Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Whole 30

Welp, I did it. I broke down, followed the trend, and started the Whole30 program. And boy, am I regretting it. But before I get into that, let's rewind a bit...

A lot has changed in my life in the last year or so. I went through a rough patch for awhile where I wasn't sure if I was going to make it out or not. Thanks to my wonderful friends and family, I came out on the other side. Stronger? Maybe. But definitely intact and ready to focus on my health.

Since November, my focus has been my emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental health. I've made a habit of going to the gym every weekday morning(ish), eating a full and healthy breakfast, reading my Bible, taking time to rest, and doing things that I love and enjoy. Things that give me life.

That worked really well for awhile, and I saw a huge change in myself. I was thinking more clearly, I was able to engage with others, and I finally came to a place of loving and accepting many of the flaws and faults I've had trouble with for years. Yay!

And then the anxiety kicked back in. Big time. I was chewing up the insides of my mouth, gritting my teeth, tensing my muscles, and fully unable to let anything go. Yuck. I scheduled an appointment with a new doctor (Dr. K has been the best ever!), and we made the decision for me to go back on meds. I'm not a big fan of having to take antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication, but at this point I'm all about doing what works. And when you're eating right, sleeping well, meditating, praying and exercising, sometimes drugs is about all that's left. And let me tell you, these drugs have been a life saver. I can focus at work, my mood is more stable, and I don't obsess over as many things as often.

In the midst of all this, however, my eating habits went to crap. I was too anxious and preoccupied with not being able to relax that I didn't have the energy to fight the anxiety and the overwhelming cold weather cravings for carbs and fatty food. So I gave in and bought Mac and Cheese by the case. And gained weight. Not a ton, but enough that I noticed. And I felt gross.

First solution: count calories! I needed to lose 10 pounds. so I got super disciplines and logged all my calories into an app that told me how much to eat each day. It worked well, but maybe a little too well... I lost 6 pounds in the first three days, plateaued for a week, then lost another 5 pounds in 2 days. I felt like crap. I was weak and had no energy. My muscles cramped up for no good reason. That freaked me out (although, if I'm being honest, I was kind of excited that I lost the weight so easily). So then I pushed the pendulum to the other side and ate everything in sight. No calorie counting, just eating. And of course I gained back those last 5 pounds within 2-3 days. At this point I don't know what's going on. I'm tired, I'm listless, I don't want to do anything. I don't want to go to the gym, I just want to sleep.

OK, Corrie, I think. It's time for some big changes. Get your shiz together. And I remembered that a few of my friends had just finished up trying the Whole 30 experience. I talked with them, did a ton of my own research, and decided that maybe instead of aiming for a certain weight I should aim to be healthy. No processed foods, no sugars, only good, healthy foods of whatever quantities I need to feel full (not really a need to count calories when you're eating broccoli. I love it, but I have yet to binge on it).

So here we go, world! May 1 I started the Whole30 Challenge. Since it was a Sunday, I used the food I had laying around the house for breakfast and lunch and did my huge grocery shopping trip Sunday afternoon. With just two stops (Aldi and Buy 4 Less), I got all the food I should need for two weeks. Fingers crossed on that one. Then I spent 5 hours cooking everything. I made tons and tons of meals and saved them in portioned containers. So I don't have to think, just grab and go. This works well for me because I am so freaking lazy that if things are laid out for me I'll pout and throw a tiny grown-up fit and either eat junk food or not eat at all.

Sunday morning I had a hard boiled egg and a banana. I know, fancy. Sunday lunch was a sweet potato. Legit. And dinner was tuna salad (after I had cooked for a hundred years and done 7 trillion dishes, it was all I could muster).

Monday is when things got good.
Breakfast: Fried egg, 2 breakfast sausage patties, fresh salsa, and a banana. All. Bomb.
Lunch: Green salad with grilled chicken, pecans, blackberries, and lemon basil vinaigrette
Snack: Apple with almond butter
Dinner: Ground Turkey, spaghetti sauce, steamed brussel sprouts

Breakfast: Banana chia seed pudding with blueberries
Lunch: Chicken, broccoli and sweet potatoes, carrot sticks, pecans, raisins

Oh and those regrets I have? I regret that I haven't eaten like this earlier. Literally everything I've eaten has been delicious. And I'm pretty sure I'll be even happier with my decision to try Whole30 when this enormous sugar headache goes away and I can see out of my right eye.