Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2nd Day 2: Oops, I am doing it again!

I took a 4 day break from the Whole30 when I hit day 30 on my first round.  I indulged in what I wanted to eat and thought I had been missing...cheese fries, pasta salad, doughnuts, cream in my coffee, it is all such a blur I don't even remember what else...there may have been some peanut butter sandwich crackers in there too...it is all a little hazy.  I was even going to have a cupcake.  But you know what?  I was SICK for 4 days.  My heartburn returned with a vengeance.  I was nauseous the entire time...and even threw up...twice.  Now I know why they recommend a 10 day reintroduction plan in the book It Starts With Food.  It is really important not to skip that step.  Learn from my mistake.  That doughnut I dreamed about was NOT worth it.  It only made me sick.  It just put me into sugar shock.

This break from the Whole30 Part 1 coincided with my daughter's tube/adenoid surgery.  You know, the times in the past where I would have eaten away my stress and felt that I was completely justified.  But instead I just felt like I was cheating or something.  I felt like it was wrong to eat those foods.  Knowing what I know about what carbohydrate, sugar laden, chemically rich foods does to my body after cleansing it for 30 days helped me to realize something...and it is something BIG.

My body is made to be fed by real food.  Real meat, real vegetables, and real fruit.  I can not live on sugar and processed foods.  They may taste good in the moment, but the "reward" that I used to get from them wasn't at all the same after getting rid of them for so long.  I didn't feel good, satisfied, or fulfilled.  I felt sick.

I think the biggest thing that I learned from the Whole30 was that I had a very unhealthy relationship with food--it didn't take the Whole30 for me to know that, but it did take the Whole30 to give me to courage to break-up with those abusive foods.  But when I took out that unhealthy food that I ran to in order to feed my emotions, it helped me to see the unhealthy cycle my life had been in for so long.  Have a bad day, eat a brownie fudge sundae.  Feeling emotional, those chips and queso will make it all better.  Had a hard time getting the kids down to sleep, sure honey, run to the gas station and buy me a pint of ice cream to eat in one sitting.  Wouldn't the world look very different if everyone who had a bad day ran to their fridge and pulled out a giant bowl of roasted broccoli to ease their pain and heartache.  When those crutches were gone, I turned to something else.  I started reading my Bible plans again.  I started spending more time praying...and I am perfectly comfortable admitting that some of my prayers were, "Dear God, don't let me eat that cupcake or those tasty looking Cheese Its."  This helped me run to God instead of running to food.  Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that I didn't think about those things first at times, but I realized that food wasn't going to fill that emotional or spiritual void that I had been trying to fill.

The better my diet improved, the better my body felt.  I started working out again...been doing the 30 day Shred as I mentioned before, and I was able to get up in the morning and work out--and if I mentioned it before it is worth mentioning again.  That is an absolutely shocking thing if you really know me.  The only time I would be up at 6 am is if the smoke alarm was going off in the house...not because I felt the sudden urge to get up and sweat and breathe hard and burn calories.

Another reason why this plan really worked for me is because I like to cook.  Now don't get me wrong, I am no Gordon Ramsey...although he and I do share some serious personality traits.   But I like to make new recipes that I have never tried before.  I like trying new foods.  And I like sharing them with my family...even if they take one bite and spit it out.  Which happened tonight when K. ate a roasted brussels sprout.  She spit it out and said "that not taste good."  

So naturally after my 4 day food binder, I went right back to what I know works, and what I know makes me feel good.  So I am going for another 30 days--and my little sister is too. And guess what?  We have spread the Whole30 love.  Since we have talked about it so much, and told everyone we know about the benefits, we have enlisted others to ride this crazy train with us.  I know that they are going to see the benefits and they are going to be just as successful as we have been.

Oh, and I lost back some of the weight I had regained and I am down 13 lbs in 36 days.  I am glad I didn't gain from my cheating, which I totally expected.  This is a good feeling.  Knowing that I am finally making some progress in getting my life back on track is helping me mentally and physically.  It has been a good thing.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Day 30: I give up!

Don't worry, I am not talking about giving up on the Whole30...I am just giving up on trying to to this post...seriously, I have started and stopped writing it about 10 times...and then I had finalized my day 18-29 post or something, and published it, but it was somehow over-ridden when I logged into Blogger from my phone...ZOINKS!

So instead of re-writing what I have already written, I will just move forward.  That is the name of the game right now.  Just keep moving, just keep moving.  Which I have been doing.

It took me a little while to get my workout regimen started, but I am doing it now.  My precious friends at work and I are doing The 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels.  Are you noticing a theme here?

