Monday, July 6, 2015

My Whole30 Experience Only Lasted 23 Days

It's true confessions time. It's time for me to 'fess up about my Whole 30 diet

In an attempt to maintain a semblance of transparency on my blog, and to own my actions in my life, here is an update on my experiment in "eating clean," which involved not eating processed foods or sugar or dairy. That means I had lots of eggs, veggies, fruits, and healthy fats.

My Whole 30 kind of spiraled downward into a Partial 23. What-What? I know. How could I let that happen? Didn't I commit to the plan? Am I so weak I couldn't withstand temptation for just a few days more to make it for the full 30 days?

Cut me some slack, folks. I did a pretty darn good job those first three weeks. I even ate clean during our vacation in Florida. And then, it happened. I got sick. Not terminal sick, or anything, I just felt sick to my stomach, which made it really hard to follow the eating plan.

Here's the first part of my confession. I ate off plan the night before I got sick at Harry T's restaurant in Destin, Florida. I wondered how it would affect me even as I plunged my fork into the crab salad, which I thought would be a green salad with crab. It wasn't. It was a creamy concoction of crab on a small bed of greens, and the mandarin oranges tasted a little funny. When I mentioned it to the waiter, he explained they get kind of fizzy tasting when they're old. He alerted the cook, and I'm sad to say, did not deduct anything off our bill for being served less than quality food.

When we woke up before dawn the next morning, I felt queasy. Chuck offered me some pretzels to settle my stomach. I figured I was getting pay back for not eating clean. During our 19 hour drive home that Tuesday, my stomach was not doing well, but here's the weird thing. Neither was Chuck's. We ate totally different things, and obviously, his body was not reacting to having had whole foods for three weeks because you and I both know that ain't ever gonna happen. Whatever it was that was troubling me, troubled both of us. So, it wasn't karma biting me back for not following my diet to a T. 

We had some digestive upsets to deal with for the next several days. I just could not face eating green, leafy things and hardcore protein while dealing with nausea. All my tummy wanted was bland foods, like bananas and dry toast. My Whole 30 ended on day 23, so I ended up with a Partial 23.

This morning on my walk, Chuck and I talked on the phone like we always do. He brought up my Whole 30 experience. He said, "So, before you started your diet, you pretty much ate whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted, and then for the time that you focused on the Whole 30, you were extremely careful, and followed the plan so well. Now it seems that you are eating the way you did before, but maybe I am not aware of changes you have made. Did it change you in any way?  Did you learn anything? Are you glad you did it?"

I took in a deep breath. There are good things, and not so good things, about being married to an analytical person. When Chuck analyzes my behavior, I get uncomfortable. I'm not the most consistent person on the planet, and he kind of is. His analysis leads to my self-analysis, and I am coming up short in the healthy eating department. Again.

"Yes. Yes. And yes," I said, in response to his three questions.

Eating for three weeks a diet that was high in nutrition (fats, fiber, protein, veggies and fruits), and going without sugar changed the way I looked. Here is the proof that fat doesn't make a person fat:

These pics show before and "during" results. I would say "after," but let's be honest, I didn't complete the program. I only made it 23 days.

What I learned was that I was stronger than I thought. By not starting the day with a taste of sweet, I set myself up for success. I honestly did not crave treats during that time. It was easy to say "no, thanks" to all of Chuck's snacks. I didn't mind at all. I was amazed, absolutely amazed that it wasn't harder than it was. The other awesome thing to me, which was a big leap of faith on my part, was that adding fat to every meal did not make me balloon up another size or two. I actually got SMALLER by not eating sugar, and incorporating healthy fats in my diet. And one of the other very good lessons I learned is that I do not have to consult a scale to determine my self-worth. The pictures spoke volumes. I did not need to see a number on the scale to know that I was getting positive results (otherwise known as non-scale victories) from improving my eating habits.

And yes, I'm glad I tried it because in only three weeks, I saw results. 

Here's the second part of my confession. Even though I know it works, and I saw results, I'm not sure I have it in me to return to the plan any time soon. I am trying to muster up some enthusiasm for at least eliminating the sugar from my diet because I know, I KNOW, it is a healthier way to live. I found that I love fruit even more than I knew because that became my go-to snack when I couldn't have cookies and ice cream. 

Now, if I could only find the resolve to do it again because I'm pretty sure in the three weeks since I was following the Whole 30 plan, I am back to where I started. <sigh> It's a vicious circle. It always has been; it always will be.

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