Day 30… Hooray!!!

Today is day 30 of my Whole30 challenge; I kind of can’t believe that it’s already here and that I was able to make it 100%.  More than anything, this was a learning experience for me.  Here are the things I have learned over this past month:

Going public was the key.

The reason I started this blog was to put it out there on a public website that I was attempting something that I knew I’d need to be held accountable for.  I didn’t care (and still don’t) if no one reads this, it’s the fact that I can vent about whatever and keep myself on track.  In my head, I felt that if I cheated, I would be held accountable by my blog… Kind of weird, but it has literally helped me so much.  Facebook also helped; I got tips, recipes, and encouragement from so many people =)  Living in a college town surrounded by drunk kids isn’t always the most motivating setting… that’s why I attribute my success to this blog!

When I get bored, I get “hungry”.

This might have been my biggest struggle during the Whole30.  Since this month is April, I am/was finishing up big projects and homework for my final semester here at Illinois State and found myself bored a lot.  By bored, I mean sitting, staring at books, and aimlessly typing on my computer for hours.  I started to notice that I would think I was hungry, but it was more mental than physical.  Even if I would have a good portioned meal, ten minutes later I would be craving more.  This got old fast.  Then, I found my savior.

Vanilla Rooibos tea.  The taste of it is slightly sweet in a weird way, but always satisfied me and kept me from overeating or indulging in the bad stuff.  Who would have thought that tea would keep me on track?  This stuff is bomb.

I need more for my post-workout meal.

I recently just figured this out.  After talking to my sisters and CF coaches about my bad hunger pains about 30 minutes after my normal post-wod meal, they all told me the same thing – EAT MORE!  Usually, I would have 2 hard-boiled eggs and one sweet potato baby food.  So now, I am eating 1.5 or 2 (depending on the wod intensity) baby foods and 2 eggs + 2 whites.  After I run through my baby food storage, I am going to try to switch to real sweet potatoes and see how that goes.  So to all you people who enjoy the aroma of my eggs and the perfect mixture of baby food, I am happily going to keep doing it 😛

Numbers don’t work for me.

Something I didn’t do when starting Whole30 was weigh myself.  I had an idea of where I was because we have to do height and weight for some  of the fitness tests we do in my classes, but I typically hate weighing myself.  I always have and I think it’s because I have always been tall compared to everyone and my numbers were always over what everyone else was, so I would avoid it at all costs.  I have grown out of that stage and I could care less if people know what I weigh, but it’s still a stupid numbers game that is planted in too many people’s heads.  The scale tells you nothing.  I even vented about it in a previous post.

Some people have asked how I track my progress if I don’t weigh myself… DUH! There’s so many ways… I pay attention to the way I feel, how my workouts go, and how my clothes fit.  If I focused on numbers, I would be in a hissy 24/7.  I didn’t bother taking pictures either because I would be too tempted to compare myself and that’s a negative thing for me to do.

My body takes a long time to adjust and change.

Unfortunately, I am not the type that has one of those magical bodies that changes a week after I change something… not even after three weeks do I see a physical difference.  Literally today may be the first day that I noticed a tiny change physically.  I know that it takes an average of 6 weeks for physical changes to happen, but you know how frustrating it can be especially reading people’s success stories after only 20 or 30 days.  That is another reason why I am dragging out my Whole30 for some more time.  Mentally, the changes took place really fast, which is awesome!  So, I have come to peace with the fact that I am a slow-changer and am glad that I started when I did.

I am very sensitive to carbohydrates.

I first found this out when I started living the Paleo life about 2 years ago, but I had no idea just how sensitive I was until this challenge.  I have to limit my veggies, or else I am a bloated gross mess – that goes for all types of veggies.  I can’t eat broccoli (my favorite!), cauliflower, brussels sprouts, or asparagus either.  Those kill my stomach.  So what do I eat, you ask?  Zucchini, kale, and spinach have become my three amigos.  I sparingly add in some root veggies, such as: parsnips, carrots, spaghetti squash, and beets.  Oh! and how could I forget my new fave, swiss chard!  I love my veggies, but I have to limit them unless I want to walk around looking 6 months pregnant.

I have the greatest people in my life.