We were supposed to start on Monday, but I wasn't feeling well, so I started yesterday (Tuesday).  I worked out last night while my sweet husband tried to get our kiddos to sleep, and then I did something I don't think I have ever done before...okay, maybe one time...in college...but I didn't inhale...j/k I got up this morning at 6:15 and I worked out!  So my workout for today is already in the books!!!  What was that?  Did I just hear something about a rockstar?    I seriously feel so good.  I didn't think I would be able to do it, but when I went to bed last night I told my husband...no more excuses, when my alarm goes off in the morning I am getting my butt out of bed and doing it.  And I did.  I mean seriously, if I can go 30 days with no sugar, bread, pop, candy, cake, rice, white potatoes, then I can definitely get up an hour early and get a work out in.  It is all about MIND over MATTER...and I am sick of all my MATTER bossing my MIND around.

Also, part of my new-found enthusiasm is coming from another book I am reading.  A precious friend of mine, who is a multiple Whole30 graduate, suggested I read Every Body Matters by Gary Thomas.  And let me just tell you...it is a good thing I bought the e-book because I would have already spent a fortune on high-lighters if I had the paper book.  I have high-lighted something on nearly every page so far.  And the best part about it, it isn't just affecting my work-out life...it is making a difference in my spiritual life.

Don't worry, now that the Whole30 is over, I have another 30 days to discuss what I am doing with my workouts, and what I am learning from Every Body Matters.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about my weight loss...this morning when I stepped on the scale it said 199.  For all you who aren't math-majors out there, that is 11 lbs.  I had lost down to 196...but gained a little bit back.  I am not getting hung up on that...I am rejoicing at the 11 lbs that will never be on my body again!!!   Seriously, in 30 days that is almost 3 lbs a week.  Nothing to sneeze at my friend.  I am proud of myself...but most of all I am proud of the encouragement and motivation that my story has had on others.  People are seeing a difference and asking me what I am doing.  And since I am not a shy person I don't mind telling them...but inside I *might be* thinking...hey, you just told me that I used to be fat...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Day 15-17: If I haven't convinced you to try the Whole30 yet...

I seriously crack myself up sometimes  {{nod to pic on the left}}....if you don't know my name is Jessica...so that is why this is so funny.  If you do know me, then you will forgive me, HA HA...I don't have Photoshop, but I do have PowerPoint, and it is kind of the same thing, right?

But this headline is totally true for ME!  I lost 10 lbs in my first 16 days on the Whole30!!!!  I stepped on my scale this morning and it showed a glorious 200.  I actually never thought I would be happy to weigh 200 lbs...hahaha.  I know, I know...those rule followers out there will say, "But the Whole30 handbook It Starts with Food says not to weigh during your 30 days...because it isn't about weight loss."  

But seriously, I am not eating bread or cheese or sugar, so let me just freaking step on a scale and see what this change is doing for me.  Not that I needed extra motivation to stay on plan...don't get me wrong, it doesn't hurt...but I just needed to know that me feeling "skinnier" wasn't just in my head.

So here we are.  Over the half-way point.  And let me just tell you this has been a pretty easy journey for me.  Don't be jealous.  I am really grateful that I haven't had serious struggles with temptation.  I think my sister doing it with me, and now my best friend, and knowing that someone from town or work will see me eating that cupcake from the new cupcake shop...those are the things that keep me on the wagon.  Well, that and the fact that the food I am eating is really helping me feel good and it tastes good too.

So now I just need to get my butt in gear and start working out.  I shudder to think how much more I could have lost if I had been working out during this time.  Don't get me wrong--I needed to do one thing at a time, so I am not too sad.  I don't loathe working out like so many people do.  I have even been called a workout nazi.  I have a philosophy...go hard or go home.  That is really my general personality about everything, but I certainly feel that way on the treadmill or at the gym or run/walking the 5k around our local lake.  

It makes me laugh when I am sweating my butt off and breathing hard and trying to keep my heart-rate under 200 to avoid a heart attack, and some skinny girl (or guy) will come in the gym and get on the elliptical next to me, spin it around for about 6 mins, pick up their towel for which they have no need because they didn't even break a sweat and leave.  Why would you even drive to the gym to work out for less time than you would even be in the car to get there and get home--I ask myself?  And there I was with my 200 lb self, sweating, red faced, and looking as if I need to be heading to the ER...but at least I was moving my body.  Probably just the jealousy talking...they could be skinny and spin for 6 mins, and I was hitting it HARD for 60 and still staying fat.

I am not saying that if you are just starting working out 6 mins isn't good.  It is great, if it is 6 mins that you would normally be sitting on the couch...I feel as if I have put my foot in my mouth somewhere...  {{Changing the subject}}

I think that go hard or go home mentality is what has been keeping me on the couch for all of these weeks following the 1/2 marathon in April.  I had gone hard and my mind said go home.  And that is where I have been all of these weeks.  With really no excuses.  SO, now I need to put that all behind me and start fresh.  

