Sunday, August 28, 2016

And Beyond

I made it.  Thirty whole days.  Thirty days of working to cultivate healthy habits.  I am not perfect, and my Whole 30 was not perfect, but I completed it!  I ate too much fruit, and not enough vegetables.  I ate snacks several days, but I still stuck to the food rules and worked hard to cultivate new habits.  I didn't have any dreams of binging on sweets, which is unusual for me, and I'm feeling healthier and happier than I have in a long time. 

Without stepping on the scale or taking measurements I recognize that my pants feel a little better, I can buckle my belt one hole tighter with ease.  My energy crashes have disappeared, and my energy is staying sustained longer throughout the day.  That doesn't mean that I don't still feel tired, because I often do, but I don't feel like I have to sleep in the middle of the day.  I'm finding that movement in general is a bit easier, and not quite as laborious as it used to be.  It's definite improvement.  Certainly not all the way, but a good leap in the right direction.  It took me 8 months to get to where I was before I started Whole 30, it is going to take longer than 30 days to fix the damage.

So now for the part I know you are all dying to hear: before and after stats

                Before             After

Weight     184 lbs            177.4
Body fat   38.4                 38.6
water        44.9                 44.8
BMI         30.7                 30.2
Muscle     57                    55.8

Waist        43"                 39"
Hips          46 1/2"           45 1/2"
Chest        39"                  38"
Legs         25 1/2"            25 1/2"
Arms        13 1/4"            13 1/4"

A lot of this makes sense, some of it doesn't.  I blame what doesn't make sense on my scale, which isn't that high of quality for a scale that is supposed to measure body fat and muscle mass, my scale has always acted funny.  For instance, I'm pretty sure my muscle mass didn't decrease by two pounds since my activity actually increased during my whole 30, so that affects my body fat percentage numbers.  So I'm sure those two are not correct, but I'm not going to dwell on it much.  My scale stinks when measuring body fat and muscle, I wish I had a more accurate way to measure those factors but I don't, oh well time to move on.  I lost 6.6 pounds.  This is good, and I am now at my lowest I have been in several months but still I had really hoped to be under 175 because that is the line where I go from being obese to being overweight.  So while I can't say I'm disappointed, losing weight without calorie counting, and without feeling hungry is always a good thing.  But at the same time, I had hoped for a little better.  But it is a good start, and the only way from here is forward.  Going back doesn't afford any benefits whatsoever. 

Looking at my measurements I would say they make a lot of sense.  My body always loses inches in my waist and torso first and legs last.  Also, I haven't noticed any visual difference in my arms, so I'm not surprised they haven't changed.  The measurements support the observation of being able to buckle my pants tighter around my waist while the legs still fit fine.  Before Whole 30 I didn't really use a belt, and now they won't stay up without one.  That's the problem with having my body shape I suppose, having a smaller waist and larger legs means my pants always fall down unless I'm wearing an elastic waistband. 

Last time I did the whole 30 I was very excited to do introduction and to get back to eating a lot of foods that I couldn't eat on the plan.  This time around, I'm not even doing introduction, I'm just sticking to eating Whole 30 foods, and I'm going to add in a few other Paleo foods that aren't allowed on Whole 30 for some meals, just so I have more options available to me.  I'm going to order at a restaurant as close to Whole 30 as possible, but they always add something that isn't approved, like sugar, or corn starch, or soy sauce.  But I'm not going to worry about that too much.  I'm not going to weigh myself for another 30 days, and just continue to work on eating healthy and increasing my exercise.

I made sushi!  It uses avocado as a base instead of rice to make it perfectly whole 30 compliant.  It was so amazingly good, I didn't miss the rice at all.

Friday, August 26, 2016

A visit to the chiropractor

Day 29.  I've been feeling pretty good this week, but I'm also ready for the 30 days to be over.  Not so that I can eat poorly again, but just so that everything doesn't have to be so strict.  So that I can eat out and have shrimp and cocktail sauce, and cook from my Paleo cookbooks and not worry about reading every single ingredient.  The plan is to basically keep doing what I've been doing, only with a few less restrictions. 

