6 months, 35 lbs, 1″ of Frosting

My husband and I have gotten into a routine of detoxing after the holidays, especially after visiting home and gorging on all the foods we don’t have access to throughout the year.  So this January was no different.

We had already been exploring Paleo/Primal eating since last year, so we decided to look into to the Whole30.  We did all our homework on the in’s and out’s of the plan: 30 days without sweeteners, grains, legumes, dairy, white potatoes, or alcohol.  Oh, and no weighing or measuring my body either (a big issue for me in the past).

We read through the timeline of typical experiences/symptoms so we knew what to expect.  Since we completed an intense detox in August, experiencing week-long headaches, and horrible mood swings, we were fully prepared for what was to happen…  or so we thought.

The first week, instead of experiencing “The Hangover”, “Kill ALL the things”, and “I just want a nap”, we actually had no ill effects!  The logic here is “the amount of suck you experience in this phase is directly proportional to the amount of crap you consumed before you began the program”.  Because we’ve been cleaning up our diet in recent months, we were able to slide right through this stage.

The following week wasn’t all that bad either.  We had mild cravings for relatively healthy things, like plain full-fat yogurt, or 87% dark chocolate.  Though my husband did have dreams about gorging on pizza and a plate full of bacon.  Other than that, we were coasting right along.  SUPERB!

The third week is where things started getting interesting.  My husband was scheduled for a mild surgical procedure, so his mom and aunt were flying in from across the country for support, and would be staying with us for a week.  We were facing the stress of the pending surgery, a packed (1-bedroom) apartment, and what the hell was I going to feed my in-laws while we were detoxing??

Thankfully my in-laws were happy to try all the food I was cooking!  So that part was pretty awesome.  The surgery went well, but there were some complications afterward that warranted an over-night stay.  My husband was put on a liquid diet, and was refusing the Jell-O and apple juice (10% juice??) they provided.  Luckily, we were able to bring him some raw coconut water to keep him hydrated and nourished.  As for the packed apartment, we actually had a lot of fun playing board games, making meals together, and reminiscing about family times.  All in all, that week was a success.

By the forth week, I began feeling intense cravings and serious food boredom, even though my meals were getting more and more creative, and being driven by the awesome selection at our local farmer’s market.  I was also experiencing some crazy mood swings, more intense then ever.  Was I feeling my symptoms in reverse??  I just bit down hard, and kept on keeping on.

We ended the last few days with a going-away party for a friend that we hosted with nearly all Whole30-compliant food (we just stayed clear of the pancakes and mimosas), and a couple of emotional why-won’t-this-thing-end-already?! days.  But we made it to Day 30 unscathed!!  In fact, by Day 31, I was over the intensity of being so close to the end, and had no cravings, so I made it a Whole31. Woot!

As for results, I lost 5 lbs for a total of 35 lbs since August, and my husband lost 6 lbs for a total of 20 lbs!  My husband took my body measurements back in October, again in November, and then after our Whole 30 in February.  I don’t exactly trust his tape measuring skills, but it’s pretty clear that I’ve lost about an inch consistently from my neck, biceps, chest, waist, hips, thighs, and calves – which a friend aptly termed “an inch of frosting”.

Check out my before and after pictures, and a timeline of what’s happened since I started my health journey last summer.  I know I still have a long way to go to get to a healthier state, but I’m pretty happy with my progress so far, and am so grateful to have the support of my husband, family, and friends.

6 months

July “before” / Oct down 20 lbs / Feb down 35lbs


August/September
(read more here and here)

Goals:

  • 4-week detox using Anti-Estrogenic Diet
  • Focus on lots of fresh produce, whole grains, beans, fish, nuts and seeds
  • Eliminate caffeine and alcohol; minimize dairy and sugar additives
  • Practice mindfulness and acceptance

Accomplishments:

  • Lost 20 lbs
  • Started hooping and hiking
  • Improved mood/outlook, less bloated, improved “regularity”

October

IMAG1086

Homestead-Blue Ridge Trail. See that path along the ridge behind me? Yeah, I hiked that.

Goals:

Accomplishments:

  • Lost 7 lbs
  • Broke daily obsession with scale (read about it here)
  • Stopped mindlessly binge eating
  • Better balanced, more coordinated, and more playful

November/December

Hooping in JFK airport!

Hooping in JFK airport!

Goals:

  • MAINTAIN weight through the holidays
  • Continue hooping while visiting home for Christmas

Accomplishments:

  • Rocked my annual physical! (read more here)
  • Hooped in airports, and with my family on the east coast
  • LOST 2 lbs during Christmas while visiting home for 2 weeks!
  • Enjoyed holiday treats while balancing with nourishing foods

January

My creativity at work: chicken chili verde, over-easy egg, and Southwest sweet potatoes.

Goals:

  • 30-day detox using Whole30
  • Focus on whole foods including meat and seafood, vegetables, fruits, and nuts
  • Refrain from sugar additives, grains, legumes, dairy, and alcohol
  • Refrain from weighing or measuring my body

Accomplishments:

  • Lost 5 lbs
  • Got SUPER creative in the kitchen
  • No longer need an alarm clock to wake up
  • Discovering healthier ways to self-soothe instead of emotionally eating
  • Extremely mindful of ingredient labels
  • Started attending local hooping classes
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