Food change...CHECK
Sleep change...in progress-ish
Fitness change...my new challenge

So now I am getting my butt in gear.  30 mins a day of moving.  Either a HIIT video (the recommended type of workout for the Paleo diet), a run/walk with the family, getting on the treadmill at home, or going to the gym  (for which I have a membership but I haven't shown my face there for about 18 months.) 

Two weeks of working out and we will see what happens.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Days 11-14: You didn't think I quit did ya???

Wondering why I haven't been updating on my progress?  Well, don't you worry your pretty little head...I haven't quit.  In fact this weekend was amazing on the plan!  But it was a super full weekend of family/girl time, an emotional and wonderful benefit trail run for the Warrior Princess Foundation, and my first time to visit Sprouts...freeze dried okra may have changed my life, just sayin'.

I got to spend time with my sisters and my Mom this weekend...with NO KIDS, and almost no husbands...Brooke's was there, but only because we were staying at their house. We tried to kick him out...but he wouldn't leave- c'est la vie.  Being kid-less and out of town overnight is a VERY rare event for my older sister Amy and I.  Big thanks to our stellar husbands for taking care of our kiddos so that we could have a great time and to Mom and Brooke letting both Amy and I take a much needed and deserved nap Saturday afternoon.

The main reason we all got together was because my older sister Amy was volunteering at her best friend's trail run.  I wanted to go with to help, visit her friend, and see what a trail run was all about.  I got to assist with the timing and even got a break to be able to do one loop (1.03 miles) of the trail.  And I am HOOKED.  Can't wait to do the run with my husband next year.  Gotta start training!

The scenery was the most beautiful part.  I haven't seen anything like it before here in Oklahoma.  I live where there is flat land, wheat fields, and cow pastures.  I never expected to see enormous rock walls and knotted trees and a such gorgeous display of God's craftsmanship.    I would really love to take my husband and my kids back there so that they can see what an amazing place it was.

This weekend was full of good times and too full to spend with a laptop writing my little heart away.  Glad to reflect on this journey during that little bit of a break.  It is almost half way through the Whole30 and I can totally see this being a lifestyle.

Then on Sunday we went to church and wouldn't you know, God smacked me again with a message that was just for me.  Sorry for those of you who had to sit through it and listen too...hopefully it benefited you as well.  Ha ha.  What does our pastor talk about?  We started a new series called Stand. The main message:  "If you aren't standing out, then you are fitting in".  And what does he talk about?  Oh you know, Daniel, and his fast.  Jigga-what???  Yep...you got that right.  He talks about food.  And then when I open up my YouVersion Bible App to my Bible Reading Plan for the 21 day fast (started it when there was 21 days left of the Whole 30, but missed reading it this weekend) I start reading day 2 and guess what verses are there for me to read?  You guessed it.   The story of Daniel and the fast.  I just love when God gets to me.  Not only does it reinforce what I am learning, but it helps reconfirm that I am doing just what I am supposed to be doing RIGHT NOW!

Talk about a perfect ending to a perfect weekend!

I must confess...I did inadvertently drink some Gatorade at the race...wasn't even thinking about the sugar, was just thinking about needing something cold and hydrating.  

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day 9 and Day 10: Is it Friday yet?

What a week!  Oh man this has been a crazy week.  End of the month is always a challenge because of my job.  Usually I am a ball of stress and nerves and body pain.   And before my stress remedy was lots of sugar!   I mean, who doesn't feel better after a Brownie Fudge Sundae  from Braum's?  But not this month.  I didn't even blink an eye when they had cake at work on Wednesday and cupcakes at work today.  And I didn't judge anyone for partaking...nope, not one bit.  

Okay, so I don't just want to toot my own horn {{toot toot}} because I haven't had sugar for 10 days.  One  of the greatest things has happened as a result of The Whole30.  I haven't been having as much body pain. Who knew that eating whole foods for only 10 days can make such a difference in your body?!? Wait, you mean the people who wrote the book, and the millions of people who have participated in the plan knew this already?  Seriously.  My body feels so good.

I do have a confession to make.  The Bible says "Confess your sins from one to another and pray for each other so that you may be healed."  James 5:16 I hate to admit it, my body has been feeling great but it hasn't been because I have been getting more sleep either.  And don't you know, the week I pledge that I am going to bed at 10 pm my kids won't go to sleep, and I can't fall asleep, and my kids won't stay asleep, and I am stressed, and I must be honest the biggest reason I haven't been in bed on time is because I am obsessed with playing a game on my Kindle...no I won't tell you which one...I won't let you fall into my horrible time-wasting, sleep-stealing addiction.  It is for your own good.  Trust me.

And its not like I have been addicted to this game for a long time...but it has got me, hard.  I need your help and your prayer for me to get rid of this addiction and replace it with working out, sleep, and something that is beneficial...like laundry.  

