Blame it on the A-a-a-a-a-alcohol

I am in the reintroduction stage of my Whole30! I’m doing the fast reintroduction, which means that every third day, I try a new food group – leaving two full whole30 days in between. This allows you to see how the new food group affects you, and also gives your body time to get rid of it before starting the next food group.

On Day 1, I reintroduced alcohol. I’m not a big drinker, but I do like to drink at special occasions or get-togethers. There have been times in the past when my face would get super hot and red – almost like an allergic reaction. Over the last nine months or so, however, I haven’t experienced this again (yay!). But I wasn’t sure what to expect since my body is so clear of processed junk – would my body react more or less to the alcohol?

IMG_1622

I first decided to try wine. I don’t like wine, but I thought maybe I would like it more now that I’m not consuming so much sugar.

Nope. Still gross. I forced myself to take four or five sips, before dumping the glass. Plus, it made my stomach feel weird – acidic I guess?

So, I gave it a little time to process. I wanted to try something else, just to make sure I had enough alcohol to really feel any possible side effects * wink wink *

I discovered whiskey over the holidays this past season, and I liked it. Also it was Wednesday night, Supernatural was on, and I was like, you know what, I’m gonna do a shot a whiskey for Dean Winchester. Don’t judge.

IMG_1628

I had a mini bottle of whiskey from a couple years ago, so I took a shot. The whiskey itself was actually gross – probably not a very good brand or whatever – but man… I felt good! And I didn’t have any sort of bad reaction to it.

The next day I was okay. I felt slightly crummy all day, but nothing too bad – and nothing I wouldn’t expect after a night of drinking (I’m a light-weight, folks!).

So – yes! I can drink alcohol. Probably still won’t be drinking that often, but it’s nice to know I can when the occasion calls for it.

Today, I added legumes to my diet. I’ll blog about that in a few days when I see how they made me feel!

Nighty Night!

“I Am Whole30” or “And now: Wine”

I’m writing this blog in two parts: Day 30 and Day 31. It’s a little long, but I hope you enjoy!

———

Today, it’s Day 30! Woohoo! I felt very happy and excited all day that I had actually made it through 30 days, and so easily at that. Later in the afternoon, however, a weird mood started to set in.

I felt nervous. Nervous that when I stepped on the scale in the morning, it wouldn’t have changed as much as I wanted it to change. Nervous that I would all of the sudden go back to all my old habits without the rules dictating what I could and couldn’t eat.

Those nerves slowly transitioned to depression. What the heck? As I’m writing this, I’m pretty irritated that I feel this way. I mean, this has been amazing and no matter what the scale says in the morning, so many changes have taken place in me over the past month, that I should be so proud of myself and excited for the future!

I wish the scale didn’t matter as much in my mind. I’m still planning to weigh myself in the morning, but after that’s done I’m throwing the scale back into the closet for at least another two weeks, if not another month. I cannot, and will not, allow a number on a scale to derail my progress anymore.

I took after pics of myself tonight and that kinda bummed me out too. I guess I was expecting to see a huge difference in them, but I just don’t see it. BUT I’m not a photographer. I took pics of myself with my camera’s self-timer in bad lighting. So I closed the pics and probably won’t look at them again – what do they know anyway?

There is a list in the Whole30 book that they tell you to go over before weighing yourself. A list of all the positive changes that may have happened for you over the last 30 days. They have you do this so that you keep those things in mind when you step on the scale – it’s not just about the number!

Since I’m not a great morning person, I’m going over these things tonight.

Here are MY positive changes:

PHYSICAL (OUTSIDE)

-Flatter stomach

-Clothes fit better

-Less bloating

-Feeling more confident in appearance (most days 😉 )

PHYSICAL (INSIDE)

-Fewer PMS symptoms

-Less diarrhea (just being real here, folks!)

-Fewer seasonal allergies

MOOD/EMOTION/PSYCHOLOGY

-Happier

-More outgoing

-More patient

-More optimistic

-Less anxious

-Less stressed

-Fewer mood swings

-Fewer sugar cravings (none)

-Fewer carb cravings (none)

-Improved self-confidence

-Less reliance on the scale!!!

-Feeling in control of food

BRAIN FUNCTION

-Improved performance at job

-Faster reaction times

-Clearer thinking

-Higher productivity

SLEEP

-Sleep more soundly

ENERGY

-Energy levels are higher

-Energy levels are more even!!!

