Whole30 – Results

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17lbs…lost

2.5 inches around my waist…gone

Feeling the best I have ever felt…priceless.

(Yes, I used what all the MasterCard commercials use. Kind of just fit perfect.)

The numbers are how much my body has changed in 30 days. But I am honestly not focused on that. I mean, I am shocked, elated, and jumping for joy over these results but what I am more in ‘awe’ over is how my mind, body, and soul all feel. I literally feel the best I have felt in as long as I can remember and it is such an incredible feeling.

Here are my before and after photos…hard to post to the world but here they are…

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I still have work to do (would like to lose 6 more lbs and continue to gain back my muscle) but I am on the right path to get myself there again and dang does it feel sublime!

Thinking back to Day 1, I remember how I was feeling the morning I took my before photos; I was miserable. Before I had even started the Whole30, I was covering myself in baggy clothes and wouldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I did not feel good and was disgusted, unhappy, cranky, weak, and tired. I wasn’t me and I did not like who I was turning into which, in my eyes, was a lazy slob. After receiving my medical news in November of 2013 and being put on zombie drugs for my anxiety (revert back to my first blog), I slipped into a bit of a depressive state and I just didn’t care. Didn’t care what I was eating or drinking, if I was working out, and was constantly making excuses. I decided to stop taking the meds for my anxiety and woke up one morning and was done with it all. I was ready to change my life, to get back to feeling like me again, and wanting to be happy in my skin.

After a heart-to-heart with my trainer and wondering how to get myself jump-started, I came across the Whole30 program in an email from PopSugarFitness, “Try the Whole30 For Just One Day“. I had no idea what it was all about but was intrigued just from reading the first paragraph. Went to the Whole30 webpage, read the rules and thought to myself, “this is the exact jumpstart you need”, and I committed to start the program the next week. I bought their book, It Starts With Food, and convinced my mom and best friend to do it all with me.

30…well, now 32…days later and I honestly feel the best I have EVER felt since I started my weight-loss journey in August of 2011. When I weighed in on day 31, I was completely shocked when my trainer told me how much I had lost as I did not know what my starting weight was. And to be 100% honest, I was a bit disappointed with the fact that I had put some weight back on, but still extremely pumped none-the-less as I decided to do something about it rather than sit back and just throw away 2.5 years of hard work.

I am back on track, back to feeling like myself, and starting to be comfortable in my skin again. I have truly missed feeling all these amazing, wonderful, incredible things. I am sad that I lost it all for a while but so over-the-moon that I am gaining it all back. I am gaining VAL back. 😀 And I want to do everything in my power to make sure not to lose her again.

My overall goal for this was to not only help myself get back on track but have hoped that sharing these last 30 days have helped inspire someone to want to do something to better themselves, whatever that may be; starting a fitness regimen, eating better, getting a promotion at work, or setting and exceeding a personal goal. Start small, take baby-steps, and know that you may fall down a couple of times but make sure to pick yourself right back up and keeping moving forward! I am here to support you and I thank you for supporting me. As always, through perseverance, we can do anything we set our minds and our hearts to.

XO,

Val

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Whole30 – Day 24-30

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Apologize for being M.I.A this last week…it was a crazy one! Planned my best friends engagement party for this past Saturday and had a little fun with decorations, food, and favors 🙂 ! We had such a great time and seeing her face when she walked into the party just made my heart so happy as I had kept it all a surprise!!! I stayed the course even through a stressful week and being surrounded by delicious wine and treats this weekend!

But aren’t these cookies cute?!?

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I made them for the party as favors. Didn’t have one taste…scouts honor! I honestly wasn’t even tempted to…which is pretty awesome for me since I used to have an AWFUL sweet-tooth!

TODAY is day 30 of the Whole30! I cannot believe how fast time has flown. I am nervous. Not ready for it all to be over. The timeline totally hits the nail on the head with how I have been feeling the last couple of days…

Days 29-30: HolyOprahIt’sAlmostOverWhatAmIGoingToEatNow?!?!?!

