Starting Over

Sorry it’s been awhile. I’m not going to make excuses. I will fully admit that the only reason I haven’t been writing is that I didn’t really want to write about my health and fitness life because for the last several months, things have not been good. I have gotten kind of out of control, and I’ve been ashamed.

I can’t recall if I wrote about this or not (I skimmed my older posts and didn’t see anything), but I did a couple diet bets a few months ago. I signed up for them right after my first successful Whole30 because I had lost quite a bit of weight, and it was still coming off pretty steadily. I thought well, I’m doing it anyway, so I might as well earn some extra cash while I’m doing it.

The two bets I signed up for were a one month bet and a six month bet. If you are unfamiliar with how they work, for the one month bet, you have to lose 4% of your original weight in one month, and then you share in the pot with all the other people who met the goal. For the six month bet, you have to lose 10% of your original weight in six months with a smaller loss goal every month. The rewards for the six month bet are that you have to meet the smaller goal every month in order to share in a small portion of the pot, and then for the final weigh in, you have to have lost over 10%, and you share in the larger portion of the pot.

Joining the bets was a big mistake… as soon as I turned my focus from becoming healthier for the sake of being healthier to losing weight for the sake of the number on the scale, I started to do things that weren’t so healthy. My weight loss slowed down as it does because I was over the initial loss you always get when changing up your diet, and I started to get frustrated. I was allowing myself a little snack here and a little treat there until I was right back into my old, terrible eating habits.

I easily won the one month bet and the first month of my 6 month bet. I was pretty far ahead of where I needed to be for the next month’s goal, and that’s when I started to allow myself to slack. I thought well, I’m doing so well, what’s one little treat? But then one treat turned into two which turned into three, and so on. I missed my month two and month three weigh-ins, and by month 4, I was desperate. I turned to some very unhealthy eating habits. I did a “3 day diet” which is a very restricted eating plan for 3 days followed by 4 days of eating whatever you want. The theory behind it is that you’re tricking your metabolism into revving up by basically starving yourself for 3 days and then going back to normal.

I do have to admit that if you want to lose some weight quickly, it helps; however, it cemented my already dysfunctional relationship with food. I would do the diet and lose the weight needed for my weigh in, and then as soon as I weighed in, I binged. I ate all the junk food I could find, and gained all the weight back. Then a couple weeks before my next weigh in, I panicked again, and did the starvation diet managing to squeak by with my month 5 weigh in, followed again by a junk food binge.

I honestly have no idea how I managed to make my final weigh in, but I did. I did the 3 day diet a couple times and also worked out pretty hardcore. I even managed to get down to a major milestone, but I didn’t feel at all proud about it. I knew it wasn’t going to last, and I knew that I had done things that weren’t good for me to get there. I tried not to post my win to Facebook, but I must have hit the wrong button when the prompt popped up because it showed up. Someone commented on it, and I didn’t feel proud for my accomplishment; I felt embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to know.

Surprise of surprises, as soon as I finished the bet, I went even crazier. Every day was a free-for-all. I had everything I wanted when I wanted it, and I stopped exercising. I had ice cream every day, sometimes twice a day, and I started drinking soda again to the point where I was up to a 24 oz bottle every morning.

Even typing all this up, I feel really ashamed and embarrassed, but I think it’s important to get it all out there. I’m back into all my old clothes that didn’t fit me a few months ago, and even they are kind of tight. The definition in my face is mostly gone. I feel sluggish and lazy. I’m not sleeping well. My joints hurt, and my digestion is all out of whack again. I refuse to weigh myself, but I know that I’m at the highest weight I’ve been at in a couple years. I don’t think I’m back to my highest weight ever yet, but I know that if I don’t change something now, I will be very soon.

Even though I have been feeling really crappy and ashamed, I think there is some good in it… I took a good, hard look at myself and the things I’ve been doing and how I’ve been feeling, and I’ve said enough is enough! I’m sick of feeling like crap; I’m sick of being uncomfortable; and I’m sick of feeling ashamed, so I’m doing something about it.