So, I know that with just the change in my diet, my body is already changing.  And I am not just saying that because someone told me that I looked skinnier either.  My inflammation in my joints is down, and I can move my shoulder without pain.  My desk job involves a lot of typing and 10-key work and by the end of the month the constant repetition with my right hand usually leave me writhing in pain at night.  But not this month.  I am noticing a HUGE difference.  I couldn't be happier, and I know that it is solely due to the change in my diet.

If you haven't been convinced by me to try this new lifestyle yet, just wait.  I can not believe what I am going to experience over the next 20 days and I am so excited that I get to share it  with you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Day 8: If I can stay on plan after today...I can do anything

This has seriously been a day.  From the moment I woke up this morning I have been stressed.  I am not talking about my shower was too cold, and my hair wouldn't fix right stress. I am talking about real-life, hold-your-breath-until-you-know-it-is-okay, pray-hard stress.

My kiddo woke up with her ear bleeding after she hit her head yesterday so we called the Dr. and ended up in the E.R. this morning.  Everything ended up being okay, and she had just scratched her ear canal and the blood was just superficial.  Praise the Lord!  And thanks to all who prayed for us too.

It is end of month--which is very important in my job.  And missing a half day is a big deal and causes even more stress.

Then something else happened that added more stress for me.  And more.  And more.  And you know what happened?  I survived.  I didn't eat anything not on plan.  I didn't have any of the candy or chips that we have in abundance in the office.  And I wasn't even really that tempted.  I knew it was off limits and didn't even entertain the thought of eating a Milky Way, or Pretzels, or Doritos, or Snickers, or Reeses. 

And I couldn't be more proud of myself.  Really.  It is okay to be proud of your accomplishments.  There were so many things that happened today that would have set me in a sugar swirl of shame just 9 days ago.  On days where I was that stressed in the past it wouldn't have been anything for me to eat two candy bars at work and then have ice cream when I went home and the kids went to bed.  {{hanging my head in disgust}}

But even with my meals not planned today--because of the E.R. visit--I ended up getting a salad from from the hospital cafeteria and everything stayed on plan.  I did it!  I really thought of all days that the circumstances of today would be my downfall.  But it wasn't.  And now I know that after today's craziness that means that I can stay on plan any day.

That just goes to show that my mind is changing. There isn't anything that is going to make me get off-plan because I have already set my mind to stay on plan.  And the message at church this week was just what I needed to hear to help get my mind set.  I go to LifeChurch.tv  The series right now is At The Movies and our pastor takes real movies and puts Biblical perspective on them.

This week the message was about the movie Captain Phillips.  And the message was amazing.  You can watch it here, but you have to hurry.  You can only watch it during one of the live showings THIS week.  But during the message Craig talked about the need for us to watch out for our enemy that seeks to devour us.  We must Stay Alert, Stand Firm, and Be Strong.  I know that some of you may laugh at me to say that my enemy is food, but hear me out, it isn't.  The devil has certainly used food as a tool to beat me up with for many, many years.  But I know that this plan, The Whole30, is what is helping me to be able to Stay Alert, Stand Firm, and Be Strong--that and all the prayers, support, and encouragement I am getting from you.  And today I had a big victory in my fight against food, and ultimately against the devil.

James 4:7 So humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 7: Motivation Monday

What gives me the motivation that I need to make this big life change?  Is it fitting into all the clothes in my closet? That doesn't hurt. Is it thinking about being there when my girls walk down the aisle at their wedding? Yes, if Jesus doesn't come before that...which I pray for, every day...preferably before they are teenagers. Is it not wanting to be the fattest mom in the classroom when I go to see my 2nd grader at school?  Probably that most of all. 

For me I don't get my motivation from watching celebrities who have personal chefs, and trainers, and physicians, and an entire staff of people devoted to getting them in shape for their next role, show, or red carpet appearance.  Nope.  My life isn't even comparable to that kind of life style.  Sure, any of us could get skinny from someone telling us what to eat, cooking it for us, telling us when to go to bed, when to wake-up, and what to do when we work out.  Plus I don't get paid millions of bucks every year or two for the way that my body looks.  If that were the case, sure, I would have motivation coming out of my ears.

I also don't get my motivation from the people on those weight loss t.v. shows.  I mean I do get some sort of inspiration from them.  And I never sit down to watch one without a box of Kleenex close by...my motto is that no one is allowed to cry alone in my presence...name that movie...  Those are all great stories, and they have wonderful transformations to their bodies and lives, but I don't live in that world either.  They too have a much bigger reason to get in shape...who would ever want to disappoint Chris (from Extreme Makeover) or make Jillian Michaels mad.

I find my motivation from people that I know, some in real life, and some through social media.  They are the people that have been through the real world of weight loss and real life...not some manufactured representation of it for t.v. cameras.  I am not knocking reality t.v. here.  I love reality t.v.  Except the Bachelor and Bachelorette--I can't stand those.  They have kids, and jobs, and financial struggles, and school, and real life issues.  Like donuts in the break-room in a box that says "You DESERVE a donut"--why yes, yes I do deserve a donut...maybe even two--I haven't had one since last week.

