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…

IMG_0661 IMG_0660 IMG_0659 IMG_0658

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 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 12-15

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These dreams the last few nights have been so vivid and all about FOOD! Food I can’t have. Last night, the dream was all about me making biscuits. So strange as I don’t even like biscuits that much but I woke up feeling so guilty!

Days 12-15: Boundless energy! Now give me a damn Twinkie.

Hurray! The slump is over! Your pants fit again! Your energy levels are better than normal – you’re downright Tigger the bouncing tiger! But something weird is happening. You’re dreaming. Not crazy nightmare or strange surrealist dreams, either. Incredibly normal and realistic dreams – about donuts. Or Twinkies. Or Snickers.* In your mind, sometimes you get caught and feel guilty. Sometimes you just brazenly eat the contraband. But then, the feelings start following you into the waking hours. Suddenly, you’re craving things you don’t even like. (For me, it’s Diet Coke and Twinkies, for Melissa Hartwig, it was fast-food cheeseburgers!) Your co-workers’ heads transform into giant Girl Scout Cookies as you gaze on in disbelief. Seriously, you’ve almost hit the halfway mark, and now this?!

All joking aside, though, this phase gets really intense and for some people. This is the part of the program where our minds try to drive us back to the comfort of the foods we used to know. Our food relationships are deeply rooted and strongly reinforced throughout the course of our lives and breaking through them is really big deal. Journaling can be especially enlightening and helpful during this phase, and helpful for reflection later. Take some time to jot down what you’re craving, how you’re feeling and what tools you’re using to work through the cravings.

*The cravings people get, and the dreams they often have, rival those of pregnancy. One person told me they craved pickles and Doritos (together) during this phase!

I have had so much energy the last few days; waking without my alarm, bouncing off the walls a little bit, and just feeling clean and clear (but totally out of control… 😉 J/K horrible joke…silly Clean&Clear commercials).

As I was working out yesterday, I almost broke down into tears I was feeling so great. My body is starting to feel and look like it used to, I am excited for and can bust through my workouts, I am not as tired and cranky, and my complexion is clearing up! Getting back to being comfortable in my skin is such an incredible feeling. I had forgotten how amazing it truly is and the impact it has on my entire demeanor. Even my sweet husband mentioned to me the other day that he can tell that I am becoming happy and confident again and he has missed that!

I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.

Love this for today as this is EXACTLY what I was telling my trainer Friday after our workout. I am back on track, feeling so much better and getting comfortable in my skin again, and even though I am not exactly where I want to be, I will continue to persevere and get a little closer everyday. A forever journey that I am so unbelievably excited for again!

If you are afraid to do or start something to get yourself to where you want to be, whether it’s in a relationship, at your job, or your own health, start today. It may take time to get there but in the end, it will be so worth it. I am only on Day 14 of this Whole30 program and I cannot believe all the positive changes I feel and have made to get me to where I want to be. Give it two weeks or 30 days…you can do it as I am here to support you! Through perseverance, we can do whatever we put our minds and our hearts to.

XO,

Val

Day 12

Compliment for the day: I feel AWESOME and feel I am looking pretty awesome too! 😀

PreWorkout Snack: Water

Workout (at The Lean Lemon):  30 mins Core, 30 mins Cheeky, & 30 mins flexibility

PostWorkout Snack: Slice of turkey

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea

Breakfast: Ground pork sautéed with onions and apples with two eggs.

Lunch: Mini egg pizza’s with kale chips

Dinner: Mocha-rubbed pot roast with steamed beets and asparagus

Day 13

Compliment for the day: I am proud of myself for not giving into the Valentines day chocolate that I really wanted to give in to.

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

Workout (at The Lean Lemon):  1 hour TurboKick, 30 mins Core, and 30 mins Cheeky

PostWorkout Snack: Slice of turkey

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea (and a homemade almond milk latte…yummm!)

Breakfast: Chicken, sausage, mushroom and spinach casserole with homemade pico

Lunch:  Mocha-rubbed pot roast with steamed beets and asparagus

Dinner: Chicken/Shrimp Tortilla-less soup

Day 14

Compliment for the day: Way to go on getting your chores done yesterday so your Sunday is free for fun and meal prepping!