My plan is to do another Whole30 starting July 5. I’d start now, but I know that I won’t be able to keep it up for the 4th, and I don’t want to set out to fail. Until then, I have been watching what I’m eating by focusing on getting more vegetables in and cutting down on the sweets. I’ve stopped drinking soda, and ice cream is the next thing to go because those are both things that I majorly overdo it with every time I have some.

Since health and wellness is a two-pronged approach, I’ve also come up with an exercise plan that will be sustainable because it starts out slow and builds on itself. I’ve decided to do a 12 week half marathon walking plan. It perfectly lines up with a half marathon in the area, but I don’t know if I want to do it yet because the entry is $100. That’s a lot of money, but who knows… maybe that might be enough motivation for me to stay on track. We’ll see…

The walk plan has 2 rest days written in as well, but I’m going to do active resting in the form of yoga. I think this will really help keep my muscles loose, and it will keep me from getting into the habit of skipping workouts. From yesterday forward, I plan to do some form of activity every day even if it’s just 10 minutes of stretching. Consistency is key as I know that this is where I’ve failed in the past.

In addition to the walking, I’m going to do some bodyweight training in the form of what I call SPS. It stands for Situps, Pushups, and Squats. For that, I’m using an app that is supposed to help get you up to 200 situps, 100 pushups, and 200 squats. When I did the initial test, it wasn’t pretty… I can only do 2 pushups, 10 situps, and 20 squats. I’ve done this plan before, and I got up to 10 pushups, 50 situps, and 65 squats, so it’s a little disheartening to see how much fitness I’ve lost, but I know that it will get better as I keep it up.

So that’s where I’m at… thanks so much for reading! Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers during these first couple weeks since they will be the most challenging.

Anyway, I’m off to enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having today with day 2 of my exercise plan!

Conscious Decisions

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’ve finally gotten to the point where I don’t feel guilty about the foods that I eat regardless of how healthy they are. Today, I made the decision to end my Whole30 at a Whole21, and I don’t feel even a little guilty.

There are several reasons I decided to end it early, but the biggest is that in January I’m planning to do a Whole(?). I am going to do the Whole30, but then I’m going to extend it until I really feel that “tiger blood” they talk about on the Whole30 website. I haven’t really felt that yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve felt pretty good, but I still have the stomach issues along with a few other things I’m hoping to get rid of.

The stomach issues are another reason I decided to end my Whole30 a week early. I was feeling a bit nauseous around lunchtime, and all I had was pot roast which didn’t sound remotely appealing. When my stomach gets like that, I usually need some kind of carbs and very little fiber to settle it. If I had potatoes or another starchy veggie, that would have worked, but I didn’t have that either, so I opted for a sandwich instead. I thought about it for a solid 15 minutes weighing the pros and cons, and ultimately decided that it was ok to go off plan a little early.

Another reason I decided to end it? Next week is my birthday, and I want cake! 🙂 I had planned to just wait until the Friday after my birthday and have a cupcake, but I know there will be other treats from friends and coworkers during the week that I want to be able to enjoy. I actually really enjoy my birthday, and it only comes around once a year, so I want to be able to enjoy it! I’m not planning to go crazy, but I’m going to let myself have a treat here and there if it seems worth it to me.

I was considering ending it last night already actually. I was really craving pizza or a sub, but I thought about it, and neither of those items were special, and ultimately they weren’t worth it. I guess the sandwich today wasn’t really special either, but it was worth it because it helped settle my stomach. Last night I ended up ordering a salad instead, and it was sooooo good! I did a build your own salad from a local pizza place, and I did Romaine lettuce with cucumbers, carrots, onions, black olives, banana peppers, and green peppers topped with chicken and my own oil and vinegar dressing. Mmmm! It really hit the spot.