Other than my friends and family, the people that give me motivation are some people that blog, share their stories on Instagram or Facebook, and those that I see their story as it happens in REAL life.  I love seeing someone at church that you haven't seen in a while and being able to see the changes they have made in their bodies.  I love to see them telling about their workouts on Facebook, and seeing their pictures of the healthy food they are eating.  I don't hate the posts that talk about how hard a workout was...those are the ones that make me think...hmmmm...my butt probably should have been on a treadmill today too.

Some of the people that I follow through social media are:  Christian Radio Personality, Motivational Speaker, blogger, writer, and church friend, Janelle Keith.  She is an amazing lady with an amazing story of physical and spiritual transformation.  Another one is Jessi:  from the blog The Girl Who Thought Too Much. She is ms_st4us on Instagram.  She is amazing.  She has lost 70 lbs. eating clean and working her butt off in the gym...literally.  The Tone It Up girls. I mean seriously.  Are they not the cutest?  Both Katrina and Karena are my girl crushes.  I love their adorable personalities, their amazing recipes, and their fabulous style, oh, and they live in California...the land of my birth.  Another of my Instagram motivators  is Courtney Crozier of Biggest Loser fame.  BL11Courtney on Instagram.  Loved her on the Biggest Loser, and love to see what her life is like now.

You also give me motivation.  Knowing that you are reading my thoughts, laughing at my jokes, and watching my eventual transformation, even if it is only reading words on a screen is a BIG motivator for me not to give up and to press through.  I love to know that you spend time in your day to be a part of mine, and hope that I am in some way motivating you too.

All of these are great, but my biggest motivation comes from my accountability partner, my precious best friend Carol, my sisters Brooke and Amy, my incredibly supportive and devoted parents, but most of all from my darling husband--but I haven't forgotten the ice-cream incident-- and my precious little girls.  I want to be around for a long, long time.  I want to be here to see all of their firsts...and God-willing to see my grand-children.  And I know that I have to get my body in shape to be ready for the long haul.

Oh, and Ryan, it has been a week...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Day 6: Sleep Escapes Me

Other than all the amazing benefits of the changes I am making with my diet, I am looking forward to the changes in my sleep habits as a result of changing my foods.  One of the things that the book talks about is the way food effects our hormones and how it can disrupt our sleep patterns.  And my sleep patterns are really showing the effects of years of a very poor diet.  Huh?  What we eat effects our sleep that much?  Apparently it does.

Since I was very young I have always had sleep issues.  It started in Preschool. I never napped.  Every other 4-year-old would be asleep during nap time, but I would be wide awake.  Then when I got older, in middle and high school, I had terrible insomnia.  As I mentioned my little sister and I shared a room and she would be sound asleep and I would be wide awake...until all hours of the night.  Even before Tylenol PM was invented I was taking Benadryl to try to fall asleep.

I also have two kids that don't sleep through the night, a 7-year-old and a 2-year-old that still wake up in the middle of the night. This causes my husband and I to play a rousing game of musical beds in the middle of the night.  We have slept in separate beds more nights recently than we have slept in the same bed.

Now, I don't need any tips on how to get my kids to sleep...I have read the books, I know what is supposed to happen and what we are supposed to do.  But when you are already so tired and low on sleep, you end up doing whatever you can to get your kids back to sleep so that you can go back to sleep.

Another reason why I know that I have a hard time going to sleep is because I am not as physically active as I need to be.  I am too tired to work out, but not tired enough to go to sleep at night in order to be able to get enough sleep to be able to work out.  It is a vicious cycle.  And is is perpetuated by the crappy food that I have been eating.

So I gave myself this first week to get used to the food changes, and my second week is going to be devoted to going to bed early and trying to get my sleep cycles in order.  My goal is to get to bed, as in be in bed, lights out, ready for sleep at 10 pm.  My usual bedtime is around 12 or sometimes 1.  That makes getting up for work HARD.  And I am ready to make the switch and get my sleep and help my body function to its optimal ability.

Food first, sleep second.  There is no magic formula lined out in the Whole30 plan.  This just feels like the natural process.  And thankfully I have two very good accountability partners to help keep me on track, my sister, and my best friend.  Now that I have told it to all, I know that I have to do what I say I am going to do.  It is really good motivation for me.

Tomorrow I will discuss my motivation--what drives me to want to be successful in this, and what is pushing me to stay on track.  Here is a hint: you play a part in it too!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Day 5: 5 Reasons Why the Whole30 is for Me!

I don't want you to think that I am trying to make anyone feel guilty for not eating the way that I am eating.  Reason 1 that this isn't a blog listing all the meals I am eating.  I just want to convey to everyone what the Whole30 has done for me, and my diet, and my life in a real-time documentation.  It is more for me and my reflection than it is for you...but I do like to know that you are reading it, and laughing at my jokes, and maybe even taking a closer look at the foods that are on your plate.

