Thursday, April 18, 2013

Moving on up…

I have lots of stuff to continue to share with you about my journey to a whole, healthy me. But I have decided to do it on a new blog space.

Come follow me at Running the Race B4 Me!

And if you like what you see – please share my new blog with fellow Tweeps, Friends, Pinterest Buddies, LinkedIn connections or whoever! Thanks for sharing!

I’ll see you on the other side!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Prayers for Boston Marathon

It is with a very heavy heart that I post this to ask that if you have not heard or have not yet offered  up any prayers, that you do so for those who were at the Boston Marathon today: runners, spectators, volunteers and for the entire Boston and running community who will be broken and recovering from this tragedy for some time.

What a tragic event.

God, be with these who are affected by this tragedy.

Back to Reality…

Note to my readers: I took a brief sabbatical from posting here as I figured out what my new reality looks like as a Paleo eater and to spend time with family and friends during Easter and my daughter’s 2nd Birthday celebrations (yes, celebrationS. With so many out-of-town family members, we celebrated turning 2, four times!) But, I am back and I hope you will stick around because I have a lot to share! This journey is so NOT over yet – it is just beginning for sure!  I

I enjoyed living in my Whole30 bubble where rules were outlined clearly and any deviance from the plan meant the game was lost. I like having clear boundaries. Now that I am out of my Whole30 and into my real, new life as a Paleo eater, well things aren’t so “easy” any more.

Not that I am saying the Whole30 was easy… I am just saying that for me, the weakness hits when the rules allow for some bending.

I work better when I know you can or cannot do something.

For example:

No: you cannot snack.

No: you may not have sugar.

No: you may not have any of the off-limits foods… AT ALL.

Things like:

You can occasionally indulge in Non-Paleo foods

You can have snacks, but they shouldn’t become a “psychological habit”

give me loop holes. It is like Satan himself is whispering into my ear and trying to get me off track from my journey to be healthy and fit and prepared for whatever God sends my way; “It’s just one piece of cake – that’s only two for the whole week!” Isn’t that how everything starts – just “one”.

I think if I was doing all of this simply to lose the weight and be healthier it might not be such a battle, but since all of this is purposed to be for God’s Glory… I just know that Satan wants to derail this train.

So like I said… in ways, the Whole30 was just easier for me.

But now that the Whole30 is over and I don’t have the “Oh, well, I can’t have that because I am doing this Whole30 thing” to lean on.

Now, I have to own it, “No, sorry, I can’t have that or go to that restaurant because I only eat whole/clean foods now.” It just SOUNDS snobby.

Forget when I actually try EXPLAINING it and people start to look at me as though I am condemning and judging them. It is certainly NEVER my intention to do that – I am just trying to explain how I , personally, got to this decision and lifestyle… and like my Pastor always says, if it offends you – then perhaps it’s not so much my offending you as it is your being convicted…?

Again my point is, that this new reality is a new kind of hard.

I am glad to be doing it. I am happy I made the decision to “Go Paleo”. But it ain’t easy, people.

Especially with a husband who didn’t jump on board the Paleo train with me.

In fact, I am the ONLY one in my circle of family and friends who A)knows anything about it and B) is actually doing it.

When I was finally done with my Whole30 it took me another entire week to actually deviate from it and I didn’t even go too far – I was still eating Paleo.

But even then, I felt UBER GUILTY and like I wished I hadn’t. To date, nothing I have eaten that is off the Paleo plan has been worth it. The only thing I haven’t really struggled with is the occasional in-between meal snack (only twice) – those I don’t feel TOO badly about as long as it is a workout day and I eat according to the Paleo plan.

Actually, looking back on that, there was actually ONE thing that was worth it: the dark chocolate almond bark that I got myself a week after Easter (couldn’t find any for my actual Easter basket and honestly didn’t want to jump ship so soon after the Whole30 ended anyway), but when I finally did find it and eat some… OH MY GOODNESS!

It has been 16 days since I ended my first Whole30. 16 days since officially “Going Paleo” and each time I indulge and eat something outside of the Paleo Plan (I don’t say cheat and I don’t call it a diet because they have a negative connotation to me) I reap the consequences. (More detaiils on that in a soon to come post).

Anyway, I am officially back to reality. A new reality, but reality all the same.

So what was it like for you when you came off the Whole30? Did you go back to your old way of eating? Did you immediately indulge or hold-off a while? Did you learn anything new about yourself/your eating habits that helped you as you moved forward?

Check back soon for posts on:

Post-Whole30 Indulgences (and results of)

My New Toolbox courtesy of my Whole30

My Finish Line was just the beginning

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Whole30: The After (Photos included)

The time has come to share the before & after comparison photos as well as my updated measurements and other updates on how I feel since my Whole30.

First, the photos:

Here I am in my yoga pants and workout shirt.

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And because it is nice to see the Before & After in my favorite jeans (a more realistic depiction of what the difference looks like in my “everyday clothes” here are the shots of me in my favorite jeans with a basic white spandex top (because it shows EVERYTHING) – I am happy to report that technically these jeans are too big on me now, but I plan to slim down a bit more before buying new clothes… so for now, these are still my favorite jeans.

