Thursday, June 06, 2013

In the End

On Day 30 of my Whole30 adventure, I actually felt quite good.  The last couple of days were very easy because I was so proud of myself for making it all the way through with no cheats or slips.  I really hadn’t expected myself to get through the challenge on the first try, so it was truly great accomplishment to me.  Pats on the back all around!

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During the process I started to feel quite lean and had a lot of compliments about how good I was looking.  (Not that I looked bad before mind you!)  A slim fitting skirt and favourite pair of dress pants I hadn’t really been able to wear finally fit properly and comfortably.  My tummy was noticeably flatter and I just overall felt a little more comfortable in my own skin.  I realized I was rarely bloated or puffy, and so many of my aches and pains were totally gone!  My sleep was better, and even my hair and nails looked healthier somehow.  (Still worried about the energy though).

On Day 31 I stepped on the scale, expecting maybe a 5-6 pound loss…and was met with only 3 pounds.  I know it shouldn’t matter, and I really thought it wouldn’t matter to me after everything else…but I admit it…I was bummed!  I can gain and lose 3 pounds over a weekend!  The big mistake I made was not getting my post-W30 measurements done right away.  Michael had done them for me the day before I started, and obviously I was down inches otherwise those clothes wouldn’t have started fitting me.  The weight shouldn’t have been my only measure of success.

But, Michael and I weren’t going to see each other for 3 days and I didn’t bother to measure myself.  I let it go, and I shouldn’t have.  If I’d seen those positive results in numbers I may have stayed the course better.  Lesson learned.

Nearing the end, I had spent some time thinking about how I would go about reintroductions of the food groups I’d eliminated… figuring dairy could come back because I don’t eat a lot of it, and aside from the occasional ice cream tummy ache I didn’t think it had much negative effect on me.  After that I would bring back some grains…likely bread and oatmeal.  And obviously I wasn’t going to let sugar and booze go for long! :)

W30 finished on a Tuesday.  I stuck to pretty much the same foods for Wednesday and Thursday, except I did treat myself to a tall latte and brought home some good quality yogurt.  I was still feeling good about the choices and how I felt…then date night came and it kind of sent me into a spiral I’m still trying to get out of 3 weeks later.

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As planned, we went for Pizzeria Prima Strada.  It’s the meal I’d been thinking about since before I started Whole30, and I enjoyed every single bite of the perfect pizza, and every sip of my first glass of red wine.  Perfect reward for a job well done (even if I shouldn’t be rewarding myself with food!).

I don’t think that one meal would have been an issue, but that same weekend was Michael’s birthday and because I’m a genius I booked our reservations for an Italian restaurant where we drank wine, ate bread, ordered creamy pasta and shared some sort of decadent dessert. 

Again, I can’t blame the food, I have to blame my choices.  I should have taken it easier on my poor body.  It went into shock and then just craved ALL.THE.THINGS.  Even though my grocery cart was still stocked with Whole30 and Paleo friendly items, treats were finding their way into my grocery bags as well.  I cannot tell you the amount of junk I’ve consumed since that weekend.  Booooo.

I have to tell you…I gained back that 3 pounds in less than a week, gained a few more since then, and just constantly feel bloated and yucky.  Clearly I still have a lot to learn about keeping my shit together.

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So, I suppose my take aways are these:

  • W30 is an elimination diet and somewhat depriving, so the reintroduction phase is there for a reason.
  • How you feel in your own skin is the best measurement of all, and numbers on a scale or tape shouldn’t dictate how you nourish yourself.
  • Even though I had some pretty negative thoughts throughout the Whole30, I do want to stick with many of the principals that worked for me.
  • Thirty days is not long enough to kick life long eating habits.  I’ll be fighting emotional and boredom eating until the day I die. 
  • Letting sugar back into my life full force pretty much reversed everything I had accomplished.  Sugar bad.

Would I do Whole30 again?  Maybe. The energy issue makes me say no.

Would I recommend it?  Yes, everyone should try it for themselves. 

Am I considering going Paleo?  Somewhat.  I like the concept but I can’t survive without some grains (for energy) and wine (for sanity) in my life. 

Last night I sat down with the food log I kept for W30 and started a new page with a meal plan for today.  I titled it ‘One Day at a Time’ and for now I think that’s the best practice for me.

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3 comments:

Angie All The Way said...

I've enjoyed reading your synopsis on your W30 experience - thanks for detailing it!

I learned a long time ago that when I feel restricted in my diet, it ALWAYS backfires in the exact same manner you described and I feel like I'm in a downward spiral I can't shake from. There are a lot of parts of the W30 diet that appeal to me, but eliminating dairy is where I raise my flag knowing I'd want my cheese!

I've been reading a lot about "Beyond Diet" which shares a lot of the same diet principles I "think" but it steers you in the direction of organic and "raw" forms of dairy and meat (along with coconut oil, F&V etc) - no processed food and no white flour or whole wheat flour, but rather sprouted grain (or rice or spelt). It acknowledges the importance of calories, but focuses on servings in a different way (measuring by what constitutes a protein, a carb and a fat and giving you a guide how many of each you should have for each meal. The plan says that my calories for LOSS are in the area of 2100 and I'm flabergasted. I do like the not "counting" idea, but I've been around long enough to know that so far I've needed to count to be successful, but maybe I need to let go of that mindset to give it a real shot. I dunno, still reading about it!

I still find the idea of "not being allowed" certain foods to be a deterrent, but then again, I'm stuck where I am and so what I'm doing isn't keeping me focused either, so I think I'm going to gradually steer that way. There is, after all a cheat day every week, I think for this reason.

[I'm annoyed they didn't spell your name right :-D FYI I met another "Jaime" recently - 2nd one ever]

This turned into one monster of a comment - sorry J!

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