Also, something that I haven't mentioned is that my immediate family is not doing this with me.  I am basically making the same foods for them that we have always eaten, but modifying them for me to enjoy with them, and still stay on-plan.  For example tonight I had home-made chicken soup, but they put noodles in theirs.  I will put the recipe on here...just basically started throwing stuff in the crockpot with a whole chicken, and boy was it amazing.

So in honor of today being DAY 5, I decided to give you my top 5 reasons why the Whole30 has been an awesome decision for me personally.  And if you decide that you want to know more about it, or join in, let me know!

{{Insert drum-roll here}}
Number 1. It is totally doable.  Seriously.  You can have so many different kinds of food.  The restrictions are not too restrictive.  You don't have to buy anything special, except food. No expensive shakes or pills.  Just good food that replaces the junk you buy at the store.  Except for almond or coconut flour if you want to bake something...because if you live where I live I can't easily find almond or coconut flour.  To be honest, I have only looked one place...but still they were out...so here I sit with a list of recipes with no ingredients in my cabinets to make them. Sigh.

2.  I don't have to give up coffee.  I love coffee like a fat kid loves cake. Enough. Said.

3.  Not only did the authors of It Starts with Food give us a list of acceptable food, and a list of unacceptable foods, they also tell us WHY they are acceptable or unacceptable, and give very detailed science to back up their reasoning.  If you have seen that diet online where you eat two hot dogs, ice cream, and an apple you know why I tend to be a serious skeptic of the fad eating plans circulating Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.  

4.  I am learning to love the taste of FOOD.  I am not talking about the artificially-flavored pseudo-foods that we are used to eating. They are chemically engineered to taste "good"..have I mentioned my penchant for Cheese-Its?  Whole, natural foods are delicious.  Especially when you cook them in healthy fats.  Did you know that you can scramble delicious eggs without using milk, cheese, or butter?  No kidding!  Try it.  You'll like it!

5. I haven't died yet from not having grains.  I have done sugar-fasts at different times in my life.  I know I can live without sugar.  But not having ANY grains...or beans...or rice--which, I know, is a grain, but it is a big one so it gets listed--is something that I have never attempted before.  And it really isn't as hard as I thought that it would be.  I did make my kids popcorn today and that was a teeny bit tempting...but my temptation was overwhelmed by my guilt at feeding my children chemically laden, bad-for-you-fat covered, void of nutrition food.

I have been pretty happy with the plan so far.  Eating good food, trying good recipes, and feeling GOOD!

*A side note: please don't think my parents were terrible at feeding us while we were growing up.  We ate what we liked, and what was marketed to us, like all the other American families growing up in the time that we grew up in. So Mom, please stop feeling all guilty because we ate white bread and margarine at every meal...that is what we thought we were supposed to do in the 80's and 90's.*

P.S.  My darling non-Whole30 eating husband just returned from Braums with our children.  He was at least decent enough to not bring home the ice-cream he took them to go get! Boy, I sure do love him.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Day 4: Bring on the Weekend...maybe...

I am always so excited for the weekend...for us that means family, fun, and food...whether it is cooking out, dinner out, planning a special meal that takes extra long to prepare that I save for the weekend, or family get-togethers, or birthday parties!!  Food has always been given a lot of respect on the weekend in our house.

But that takes on a whole different meaning this weekend when I have to continue to follow the Whole30 plan.  In my past life  (read...two weeks ago)  when would "diet" I would do so well during the week---breakfast, lunch, and dinner--I would stick on plan and eat what I was supposed to. But weekends were my cheat time.  And don't you worry your pretty little head, I cheated like Tiger Woods in 2009!

Being diligent with my meal planning and being home has been easy while I have been doing this journey this week.  Because I had control over my food.   Things were going so smoothly.  I could set up my crockpot and dinner would be done when I was home from work.  But that all comes to a screeching halt this weekend.  This weekend is my niece's birthday party.  (So hard to believe that she is going to be 9!!!!)  Which means we are making a day trip, and my fridge and crockpot are going to be out of reach.  But going all day and relying on food prepared by someone else is something I know that I cannot do.  I have to pack my lunch and dinner--or have a plan for if we eat out.  Have Food.  Will Travel.

That is causing me a teeny tiny bit of stress. I mean really.  I have cold packs for in the car and my sister has a fridge.  It is not like we are traveling to the Sahara or something.   However, my  biggest source of anxiety is ....that there is going to be cake.  And I love cake.  I mean, I LOVE cake.  Like maybe I have a little unhealthy obsession that I have to keep in control about cake.  You know that saying, "I love you like a fat kid loves cake"?  Well, I am that fat kid.   I am scouring Pinterest pins for something that I can have...that isn't a nectarine, or another piece of fruit.  Something that resembles cake but I won't. Because cake is what got me where I am today.