Workout:  REST DAY

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea

Breakfast: Chicken, sausage, mushroom and spinach casserole with homemade pico

Lunch: Chicken/Shrimp Tortilla-less soup

Dinner: Garbage stir-fry

Day 15

Compliment for the day: (will update)

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

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

PostWorkout Snack: Slice of turkey & some butternut squash

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea

Breakfast: Sweet potato hash with two eggs and strawberries

Lunch: Garbage stir-fry

Dinner: Salmon w/avocado, steamed brussels and asparagus

Whole30 – Day 8 & 9

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Do you ever have those days where you just feel as big as a house? My goodness. I feel like a blue whale. I mean, no fat jokes or hard feelings towards the whale but seesh…it’s just how I feel.

Day 8-9: For the love of Gosling, my pants are TIGHTER.

You’ve made it through the Hangover, and managed not to kill ALL the things, and you’re starting to feel like things are back on level ground again.  Then, you put on your pants. They’re just pants, completely normal pants. In fact, they’re the pants you wore just three days ago. (You were too tired to wash them. It’s okay, we understand.) And three days ago, they fit.  But this morning you had to take a big deep breath to get that button where it ought to be.  What gives?!

The same processes that ran over you like a truck a few days ago are still working their magic in your body.  Your body composition is not actually changing for the worse, we assure you. The enzymes that digest your food and the millions of bacteria that live in your gut are adjusting to your new intake of meat and vegetables, and the lack of easy-access sugars.  This is something they do naturally, and these adjustments have contributed to humanity’s ability to flourish throughout our history.  However, these adjustments can be a bit… uncomfortable. Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or all three may appear as your gut starts to heal, rebalance, and process this new food effectively. The good news is that most people find this phase passes relatively quickly, and their pants are easy to button again within a week or so.

A week or so??? Bummer. All good though as I know this is doing happy things to my body. And I really do feel so awesome so a little bloating and being un-comfy for a bit won’t be that terrible…all positive things happening!

My sweet mama still has her headache 😦 poor thing! We decided to research a bit why she is having her headache for so long and came across a great video about sugar shock from Dr. Oz. We gained some great insight on just how horrible the stuff is for us and, on top of that, it is in practically EVERYTHING we eat (processed junk, sauces, soups, milk, bacon, etc.)! Definitely recommend watching the video; Jorge Cruise & Dr. Oz – Sugar Shock

I have got to give my mom and best friend props because on Friday they both had sweets all around them at their offices. I got this picture from my mom around lunch time…

unnamedSUGAR SHOOOOCCCKKKK! Ack! Way to go girls! So proud of you both that you didn’t cave to the sugar! 😀

Nothing feels better than feeling good about yourself.

SHAPE magazine posted this quote the other day on Facebook and I just loved the message behind it as it is the honest truth. It came up on my feed at the exact time I started to ‘fat-talk’ at myself. It made me question; “how can you talk to yourself this way? This doesn’t make you feel better, it makes you feel worse. Would you ever talk to someone you loved like this?”. We have got to stop putting ourselves down with the ‘fat-talk’. I 100% admit that I am guilty of it but it does not benefit me in any way.

From today on, my new goal is to wake up everyday, look at myself in the mirror, and give myself a compliment. Compliments such as, “I am proud of you for not grumbling when your alarm clock went off”. Simple as that. I will be sure to share with you all what my compliment for the day is to help keep me accountable and to keep the positive-talk flowing! And please share with me what your compliment of the day to yourself is! Through perseverance, we can help stop the ‘fat-talk’!

P/S Went to the doc yesterday for a check-up…cholesterol is down a bit! YAY! She upped my dosage of my cholesterol med to maybe help bring it down a bit more. She was also very happy to hear I was doing a program that could possibly help as well! But my thyroid is acting up (which may also have a factor in the cholesterol on-top of genetics) 😦 I had to be put on a med for that and have an ultrasound Thursday. Please keep positive thoughts for me! XO

Day 8

PreWorkout Snack: Coffee w/coconut milk

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: Salmon crumble with green beans and garlic mashed cauliflower

Dinner: TACOS!!!! with homemade avocado dressing…yummmm!

Day 9

PreWorkout Snack: Water (unfortunately can’t eat anything within an hour of taking this new medication)

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

PostWorkout Snack: Slice of turkey

Drinks All Day: WATER, coffee, & tea

Breakfast: Ground pork sautéed with apples and onions and an egg

Lunch: TACOS!!!! with homemade avocado dressing…yummmm!

Dinner: Chicken with cabbage & asparagus

 

Whole30 – Day 2

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Maybe it’s all in my head, but man do I feel AMAZING! After one day of this program, I just feel great. My mind feels clearer, my body feels cleaner, and my attitude is positive! I am just so pumped to being feeling great and excited to see the results at the end of the 30 days. And, according to the Whole30 Timeline, this is exactly how they expect me to feel;

Day 1: So what’s the big deal?