It’s day 29, and you’re still rocking. The thoughts you had yesterday of throwing in the towel are gone. You cruise through the day and as you crawl into bed you have a small thought that then grows into full-blown cold-sweat panic. Holy crap. Tomorrow is day 30. The last day. What the hell are you going to do after that?! You worked so hard, fought through all the anger, the naps, the cravings to get to the awesome you’re feeling now. The rules have been your backbone, your lifeline, your excuse for being “that person” in social situations. Are you just going to give them up on day 31? No. You firmly resolve that there will be no deviation on day 31. If it ain’t broke…

It’s totally normal to feel a twinge of panic as your Whole30 comes to a close. For the past month, you’ve lived, breathed, and literally eaten the rules. You feel incredible in your new high-octane body. It’s natural to hesitate at the thought of making any changes – even if the change is a return to what was “normal” for you before. And, the truth is, you don’t have to go back to the way you used to eat. But keep in mind that the Whole30 was intended to be a reset, an introduction into the world of Good Food. I know it’s scary, but keep an open mind, okay?

I had a long conversation with my mom the other day about how I feel that with the way I have been living my life the past 30 days is how I want live out the rest of my life as well as my families (currently just my husband but someday our kids) lives, too. The way I am feeling; mind, body, and soul; the way my clothes are fitting, my energy levels, my overall attitude…how could I ever want to go back to feeling any less great than I do now? Well, I don’t.

I have continued my research and bought a couple more books to read about living a Paleo lifestyle and I am an absolute believer in it all. I always used to wonder why I was tired all the time after getting a full nights rest, or why my stomach would just feel yucky after eating grains, diary, or beans, or why with eating 5-small meals a day and working out, I still didn’t feel my best. After eliminating all of these things from my diet for a month (including added sugar), sticking to a three-meal a day plan (with good, healthy fats/carbs, proteins, veggies, and occasional fruits), really feeling, noticing, and seeing a tremendous difference in my body; a lightbulb went off…our bodies really cannot digest this stuff (grains, dairy, legumes, etc.). So with feeling this amazing, why would I want to put any of it back in? Again, I don’t.

I plan to live a Paleo lifestyle. My husband is completely on board and wants to do a Whole30 in the coming weeks. I plan to do it again with him for support (and I loved it so why not do it again 😉 )! He was super skeptical at first but after seeing and hearing my results, he is totally ready to change his life, too. And he is excited for all the yummy meals! (He has been pretty jealous of all the things I have been making for us (my mom, best friend, and I)…hehe…sorry babe!)

I have been waking up feeling strong, powerful, alive, and capable! I sincerely hope you all have been, too. And if not, try to find the reasons why; are you not getting enough sleep? Are you stressed? Not eating enough nutritious foods? I encourage you to take some time for you to help yourself feel better, stronger, and more powerful. If you find yourself getting stressed or upset about something, take a walk, grab your iPod or plug-in your favorite CD and dance it out, or call a friend. It is good to find positive ways to deal with stress to help us be the best we can be for ourselves and all who are around us. Through perseverance, we can do anything we set our minds and our hearts to!

XO,

Val

Compliment of the day: I am proud of myself that even through a super stressful week and being at a party with old trigger foods for me, that I did not cave and stayed the course.

P/S I am excited to share more about my new lifestyle! I promise to be better about my updates! I had forgotten how much better I feel after writing a blog! More soon! 😀

Whole30 – Day 19-23

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I am feeling good, no great, NO FANTASTIC! 😀 Today just feels especially grand. Feeling on Cloud 9 and just so excited for what each new day is going to bring from here on out. It almost feels like a new book has been started for me. A fresh page, a new start, a better me…and I am so excited to see what the new pages will be filled with and where it all takes me.

A few bits of exciting news…

1. Put on a pair of jeans this weekend that were fitting a bit snug a few weeks ago and they are too big! Always such an awesome feeling when you not only feel results but can start seeing them, too! Definitely feeling the Tiger’s Blood that they talk about on the Whole30 timeline.

2. My mom has NO headache! Started crying when she told me Friday as I had been so worried about her sweet little head and going 19 days with a migraine! She completely powered through that with no complaints! AND she won teacher of the month from Channel 4 News! This is her second award this year for being an outstanding teacher! Way to go, mom! I am sooooooooooooo unbelievably proud of you!!! 🙂

3. My physical therapist told me on Friday that he definitely thinks he is going to be able to help repair my knee WITHOUT surgery!!! Ah…music to my ears! 😀 Lifted my spirits and restored my faith in the system. Nice to have a medical professional who actually cares and wants to help me rather than just push me off to the side.