As an added bonus, when I was ordering, my debit card got declined, so I went online to check my balance, and it turns out someone had gotten hold of my information and charged $100 to some scammy looking crowdfunding project for a zombie apocalypse compound. I’m not going to list the site here because they don’t deserve any more traffic in case they’re the ones that stole my info. I ended up having to call my bank and cancel my card. Hopefully it was just the card they got and not the whole account! They’re looking into my claim, but hopefully they’ll realize that I didn’t invest in that project, and I’ll get my money back. Why can’t people just keep their hands off of what isn’t theirs?

Some other (definitely better!) excitement that I’ve had recently is that I won the first round of my 6 month diet bet! I really stalled out at the end there, so I think round 2 is going to be really tight, but I think I’ll make it. I’m going to try my hardest to make it, actually! I’ve already amped up my efforts by starting a new Pilates program from blogilates.com. If you’re interested in Pilates, I recommend visiting her site. The videos are all super quick, but you can combine them to get a longer workout if you want. You may not need to though because her videos are challenging! I’m working on her beginner calendar right now, and it is tough! I’ve been sore for the last 5 days (I started 5 days ago!), but I can definitely tell it’s working!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you for today! I am in for a fun-filled weekend, and I can’t wait! I’m spending the weekend with the bf which is always a nice time, and tomorrow night my best girlfriends are meeting my bf. I can’t wait! We’re all going out for dinner and then to a hockey game, so it should be a really great night. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Going Strong

Life has been pretty calm and uneventful the last few days, so I just haven’t had much to write about. I mentioned in previous posts that I just finished my first Diet Bet, and guess what… I was a winner! 🙂 That was pretty exciting. I was super nervous for the weigh in because I knew it was going to be pretty close, but I was actually 1 lb under my goal! The buy in was $30, and I won $51 and some change, so I made a profit of $21. I think I’m going to spend that on some new clothes for myself. 😉

I had an excellent Thanksgiving, and I hope you did as well! My family and my bf met for the first time, and things went really well, so that was really exciting. We found out that my mom’s cancer is in remission, so that was definitely something to be thankful for! I also stuck to my plan as far as the feasting. I stayed Whole30 compliant and only ate until I was satisfied. It was great not walking around feeling uncomfortably full all day. I loaded up with my healthy veggie sides and had a little bit of ham and turkey. I completely forgot to take a picture of it, but it was delicious and filling. I really didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. The stuffing and rolls were calling my name, but I knew it wasn’t going to be worth breaking my streak to have them. There will always be Stovetop and heat and serve rolls.

My second Whole30 has been going along swimmingly. I did cave a little bit this past weekend and had a small handful of glazed nuts. I was super hungry and didn’t really have much else to eat, so I made the conscious decision to have some, and I don’t feel guilty about it. It was just food, and I did really think about it before I had some. The only unhealthy ingredient was sugar, and as I’ve said in previous posts that I haven’t been super strict with myself on the sugar this go around because I don’t feel like I’m going to go on a sugar binge anymore by just having a little taste. I feel much more in control.

An article was just posted by Whole30 on Facebook about how one of the biggest things people gain from Whole30 is food freedom. This is definitely true for me. For years I struggled with the pattern of cutting out “bad foods” completely from my diet and trying to “be good” by not eating them. Inevitably a craving I just couldn’t resist would pop up, and I’d cave. I’d then feel really guilty about it and say, “Well, I’ve already blown it. I might as well just keep eating junk!”

I’m now working with the mindset that food in itself is neither bad nor good. All foods are just food. It’s certainly true that some foods are less healthy than others and can have negative consequences on the body, but with the right mindset, even these foods can be ok every now and then. I feel the freedom to think about a certain food that may not be the healthiest and consider whether eating that food is worth it or not. Sometimes it is (gooey chocolate caramel cake!), and sometimes it isn’t (cheap chocolate), but it is my decision to make. If I really think about my decision and come to the conclusion that something is worth it, then I don’t beat myself up about it anymore. I don’t feel like a failure. In fact, I feel that much more empowered because I really thought it through before just mindlessly popping something in my mouth.

