I never anticipated that the last few days of my diet would be the most difficult.
Something happened around Day 27–something in my brain just snapped. And it might have been because I had been sick for a few days, and I was tired, and I was craving comfort food, and I was tired of all the chopping and prep…but all of the sudden, I just felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. I was looking at the food in my fridge and cringing. I was gagging down another plate of roasted root vegetables, and wondering how I’ve been doing this for so long.
So Day 29 came, and I just stopped. Which is kind of embarrassing, because I knew that I would have to get on here and admit to all of you that I didn’t actually complete the 30–I quit one day early. But when I considered that, I decided that it was worth the embarrassment because I just couldn’t eat spinach and eggs for breakfast ANYMORE.
So I ate a bowl of Kashi Chocolate Crunch cereal. And I’m not ashamed to admit that it was the most delicious bowl of cereal that I’ve ever had in my life. 😛
All in all, Whole 30 wasn’t as horrible as I thought (just those last few days!), and I will likely do it again at some point–maybe it will be my New Year’s tradition. I just feel like I kind of got robbed because that last week is supposed to be when you really hit your groove. The authors of The Whole 30 call it getting your “tiger blood”–you’re full of energy, making your food is just an easy part of the routine, and you really hit your stride. But I was sick during my last week of Whole 30, so I felt lethargic and achy and I just craved bread and crackers. I had maybe ONE day of tiger blood before my sickness hit, but I have no doubt that I would have finished my Whole 30 (and possibly continued beyond 30 days!) if that hadn’t happened. Out of all of the trials I faced–eating out in a restaurant, a birthday party, a Super Bowl party even–getting sick proved to be my downfall.
Here are some stats at the end of my experience:
Recipe cooked most often: Spaghetti Squash with pasta sauce and meat
Easiest recipe cooked: Easy Oven Roasted Lemon Chicken with Rosemary because it was just like the sort of meals that I had made prior to Whole 30 (and it’s all in one pan!)
Fanciest recipe cooked: Braised Pork with Roasted Brussels, Bacon, and Pears from Green Chef (but here’s a very similar recipe that I found online)
I want to continue eating healthy and trying to shed some extra weight. Whole 30 was a great first step in my journey, but not something that is sustainable (for me, at least!) for a long period of time. It’s just too restrictive. But now, at the end of my Whole 30, I am able to button some pairs of pants that I had in my drawer that absolutely would not button before (I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I was using a hair rubber band to fasten them and I was just making sure to wear long shirts), and according to the scale I’m down 8 pounds. I was hoping for a more dramatic scale victory, but oh well. I still don’t know exactly how much muscle I’ve gained since beginning to work out in the gym back in October, so if I get back with my trainer and recheck my BMI, that might explain the seemingly low weight loss. You never know.
To help myself stay on track going forward, I have started to use the app My Fitness Pal. I was feeling a little daunted by all of the data entry at first, but thanks to my friend Rach showing me a few shortcuts, I’ve got a handle on it now and I’ve been logging all of my food for the past two weeks. Apparently, while I’ve been eating Whole 30, I’ve been putting away (on average) 1500 calories a day, and I think eating anything under 2000 will help me to lose. However, during the past week, I’ve been alarmed to see how difficult it is to stay under 1500, and I’ve been much closer to 2000 each day (especially on Valentine’s, when we stopped by Steak n’ Shake and got celebratory milkshakes that were off-the-charts calorie-wise). I’m trying not to panic when I go over my suggested calories for the day. This has been a week of readjustment and figuring out how to reconcile my old habits (of indulging in sweets) with my new plan to eat healthier. I’m glad that at least by logging my food, I’m a little more aware of what I’m eating and how it’s adding up, which means that I’ll be less likely to pack away an entire sleeve of Oreos without even realizing what I’m doing.
One thing that’s a little more difficult to log on My Fitness Pal is exercise. I feel like I’m just taking a guess at the calories that I burn on gym days when I run on the treadmill, and I feel like I must be burning calories during my weight lifting too, but My Fitness Pal isn’t recognizing that when I enter my data. So I decided to get a FitBit to sync up with my app and keep things a little more accurate.
I was shopping around for which kind I should get online, and then Justin surprised me and bought me the newest model for Valentine’s Day! I was really excited! It logs all of the steps that I take, it monitors my heart rate all the time, keeps track of the distance I’ve walked and the calories I’ve burned, and it even tracks my sleep patterns if I wear it to bed! It’s pretty amazing, and I’m still trying to figure out how to utilize all of the features. My only complaint is that I feel like it isn’t very accurate with counting my steps. Because I wear it on my wrist, it seems that I need to be swinging my arms as I walk for it to accurately count my steps. However, when I go on long walks, I’m usually pushing a stroller (or maybe a grocery cart), and I’m not swinging my arms. And I feel like it’s not counting those steps. I also feel like it occasionally counts steps when I’m not actually going anywhere, like when I’m rocking the baby or scrubbing dishes. If I could wear it on my ankle, it might give me a more accurate step count…but it also might look like I’m on house arrest. 😉
Anyone out there have any tips for me moving forward?