And my big question is why???  What is wrong with me that my eating habits are so out of priority that I want to cry to even think about just watching everyone eating cake and not getting to enjoy it myself.  That is the question I pray will be answered during my time on this Whole30 plan.  I need to hit the reset button (queue sound byte of a certain politician talking about the reset button with regard to foreign affairs--if you don't know what I am talking about...don't worry, neither do I ).  That is the purpose of the Whole30 for me--resetting my mind.  Yes, for my immune health, inflammation, etc I need to do this to reset my body.  But it is also to reset my relationship with food and the way that I think about it.  Life is not only about the food that we eat or celebrate with! (Please oh please, don't tell Ree Drummond I said that.  I don't want her to take away my autographed copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays)!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day 3: Joining this Journey with me is....

...my darling, adorable, fashionable, make-up loving, perfect-haired, clothes-closet-that-would-make-you-jealous, always-has-the-right-accessory, perfect-selfie-taking, one-year-younger-than-me, LITTLE SISTER, Brooke. Don't worry, I love my wiser, more-competent-mother-than-I-am, two-year-older-sister, Amy, but I will write about her another time.

Aside from our automatic bond because we were basically the same age--being just 14 months apart--(my mother is a saint by the way) my little sister was my built-in best friend.  When my older sister was off with her older friends doing older stuff Brooke and I were home together and we had each other.  We also always shared a room and that just lends itself to being very close...or homicide--obviously we chose close.

Brooke and I have always kind of been about the same size and have similar body types--but I have more muscle so I have always weighed more--should have been a body builder...and we often bounced back and forth at who was "skinnier" or "fluffier".  We shared clothes most of our lives. (And by shared I mean that she would steal my clothes when we were in high school and college...and there were times that I was forced to knock her down and rip my jeans off her body...in front of witnesses... And then when she was single with a disposable income to buy clothes and I only had frumpy Mommy clothes I got from the $2 clearance rack at Wal-Mart I would reap the benefits of wearing her clothes...anyway...I digress.)  

We are both in a place in our lives that we need some serious food fixes.  Eating the way that we have been for so many years has led to being overweight (no, I won't tell you how much she weighs like I did when I told you mine here, but I can tell you it is not nearly as much as I do) suffering from migraine headaches, general lack of energy, and for both of us, serious self-esteem issues.  I just am funnier about my issues, which makes it seem like I don't care, but I do.

Brooke is actually the one who encouraged me to try the Whole30 diet.  She said she was doing it by looking up some stuff on Pinterest. Soooo naturally, I had to find out more about the Whole30, buy the Kindle Book, join the Whole30 Forums and start a blog about it.  But don't worry, we aren't competitive--I just like to be thorough.  So here we are together, day 3 and we are keeping each other accountable.  She even went out to dinner last night...which I don't plan on attempting for a while, and stayed on plan...with the exception of Japanese ketchup...but I should let her blog about that.

Thankfully I am not doing this alone.  I know, I know I am never ALONE...I have Jesus and the Holy Spirit and prayer, but let me just tell you, the Holy Spirit doesn't text you back when you text that you really want a snow-cone and tell you if you eat a snow-cone they will drive from their town to your town and punch you in the baby-maker.  Brooke would...and has.  That is why I love her.  Well, that and all her clothes...and shoes...and purses...and make-up...and hair products...and jewelry...

So here is to my amazing little sister{{insert raised champagne glass not full of champagne because that isn't on the Whole30 plan here}} for doing this with me...and thanks for the friendly competition!

Let me know what you think so far in the Comments section below. Do you want to know more about what I am eating? Do you have specific questions that I can answer from my extensive experience of 3 days on the Whole30 plan and after reading 45% of the book? Or are you just sick and tired of my italics--which are the blog equivalent to the sarcasm font.

And yes, that was a shameless request for validation--so give it to me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 2: Everything is Awesome!

Everything is Awesome. Except black work-coffee.
Black work-coffee IS.NOT.AWESOME.  The only thing that can help work-coffee (and by work-coffee I mean the little bags of coffee that come in a GIANT box that we order once every few months which has little flavor, not much umph, and a seriously questionable amount of caffeine...I digress) is lots and lots of non-plan, dairy-based, sugar-filled yumminess. I pulled up my Big Girl Panties (no-pun intended--it is okay, you can laugh at my fat joke, I did) and drank my coffee black and to be honest I even drank it after it was cold.  And surprisingly I don't want to punch anybody in the face today...yet. Who wants to give me a medal?

Today I am still in the Honeymoon Phase with the Whole30 plan.  I attempted a 21-day Daniel fast in January and only lasted 10 days...but I couldn't have coffee then...or meat...but I digress.

I know that I have this down.  30 days of staying on plan.  (And when it gets hard I will read and read and re-read that sentence and pray and pray and pray that I do have this down, and that I am staying on plan.) 