I went to the Chiropractor the other day and he did three tests to see how my nerve function was.  His whole philosophy is that the nerves are essential to body function and when your spine is not in its proper place, then your nerves are not able to transmit their signals effectively.  The scans revealed that my neck was a mess, which explains my blackouts during yoga and when I get out of the hot tub.  I'm not sure if I've written much about them, but in Yoga if I'm bending over and then the position moves and I'm suddenly standing up with my head looking at the ceiling, which happens in practically every yoga class, my vision goes black and I get light headed and can't think clearly.  I just focus on breathing and wait for my vision to return.  I've never passed out or lost consciousness although a couple times I came really close.  It's the reason why I quit doing yoga.  The scans also revealed that I lacked muscle tension through my spine which was causing my lower back pain, and also probably the cause of all those times I pulled my lower back muscles when I was working out a lot two years ago.  I never pulled my muscles while working out, but while lifting my kids.  Also interesting to note was that in my lower spine, there were several spikes on the graph which the doctor said explained why my feet go numb when I'm working out (They always go numb doing Turbo Fire) and also when I'm skiing.  The idea is, that once the spine is in its proper place, the nerves are not being pinched by the bones and they can function properly.

I love how he does the tests, because it's bringing modern science into a realm of medicine that traditionally goes along with acupuncture and herbal medicines.  By using the scans you can actually see what is going on in your body and also if the treatments are improving anything.  All my life I have always leaned towards the scientific versions of medicine, what we think of as "medical doctors".  But as I've gotten older and more interested in living a healthy life, I've started drifting to the more traditional type of medicine.  Taking on the mentality of trying to improve my health on my own, without pills, through diet and exercise and properly taking care of my body. (which yes, I know, I stunk at this last year.  I did not handle my miscarriage well at all.)  Now I understand and know that modern medicine is super important, but I've come to find, that it doesn't have all the answers.  For instance, I know there is a problem with my fertility right now.  My cycles are not quite right, and I'm pretty sure it's my hormones.  After charting for one cycle, I can see that I'm not producing the right kind of cervical fluid, which could mean that Luteinizing Hormone is out of whack for me.  Now it might just be that my body needs more time to fully heal from the trauma that it went through last year, and there might be more underlying issues as well.  But the point is that OBGYNs won't even look at you unless you've been trying to conceive unsuccessfully for at least a year, because that is what is defined as infertility.  Perhaps by that time my hormones will have fixed themselves but in the meantime I want to know what is going on with my body. 

Just like with my blackouts, a medical doctor would most likely prescribe a pill to try and fix the symptoms, instead of addressing the source of the problem.  I feel like too often this is the case where we are given medicine to treat the symptoms instead of trying to fix the actual problem.  I know this isn't always the case but we have all heard stories and my recent experience with my miscarriage and the subsequent three months landing me in the ER at 2am has left me a little bitter.  That doctor should have known something was wrong, my levels were dropping super slowly and every time I asked about it all I got was "sometimes it just takes longer for some people" quickly followed by "Hopefully next week will be your last blood draw".  I suppose what I needed to do was switch doctors at that point. 

And when I've seen the podiatrist about my feet going numb I get this "you have poor circulation in your feet, lets make you some expensive orthotics to correct your arch and see if that helps".  Which of course they don't help the numbness in my feet.

Now I'm rambling, but I have hope that some of my issues just might be resolved or at the very least improve.  After my adjustment yesterday, I went about another 6 hours and then my lower back actually started feeling better, on the same day after one adjustment.  I'm glad I decided to go into it with an open mind, I'm hoping for the best.  Just to be clear, I'm not saying that chiropractors have all the answers, or that they are better than medical doctors,  rather this particular chiropractor (who sees things a little differently than the traditional chiropractor) claims to have solutions to some of the problems that have been plaguing me for nearly a decade.  I suppose time will tell.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Three days and counting

Almost done with this Whole 30.  My bloating is gone, my stomach doesn't hurt anymore.  My energy, while not where I want it to be, has been sustainable throughout the day.  I still feel tired but I don't have the intense crashes I used to have where all my energy would leave my body and I would feel like I couldn't move.  I had two great days on Monday and Tuesday, my energy was really high through the whole day.  Today I have been much more tired, probably because I'm recovering from Monday and Tuesday but more likely because I didn't sleep well last night. 