-More energy in the morning (still not a morning person though.. let’s be clear..)

-More energy to exercise (lunchtime walks! Yay!)

-No longer need to eat every two hours

-No longer get cranky if I don’t eat

SPORTS/EXERCISE/PLAY

-Started moving or exercises (lunctime walks! Yay again!)

FOOD & BEHAVIORS

-Healthier relationship with food

-Eat to satiety

-Listening to my body

-No longer afraid of dietary fat

-LEARNED HOW TO COOK

-Don’t use food for comfort, reward, punishment, or stress management

-No longer a slave to sugar or carb cravings

-More variety, color, vitamins, and minerals in my diet

-No more food guilt or shame

-No more binging

LIFESTYLE & SOCIAL

-New cooking skills

-New recipes

-Meal prep is organized & efficient

-I am Whole30 🙂

Dang. I’m feeling better already! So glad I did that! See you in the morning, scale!

——–

AND NOW, DAY 31

I laid in bed for a bit this morning, hesitant to get up. I eventually did though, and went to the bathroom where the scale waited. I took a deep breath and stood on the scale for a moment, waiting for it to register – hoping, praying to be amazed.

8.8 lbs.

I only lost 8.8 lbs. Not even close to what I hoped or thought I would have lost.

I was hoping to post a different gif here, one of crazy excitement. Sigh. I had a moment this morning. I cried. I was upset. I kept wondering what I did wrong. What should I have done better? Should I have eaten less? More greens? Was I eating something against the rules without knowing? And people are going to be asking. They all know I’m weighing in today, and they’ll be so disappointed. I feel like a failure.

I pulled myself together cause a girl’s gotta go to work to pay the bills. I’ve been processing and thinking all day, and I’m glad to report that I’m in much higher spirits now. I kept reminding myself of all the good that’s happened (see list above). And I also realized that…

I didn’t do anything wrong.

I friggin lost 8.8 lbs by EATING FOOD. That’s 2.2 lbs a week.

Also, I didn’t measure myself when I started this (mistake), but I did measure myself back in January and this morning, and since January, I’ve not only lost about 16 lbs, but I’ve lost 6.5 inches overall – most of those inches probably in the last month.

People say I do look like I’ve lost weight. So you know what? Screw it, I’m posting the super-crazy-excited gif:

Guys. I’m so proud of myself. I’m rocking this lifestyle change like nobody’s business.

Guess what I did?

I kicked it in the ass.

And now: wine. Cheers!

28 Days Later…

I’m sure I’ll have a really fun blog for you on Day 31! But as an update:

I feel happy and free.

Clothes are fitting better.

I finally see the change in my face (since yesterday) – others have noted this sooner, but it’s taken awhile for me to notice – we’re our own worst critics, hey?

hammockgoodLove y’all!

The New Normal

First things first – This is my oldest niece and me a year or two ago. It’s her birthday today (20! Ahhh).

Happy Birthday, T!

IMG_0653

Okay, back to business.

Blogging about my Whole30 is getting harder. I think because the Whole30 has really become my normal life – and what is exciting about blogging about normal life??

I’m finishing Day 22. A Week from tomorrow will be my “last day” of the Whole30. But not really, cause most of the following 10 days, I’ll still be eating the same. So it’s kinda like the Whole40-ish. I’m still feeling great. Cooking is pretty normal to me now, which is nice. I think I’m getting quicker!

This weekend I had the wonderful experience of putting on a T-Shirt and it actually fit right. T-shirts and I – we’ve never gotten along very well. They usually fall or suck against any rolls I have, making them unwearable to me. This shirt wasn’t too bad, but I would always where a jacket or a button-up shirt over it because I was self-conscious in it.

But Saturday. Oh, Saturday. I put the shirt on and it fit and it didn’t show any thing. I wore it and it alone – no jacket or anything. And I wasn’t constantly pulling it down to make sure it was smooth. It was a wonderful feeling. Very exciting.

I needed that because, while I can kinda tell I’ve lost weight by how I look in the mirror or even when I touch my arms or what not, it’s nothing concrete. It’s not a number on a scale or a measurement, or before and after pics side by side. It’s mostly, “I think I’ve lost weight, but what if it’s in my head?” So having a shirt finally fit me correctly was definitely a mental boost that I needed.