It’s 3 p.m. on day 1. You had a guilt-free plate of steak and eggs for breakfast, breezed through the morning with coffee and coconut cream by your side, and had a nice big salad for lunch. Your body is telling you it’s snack time, so you grab a handful of almonds and an apple and head back to your desk to finish out your day. You’ve got a slow cooker full of chili infusing your kitchen with a heavenly smell, and right now you can’t see why anyone thinks this is hard.

This delusion is somewhat akin to the first episode of any given reality show on which the contestants are herded together and forced to live in one house. At the end of the first episode, everyone can just tell they are going to be best friends for life. Those of us on the other side of the screen know better, though, don’t we? No one really believes this mess to be true, but everyone humors it… because how long can it last, really?

The truth is that you’re feeling empowered by making one good choice after another, all day long. And you should! Take note of that Rock Star feeling, stash it away and bring it back out when days get rough. Because rest assured that after a lifetime of suboptimal choices, things are going to have to get worse before they can get better.

Speaking of rough…”

Today and tomorrow are apparently supposed to be rough but I still feel great! We shall see…

I don’t think I have ever cooked as much as I have over the past two days! Meal prepping is no joke but I love doing it! 🙂 It is a lot of work up front but it is SO nice to just have everything ready. I had always ‘prepped’ the night before when I was doing my five small meals a day but prepping for the whole week is kind of amazeballs.

Here is a snapshot of the Quiche I made us for breakfast today and Thursday morning:

photo 1Mmm…according to my mom and best friend, it was delish! I am about to dive in now! (p/s – Gosh, I have an incredible support system! Doing this with my mama and best friend has made it SO fun and motivating! They are just wonderful! <3)

As the picture says,

If You Never Try, Then You’ll Never Know

This hits the nail right on the head for me with this program. When I first read about it, I went back and forth but then thought, ‘if you never try it, how will you know that you won’t see results from it?’ I am so glad that I decided to take this challenge and I am so stoked and proud that my mom and best friend decided to come along with me. We are going to persevere through these next 29 days and have a smile while we do! 😀

Day 2

PreWorkout Snack: Coffee w/coconut milk

Workout (at The Lean Lemon):  1 hour Cardio/Sculpt & 30 minutes of Insanity

PostWorkout Snack: Slice of turkey

Drinks All Day: WATER & tea

Breakfast: Mushroom, chicken, & sausage Quiche with two small mandarin oranges

Lunch: Butternut squash and pork stew with homemade chicken broth and 1/4 of an avocado

Dinner: Blueberry turkey patties with steamed broccoli and ‘sautéed’ kale

(Will post recipes later today!)

Whole30 Day 1

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Today is Day 1 of the Whole30 program! I got my mom, best friend (she joined yesterday, yay!), and myself all prepped and ready last night for the week. We all are super pumped and excited for this 30 day challenge! 🙂

The challenge is based around eating quality, whole, good-for-you foods. No sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, or processed junk including sulfites, MSG’s, or carrageenan’s. It’s about process of elimination to not only help you find a better balance with food but to also let you see what allergies or food sensitivities you may have.

The thing that got me so excited about this program, was how many people had significant number drops in their cholesterol and some were even able to get off their medications. Wow! It would just be amazing to get those dang numbers down!

With the program, they also recommended you read their book, It Starts With Food. It was written by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig who created the Whole30 program. It is an amazing book about all the different food groups and how they affect our bodies, negatively or positively. They give you all the scienc-y stuff about food and dumb it down so it is easy to understand. I am about halfway through and excited to continue reading and learning more. One big thing they emphasize on is finding the balance, which is one of my main goals to find again.

This program is the exact jumpstart I need to get to back on track. To be able to find the balance, feel better, and be proud of the person staring back at me in the mirror again. I will be posting everyday about how it is all going, my workouts, and what we are eating. I am so thankful and lucky to have my mom and best friend along with me for the ride! So important to have a great support system when taking on a big challenge! Through perseverance, it is going to be an AWESOME 30 days! 😀

Day 1

PreWorkout Snack: Small handful of cashews and macadamia nuts

Workout (at The Lean Lemon):  30 minutes Sculpt & 30 minutes Cheeky; walk with the pooch this afternoon

PostWorkout Snack: Hard-boiled egg

Breakfast: Egg whites with palm sized grilled pork and coffee with a splash of coconut milk

Lunch: Rainbow salad with tahini dressing, palm sized chicken, and 1/4-1/2 of an avocado

Dinner: Spaghetti squash with roasted shrimp and asparagus

Wish us luck!