Nadia and 2 rounds of Whole30. The magic isn't happening?


Nadia B

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Hello! One freaking long post. Because this is what I do. Write long posts here.

I have completed my first Whole 30 in February and second Whole30 this Saturday. I have been through rough times. I feel that it's time to give my Oscar speech write my wrap up post in this section (and to stop spamming on this forum. I am sure I have one of the longest log in the history of WH30 because I can't shut up).

I am forever grateful to M&D, moderators (Renée, Robin – special thanks) and everyone who followed my journey, supported, shared advice, cooked, danced, laughed and cried with me (very special thanks to Derval, Missmary, Susan, KB, Amy, Michele).

For those who are not much into reading long posts - here is where I am now. I quit smoking completely. I absolutely love the way I eat. I feel confident about my food choices. I am not scared to be around food. I am compliant 90% of the time. I set goals related to getting healthier and stronger and not specific number of lb I should weight. Finally I sleep (work in progress). My keratosis pilaris is almost gone (take that, dermatologist, who said I'll just have to get used to live with it). I got my parents off grains, legumes and dairy. I have learned amazing things about my body and myself. I keep learning. I feel calm and happy. I have million things I need to improve in terms of my health and eating habits. For the first time in my life I know what I am doing. This. Is. Magic.

For those who don't mind a long read, here goes my story.

I've never been slim, but my parents told me that genetic predisposition is the answer. It was an easy thing to accept. Fast forward, July 2011 I've moved to Canada. By August I've gained some weight. By October I was even bigger. Under eating seemed like a good solution. Under eating and working out a lot seemed like an even better one. Under eating, working out and counting calories started to be my favorite things to do. I would cut an extra gram off my slice of a low-fat cheese if it would not fit a calorie goal in the app. I was slowly but surely fading away. I was enjoying compliments from co-workers and friends. “You are SO healthy†they exclaimed when I'd turn down a muffin.

Well, not exactly. My skin was a nightmare. I would have a giant batch of hair after combing on my hair brush. I didn't have a period for 6 months. I couldn't sleep. I convinced myself that it was the way my body was adjusting. I've accepted the fact that I will always starve to keep the weight off. I drank 4 coffees a day to keep my appetite down. I smoked. I constantly chewed gum. I was counting minutes to my next calculated to the second "snacking time". Eventually my brains started to rebel. First case - I was eating chocolate cake at the wedding standing near the cake stand. I couldn't stop. I didn't even like the cake. Then it happened again at the office party - hand to mouth, hand to mouth followed by day of starving to make it up. It wasn't about fat anymore. It was about me damaging my own self in exchange for seeing a skinny reflection in the mirror. I was searching for an answer and couldn't find it. Even though the word “paleo†was popping on my screen more and more often, counting carbs, peeing on sticks and ketosis talks scared me. I can't remember how I found WH30, but it finally was something that was making sense...However I was not ready to give up my cottage cheese and oats. Epic binge around Christmas was my last drop. Jan 1st I threw away my loved oats and started Whole30. I thought it will be a breeze. It shouldn't be too hard I thought. I know how to “not eat†something very well. And then I learned that eating right is actually harder than not eating. Now here is the part that doesn't sound too encouraging, but there is an “everything's gonna be alright†part too.

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My body went crazy. It had its own agenda. My skin was getting worse. I couldn't get full. I was eating until my stomach won't have any space. Some days I was binging on compliant foods like carrots, some days I was stuffing myself with nuts or nut butter. These days were followed by deep guilt and urge to cut my food intake to “cancel it outâ€. I was feeling nauseous after every meal. I was gaining weigh pretty steady, freaking out about it, feeling fat and miserable. I have been that desperate person who was asking "where is the magic?" I could have probably signed under every topic in troubleshooting section.

I needed help. On day 15 I wrote “I am starting this food log in hope of finding a perfect balance to my food routineâ€, got “yeah!†from Tom and started to write everything I had my mind. It was the first turning point. I found community that kept me from giving up.