4. Also, my PT approved swimming as a form of cardio for me (as he saw my face when he told me no more tabata, running, etc). I went for the first time this morning and fell in LOVE with it!!! I used to swim all the time when I was younger; my mom always called me a fish and my hair was green all summer long. Forgotten how much I enjoyed being in the water! Most definitely will continue swimming even when I am approved to put impact back on my knee.

imagesI am a true believer that if you put your mind (and your heart) to something, you can absolutely do whatever it is you want to do. Sometimes trying something new is scary, especially when you are used to a routine, but I encourage you to try something new for yourself. For me, swimming was a huge leap. I have gotten so used to doing a certain kind of cardio that when it was taken away, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I thought (for maybe a second 😉 ) about just sitting back and maybe walking here and there but for me, that is not enough. Feeling a bit unsure about trying something different, I thought, why not? You could fall in love with it and I have! When I got in the pool this morning, I was thinking I would just do a half an hour and before I knew it, an hour had already gone by! Try something new today, anything, and share with me what you did! As I always say, through perseverance, we can do anything we set out to do!

XO

Val

Day 19

Compliment for the day: Even though you look a little wacky when you wake up, you are still beautiful!

PreWorkout Snack: Coffee with 1 tsp of coconut milk

Workout (at The Lean Lemon):  1 hour Cardio/Sculpt & 1.5 hours of PT

PostWorkout Snack: Slice of turkey with butternut squash

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea

Breakfast: Sausage patty with hard-boiled egg and tomato with some blueberries

Lunch: Cauliflower clam chowder with bacon

Dinner: Spaghetti squash with meatballs & brown mushroom gravy

Day 20

Compliment for the day: High-five to you for your jeans fitting lose! 🙂

Workout: PT @home

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea

Breakfast: Breakfast Skillet (elk steak with sweet potatoes & peppers) with an egg

Lunch: Spaghetti squash with meatballs & brown mushroom gravy with some blueberries

Dinner: Chicken curry with cauliflower rice

Snack: Handful of coconut flakes, half of an apple, and some tahini

Day 21

Compliment for the day: Glad you took the time and slept in today with your hubby!

Workout:  PT @home

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea

Breakfast: Breakfast Skillet (elk steak with sweet potatoes & peppers) with an egg

Lunch: Chicken curry with cauliflower rice

Dinner: Egg pizza’s with artichoke and homemade mayo

Day 22

Compliment for the day: If feels good to be alive, healthy, and well! SMILE!

PreWorkout Snack: Coffee with 1 tsp of coconut milk

Workout (at The Lean Lemon): 1 hour Sculpt & 1 hour of laps in the pool

PostWorkout Snack: Slice of turkey with butternut squash

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea

Breakfast: Fiesta Bowl with avo dressing, tomato, and olives with a few strawberries

Lunch: Egg pizza’s with artichoke and homemade mayo

Dinner: Salmon w/avo broccoli & beets

Day 23

PreWorkout Snack: Coffee with 1 tsp of coconut milk

Compliment for the day: Will update…

PostWorkout Snack: Slice of turkey with butternut squash

Workout (at The Lean Lemon): 1 hour Sculpt + 1.5 PT

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea

Breakfast: Sweet potato hash with an egg and slice of homemade bacon

Lunch: Salmon w/avo broccoli & beets

Dinner: Egg pizza’s with artichoke and homemade mayo

 

 

Whole30 Day 10 & 11

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Chocolate is everywhere I look. Stinkin’ Valentines day. My compliment of the day yesterday (day 10) was feeling proud of myself for not giving into temptation after watching SIX Food Network Channel shows with food that just looked delicious. I was tempted to cave…but I didn’t! 😀

This timeline kinda freaks me out how accurate it has been…

Days 10-11: The Hardest Days

Fact: you are most likely to quit your Whole30 program on Day 10 or 11. By this point, the newness of the program has worn off. You’ve made it through most of the unpleasant physical milestones, but you’ve yet to experience any of the “magic” the program promises. You’re still struggling to establish your new routine (read: you’ve eaten eggs prepared ten different ways over the last ten days), and while you’ve been trying really hard to have a good attitude, today you are incredibly aware of all the foods you’re “choosing not to eat right now.”  Everywhere you look, you see the things you “can’t” have: the melted cheese on a greasy burger, the creaminess of that double-scoop cone, the cold beer in your best friend’s tailgate cooler. Dammit, this is hard! And right now you’re wondering if the results will really be as good as “they” all say it is.