I am learning so much from the book It Starts with Food.  I knew it would be full of good information, but didn't know it would be so detailed.  I am loving learning about all of the "science-y stuff" because I am a nerd at heart.  *INSERT NERD PICTURE HERE* Oh if I only had a scanned picture of myself from 6th grade...I don't know what is more humiliating...telling my weight, or posting a picture of me  from 6th grade....or a picture of my husband from 6th grade...{{insert evil laugh here}}.

I love learning about the functions in the body and how food effects them.  I am learning so much, and have already become a food judge.  Oh, you thought "natural peanut butter" was a good choice?  Well, let me tell you about what I read about peanuts last night.  ***Sorry to my dear sweet friend who was the recipient of that email---you know who you are.***.  Never mind that I have only read 1/3 of this one nutrition book.  I have seen two documentaries, searched Pinterest for some recipes, and I even had a nutrition class in college.  I am an expert already.  That means I can judge your food choices, because I haven't made any bad food choices in going on 48 hours...{{pulling on my judge rope and pounding my gavel}}.  Oh wait, this isn't about me and how smart I am becoming...Rrrrrright.  This is supposed to be about what this journey is going to do for my body, and mind, and how it can reset my soul to look to God for comfort, and not a box of Reduced Fat Cheese-Its.  Did I fail to mention that?  I let myself get in the way of what God is trying to show me through this, and I need to remember that I am doing it for Him and THROUGH Him, and if I did it all on my own I will fail miserably again...like all the times before.

I haven't discussed that I am  interested in the spiritual side of this body/mind/food thing the most.  I am on the hunt for a Christian based book that talks about this subject...vs. an evolutionary perspective on the subject.  So I went to Facebook and someone suggested Every Body Matters by Gary Thomas.  I will have to check into it some more...but already notice the emphasis put on physical exercise, so I am very excited to learn more and start reading that book next.  Oh and remind me to tell you about then time I did a half-marathon and then gained 20 lbs in two months.   Because everybody knows that if you run/walk 13.1 miles one time you can eat candy bars and chips every day...and it won't matter.  NOT...

First, I need to get through It Starts With Food, especially since I have to learn more about what to eat and not to eat and remember that it is not my place to judge any one's food habits, only my own.

I have made it through most of day 2.  And I know I certainly can't do it all alone.  Thanks for being here with me.

Tomorrow I will talk about who is doing this *with* me.  I need permission first!

Oh, and no need to thank me.  You are now going to have the Lego Movie "Everything is Awesome" song stuck in your head.  All. Day.  Long.

Thank you!  I will be here all week!  Good Night.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It Started With Food and Ends there too!

Recently I have hit my all-time high weight. I know, you want to know what it is right? Well, I am going to tell you. My scale this morning read: 210 lbs.

I am 5'6" tall. I have an athletic frame (broad shoulders, big muscles). Even when I was "skinny" I weighed 130 lbs and wasn't ever a "small" looking girl. I am not striving to be a size zero. I don't desire to be a model. I just want to be able to run around with my kids and be healthy and happy. I don't want to miss out on their lives because I am in bed with a migraine (which I have suffered from since childhood).

 I am tired of being tired. All the time. EVERY SINGLE DAY. I am sick of all the pain I have in my body constantly. I have been through two expensive rounds of physical therapy for pain in my shoulder. I sit on a heating pad every single night. I take two Aleve every single day. I CAN'T WON'T KEEP LIVING LIKE THIS!!!

A few months ago I watched this great documentary, called Hungry for Change and another one called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. It changed my entire life. For one week. I bought a juicer. I juiced for 1/2 a day. Healthy Eating Tip # 1: Don't put onion in a juice...even if the recipe calls for it. No one wants to drink onion juice. Then I went back to eating real food the processed food-like substances that I have been living on my entire life. Because juicing all my meals isn't realistic for me.

I have two little girls. They are adorable. And they like chocolate cheerios and fruit snacks. And why do they like that? Because I have conditioned them. When you want a snack, here have high fructose corn syrup, gelatin, and who knows what else instead of an actual piece of fruit. I mean, don't get me wrong. I buy fruit from the grocery store. Bananas, apples, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries. But those rot away in my fridge, and I have to make a 2nd store run to buy more fruit snacks...because I let them eat those instead of making them eat real fruit.

In my quest to eat better and live better and lose weight I found a book. Maybe you have heard of it. It is called It Starts with Food. And it is going to be the change that I need. For real. I can't keep living like how I have been living.

The best part, I am going to document my journey in this blog for your entertainment. I am going to keep it real. And sometimes it is hard to be "real" with your family and friends. I will share it...but I hesitate because I am afraid this will be just another thing that I start and fail...or get really gung ho about for one week and then give up.

Today is Day 1 of my Whole30 journey. Thanks for coming along.