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And although I had not originally included this “before” shot in my “The Before” blog post, I thought it was a good show of what my total body transformation has looked like (so far). Including my face which has even slimmed down a bit.

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Okay, so now on to the measurements (in inches):

Before is gray and after is RED:

Thigh: 23.5/23
Lower Waist (where my jeans actually sit): 39.75/36
Hips: 42.25/39
Arm: 11/11
High Waist (the narrowest part): 32.5/31.5
Weight: 178 lbs/
171 lbs

Total % weight loss: 4%

Total Inches Lost: 8.5

Acne/Uneven skin tone

My acne has cleared up considerably. I occasionally get a pop-up zit, but it is a small one that is easy to get rid of. My skin feels smoother too.

Tight muscles (especially back and neck)

I have not struggled with “chronic” muscle soreness since about my 2nd week of the Whole30. I have dealt with some soreness due to workouts and improper back alignment which was quickly fixed after a chiropractic adjustment, but the typical mid-back and neck pain have gone away.

Lower back pain/Hip pain and cramps or numbness in right leg

What pain? Whatever it used to be is now gone. It’s funny how when you live without it, even for a short period, you take it for granted.

“Irregular” (you know what I mean)

I honestly think regular is all relative, but for me, I have stopped having issues with constipation. I will leave it at that.

Fuzzy brain/memory struggles

I still struggle a bit with having a great memory – but we are leap years ahead of where I was. My head actually FEELS clear and I think more clearly, I just can’t always remember something specific immediately… honestly, that may be an age thing and a mommy  thing too!? Either way, it has improved.

HATE waking up – and never feel well rested – Always feels like I JUST went to sleep.

I had not really thought about this one since typing it. I don’t HATE waking up any more. There are the occasional mornings when I would like to sleep a bit longer, but in general, waking up is more pleasant. I feel rested and I usually wake up before my alarm clock. I wake up earlier than I used to now and feel great about that!

Not a deep sleeper and sometimes takes long to fall asleep.

This is not a problem any more. I sleep very well and have no trouble falling asleep when it is bedtime. In fact, I often go to sleep a bit earlier than I used to – no more “waiting” to get tired to some ungodly hour.

I get tired during the day (like want to take a nap kind of tired).

No more naps for this Mommy! Not only don’t I need them these days, but I don’t really even want them. I love how much energy I have and how it stays consistent and level throughout the day!

Not a lot of energy (would like to be able to keep up with my kids and still have energy left for me to workout, or do something more than sit on the couch after they are in bed).

See above – I have plenty of energy and it is the consistent, level kind not the constant ups and downs of before. I also have enough energy to workout on some days during naptimes AND… the test of all tests – I actually took my first run the other day… AFTER THE KIDS WENT TO BED. So that was 15 hours into my day and I still had enough energy to run (and run well).

I would say that this Whole30 proved a lot to me. It proved how much healthier and fitter I can be with the right foods in my diet. It proved to me that I can have self-control and discipline and that I can make the right choices. It proved to me that I wouldn’t feel like I was missing out on food if I wasn’t eating my typical “junk”. It proved that I can choose to change my life and make it better simply by eating responsibly and what the fitness & Paleo people would call “clean”.

I have chosen to continue this journey by adopting the Paleo Lifestyle (a less strict version of the Whole30). More on how I am doing with that in a post soon to come. I have plans to do another Whole30 sometime again in the next few months mainly because I think my body would benefit from another “cleanse/hard reset” – Since I am just starting out on the clean eating journey, this was a good place to start and it got me on the right track, but I believe a second Whole30 would really help me step it up when it comes to my fitness goals… but that’s for another day. Today I celebrate all that I accomplished this past 30 days and encourage you to be brave and try it out – you really have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain!

So what are you waiting for???

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 30: Crossing the Finish Line, but not done.

Today is the last day of my Whole30 journey, but just one of the first steps in a much bigger journey that I plan to continue walking.

I made it successfully, not one cheat, not one move outside of the rules of the Whole30 plan through the entire 30 days and I feel… AMAZING.

Not just physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. Mentally. I feel AMAZING in EVERY way!

The amount of self-discipline and control it took to go from who I was pre-Whole30 to what I did during and who I am now is an amount I did not know I had or was capable of.

Like I said at the beginning of this and I have tried to reiterate throughout, although I would like to take all the credit, I simply cannot. The truth is, God blessed my journey because the point of all this was to bless Him and get myself to a place where I was best equipped to handle anything he put in my path.

Even during my Whole30 I was stretched spiritually, brought outside of my comfort zone, but I did what I needed, what I was called to do and just like every discipline, it was a CHOICE to do what I knew I NEEDED to do. And I ended up blessed because of it.

