September Whole30+ Recap

First off, we have to celebrate with the most awesome Whole30 picture ever.

day-30

Aww yeah.

This Whole30 for me has been the most interesting and informative by far. In total I’ve completed 4 Whole30s since my first one in January 2013, and each one has been such a unique experience. But this one has totally exceeded my expectations not in the typical things (I don’t think I lost that much weight and my skin is still being all weird), but in terms of my mental state and attitude about food, I feel like such a different person now.

This round, it got super personal for me. I don’t want to get into the details since this is not the proper place for it, but we’ve all had those moments when Life Stuff gets hurled your way and puts you in a position that you never thought you’d ever be in. I found myself in a sort of “crisis mode,” prioritizing my family’s and my own emotional well-being. For the first time, I could not turn to the comfort of food or beer to help me cope. In the past I would have used it as an excuse to dive into pizza and cookies to help numb me out to what was happening around me. Instead, I adapted my schedule so the whole family could go to the gym together, coupling some quality time with healthy movement. I took Olive (and sometimes Squish) on All The Hikes. I became a Bedtime Routine fanatic with my kids, getting into a solid rhythm of jammies-books-songs-sippy cup-snuggles-sleep (maybe), followed by my own routine of book before a reasonable bedtime. And whenever I found myself craving because I needed “something,” I would stop everything and make myself a solid, delicious Whole30 meal, even if it was a can of tuna, a can of pureed sweet potatoes, and a jar of olives, because sometimes (to quote Melissa Hartwig) “good enough is good enough.” I replaced food with taking care of myself and others who needed me.

Normally by Day 28, I am dying to dive back into all of the foods I had to put aside – pizza and Safeway sheet cake and breakfast sandwiches and all of the other good, carby, sweet, bready things that will eventually make me feel like crap. But this time, I am not very interested in them. I mean, yeah, sometimes I think about which beer I’m going to drink first when I’m ready for it, but I’m not ready to run to the taps just yet. A huge reason is from reading “Food Freedom Forever” (more on that in another post!), but also I’m really trying to work the program this time. I’m not thinking of it as a diet, I want to just feel better with my normal habits and routines, not just constantly thinking, “I shouldn’t be eating this because it makes me feel like crap later but I want to feel good now so where’s my fork.”

So what’s changed? What has this Whole30 done for me? Here’s the list of my noticeable improvements so far:

  • SLEEP! I’m tired consistently in the evening around 8-9pm, fall asleep, and stay asleep until I wake up. Yay!
  • Cravings – I’m not dancing around the Sugar Dragon nearly as hard as before. I can look at a jar of candy and not obsess about it. It’s just candy, for Pete’s sake.
  • Pants – my pants are looser, meaning I do not have to go out and buy bigger pants like I was on the edge of doing before.
  • Energy – I have consistent energy all day, and don’t come home from work and collapse on the bed unable to do anything. I bounce into the post-Mom’s-home chaos and am able to meet everyone’s enthusiasm that I’m now available to talk and cuddle and fill sippy cups and make dinner and play Family/Paw Patrol for the millionth time.
  • Athletic Performance – I had so many PR’s at the gym this month! I have been feeling fabulous and loving the workouts, and I think I’ve dialed in a good pre- and post-workout snack template for me. More about that later.
  • Mood/Temper – this has been the most noticeable by far. I was getting really frazzled, short-tempered, and snappy. I couldn’t handle trying to do two things at once in the way that you always have to do everything in a house with small humans, with things as simple as Squish trying to talk to me about his day while I made dinner. I needed EVERYONE TO LEAVE ME ALONE, ALL THE TIME. I was not a pleasant person to be around. Now, I have so much more mental and emotional space to show love and be gracious even with Buttercup having another “accident” on the rug because she’s running around without a diaper on again while Olive’s barking at the neighbors and going nuts on the screen door and Squish is trying to feed me my lines for how my Paw Patrol character is supposed to react to his character in his imaginary Family-Paw-Patrol role-playing game he thinks I’m playing with him, while I’m “ruining” dinner because I didn’t read the Home Chef directions all the way and totally messed up the balsamic reduction. I can just deal, give hugs and gentle direction as needed, and still get the sh*t done.

I’ve also discovered things that do/don’t work for me that I didn’t realize was a thing before:

  • I need more than 3 meals a day, especially when I’m training a lot. I just do. My stomach just can’t hold that much food at breakfast, and I need a midmorning snack to make it to lunch, on top of me pre- and post-workout snacks. Just a couple hard boiled eggs, and Epic bar, or in a pinch some fruit and nuts work just fine. I just make sure it has at least protein and/or fat in it, or I just get hungrier if it’s only carbs.
  • When I don’t get enough to eat, I get fatigued and cranky. It’s a hit-by-a-truck, batteries-fully-drained kind of tired. And I get really impatient. This was happening constantly until I realized I needed another meal in the day to get me through. Once I started eating a mini-meal in the morning I perked back up again.
  • I love Rx Bars, but they do not love me. We needn’t go into the details here, just trust me. I’m going to have to stick with Epic bars as packaged emergency food for now on.
  • I still hate weekly meal prep, but I like batch cooking for the next day or two. Throwing in an extra tray of veggies to roast with what I’m already making with dinner is easy. Grilling some extra chicken when the grill is still hot from our weekend lunch BBQ is NBD.
  • It’s totally okay if the last four nights of dinners consisted of chicken apple sausage and frozen veggies with olive oil. Because it’s still compliant, it’s still tasty, and when you’ve got a million other things going on that’s totally good enough.

I am overjoyed at how well I’ve been able to tackle this round of Whole30, and how I’m still motivated and pumped to see a solid reintroduction round through. So I shall toast with a glass of wine tonight (maybe, if I feel like it), and start on my reinto tomorrow! Mmm, peanut butter.