I haven’t really had anything super exciting to eat lately because it’s been turkey leftovers for almost 3 meals a day. It’s great because I don’t have to buy food, but it’s really not anything worth noting. I did find these delicious Whole30 compliant sausages at Target this weekend, though! They are Aidells brand, and they were super yummy! Nothing but chicken, apples, spices, and fruit juices for flavor. I will definitely be buying them again!


If you’ve read my about me section, then you know I have the BRCA2 genetic mutation that puts me at high risk for breast cancer. Well I got the ball rolling last month as far as my preventive screenings, and the whole thing has really just been kind of a nightmare. After speaking with the genetic counselor, I felt very good about the direction I needed to go, and I was pretty at ease with everything. Then once I started actually making the appointments, it became clear that even those in the medical field aren’t that well versed on what it actually is and how to handle it. I have been having to explain to every doctor I see exactly what it is and tell them what the course of action is.

It’s really frustrating to have to re-explain everything all the time, and it’s even more frustrating when different people are telling me different things. Long story short, I had my MRI today, but not before there was a lot of confusion about whether I had to have a mammogram first or not. I actually had to come in an hour earlier for my appointment to get squeezed in for the mammogram and ended up not needing it. I was very thankful for the nurse in the breast center who really seemed to know what she was doing because it saved me quite a bit of headache.

As for the MRI itself, it was really no big deal. It took about half an hour, and I was out of there. The MRI techs were really nice and helpful and made something that was not really all that pleasant an OK experience. They explained everything they were doing and just made me feel very comfortable. I started my day off feeling annoyed and frustrated with the whole thing, and now I’m back to a place of feeling OK with everything again. I won’t get the results from my MRI for a couple days, but I’m really not worried about it. I’ve been diligent with my self exams, and I haven’t felt anything abnormal, so I’m guessing I’ll be free and clear. 🙂

Have a happy Tuesday!

 

Jumping Off the Wagon

As you may have gleaned from the title, I have been in a bit of a rut lately. Ever since my allowed “worth it meal” on day 31 of my first Whole30, I’ve been completely derailed. I had my worth it meal, but I told myself it was not going to mean I was done eating clean. The next day, I had every intention of starting back up, and then there were cookies… (or something… I’m not really sure what the exact trigger food was anymore.) And my brain said, what’s the harm in having one little treat? You’ve been so good for the last 30 days! You deserve a little something, and besides, it’s not like having the one treat is going to completely do you in.

I had the treat and swore I was going back to clean eating. I did… until another treat came along. Then at that point my reasoning was well… the new month starts in a couple days, might as well just start then. November has 30 days, so it’s pretty much a sign! The problem was on November 1 I was in Milwaukee with my boyfriend for a “special day,” and on “special days” we should allow ourselves to enjoy! And enjoy I did!

Oh well, I thought. I will start tomorrow. And then tomorrow happened, and I hadn’t gone to the grocery store, so I didn’t have any food to cook. Again, I thought it’s not a big deal; tomorrow is a good day to start. I did pretty well sticking to Whole30 for Nov 3-7, but then on Nov 8, I was with the boyfriend again, and I didn’t plan ahead. I didn’t eat anything until about 2, by which point I was hangry! We went to a steakhouse, and begrudgingly I remained compliant, the whole time judging my bf jealously while he enjoyed his fresh baked crusty bread, bowl of hearty chowder, slathered BBQ ribs, and French fries. All the things I was dying to have on the cold and blustery day!

