Saturday, May 10, 2014

Whole30, over and out! {I'm moving forward with my Whole30ish life now}

Yesterday marked the end of my second Whole30. It was a bittersweet occasion, because it's really going to be hard to let go of my Whole30 "crutch", but I'm excited to start living my Whole30ish life, which will of course include honey-sweetened BBQ sauce, a bit of homemade dark chocolate and even the occasional glass of red wine.

Yeah, life is looking good right about now.

But back to my Whole30 experience. The list of improvements I noticed is a long one. Really long. But here are the highlights for you:

  • Remember me talking about increased acne? Well, it's gone. All the little red bumps I had have vanished. The big pimples? Cleared up. My skin is even better in general - not oily, not dry, not too pale... I'm literally glowing! :p
  • Speaking of glowing, my dark under eye circles are gone. I have a naturally pale complexion, and my under eye circles had gotten so dark that people had started asking me if I felt alright. Now, people only tell me how refreshed I look lately.
  • My perma-bloat is gone. I am no longer "aware" of my stomach. Before the Whole30, I could actually feel that my stomach was there, simply because the skin was being stretched by bloat, especially at night. People have stopped asking me if I'm preggo, too.
  • My joints are no longer stiff and swollen. I can move easily and without pain.
  • Speaking of pain, I haven't experience any sort of stomach or intestinal pain in a very long time. Actually, the only time I felt any sort of discomfort was when my BBQ was contaminated by other BBQ meats that had marinated in store marinades. 
  • I am digesting my food better. How do I know? To put it plainly, I have a lot less gas. I hardly ever fart or burp any more! ;p Oh, and my bowel movements have improved as well.
  • I used to be plagued by chronic sinus troubles - they have disappeared! (I actually think these problems are brought on primarily by dairy as they briefly reappeared after the aforementiond BBQ).
  • The strange and unexplained muscle pain in my right bicep has disappeared. I can take off my own shirts now - all by myself!
  • I no longer have any trouble falling asleep. I used to lay awake for hours, but now I don't even think I lay awake for more than 10 minutes. 
  • My mood swings have disappeared. I'm not saying I'm never cranky anymore, but I no longer snap for no reason over silly things. If I'm upset, there's a reason to it. I am also a better teacher because of this - I have a lot more patience with my students and was surprised to find I could reexplain the same thing several times without thinking twice about it. I'm slightly ashamed to admit that pre-Whole30 I would generally explain one or two times, and then be done with it.
  • My sugar and carb cravings have pretty much disappeared. I'm not saying I don't want to eat sugar at all. My brain still knows it's delicious and I still want to eat yummy desserts, but it's no longer a physical pull towards a binge on "forbidden" foods.
  • Related to the loss of cravings, I no longer experience sugar and carb "hangovers" each evening. Most evenings I would zone out on the couch with my head spinning and my pulse racing from all the sugar I eaten that day. I no longer experience these sorts of blood sugar changes.
  • Also related to those cravings, I'm no longer hangry. I still enjoy my afternoon snack, and sometimes I'm actually hungry when I eat it, but I can tell the difference now. And I never need-food-all-the-food-right-now.
  • I want to workout again. I used to wake up dragging my feet, but now I jump out of bed, eager to get going!
  • My depression, from which I didn't know I was suffering, has gone away! I realize that I am truly happy right now! I'm loving life :)
  • And much, much more!

Now, all of those are non-scale successes. And, for now, those are the ones I'm most happy for! I was back to feeling sick and miserable, and Whole30 really helped me find my happy place again!

If you're curious about my weight loss, here are the numbers:

  • My weight didn't change a bit. If I had been weighing myself every day, I would have been discouraged by this - but the no-scale rule was in place, so I stayed positive! And I had good reason to because...
  • My body fat percentage dropped by 0.6%. Now, that was calculated using my bathroom scale, so the exactness is to be questioned, but it's still a step in the right direction! Lowering your BF% while maintaining the same weight suggests muscle gain - which makes this paleoista very happy!
  • Speaking of muscle - I gained 0.5 cm on my left bicep and 1 cm on my right bicep! I would have preferred even-sized biceps, but hey, a gain is a gain! :p
  • As for evening things out, my thighs are getting there... I gained 0.5 cm on my left thigh and lost 2.5 cm on my right thigh! There is now a mere 0.5 cm of difference between them!
  • For my stomach area, I've lost 1 cm at my natural waist (the smallest part of my abdomen) and 2.5 cm at my lower "abs" (the largest part of my abdomen)! I'm on the right track!
  • And lastly, I've gained 1 cm around my hips. I'm not sure how I feel about this one yet... :p The hubster just affirmed that is is "definitely a butt man", so I think I should be okay with this!

Where are the pictures? Well, they won't be posted here. I'm a teacher and wouldn't want those babies getting into the wrong hands :p I do have a certain image I'd like to uphold, and half-naked pictures of me on the Internet aren't going to do much for my credibility in front of my students.

So, while I'm very happy with these results, and find my other health improvements to be even greater wins, I would still like to continue working on changing my body composition. I want to be "bikini ready" for my vacation this summer. What I mean by this is I want to feel comfortable enough with my own body to have fun and play on a beach with the hubster - in a bikini.

I'm learning to accept my body more and more each day - but I'm am more in the state of mind of "I love and accept my body today, I give it proper nutrition, exercise and sleep, and I can't wait to see how much better it will be tomorrow."