I realized that the only way I can get through this is to get excited and try to have as much fun as I could. I was posting pictures, making new recipes every day, talking about ballet, nails and pooping. I had several wild meltdowns. There was not a single case when I didn't get support. I will always remember the quote that Derval posted in my log: my Dad would say "Pop down to the Spar there love (insert 7-11) and buy yourself a bigger stick to beat yourself with why don't ya?"

Those of you who are having hard times – it gets better. Your body has its own "to do list", don't distract it from completing this list. Those of you who are thinking about committing to WH30 – do it, you will never regret it. I probably wouldn't want another experience for myself even if it has been tough at times. When changes are not happening when you expect them, when all you can do is to exercise patience and positive thinking, you start to notice and appreciate every tiny improvement.

I am just going to list my achievements in groups.

Weight. I started at 121 lb, gained maybe 6-7 lb (didn't weight myself) on my first whole30. I kept focusing on eating the right food and staying calm. It all leveled out. By the first day of my second round (April 5th) I was 122 lb. Measurements (cm/inches): Chest 90/35, arm 26/10, waist 61/24, hips 90/35, tight 51.5/20, calf 35/13.7. This morning I am 121lb. I have ½ to 1 inch off everywhere. Body re composition is an interesting thing. I fit in the dress I wore when I was 15 years old. Dress that was feeling tight at my lowest weight is slightly loose now (6 lb difference). I weigh more now, but my clothes fits better. Scales are gone after all this agonizing over the number I wanted to see. It's a break up and there will be no getting back together.

Sleep and energy. It's not perfect, but I am making constant effort to improve it. I am not waking up 5 times per night. I am falling asleep easily most of the nights. I wake up without alarm clock. I have stable energy most of the days.

Me and food (all my Whole30 adventures pictures are in my logs and here). I had terrible habits of sneaking food on the go, from the can, from the fridge. Though they are not gone completely the difference is huge. My body knows the template. My very own built-in calorie counter starts to work after all. Egg-free is doable, no big deal (see get excited rule). Food experiments are a great adventure; I got brave and have done million of things for the first time in my life. I planted my own herbs. I made preserved lemons and marinated carrots. I have earned a “Sardine Queen†and “Ambassador of Offal†titles for a reason. Spleen, tongue, kidneys, liver, hearts, gizzards, tripe, fish roe – you name it, I'll try to cook it and eat it. I think some of you remember my glorious attempt to eat liver dog treats. I tried ostrich, kangaroo and all sorts of game meat. I've cured meat and ended up with homemade bresaola kind of thing. I broke into young coconuts with a kitchen knife like a mad monkey. I've grown a scoby out of GT kombucha and was having heart attack every day thinking I've killed it. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy all of my crazy trials but I find great pleasure in eating simple food. Roasted veggies and a piece of meat is the best deal. Ever.

Family. The more I was observing the food situation in my family the more concerned I got. My aunt is planning to do a Whole30 and I hope that her family will know how great proper food can make you feel. If not, I got her doubting their eating habits. In March my Dad had a surgery on his intestine. I've made a radical decision that they have to get on board with “my†way of eating. It was hard but rewarding. By now they know how to read labels and don't consume grains, legumes or dairy 80% of time. They use good cooking oils and fats. Their list of veggies they eat is 3 times longer. They work hard on eating enough good food. Though the big part of it is their love for me and not the logic of nourishing themselves I'll take it.

I guess this is it. Oh, my handstand goal? I still suck and it's ok.

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Those of you who are having hard times – it gets better. You body has it's own "to do list", don't distract it from completing this list. Those of you who are thinking about committing to WH30 – do it, you will never regret it. I probably wouldn't want another experience for myself even if it has been tough at times. When changes are not happening when you expect them, when all you can do is to exercise patience and positive thinking, you start to notice and appreciate every tiny improvement.

More actual, real thoughts later. For now, I love this and I'm stealing it for the FB page :)

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I feel like I just watched my little sister give a commencement address and she was valedictorian! (I refuse to believe I am old enough to be your mother.)

Really, I am so very proud of you. You received support because you also gave support so freely and lovingly. Rock on little sister!