That’s all for now, go make it a great day!

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September 2016 Goals Recap

Well, this is funny. I want to review the goals I accomplished in September, but I realized I never posted at the beginning of the month what my goals were going to be. So we can view this as a bit of a “Did It List”.

Anyway, I wanted to do the September Whole30 with the rest of the Whole30 community in anticipation for the release of the new book “Food Freedom Forever,” which I preordered on Amazon and is due at my doorstep any day now! I also wanted to chip away at my 2016 CrossFit Goals list, and I did hit a couple which was very exciting!

I guess I can’t say that I’ve successfully completed my Whole30 goal since I’m not done yet, but as far as sticking with it for the month of September it was great success. I did have a party six days in where the whole point of the party was to share our home brew, an after pondering it well before embarking on my Whole30  I decided it would be reasonable and worth it to indulge in some beer for the party. I kept the rest of the food compliant (okay, I did have a handful of nuts that I found out had peanut oil later, but that was a whoops), and only drank a couple beers while serving others. It was a very fun party, and I was still motivated to pick up my Whole30 where I left off the next day, which I figured would be the biggest risk. Today would be Day 30, but I’m going to hold out for 6 more days to get in a full 30 days sticking with the program.

Other fun goals accomplished:

  • I ran a mile in 8:56, which is HUGE for me. Back in the day when I ran marathons and stuff, 12:00 was my “happy” pace, and if I pushed it I might have squeaked out a 10:00. Anything under 9 minutes is unheard of for my stumpy little legs. Yay!
  • I pulled off a 50kg (110lb) push press max! I can now lift a slightly emaciated Hollywood starlet over my head if required to do so.
  • I also surprised myself with a 72kg 10-rep-max deadlift. Which is 158 lbs. That would be a standard-sized human. I can pick up and put down a standard-sized human 10 times in a row. Then on further analysis, I realize that I weigh roughly 158 lbs. So really,  I could clone myself, then pick my clone up and set me down 10 times in a row.
  • I’m still working on double-unders as well. So far the record’s 18 unbroken. My goal is to get to 25 unbroken. The consistency of being able to string multiples together is getting better, especially since I got my own rope (ordered this one on Amazon in yellow, and I’ve named her Betty) and I like to do a few before class to warm up. I found out there is really no good place at home to jump rope, since the garage has a really low ceiling and the rope keeps whacking the fluorescent lights, which is bad. And I don’t want to do it outside since the concrete will chew the rope cord up. Ah, suburban homeowner problems. But I’ve been getting some good practice in before and after class, so I’m not too stressed about it.

That’s it for now, I’m excited on what fun stuff October will bring!

Go make it a great day!

Stick With It

Happy October 3rd, y’all!

oct3

And happy birthday to my mom. Hi, Mom!

Yesterday I was feeling blah and I didn’t want to put forth the effort into packing the kids up and going with Hulk to the morning CrossFit class. Squish does really well when we take him to the gym, and he’s happy to play in the kids’ area while we work out. Buttercup, also affectionately known as “Scream Puff”, prefers to stand in the corner of the fenced-in kids’ area and scream at me if she can see me during the WOD. It’s best to avoid eye contact. Unless she gets herself into trouble, so it’s always a bit of a gamble if I should interrupt my wall balls to check on her or not. Last time it’s because she tried to take her leggings off without removing her shoes first. So that could have waited until I was finished with the WOD. But I felt bad, seeing her waddle back and forth with her leggings tangled around her feet. Then one of the coaches went and untangled her, and held her until I was finished. I need to teach Squish how to untangle his sister from her own clothing.

Anyway, I didn’t want to deal with that, but I did want to stick with my super awesome workout motivation that I’ve had lately. So after some reassurance from Hulk that he would help me, I cleaned up the garage enough to go play with my new barbell. I decided to do some back squats since I hadn’t done a proper back squat in ages, and I had no idea what I could do weight-wise, so Death by Weight seemed like a good time. I started with the barbell and added 10 lbs every 5 reps until I failed a set, which happened at 125 lbs. Then I dropped the weight to 105 lbs and did three more sets of five. Then I did a whole bunch of stretching and sat in pigeon pose for eternity, or until small humans realized I wasn’t in the room and began to scrounge around for me.

Meanwhile, it’s Day 29 of my September Whole30. What?!? I know, right? I didn’t want to announce it or make a big deal, since the pattern has always been if I talk about it I crash and burn within like two days, but when I keep my mouth shut and just do it I can actually finish it out the full 30 days. But here’s where I feel a bit icky: six days in we hosted a big party to share our home-brewed beer, and I planned ahead on enjoying some beer at the party. Which I did. So technically, I should have restarted the next day. Which I did. But it was too depressing to think that I was back on Day 1, so I figured I’d just extend it out a few more days. But now that it’s Day 29 assuming I didn’t indulge at the party, the thought of going on until next Monday is just … ugh. So now I’m trying to decide if I should just say “good enough!” and start the reintro on Wednesday (*ahem* have a beer) with everyone else, or if I should acknowledge that I made a choice to drink beer at the party, that I owe myself 30 compliant days IN A ROW, and that it’s just six more days and I have done harder things and I can stick it out and do this and finish the full 30 days and enjoy the Tiger Blood that much longer before I go diving into a Safeway sheet cake. Plus, if I stick it out I’ll have plenty of time to read the new “Food Freedom Forever” book I preordered when Amazon delivers it and plan out my reintro and Life After. Ugh, I think I just answered my own question. I guess I’ll modify our Home Chef meals for one more week.

Time to go buy some more bulk meat to throw in the crock pot and chop some veggies. Home stretch!

That’s it for now. Go make it a great day!