a long time that every time I felt tempted to go off the rails I thought to myself, "now how would this fit into my meal template?" It's a LOT easier to ignore temptations if you just remind yourself that it's not veggie, healthy fat or animal protein - don't need it!
  • The special gentleman in my life (who loves to eat what I cook...as well as brownies, donuts and scones) voluntarily gave up drinking for the month with me, which was great. However, I will admit that I felt a little antsy watching him dunk a homemade baked good into his coffee with cream, after we'd shared a beautiful Whole30-style Saturday breakfast. I got over it pretty quickly (see above).
  • The CRAVINGS. I have to say I was really taken aback by thoughts and dreams that I had this time around. I was so nutrient-starved the first time I did a Whole30 that I didn't experience any of the "classic" Day 10-20 withdrawal symptoms, because I was too busy dreaming about juicy burgers and roasted chickens. This time? Man oh man. I had nightmares about eating entire pizzas, being force-fed non-compliant meals (and being chased down personally by Dallas and Melissa - hah) and accidentally sipping on booze - things I haven't touched in almost a year. Weird.
  • Not having the caffeine crutch meant that I had to tough out a few days where I was feeling really, really bad. This has underscored the importance of getting good sleep.

What was negative:

  • I admittedly have a disordered eating history, so it's hard to know how valid this is, but I do still struggle with body image in my new lifestyle. I am so proud of the gains in physical strength and health that I've accomplished via Whole30, but sometimes I just miss how it feels to be thin. I am still putting on weight, and I am sometimes shocked at how much food I need to eat to quell my monstrous post-workout appetites. Maybe it's not fair to put this as a "negative" because it's more of an ongoing struggle/conversation that I have with myself regardless of whether I'm in the middle of a Whole30 or not. If there's anyone out there who has words of wisdom in this area, I'd really appreciate it. I'd love to just be happy with being a strong, healthy woman, instead of wishing I was a thin, small woman.

All-in-all, after having done this program twice now, I like the idea of doing a Whole30 every few months to get myself back on track, but I don't worry so much about going so crazy that I need the stringency to make good choices. I know that eating this way is my "normal" and I'm not threatened by the occasional off-plan food choice - maybe it's a little bit like being past the honey-moon stage, where you just understand that the relationship takes work but is an overwhelmingly positive entity that deserves attention and consideration (even if it's hard sometimes!). Whole30 and I are kind of married.

Also, I think it's safe to say that nuts and I are not friends - I am banishing those little suckers to the island where all of the other not-so-bad-but-not-for-me foods live (right next to the dates and coconut butter). Special occasions and emergencies only.

My sister just brought me a celebratory gluten-free brownie - and it was worth every bite. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow. I can empathize totally with your statement "why can't I be happy being a strong woman instead of a small woman". I was a 5'6" size 4 vegan who was undernourished and over caffeinated (among other things). My brain will never forget the awesome power those razor blade hip bones could wield. But it was so superficial and fleeting. I also had bad acne and ADHD. I've been a size 8 ever since I started eating like a normal person- and that was 8 years ago. I always think that the next "thing" is gonna get me back down to that magical 4. I even thought (think) that about W30. Little by little though I have come to resent that undernourished toxic vision of my past self- in the same way I resent all the foods that I know harm my gut. When I catch a glimpse of myself in a complicated yoga pose, or gain an inch or two in a bind I am appreciative of my strong body. Not suffering with ADHD symptoms anymore drug free is wildly rewarding as it feels like a big f-u to the dr who told me gluten is not connected to ADHD and to not believe everything I read on the Internet.

Thank you so much for posting this- it gave me a push I really really needed today and I am sending lots of love and gratitude to your strong womanbodymindspirit for being an ABSOLUTE BADASS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, I think it's safe to say that nuts and I are not friends - I am banishing those little suckers to the island where all of the other not-so-bad-but-not-for-me foods live (right next to the dates and coconut butter). Special occasions and emergencies only.

I think your island and mine might be the same place...

And thank you for such an interesting take on it - I think that, right now, I would freak the hell out if I gained any muscle weight that made my jeans no longer fit. Even though I know, logically, that muscle is ultimately my goal. I think for me, I will weigh on Sunday for kicks (end of my W30), and then just send the scales to the island with the nuts and start kicking some arse in the gym.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...