I am excited to share all of my Whole30 “AFTER” findings with you, but I will be waiting until Monday to share my results because tomorrow is Easter, and it is most important to celebrate the gift of Eternal life that is mine because of what Jesus Christ CHOSE to do.  It is Christ in my life that inspired me and motivated me to start this journey in the first place, so like everything else, I owe this all to Him and I will take tomorrow to celebrate Him and all He has done for me in this journey and in my life on a whole.

Check-in again next week for my “After” post and to see what is next for me.

Until then, here is my menu for my 30th and final day of the Whole30:

Breakfast: 2 hard-boiled eggs, left-over rutabaga, half a banana with almond butter

Lunch: Curry chicken salad, deviled eggs, carrot sticks and raspberries

Dinner: Grilled beef burgers, sauteed onions and mushrooms, avocado and sweet potato fries

30 days done… 0 days to go!

(Arms up running through my Whole30 Finish Line)!

Paleo Picnic: Have your cake & eat it too!

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Today our family decided to go to a local state park for some fun, relaxing time outside together. Part of the plan included lunch. Normally we would have just planned to grab lunch out after our excursion and I can tell you that it likely would NOT have been remotely healthy (although we MAY have chosen the “healthiest” item on the menu, you might know that usually that item is still FAR from healthy or good for you).

Instead of doing this, I decided to put in some extra effort and pack a healthy and nutrient dense (but VERY YUMMY) picnic lunch for everyone.

It was a hit!

Although spending that extra hour or so in the kitchen while everyone else watched TV and socialized over pie last night wasn’t the most fun I have ever had, and I gladly would have taken a seat on the couch and kicked my feet up after my workout, hosting family in town, two kids and a labor-intensive dinner, I was glad that I put in the work and time to pack this Paleo picnic.

It proved both to me and my family that healthy is both delicious, worth the time and energy it takes to provide it and capable of doing the same things the non-healthy food does (like packing up and bringing along for a picnic or satisfying us).

Here is what I packed for our Paleo Picnic lunch today:

Mixed Fruit (raspberries, blackberries & red grapes), Celery & Carrot sticks, Curry Chicken Salad with celery, pecans and grapes and plain chicken salad with celery and pecans, and deviled eggs. 

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If I had to guess, the most missed thing by the others at the picnic was potato chips (I did not miss them actually, and that is saying a LOT – I used to be able to put away a whole bag of Lay’s by myself – although I shared if I had to). Today though, I didn’t miss them, I just knew that the others probably did. And I was right. BUT… that fruit salad was good and they/we ate it ALL. Had potato chips been there… it wouldn’t have ALL been eaten – if it would have been eaten at all!

I, for one THOROUGHLY enjoyed my wonderful curry chicken salad – oh my goodness it was so yum!

So, you see, it can be done. And well.

I am looking forward to another picnic outing – because not only was this food delish, it made me feel good to provide a wholesome and healthy meal alongside our fun – we didn’t have to give up one for the other – we were able to have both. We had our cake and ate it to (in the most figurative sense you can imagine) but you get my point.

Day 29: I can see the light!

Perhaps “I can see the light” is not the best phrase, because it implies that I have been in the dark, and that is not true. The point I am trying to make is I can see the other end of the tunnel, I am almost through this part of my journey. It is almost over. I can hardly believe it.

And like the book said, I am almost scared to venture out into the real world in 2 days (on Day 31 or day 1 or whatever you want to call it). I have spent so much time and effort and energy doing this last 30 days perfectly and by the book, to veer away from this specific plan is scary. Not because I am afraid I will go back to my old ways (they are now dead and gone) but because I liked the safety, the security the surety of the laid out, rigid plan of the Whole30. Going off the Whole30 is like taking the training wheels off a bike that you just learned to ride. You’re afraid of falling. Afraid of failing. Afraid that you won’t succeed without your training wheels.

On the flip side of that coin, however, is the confidence I have because I made it (almost) through the Whole30. I did it right. I did not cheat (ever). I feel better, I look better and in general… I. Did. It. That’s the best and biggest accomplishment of it all – I did it. I am usually my own worst enemy, but this time I succeeded in spite of myself. If I can do this – I can go forward and succeed too. (I hope).

Day 29 was flooded with thoughts like these. It is becoming a bitter-sweet ending to a challenging but wonderful 30 days.

I also spent a good portion of my morning looking for a good quality, organic dark chocolate.

Why? Because after 30 days, the one thing I would like most to indulge in on Day 31 is some chocolate.

Okay, what I ACTUALLY wanted was dark chocolate almond bark – but I could not find it. ANYWHERE!?! I was distressed. But I decided that I could make my own. Thus the hunt for dark chocolate and tomorrow I will get to making my very OWN almond bark. Boom.

So those are the major parts of Day 29 and here is the menu:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with mushrooms, left-over cauliflower and broccoli

Lunch: Left-over tuna with celery, raw carrots, left-over cauliflower mash and grapes

Dinner: Chicken Cutlets, mashed rutabaga and steamed brussels sprouts and carrots

(I have included some starchy items for our guests, but even with that – some of our guests have shared that their “systems” are feeling a difference with only a couple days of eating healthIER (imagine what a complete Whole30 could do for them??).

29 days down. ONE to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!