You’re cranky, you’re impatient, and you’re really, really tempted to just eat the stupid cheese.

This is where you really start to experience the psychological hold that your food habits have on you. You’ve put in a lot of effort to get to where you are right now, but you’re still waiting for the results you’re hoping to see. Your brain tells you that you deserve some kind of reward (don’t you?) and, of course, we’ve been conditioned to think of food as the best reward out there. Right now, you’re craving that ice cream, beer, or whatever treat you think would make for just the right reward. But, instead of that treat, you’re standing face to face with the realization that you have 20 more days of deprivation ahead of you.

The key here is to redefine your idea of reward.  Think long and hard about the foods you’re grieving and ask yourself what need you’re expecting them to fulfill.  Are you feeling anxious and looking for reassurance?  Are you feeling sad, and looking for something to cheer you up? Are you worried you won’t successfully finish the program, and it’s easier to self-sabotage than fail? Remind yourself that food cannot fill that void for you—cannot make you feel truly accomplished, comforted, calm, happy, beautiful. Then, find another way to fill that need that does not involve those foods. Prepare yourselves for these days, knowing that all you have to do is see them through to the other side before things get much, much easier.

I have not felt the desire to quit by any means but I have had the desire to eat and devour the foods I cannot have. Like, bad. Insane to me that the explanation of how it all feels in the timeline is EXACTLY how I feel. No kidding, EXACTLY! And I just want a burrito. But I feel to dang good to cave.

 

Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength. – Corrie Ten Boom

I am a constant worrier. Ask anyone who knows me. I worry about the most ridiculous things and it drains me but it is who I am. When I worry, I want to eat. Not an apple, or a carrot, or a salad…I want something sweet, savory, and fatty-delicious to help fill the void of feeling worried and/or sad. (‘Who’ came up with the idea that filling emotions with food was a good idea? I wanna meet that ‘person’ and slap them in the face. 😉 ) It is something I will probably always have to work on and talk with myself about but I know I have the power to work through my emotions better without it resulting to me eating something I will regret later.

Today, I am worried about some results on a couple medical tests I had to take and all I want to do is eat a pint full of ice cream. But I know deep down, that won’t make me feel any better. Normally, I would treat myself to something like fro-yo, a piece of chocolate, or chips and queso. This time I am choosing to blog about it which actually makes me feel 100 times better. A much more fulfilling and satisfying feeling than before when I had chosen not-so-good-for-me food. I know that no matter what, everything will work out to be fine but I am still a little nervous and scared.

It feels really good to be making and seeing progress. I will continue to persevere through this whole process and I know I will become a better, fitter, and happier person from it all. 🙂

Compliment for the day: I am proud of myself for finding a healthier alternative to help me better cope with my emotions.

Day 10

PreWorkout Snack: Nothing (on new med and cannot take it with food…will get this figured out)

Workout (at The Lean Lemon):  30 mins Sculpt & 30 mins Cheeky

PostWorkout Snack: Slice of turkey

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea

Breakfast: Sweet potato hash with two eggs and four strawberries

Lunch: Chicken with cabbage & asparagus

Dinner: Mini egg pizza’s with sautéed kale

Day 11

PreWorkout Snack: 1 cup of Homemade Almond Milk (so fun to make!)

Workout (at The Lean Lemon):  1 hour Cardio/Sculpt & 30 mins Core

PostWorkout Snack: Slice of turkey

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea

Breakfast (w/my dad): Omelet w/linguiça, spinach, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes cooked in no oil or butter

Lunch: Mini egg pizza’s with sautéed kale

Dinner: Chicken/Shrimp Tortilla-less soup

Whole30 – Day 6 & 7

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I had a dream about cheese last night. All things deliciously cheesy. But I didn’t eat any of it as I kept saying, “I can’t have cheese on the Whole30”! Odd but so proud of myself! Too funny! (I have had some super cravings for Mexican food the last couple of days…wonder if that is where it came from…hmmm!)

