My Whole30 Success (can't wait to do another!)


CassandraMarie3

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I couldn't get all of the pictures to work from my blog post, but here is my Whole30 success!

HISTORY

As most of you know, I have been working on improving my health and fitness since June of last year. Through exercise and cutting out junk, I lost 45 pounds. I became a runner and a lifter! I felt strong and confident and finally felt like I could actually be myself, instead of trying to be what I thought people wanted me to be.

A little over a month ago, I found myself slipping back into a lot of old habits. Too much bread, too many “treats†and too much processed food lead to stomach aches, bloating, weird rashes, headaches, crazy acne and a complete lack of energy. Surprisingly the scale didn't react much to my poor choices (in fact it had not moved since December), but my body sure was! This was not particularly helpful as I was scheduled to run my first half marathon on March 17th, and I could barely find the energy or motivation to complete some of my last training runs. A few days before the half-marathon I decided it was time and committed to starting my Whole30 on March 17th.

I heard about the Whole30 a little over six months ago through some friends on MyFitnessPal and Facebook. It seemed so drastic. I thought I could NEVER do it. Come January, I started focusing on eliminating more and more processed foods and cooking more of my own meals. I stopped eating out for the most part and vowed to try at least 4 new recipes a month. Despite these changes, the idea of a Whole30 still seemed so untouchable. WHAT ABOUT PASTA?? What about beer? Where is my peanut butter toast with bananas?? How could someone give up grain, dairy, legumes, sugar, and alcohol for a whole month?? I volunteer at a brewery for crying out loud.

But then I read “It Starts With Food†and it changed my life. I'm really horrible at summarizing anything (middle school/high school book reports anyone?) but in a nutshell I realized that so many of the foods I thought were healthy were actually causing me harm. I didn't stop there, I keep reading. I spent the next two months reading all sorts of good stuff. Scouring the internet. Reading up on the pros and cons to a Paleo-like diet. Baffled that, if these foods are SO BAD, why are they teaching our kids to eat like this. I learned about HFCS, GMOs, soy, natural vs. organic, gluten/celiac/gluten-sensitivity, etc. I still didn't think I could give up bread, or cheese. Or, let's be honest, beer.

The Whole30 is all about eating REAL, unprocessed food. It is not a meat based “diet†or a plant based “dietâ€, it's all about fueling your body with proper nutrients, all of which we can get from vegetables, meat, fruit and healthy fats.

Those crappy couple weeks in March were my turning point. After reading up on all the things that COULD be causing my symptoms, I decided it was time to buckle down and find out. What did I have to lose? And what better time to start than the day after my half-marathon. So, I made by commitment public (hello Facebook and MFP!) and went for it. I stocked up on my meat, veggies and started meal planning.

On Saturday, March 16th, I ran 13.1 miles in 2:20:58 and then went to my friends wedding. I felt like my legs were going to give out on me ☺ but I have to say it was a pretty amazing feeling to cross the finish line!

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MY WHOLE30 JOURNEY

The very next day, I began my journey. The first week was mentally hard just knowing that I COULDN'T have certain items. But, I got creative and tried to focus on what I COULD have. My one and only accidental slip up happened during the first two days. I realized that the Applegate Farms bacon I was using (although organic and pastured) had maple syrup in the ingredients, a no-no! I moved on and made sure I used compliant bacon from then on out (which is REALLY hard to find btw). This first week I didn't really workout, I just went on one run, and my knee was still bothering me so I took it easy the rest of the week. I was also feeling pretty darn good this week because I got to exchange my wedding dress for a smaller size, yet again. Size 14W to a size 8 ☺ I am a visual person, so I decided to keep a photolog of all my Whole30 meals. Here are some pictures of the first week's meals:

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The second week went by like a breeze. I found that I had SO MUCH ENERGY. I felt lighter, and could think clearly. My memory was getting better. I learned the value of planning ahead when my daughter's dance competition went from lasting 6 hours (planned for) to almost 12 (not planned for). I found myself completely satisfied with three meals a day, and didn't feel the need to snack. My workouts were amazing. After taking a month break from lifting, I was back to my usual weights, and my two mile warm up runs were solid 10 min miles with a minute or two of sprinting at 8 minute miles (sprinting for me I should say ☺). I also worked a tour at the brewing company. Let me tell you-3 hours of pouring delicious craft beer, along with limited seasonals will test one's willpower! I also had some hilarious dreams this week in which I “cheated†with non-compliant foods. I woke up in a cold sweat incredibly disappointed in myself until I realized it was just a dream!

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The third week I became bored with my food…but in a way I realized I was just becoming used to this lifestyle. I decided to spice it up and learn a couple new recipes. This week my daughter voiced she didn't want to eat the breakfast the school provides anymore, and wanted to get up to eat a “healthy†breakfast. Proud mom moment. Let me tell you though, grocery shopping got so frustrating when I would look for anything in the center aisles. Dried fruit should be dried fruit, right? Nope, sugar and sunflower oil too. Diced tomatoes-sugar. Almond butter-sugar. Thankfully by this point I had found the stores I need to go to, but in a pinch Target had to do. Brian and I also went out to eat over the weekend at a brew pub. Yep, this girl got a cobb salad (with balsamic vinegar and olive oil) and no beer.

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The fourth week I started the feel apprehensive about the end…maybe I should just eat like this forever? I mean, I feel INCREDIBLE! Who needs all that stuff anyways?? Everything I am eating is SO GOOD. BUT, I don't want to be “that person†or “picky eaterâ€. I also need to socialize. Which is difficult when your habitual meetup spot with your friends is a hole in the wall bar and it's kitchen involves a fryer. I also have to remember life is about balance. Given that this month has been so busy, we really haven't done anything remotely social without the kiddos. Turns out there is an art show tonight and he and a few others will be hitting up some local brew pups (that I have never visited). We also have no kids this weekend (a rarity). I made the decision to make it an official Whole28 in case I decide to have a beer tonight.

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Regardless of what I decide tonight, I will return to my Whole30 eating habits tomorrow and slowly go through the reintroduction phase to see what foods actually do affect me in a negative way. Aside from a couple social events this next month, I see no need to add in sugar, grain, legumes or dairy on a regular basis. I also plan on doing a Whole30 once or twice a year or if I ever need a “reset†to my habits.

RESULTS

Ok, ok, so the results. When I started I weighed 162. Today I weigh 151. I lost 11 lbs after a several month plateau. I also lost 14 inches. I am happier, healthier, stronger, sharper and more resourceful. I sleep better and deeper. No bloating or stomach issues and I only have had two headaches this month (usually a bi-weekly experience). Also, I for surely fit into a size 6.

Pre-Whole30/Post-Whole30/Difference

Weight: 162/151/-11lbs

Waist: 32/29.5/-2.5

Belly Button: 36/32/-4

Love Handles: 39/36/-3

Hips: 42.5/41/-1.5

Right Thigh: 26/25/-1

Left Thigh: 26/25/-1

Right Bicep: 12.5/12/-.5

Left Bicep: 12.5/12/-.5

TOTAL LOSS: 11 pounds and 14 inches

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I got to the beer comment and stopped reading. I have to ask - Surly? Or another local brewer?

I love Surly :wub: . Okay, back to reading!

And WHERE did you find compliant bacon around here??

A fellow Minnesotan!! Yes, I work the tours at Surly :) So, we always have good, craft beer in our fridge!

I couldn't find compliant bacon ANYWHERE in the twin cities. I ended up ordering from US Wellness...I'm crossing my fingers that next time I will be able to find sugar free bacon close to home :)

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