Whole 30: WHAT AM I DOING?

Gah!! I'm back - kind of. It's been awhile - over the last couple months I've been writing but not publishing anything. Nothing seems "ready" and my mind is all over the place. My priorities have just been other things. But I think I'm ready now. At least - I have to be because I'm about to do something that will be mentally and physically challenging, as if I don't have enough challenges day to day, right? So here it goes!

Background: I have always been hyper-aware of my weight. Always. Since I can remember. In elementary school I always taller and broader and bigger than my friends. I went through puberty at a very young age and as a result I felt like an amazon woman. I had boobs waaaaaaay before I should have. I shot up so fast and I was basically as tall as I am now, in 5th grade. I was always self-conscious about my size and it showed. So it was that weakness that was preyed upon by other kids, as kids often do. I have broad shoulders and a thicker waist and muscular legs. I never have and never will be described as "slight" or "petite". And I'm totally OK with that. I have no desire to be a small, tiny woman. No thanks!

As I got older (in my teens and early 20's) I was always athletic and active. I was never fat, but I was never thin. I'm just not built that way. I have ZERO desire to be thin. I like being strong. I like having muscles. But through my journey in adulthood (my mid 20's to early 30's) I've weighed as much as 230 lbs (while pregnant AND not-pregnant!). I have been fat. I had the label of obesity/morbid obesity at one point. Through five pregnancies and five bouts of gestational diabetes - I have gained and lost a total of 210 lbs. I'm currently at my pre-pregnancy weight - not bad, right? I'm 37 and I weigh about the same as I did when I was 22. Mayyyyyyyyyyyyyyybe a little more, I fluctuate +/- 10 lbs. The difference is, as most of us know, our bodies and their composition change as we get older and with each subsequent pregnancy. My body at 25, even after three kids, is totally different than my body at 37 after five kids - even if I weigh about the same. Things are just not in the same spot as they were in my early 20's. Sad face.

Anyway - I have always been intrigued with the caveman/paleo mentality when it comes to nutrition. Our bodies have evolved to digest certain foods. Our teeth are designed to chew certain foods. Our digestive tract is such that it is able to extract certain nutrients. Are our bodies made to digest "reduced fat wheat thins" and all the chemical additives in them? Doubtful - although they are delicious.  What about cows milk? Umm, no. That's a fact. I know, I know, you think it tastes great but truth be told - we are not made to drink another mammals milk. Hence the insane amount of people who are lactose intolerant.

Recently I've gotten off track. I have been on Weight Watchers for about a year and I truly LOVE it. It works. It was perfect for me and my family. But when my life got a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittle hectic, I stopped tracking. I stopped working out as much. I started to gain- not much but I have gained. And I HATE gaining. I have worked my ass off to lose so much weight and here I am regressing. Ugh.

Over the last year or so, I've seen a few of my peers declare their Whole 30 loyalty. Meanwhile, I have been feeling like I need something, anything, to jump start my desire to get and stay healthy. I think it needs to be drastic and different so it captures my attention and keeps me challenged. Soooo - I decided to try the Whole 30. Why not, right? I read about it. I obsessed about it. I texted a few people I know about it. And then I just decided I was gonna try it. And so was my husband. And a few friends. (Sorry, guys!)

If you're not clear what the Whole 30 is, click here.

In short, it's about eating nutrient rich foods that are clean of any additives - for the most part. The theory is to eliminate the most common craving inducing, blood sugar disrupting, gut-damaging, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days: Sugar, dairy, grains, and legumes. That means no coffee creamer (how is this even legal?), no bread (everyone loves bread), no chocolate (kill me now), and no beans (peanut butter is a thing of the past for me). I have 3 favorite things: coffee, ice cream and pizza. I can live with black coffee, although it's not ideal. I'm the most devastated about giving up ice cream and pizza. That is the part that makes me most nervous.

Everyone who has previously done this plan has told me that meal prep and planning are key. I already meal plan as a rule so this part is OK with me. I don't really prep ahead of time so this part will be hard to get used to. I have made my list and my menu, so my next step is going to be store hopping to find exactly what I need.  Since I'm going to have to read every single label, it will be very time consuming. But I'm guessing it's like anything else and once I get into the swing of it, it'll become second nature. I hope.

So - here I am - 14 months post-partum, approximately 1 month post-breastfeeding - I'm ready to get serious about this. I've been successful losing weight in the past (I lost 70lbs 5 years ago and then lost another 70 lbs again over the last 14 months). So I know how to do this and what to do. I know what works for me. I also know that I'm happiest with myself and my body is healthiest at about a size 6/8.  What I don't know is how the food I eat affects me and my body and my mind. And that is the part that I'm most excited to experience - and of course, the added benefit of weight loss. ;)

I'm starting this endeavor Monday morning - so Monday I'm planning on weighing myself, taking measurements/body fat %, and taking some before pics. I will do my best to document how this is going and how I'm feeling. I've heard really good things from people who have done this - so I'm hoping I get good results. Many people who do this are doing it to remedy an ailment. I don't have any chronic illnesses, I don't suffer from acne, I don't take any daily medication, but I do feel bloated all the time and I crave certain foods often. I think it'll be interesting to see how foods or the elimination of certain foods, affects me. Even if I don't lose a single pound - I'm super excited to see IF I can do this and how it will impact me.

I'll also share my favorite recipes and things I find helpful and useful in case anyone else wants to do this in the future. Who knows? Maybe I'll want to do another round after this one? Although at this point I'm kinda of feeling like I'm in over my head and this is basically a 30 day torture session. ha.

This coming weekend will be spent at the soccer fields for TWO tournaments (one for Zack and one for Andrew) and chasing 2 toddlers and driving around a 14 year old. The rest of my free time will be spent at several stores, trying to get the clean and healthy foods and ingredients I need to start prepping for the first week of eliminating basically EVERYTHING I LOVE. LOL.

Wish me luck! Lord knows I need it!

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