I shared last week that I was going to be doing a Whole30. This is my first weekly update and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you. This is everything (I think) you need to know.
My Physical Journey
Sometimes I feel weird recapping my physical journey. The story always begins some time ago, but in a time that wasn’t really all that long ago. More specifically, I always point right to when I was 20 at the heaviest I’ve ever been, teetering over 200 lbs at merely 5 foot tall. I was short. I was round. I was morbidly obese, and I was killing myself.
After the realization of what I was doing to my body hit me, I had an epiphany moment that led to the ultimate lifestyle change. I was going to change. Over the course of the next year, I lost nearly 100 lbs and reached my lowest weight.
Unsurprisingly to anyone with experience, my lowest weight was not my healthiest weight. In the span of 12 months I went from an embarrassingly high number to 127 lbs- the lowest I’ve ever been as an adult. I am much healthier now than I was at 127 lbs.
For the past year, I’ve been doing Crossfit. As I shared in my reflection on 17.1:
After moving to North Carolina in May, I found myself in a new city where I knew no one, working from home full time. It was lonely to say the least. Transitioning to a new home anywhere is hard. I was lucky enough to bring my job with me- a blessing I know and recognize- but because of that I was not getting out of the house every day. On days where there were no work meetings (#nomeetingWednesday), I would not talk to anyone but my dog Bo until Casey came home from work. Some times the only time I’d get out of the house was to get the mail from the mailbox. I often spent days without putting on “real” clothes.
Then we got news that Casey would going away on a training thing for almost two months and we would not have any communication in that time. You mean, I just moved here and now you’re going to take away the only person I know here, Army? Really?! Yes. Really. Committed to getting out of the house every day, at the end of July, I decided I would try out the local Crossfit, Crossfit Raeford. It was a 6 minute drive from my house and would be a great way to get out of the house every day. The price was steep but I knew that would encourage me to attend as much as possible to get the most out of the price. Moreover, I liked to consider it an investment in myself. In retrospect, it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made. My first class at Crossfit Raeford was on August 1, 2016.
I’ve been hooked ever since.
I’m the heaviest I’ve been since losing all that weight in college, but I’m also in the best shape of my life. You can see some of my physical transformation on my Fitstagram.
My Decision to Do a Whole30
After mulling it over for over a month, I decided to do a Whole30, the eating style popularized by the Hartwig power couple in their book It Starts With Food. The restrictive eating plan can be summarized in the following bullet points:
- Eat Real Food.
- No added sugar.
- No alcohol. (I have been alcohol free since February 2016, so I’m not worries about this.)
- No grains.
- No legumes, including chickpeas.
- No dairy.
- No “Whole30 approved” treats.
My goals for the Whole30 are not weigh-based. In fact, my goals are around resetting my eating habits, as well as my body’s reaction to certain foods. Since my focus in non-scale based (which is good because I don’t even have a working scale in the house), I don’t mind jumping into a restrictive eating plan. In fact, because I care so little about the physical transformations involved, I’m not even taking before and after pictures. It’s all about the feeling here. You can read more on my decision to do a Whole 30 here.
Week 1 Reflections
So how did Week 1 go? Well, it went.
I started the wWhole30 because I noted that Quest bars, particularly the Chocolate Chip ones, were inducing headaches that no amount of Aleve could bring me relief from. Well, this program has not solved my headache problem at all. In fact, Days 1-4 I had teeeerrible headaches that no over the counter medication made a difference on- no seriously, I feel like I tried them all.
Now, before you go saying that I experienced headaches because I was told I was going to let me say this: I didn’t finish the Whole 30 book until July 23. I didn’t know I was going to be experience headaches! Nonetheless, I had daily killer headaches.
I don’t eat meals. I’m a grazer. I’ve been this way since losing weight. I eat very little, but I am constantly eating. Seriously, I eat all day long. My style of eating (grazing) is counter to the Whole 30, so I’ve been trying to eat longer meals three time per day.
That being said, I am CONSTANTLY hungry. I can never be satisfied. I’m eating tons of food, but I feel like I’m starving. I’m eating bowls and bowls of food but hungry again 10 minutes later. When I tracked my macros, I could mostly ignore my hunger because the data told me that I was or was not tracking on goal for the day.
Now, though, I’m supposed to be doing it “intuitively” and my intuition is saying HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO EAT ENOUGH?! I’m eating huge amount of food- way more than I’ve ever had before, but I am still hungry. This doesn’t make me feel good.
Am I getting enough carbs?
One cup of broccoli has 6 g of carbs. When I was tracking my macros, I was aiming for 189 grams of carbs per day. That’s 32 cups of broccoli, in case you wanted help with the math. Given the fact that I’m now working out daily with a second workout 2-3 times per week, I’m wondering if I’m getting enough carbohydrates to fuel me for my workouts.
Even though I miss my oatmeal, my bread, my muffins, my cookie dough, my donuts, and my Halo Top, I’ve discovered a couple of things that I have been digging.
I had a mashed banana with almond butter and chia seeds for breakfast this week and it was really good! It was super quick to throw together- I peeled the banana right into the bowl and used a fork to scoop out the almond butter. I used that same fork to mash up the banana and mix it into the almond butter. I topped it with chia seeds and then just gave it a quick stir. This will definitely be a breakfast I continue to have!
I also made compliant meatloaf by replacing the breadcrumbs with toasted yucca flour and using a banana. It was SO good even though nobody else has eaten it so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Rx bars and hard boiled eggs have also been a lifesaver! My favorite ones are the Mixed Berry but the pumpkin spike and blueberry are also very good! I don’t know why we don’t eat more hard boiled eggs around here, but I think we will start soon.
Eating more fresh fruits and veggies has definitely been good too! I’m really glad to have that freshness in my life. I’ve probably eaten more vegetables in the last week than in the previous month combined!
What questions do you have about the Whole30 that I can answer for you?
Emilie is an Army Wife, Data Engineer, and CrossFitter with a love for working through her thoughts in this space on the internet. She lives with her husband Casey and their pup Bo in Savannah, GA.