A few hours later, I was hungry again, and I was at the point where I just didn’t care what I ate as long as some food entered my belly as quickly as possible. The bf had some chips, and we ordered a pizza. I decided to not let myself feel guilty over it because stuff happens. I had planned poorly, and this was the consequence. That just meant that I was back at it the next day. Except the next day I woke up around 8 when the bf came back from his short morning shift. He was tired, so I let him sleep for a couple hours. I was ridiculously hungry, and being that I wasn’t in my house, I didn’t really have any compliant foods available, so I went for the leftover pizza. Well of course the day was just ruined after that (*sarcasm*), so when the bf woke up, we went for pancakes. Then for dinner we had subs…

Then every day this week, I’ve told myself that I’m starting my Whole30, and today is the day! Absolutely no excuses, here we go! Every day I’ve packed healthy, Whole30 compliant meals for breakfast and lunch, and I felt great! Then I’d get done with work, and all my resolve was completely gone. There was always something that justified me buying a candy bar or chips or pizza…

I’m guessing my lack of motivation for the second go around has to do with the fact that my focus has changed since my first one. On my first Whole30, I was all about the health aspect. I read “It Starts With Food,” by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, the creators of Whole30 and Whole9 Life, and it made so much sense! I had been eating junk for years, completely messing up my body to the point where I became significantly overweight, have bad acne, asthma, sinus problems, digestive issues, and aches throughout my whole body, and most of the problem is likely due to what I was eating.

During my first Whole30, most of my headaches, body aches, acne, stomach issues, etc. went away, and I felt amazing! I was focusing on my health by eating the right foods, and as a bonus, I lost 12 lbs and a couple inches. The weight loss was awesome, but it wasn’t, and shouldn’t have been, the focus. When I started, my intent was to correct the years of damage I’ve done to myself and to finally feel well. After I was done, however, I saw the weight loss results and I got greedy. I wanted more! I saw how much I had dropped in a short period of time and felt confident I could do it again.

Right around the end of my first Whole30, I came across Diet Bet, which, if you haven’t heard of it, is a site that is supposed to help encourage you to lose weight by putting down money into a pot that is split by anyone from the group that meets the goal. Riding the high and confidence boost I felt after completing my first Whole30, I decided that I could easily make a couple bucks off of something I was doing anyway, and I joined a couple of them-a 1 month and a 6 month bet.

Well, wouldn’t you know that as soon as my focus became all about losing weight instead of my health, it didn’t seem as important. Of course I’d like to lose weight, who wouldn’t? But personally, it’s just not that big of a motivator to me. For me, the weight loss is all about looks, and you may disagree, but I think I look pretty good the way I am. I could look better, I’m sure, but I’m happy enough with the way I look right now that it’s just not enough for me to want to give up all the good tasting junk that I’m used to eating. Even the money hasn’t been enough of a motivator to get myself back to eating right!

I’ve tried losing weight more times than I can count, but it has never really worked. I’ve had some success on a few plans, but I’ve always regained the weight, usually also carrying a few more lbs along for the ride. I’ve lost significant amounts of weight 3 times in my life, and every time it was when I focused on eating healthy foods and exercising because I knew it was good for my body.

So anyway, I guess to sum it all up, I’m shifting my focus back onto my health-moving more and eating good, whole foods because it’s what my body needs. To jump start myself back onto the right path, today is really and truly day 1 of my second Whole30, and I’m bound and determined to see it through all 30 days. I’m putting it out there in hopes that it will help me get through the first few days and not go back on it! I’m sure I’ll lose a few more lbs, but I really would like my health back.


UPDATE: I wrote this post on Friday and completely forgot to hit publish! But I am proud to say I made it through my weekend fully committed and am now on day 4 of my second Whole30! I feel so much renewed vigor with this one that I feel very confident I’ll make it the full 30 days. 🙂 I even resisted a heaping plate of fries smothered in cheese, bacon and ranch when we went out for dinner on Saturday night. It was sitting right in front of me the whole time, and it smelled absolutely sinfully good, but I didn’t cave! 🙂