The timeline for yesterday and today;

Days 6-7: I just want a nap

Okay, so its day 6 and you made it through the last phase without smiting anyone. The thing is, today you don’t feel like you could smite anyone if your life depended on it! It’s 10 am and all you can think about is crawling under your desk for a catnap. As the day drags on, the surface of your desk is morphing, from hard wooden surface to snuggly warm pillow, right before your eyes. You hit the gym, but only halfheartedly, unable to face the barbell with any kind of conviction. You crawl into bed at 8 p.m. only to drag yourself out eleven hours later feeling no more rested than you did the night before.

So what’s the deal?! Isn’t eating like this supposed to increase energy levels? Yes…in the long run. Right now, your body is learning that it can’t rely on all those easy access energy sources it used to know and love. Gone are the days of cinnamon crunch muffins and Frappuccinos. Now your body is learning to efficiently burn fat and protein as its fuel sources, and that takes more effort – and some time. If you can hold out just a bit longer, you’ll definitely reap the benefits. (Besides, you could probably use a day off from the gym anyway, right?)

Definitely would agree with this as I felt tired yesterday and the same today (but still great 🙂 ). I was telling a friend after the gym yesterday that I am so amazed with how wonderful I feel after only 5 days (now 6); it is easier for me to wake up, my body feels clean and happy, and my mind just feels clear. Love all these incredible changes happening!

Have to add, as yesterday was a very exciting day, that my best friend, who is on the Whole30 with myself and my mama, found her wedding dress AND her cowboy boots that she is going to wear for their big day!!!! AHHHH! 😀 It was such an exciting moment and day, and, my goodness, she just looks so GORGEOUSLY STUNNING in it all! Still makes me tear up thinking about it all, :’-) happy tears, of course! The dress is INCREDIBLY beautiful and I am SO excited for their big day to get here but also can’t wait for all the fun festivities in between! YAY to 2014 and all the LOVE ❤

Confession….

Will admit I had a downer moment yesterday about my body with not feeling happy about my outside changes. (Mind you, my inside changes are phenomenal!) I texted my mom knowing she would be able to pull me out of the slump and she, of course, knew just what to say, “You are making the right choices and changes and you cannot expect 6 days of eating clean and working out to completely fix a month off. But look at all the positive things you feel already, the changes you are striving for will come with time and continued hard work, and I know you will get there again! And look at all the people you have already helped or inspired? Like me! Through perseverance, we TOTALLY got this!” (My mom is amazing, if you haven’t already guessed.) She shared some personal struggles with the bestie and I to help keep our motivation and spirits up! I love you, ma! Thank you for always making my day brighter and I am SO proud of YOU!

I found this quote (today’s picture) after a dear friend posted it on her Instragram;

Small changes consistently implemented, inevitably produce huge results. – Dame Luthas

Fits perfectly for today to help remind me that these small changes I am making and consistently implementing, will help me persevere to get to my end goal. And with my incredible support team, I know we totally got this!

Day 6

PreWorkout Snack: Coffee w/coconut milk

Workout (at The Lean Lemon):  1 hour TurboKick

PostWorkout Snack: Slice of turkey

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea

Breakfast: Quiche with half of an apple

Lunch: Salmon with avocado salsa, roasted cauliflower, and steamed bok choy (packed in a lunch box for the bestie and I)

Dinner: Spiced grass-fed ground beef with mashed garlic cauliflower

Day 7

REST DAY

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea

Breakfast: Quiche with a few strawberries

Lunch: Spiced grass-fed ground beef with mashed garlic cauliflower

Dinner: Garbage stir-fry (basically things you have left over in the fridge)

A Little Fun Encouragement :-)

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My mom sent me the video below this morning! Needed after a pep talk with my trainer this AM about a few of my mind games. It just hit home and touched my heart and soul! We have to make this life awesome as we only get one! I know I needed this today. Do you know someone who needs a little encouragement?? Send them this vid. It made my day. 🙂

A Pep Talk from Kid President to YOU!

Much love,

Val