I ate out for the first time on Sunday! I was nervous, but it actually was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I got a salad with grilled chicken, told the waitress what I couldn’t have on my chicken, and enjoyed it with balsamic vinegar. It was so nice! I felt like a normal person having lunch with friends.

Ahh, the new normal is feeling really great, guys.

Love ya’ll!

P(lease) M(ore) S(nacks)…

Ah, PMS. A wonderful time in every woman’s life.

Now, in the past I always knew I craved junk food and wanted to eat more, but I figured a lot of it was just mental. After experiencing PMS while on the Whole30, I now know the truth.

It is NOT JUST MENTAL. I was so freaking hungry! And Chocolate. Oh Chocolate – I wanted some so bad! I haven’t really craved anything this entire time – so don’t tell me it was all in my head!

But don’t you worry, friends, I’m happy to report I am still slip-free! I did eat a few more Larabars than normal, but hey – that’s not bad, if I do say so myself. And I do…say so…myself.

In the Whole30 book it says that a lot of people experience very vivid dreams where they are eating “forbidden” foods while doing this diet. I chuckled at that and thought, aw that’s cute. But that definitely won’t happen to me.

Three times. It’s happened THREE times.

During week two, I had a dream I was knockin’ back SO MANY frappuccinos. So delicious. I blame the aforementioned Starbucks ads on social media. Jerks.

This week (PMS week), I dreamed I was eating this big bowl of oily, poorly-mixed mac and cheese. It was gross, but I kept eating it. What?!

A couple nights later, I dreamed I was eating anything around, not realizing I was eating “forbidden” food until I was sipping on a bottle of Coke.

In all the dreams, when I woke up and realized it wasn’t real, I was SO RELIEVED! I didn’t actually screw up! I guess it makes sense that something I’m so focused on right now – what I’m eating – would seep into my dreams too.

Eighteen Days, guys! I can’t believe I have less than two weeks to go. I’m transitioning into planning mode now – what will I eat to reintroduce food groups back into my diet? How am I going to eat after this? What boundaries do I need to put on myself to make sure I don’t easily slide back into old habits?

I’ve never spent so much thoughtful time and energy on my health. It doesn’t feel like a burden though, more a problem to solve, a sort of game I suppose – a hobby? Whatever it is, I’m staying very interested in it, so that’s a plus!

Thanks again for reading, friends. I hope you are doing well on whatever journey you are on – remember: Love Yourself First and Always Keep Fighting – brighter days are ahead!

_MG_1790

Me and Jared Padalecki, March 20, 2016

Two Weeks!

Seems I shorted myself a day at some point! I’m finishing up Day 14 today!

The weekend was busy, and I probably didn’t eat as much as I should have, but I made it through without running for fast food or anything. Tonight I made myself a burger on lettuce with grilled onions and mushrooms with a side of sweet potato fries – amazing!

It’s been really challenging to still not weigh or measure myself. Sometimes when I look in the mirror I think maybe I’ve lost weight, but most times I look the same as before. It’s amazing how much your self-worth and self-esteem is dependent on a number. This is a good exercise in really knowing myself – how I’m feeling, how I look, how I think about myself.

Awesome

Getting ready to start another week – week three. Excited to see what changes take place!

Have a great week everyone!

Simplify.

I’m running out of things to blog about! I may start blogging every other day, unless something interesting happens or inspires me – just a heads up to all my loyal followers (haha…).

Like I’ve said before, I’m enjoying cooking. However, cooking every weeknight was getting a bit hard – mostly due to the amount of time it was taking. I’m sure as I cook more I’ll get faster. So yesterday, I decided to simplify things.

For dinner, I made myself a salad – I basically just put anything I already had chopped in the salad. I also cooked up some chicken. Then, a miracle happened. I tried Balsamic, and I loved it!

I have tried Balsamic so many times before and always found it to be pretty gross. This diet change has definitely affected my tastebuds! This makes me so happy because I don’t want to have to make my own salad dressing!

Also, all the other salad dressings I looked at when I went shopping had soybean oil in them. What’s with that? (for those who don’t know, you can’t have soy (legumes) on the Whole30). So, balsamic it was. Tessamae’s Balsamic is Whole30 approved, and delicious! They have other dressings and sauces as well, I found them in the refrigerated section in produce. But read the labels! Some of their dressings have soybean oil in them too!