I have made two discoveries.  1 is that I love chia pudding with coconut milk and cinnamon and fruit.
This is simply two cups of coconut milk, six tbsp. chia seeds, cinnamon to taste and mango.  The pudding alone is not sweet and the fruit adds just the amount of sweetness and adds a lot of flavor.  My favorite fruits to add in are berries, mango, peaches and nectarines, and kiwi. 

Number 2 is that I know how to make fish and chips without a recipe.
I used a mixture of almond and coconut flour that made the fish taste great.  It was really good and I don't miss the corn flakes or bread crumbs. 

I've been hurting a lot lately from my increase in movement with taking Lily to school and picking her up, plus I've added in a light Zumba workout.  30 minutes, and I'm trying to get it in three times a week.  My lower back around my SI joint has been hurting a lot.  My mom recommended me to the Chiropractor.  I'm  bit skeptical.  I've heard people who love the Chiropractor and I've heard people who hate the chiropractor and my own family is no help because my dad hates them and my mom loves them lol.  So I've got an appointment for tomorrow for a free scan.  I'm sure I have a pinched nerve or something.  I had really bad SI pain when I was pregnant with Lily, and I've had pretty much constant lower back pain for several months, I just deal with it I suppose.  Tried to stretch it, I thought it was just a muscle bugging me.  Tried to take pain meds, they don't help, I even thought at one time it might be my kidney's, but the pain is too low.  It would be great to be able to be adjusted and not have pain anymore.  I just don't want to be stuck going back to the chiropractor for the rest of my life.  But I don't have any experience with chiropractors so I figure I better get some first hand experience and hope for the best. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Seven days left

Day 23.  As of tomorrow I will have one week left, only 7 more days on my whole 30.  I've been getting really tired in the afternoon, but I haven't passed out on the couch or just felt like I can't go on.  Plus I've been much much more active with picking Lily up from school twice a day, and I've had more energy to do other things like go to the park and clean the house.  So considering how my activity level has shot through the roof, I think it's pretty darn good to only get a little tired in the afternoon.  I've been able to fall asleep super fast which is awesome.  Insomnia is not fun.  I would go to bed at 10:00 and stay awake until 12 or 1:00 in the morning.  I am very thankful that I can fall asleep faster now.  Chloe still wakes up every so often with leg pains, but it is a lot better than it used to be, since it used to be every single night. 

Yesterday I went up to see my sister and I brought lunch, but she took us out for dinner.  I'm sure there was something in my salad that wasn't compliant, but I seriously did my best and I'm just going to let the rest be as it may.  We went to Noodles and Co. and I got the new Market Salad without blue cheese.  I don't know what their chicken marinade contains and I don't know what their vinaigrette is made out of and I don't know if the bacon was cured with sugar or not, but seriously, I did my best and I'm moving on.  It was certainly more compliant than the Pad Thai or the Japanese Pan Noodles, two of my favorites. 

I have a new Paleo Book to go through.  I'm excited to delve into it.  My sister bought it for me for my birthday and I just got it the other day since my nephew was born on my birthday and that was a lot of drama. 
Amazon Link  (I do not receive commissions if you buy this book)
I'm excited to explore it, I've already seen some of it, but I haven't really gone through it yet.  I want to make the Pad Thai, and they have a different method for making zoodles than I was using before, it is supposed to make them so they are not mushy or watery.  I have to finish this week's list before I can start making food out of my new cookbook since I already purchased the food for this week. 

Every time I think about eating a bunch of junk, I just think "what would be that point of that?"  What would it accomplish?  Nothing, it would just make me feel sick, and tired and moody. 