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Thank you so much for posting this - I really needed reminding that sometimes my body is marching to the beat of a different drum! Sometimes we read people's posts on here and think "Well, they've got it all together, they're not in my situation" when in reality they've jumped through their own hoops to get where they are.

And seeing as I had a (compliant) hand-to-mouth weekend, it's nice to know that I'm not alone and that people have come out the other side.

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Rock on little sister!

Haha sister that doesn't freak out at the idea of kraut for breakfast :) Thank you.

Great job, Nadia - love your authenticity. Internet hugs! Hope that's not creepy. :)

All hugs are good, internet hugs too.

Sometimes we read people's posts on here and think "Well, they've got it all together, they're not in my situation" when in reality they've jumped through their own hoops to get where they are. And seeing as I had a (compliant) hand-to-mouth weekend, it's nice to know that I'm not alone and that people have come out the other side.

Yes, sometimes you think that "what is wrong with me", "why everyone but me seems to get it right". This sucks and demotivates, I know. The best we can is to stop thinking in terms of right-wrong but works-doesn't work and use every not-so-proud-of moment as a feedback. End of preach :D

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Thank you, guys. I am a bit of overwhelmed but in a good way.

I forgot to include this story it in my original post, so I just add a little note now. I was at my ballet class on Sunday and we were practicing a very tricky move. I was struggling while everyone was spinning like no big deal. I came to this new teacher after the class and asked her if I should switch to another level. She said: "Listen, you need to stop using "instant" approach our generation has. We expect everything right away. We can call the other side of the world and get response immediately. We exchange emails and messages in a blink of an eye. We are not able to wait for anything. We've lost this ability. If you don't get it within an hour class doesn't mean you will never get it. But this is what you think now. Come back next week and try again".

Isn't it great? Come back and try again. Simple.

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Nadia, I read and then reread all of your post. I love the way you faced your challenges and embraces your journey. As a noobie, what great information. I just kept nodding, then saying heck yeah, I get what you're talking about.

I know that for me my biggest lesson, which may take numerous WholeWhatevers, will be about me learning to trust my body and how I relate/react to food. Years of counting, logging, calculating and weighing have left me incredibly broken. I do however think that this is a wonderful path of healing.

Cheers to your being willing to be vulnerable. What a gift you've given those of us following in your footsteps.

Thanks!

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First of all, beautiful name. My oldest daughter is named Nadia. It's not very common where I live.

Your post was very inspiring. I'm trying to convince myself to start a whole30. I need it after going on a cruise last week.

Thanks :wub: In my language my name means "hope".

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Thank you all too! I am thrilled to read that this story motivates you to keep on making good choices, healing and getting where you want to be with your health.

I hope that one day I'll share another story of mine, saying that I am exactly where I need to be, riding my bike like a pro. I am so far from making best choices every time. I have a lot of healing to do. However, the confidence that I am doing the best I can day by day to help my body is priceless.

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Nadia, I am late to the party, but I had to say that I loved your write-up. I loved it hard. You expressed so beautifully what I try to say to so many Whole30 participants who are struggling, discouraged, who give up before they even start. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and for continuing to participate here and share your experience with others.

Best,

Melissa

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Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this uh-maz-ing story!! I needed to read this today to lift my spirits as I am on Day 4 (KILL ALL THINGS) of my 2nd Whole30....

 

You have inspired me so much, despite the medical reasons why I do w30, it's so much more then that. It's overall health. I wish I could just reach through the computer screen and hug you!!! (No, I promise it's not weird, I'm a total hugger) lol

 

I can't wait to keep reading about your success!! Please keep posting!! This was such a delight!!!

 

Huggles and cheers!!!

LP (Amy)

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Nadia, thank you so much for posting this.  As a newbie I guess I am not supposed to be sniffing around in success stories however, I needed a light at the end of the tunnel moment and that, you provided to me.  I am on day 6 of my first W30 and am struggling.   Your post brought a smile to my face and I definitely feel resolved to loosen up and have fun with this.  I still don't know how to post pictures but I sure do have tons of recipes to share.  One of my favorite things to do is talk about food, why didn't I realize this was the place to do it?!?

 

Anyway, thank you and congratulations!

 

-Liz

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