 

Tonight I had a side salad, chicken with salsa, and half an avocado. SIMPLE. And delicious and satisfying. And I didn’t spend the majority of my night in the kitchen!

Tomorrow is Friday and then another busy weekend for me. I’ll be honest, I haven’t really planned my meals/how I’m going to get through this weekend – that will be first priority tomorrow night so I can successfully navigate it!

Have a Happy Friday!

its-friday-gif

P.S. I promise, sometimes I’m not even looking for Supernatural-related gifs. They just find me.

So Fancy…

Not much to blog about today. I will say, that cooking seems to be getting more fun for me.

I may have even leveled up in cooking tonight:

Look how fancy I am!

And there’s KALE in that! And it’s DELICIOUS. It’s a recipe in the Whole30 cookbook if you’re wondering!

Also, I discovered when you add finely chopped kale to a hot pan, it flies into the air. And it’s hilarious.

Have a great day tomorrow! Because tomorrow…

giphy

This is Life Now

road_sunset_marking_grass_102104_3840x2160

(source: wallpaperscraft.com)

During this whole process, I’ve had this feeling that at some point, this was going to get very very hard – I’d have horrible withdrawal symptoms, and I’d want to eat everything I’m not supposed to, and I’d want to cry at every meal. This hasn’t happened. Not even close.

But still, I’ve been fearful of it – waiting for the monster to attack.

Today, while at work, I was thinking about this once again. When will it start to get really hard? When I’m halfway through? When I’m near the end?

I realized two things:

First, why do I believe that this has to be painful? Everyone’s experience with things is a little different, with some similarities, of course. But what if my body and my mind and my soul were just really ready for this? So, I’m choosing to stop waiting for the bottom to drop out on me. I’m going to keep focused on the road ahead and believe that only the best things are to come during this experience.

Second, there is no halfway through, no end to this. I will never be done. This is life now. And while there are some things that I’ll get to add back into my diet in 30 (now 22!) days, the habits I’m starting now are the same habits I’ll need in my new life. I’ll be cooking more and thinking more about what I put into my body.

I think that in some ways, always thinking that there is a finish line in a diet (or any other lifestyle change), harms progress. Because what happens when you finish? You go back to old habits? Shouldn’t you be different by the end of it, so it’s not easy to go back?

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m going to be celebrating the crap out of making it through this thing! But actually looking at this as my LIFE and not just a month to get through is what’s going to make real change take place.

Keep Going

I got home really late on Saturday night, so I decided to do a combined blog tonight!

Saturday morning/early afternoon was very relaxed for me.I spent time planning my meals for the week and compiling a grocery list. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention and ran out of time to make and eat my lunch before I had to leave for my film-making class. I was worried I would get too hungry and make a bad decision later, so I started to look for any type of approved food I could take with me. I ended up taking a couple pickles, half an avocado, olives, and a Larabar. I ate on the go and it saved me from getting hungry.

After class, I went and visited my mom. I had packed my dinner, so made it there while we chatted. Then I went to see my brother’s family’s new house. It was a great time, but it was a little hard to be there because there was pizza, brownies, and I even saw some of their groceries on the counter. But I made it through. I feel like every time I make it through a situation like that, I get stronger. I’m also proud of myself for making it through an on-the-go day without stopping for fast food AND without simply not eating all day.

This morning (Sunday) was really nice. I was able to make myself breakfast and coffee and relax before church. The rest of the day was busy with grocery shopping and food prep. It’s definitely not ideal for me to have to do both on the same day. There were so many times that I wanted to stop making dressing or butter or chopping vegetables. I had to have a constant dialogue with myself:

“I don’t need to do anymore. I’ll be okay. I’ll just figure it out tomorrow. I just want to sit down and watch TV.”

“Aubrey, this is not that hard. You just have to chop some veggies. It’s easy. Keep going.”

And I did – I kept going. And the food I made came out fantastic! I’m actually finding cooking to be kind of fun – who knew?

Oh and it’s official now – I’ve made it through the first seven days! I can’t remember the last time I actually made it through any diet plan for seven days without cheating once!

Here’s to a week of success – and for this next week as well!