I received my first compliment the other day.  They said that my tummy/waist is looking smaller.  I'm not surprised, my waist is always the first thing to shrink.  But that is good, because it means it is working!  I'm tired of being so overweight, back in the obese category.  It's exhausting dragging around all this extra weight.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

2/3 through

Day 20!  Officially 2/3 through the Whole 30.  I've had a couple tricky navigations I've had to make this past week.  I went to the mall and had lunch with my family.  Fortunately I had a pretty hardy snack right before we left of dried mangos and paleo nut butter.  I simply ate a bowl of fruit from Chick-fil-a.  I was thinking I could eat the grilled chicken nuggets, but fortunately they have their ingredients list posted online and unfortunately their seasoning has sugar and maltodexterin in it.  Then I thought I could have the superfoods greens side but they mix a maple vinegerette into that so I'm sure that had sugar or maple syrup in it, so I just stuck with the fruit and ate something more when I got home. 

Last night we had a family dinner at my parent's house.  I made a yummy sweet potato and brussels sprouts side dish, and brought some compliant sausage for me and my mom. 

I've made coconut cauliflower rice, and curried mango tuna cakes

And I've been making a lot of salads for lunch.  I'm glad I like salads.  I didn't make many of them for my first whole 30.  I've been feeling pretty good.  Not to where I was before my miscarriage but then again, I was much thinner and hadn't been eating quite as bad before my first Whole 30.  Besides, 20 days is not going to undo 8 months of bad eating. 

I did Zumba for the first time yesterday.  It was hard.  Good greif , I guess that is what happens when you don't exercise for 8 months.  But the only way from here is forward.  Going back will not help.  I've been back there, I know what it's like.  Low energy, depression, feeling bad about myself.  So forward it is.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cruisin Along

I've made it to day 17!  I'm feeling pretty good.  I can't say I have super awesome energy, but I do have energy to make it through the whole day without crashing.  And I have the energy I need to do the things I need to do.  Such as clean the whole upstairs and clean Lily's room four times.  I got a pill for my dog from the vet.  It was supposed to help prevent him from throwing up because he often gets too much acid building up in his stomach and will throw up bile every so often.  I gave him this pill that is supposed to prevent him from throwing up and it caused him to puke for 12 hours.  It was awful.  Poor guy.  But of course, it was all over the carpet and I'm still trying to get the smell out.  Tomorrow I'm going to take down Lily's bed and clean the carpet under her bed.  I've cleaned all around her bed twice and her room still smells bad, so that is the next step. 

I've been incredibly active lately, much more than before.  I've been hitting about 15,000 steps every day.  Just taking lily to school and picking her up every day adds a ton of extra activity I wasn't getting before.  I'm really happy with how I feel right now.  I do think I am going to try to incorporate a few more carbs into my daily diet.  Such as squash and potatoes.  My days are just packed with physical activity just because of daily life and I think I need that little extra boost.  When I made that salmon egg scramble, it was on top of some sweet potato has browns and I felt really good on the days that I ate that, and on the days where I had nothing higher in carbs I felt a bit more tired. 

I've still been having some cravings, or rather desires to drink something other than water or to eat something sweet, but it's not been the powerful, debilitating cravings that they were before.  Also for the first time, I'm starting to notice small changes in how my clothes fit and sometimes I think I look different in the mirror.  But I try not to dwell on it too much because, while I desperately want to lose weight so that daily life becomes easier, it's not what I want to focus on.  I'm focusing on having the energy I need to do everything I need to do throughout the day, and on my mood stabilizing.  When I eat junky food, I get really depressed.  It's more than just me feeling bad about not eating right, it's the actual food makes me depressed and lethargic.  I've felt it again and again and if I want to have a good and happy life I need to make this change permanent so I can feel happier, and have more energy. 

Over half way there. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Day 13, almost half way

I've made it over the hump!  Yesterday was a great day.  Today hasn't been as good as yesterday, but I did work out for the first time in a very long time.  I took it easy today and just focused on moving, I didn't want to upset my knee.  My knee is feeling a lot better, but when I ride my bike I can still feel it twinging.  Mostly it's when I bend it and put pressure on it at the same time. 