Throughout my journey, I have received great support from everyone!  I knew that I had amazing people around me, but this really made me see it.  I am lucky to have two “home” CrossFit boxes and each of them has a special place in my heart.  The people at Fit Bodies CrossFit and CrossFit Instinct keep me going, physically and mentally.  Being able to have that community of people is such a huge part in my life and is a positive escape that I know I always have.  I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and I am so grateful that everything has happened the way it has.  So here’s to you… Thank you!

 

So yes, after I brush my teeth tonight and lay in bed, it will officially be the end of 30 days of this learning experience.  As I have said earlier, I am going to continue living by these guidelines… until May 9th.  Why that day? Well, don’t hold it against me.  That’s the last day of my finals and my sister and I are going to celebrate!  She is graduating with her Master’s and I will have my Bachelor’s degree… and it’s 2 days after my 22nd birthday, so I say that’s reason to have a drink.  Or three. Or more.

Besides that, I want to keep eating good – No excuses for small cheats or excuses.  The thing is I know I can do it, so it’s just a matter of doing it!  The day I sip my first non-Whole30 drink will be day 43, so I will hae completed 42 days of a super clean lifestyle.  That’s 6 weeks.  It’s already been kind of a roller coaster of emotions, cravings, bloatings, headaches and wonderful highs from clean eating.  And I don’t regret one bit of it.

Life [shouldn’t be] by the numbers

Anniversaries, miles, time, calories, body fat percentage, ounces, pounds… Our life is based around numbers and sometimes, well a lot of the time, I get annoyed by how focused we have become over them.

For one of my classes, I had to measure a student’s body composition.  They volunteered for extra credit to let us do skin folds, Bod Pod (the “gold standard” of them all), and underwater weigh (the other “gold standard”) them; obviously they wanted to know their body fat percentage because… who doesn’t?? It’s a tangible number that we are told to measure our health by – male bodybuilders are around 3% and freaky lean bodybuilding females are anywhere from 6-10%.

So, after skinfolding, I took my client to the Bod Pod and did the procedures.  When I was done, results printed out and the client was anxious to know them – the percentage was classified as “moderately lean” AKA a good, healthy number.  Once the student saw the number, I saw an immediate look of dissatisfaction on their face.  It broke my heart.

By looking at the student, they looked lean and were definitely not overweight.  I just knew that this number was not what they viewed as “ideal” and no matter what I said, I knew it wouldn’t help.  I know that because I experienced the same thing.  No matter what “number” you’re labelled as, you’re never happy.  That’s why I hate scales – they say NOTHING about how healthy you are.

By labelling people by numbers (whether it’s your weight, bodyfat percentage, calories eaten…), it serves as negative feedback that fuels obsessive, unhealthy behavior.  I wish I could have told the student to throw away the number, workout right (ahem, CrossFit), and eat clean (ahem, Paleo).  If that’s done right, your body will take care of itself.

That’s part of why I love the concept of Paleo/Whole30/Primal – no counting calories.  I used to fill notebooks up with my daily calories and obsess over the amount.  SO unhealthy.  Now the only numbers I know are for my WODs.  It’s much better that way.  FORGET ABOUT THE NUMBERS. Focus on quality.  It’s that easy.

Speaking of numbers… Day 1 of Whole30 is done.  I’m trying to not count days because then it feels like I’m counting down to failure.  But for the sake of the program, I’m tracking it on here.  It’s been awesome already.  Besides the 2 hours of the day when I wanted to cheat, I got through and ate some yummy food.  I’ll post some of the recipes later on.

Grass fed beef for dinner.  HOLY COW (no pun intended) I love that stuff!  And brussels sprouts, a lot of them.  Maybe too many?  Is that possible?  I feel great though, besides the fact I need to shower.  Time for some nighttime tea and a hot, hot shower.

Lesson of the day: STOP weighing yourself… throw out your scale right now.  STOP counting calories and eat healthy clean food.  And don’t forget about old onions in the cabinet… they are disgusting. (oops!!!) 🙂

Oh, and this was the first Wednesday in 5 weeks I wasn’t sitting at my computer from 6:58pm on constantly hitting refresh on the CF games page… pretty pathetic.