Two more days and I will have hit day 15 and will be half way done.  I have to make sure to have a plan for afterwards, because it is going to take longer than 30 days to change my habits.  I felt myself today after picking up Lily from school really wanting to get something to eat.  It was hot outside and when we all got home we were all too hot and Lily and Chloe immediately started fighting.  I was cranky and wanted to cope with eating something.  But I knew I wasn't hungry and so I was able to refrain, because I had the plan to fall back on.  I was also craving something sweet or snacky.  I realize now it was because I was upset and it was an emotional trigger. 

I can't say that my clothes have been fitting any better yet, but a lot of them are really tight on me because I haven't bought many new clothes.  But hopefully by the end of the 30 days my clothes won't feel so tight. 

I found an amazing website the other day while I was searching the internet for Whole 30 compliant recipes and came across  the site is completely free and it basically is a location of a whole bunch of paleo and whole 30 recipes from blogs.  If you sign up (which is free) you can put recipes in your cart to save them for later and the site will compile a grocery list for you.  You can change the serving size and the site will change the quantities of the food that you need.  It's super cool.  I'm going to be searching around on that site more, but I did find this amazing recipe for a smoked salmon, egg and potato scramble .

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Turning Point

So I no sooner posted yesterday about this round being easier than I was hit with every single withdrawal symptom in the book.  I could hardly move yesterday, I had absolutely no energy.  My brain was foggy, I couldn't think, I kept forgetting what I was doing and things I was looking for.  I was super grumpy and short tempered and craving like crazy.  I just couldn't function at all yesterday.  If today had been like yesterday, I don't know if I would have made it.  We had a big family function today.  My sister had her baby blessed at church today, which is a big deal considering she is inactive in the church.  There were about 20 people at my parent's house afterwards and there were some tempting foods.  Fortunately, my mom is also doing Whole 30.  We both started independently of each other only two days apart,  So I'm on day 10 and she is on day 8. Speaking of which, I'm in the double digits now!!  Woo Hoo!  Hopefully I will not have to restart at day "1" for a long time.  I've been on day 1 for nearly nine months and I'm ready to move on.  So my mom made sure there were lots of fruits and veggies and grilled chicken for us.  We made some amazing salsa  which you can find at this site here:

Lily was able to hold the new baby
cutie pies. 

Today I have felt better.  It was hard not do dig in to the chips but I feel good for not eating poorly, and it helped to have a few people there who were also abstaining and eating mostly veggies, fruit and chicken.  The chicken was really good by the way. 

And now onto day 11, hopefully I've hit a turning point with yesterday being the worst day and I can slowly start getting better, and more energetic.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Made it to Day 9

Day 9 on Whole 30, and the past several days have been crazy.  First Lily started school

Her school is .7 miles away.  It takes us about 20 minutes to walk there, with the kids.  Which means Chloe and I are out for 40 minutes, which is great exercise for us, but it is just far enough away that in bad weather it would be worth driving (such as heavy rain or below freezing temps in the winter).  But we were able to walk to drop her off and pick her up all three days last week.  (they started school Wednesday)  Needless to say, I've blown my step goal out of the water: 19,000 on Wednesday, 14,000 Thursday and Friday.  This increase in physical activity, combined with my body working internally to change and adapt to my new diet has left me completely exhausted.  But at least I've been sleeping better.  After dealing with insomnia for 9 months, it's refreshing to not lie in bed for two hours waiting to fall asleep. 

I'm staying strong on my Whole 30.  I'm not as tempted this time around to quit.  There are still times when it is a struggle, when I don't want to drink water or I am craving something sweet, but my conviction to eat healthier and be a better person is so strong this time around that it's hardly phasing me.  I've been making large salads filled with grilled steak or chicken, and tomatoes, olives, maybe some fruit, nuts, oil, balsamic vinegar, and whatever else that is compliant that I can find.  They are pretty good, except when the lettuce gets wilty, that was kind of gross.  But the only way is forward and I can't look back. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Whole 30 Day 5

Made it to day 5.  Made it through a visit with relatives, and through the weekend.  Today, the biggest challenge was that I was so incredibly tired and when I'm tired I tend to eat, so I had a few cravings or rather desires to eat off plan foods, and to drink a soda, but I refrained.  What I love about the Whole 30 plan is that it is only 30 days and it is designed to reintroduce the foods that have been taken out and there is a step by step process for you to find balance and harmony with food.  I haven't been as tempted this time around as I was for my first Whole 30.  I think that is because the first time I did the Whole 30 I did it to lose weight.  I wanted a way to shed some pounds I had gained and something to get me to my goal weight.  Of course that isn't the best motivation and I couldn't maintain the healthy eating standards I was shooting for because I didn't want to change the way I was eating, I just wanted my body to change without any long term effort on my part.

This time around I'm doing the Whole 30 because I want to be healthier.  I want to take control of my diet.  I don't want to feel depressed, and lethargic anymore.  I want better mood regulation, and fewer energy crashes and I know that what I eat dramatically affects my body and my mood and my brain.  Also, it affects my hormones and I think that one reason why my hormones are taking so long to go back to normal after my miscarriage (besides it taking three months to resolve the issues) is that my diet has been so horrid.  I started reading a book recommended by a friend called "Taking Charge of your Fertility" by Toni Weschler and in there she talks about how a poor diet can be hard on the liver, which makes it harder for the liver to metabolize hormones.  I never really thought I would get into the book, but I absolutely love it.  I am borrowing it from a friend but I just bought it on Amazon so it will be here in a few days.  The book provides a wealth of knowledge about how to interpret your body's signs to understand what is going on within your body during your cycle.  Once you get really good at it, many people (like the friend who loaned me the book) use fertility awareness method as a form of birth control.  It's about knowing when you are fertile and need protection or need to abstain and knowing when you are not fertile.  It's also really good to know when you are trying to conceive so that you can time everything correctly.  What I love is how educational it is.  I'm definitely going to introduce my girls to it when the time is right so that they get more education than I did when I was growing up.  And I think I will leave it at that for the purposes of this blog. 
Amazon Link- I get no commissions if you buy this book, I'm simply recommending it because I truly find it enlightening

Monday, August 1, 2016

Crazy Week

There has been a lot going on this past week it's been crazy!  First, our vacation was great.  We did a ton of hiking and outdoorsy activities.  Lily chased butterflies and caught them with her net, Chloe especially loved driving around on the ATVs.  By Thursday everyone was wiped and we decided to come home Thursday afternoon instead of Friday morning. 

 My eating was far from perfect, but it was also not terrible.  The worst thing was that I just snacked way too much and of course we had plenty of desserts.  But the meals in and of themselves were nutritious.  Back home, and back on track.  Speaking of getting back home.  We arrived in the middle of a massive lightning storm.  About 20 minutes after we got back home, I thought the world was ending.  We were being hit by baseball size hail!  It was the craziest thing I had ever experienced weather wise.  Needless to say, the damage was astronomical.  Fortunately both our cars were in the garage.  All compact cars left on the street were totaled.  Windows smashed in, water damage on the interior, and of course dents everywhere. 

This one has a big chunk missing out of it, but it was the first one that Matt dared to go outside and collect

That is a golf ball on the upper left, you can see the hail stones are bigger than it, also these hail stones had been sitting for a while and were a little melted

Grill cover ripped to shreds, grill dented but still works

Our solar panels are shattered

Most of the houses on the street now look like this.  Fist size holes punched through the siding.

 Thank goodness for homeowners insurance.  The sheds on the side of our house have holes punched through the top, and our garden is obviously decimated.  The pumpkin plant was growing really good too.  Lily slept through the storm, but Chloe was awake and got up to see it.  Too bad it happened after the sun set because we couldn't see very well. 

But onward and upward, and going to the ranch always seems to inspire me.  I'm determined to get my eating back into gear, I've completed three days on Whole 30, and I'm determined to finish the program this time around.  But more importantly , I'm determined to make permanent changes.  I'm tired of letting food rule my life and make me depressed, tired and miserable.  It's time to break free.