Lots of Good Things!

We’ve got some good stuff going on right now. First, my husband and I had our 4-year wedding anniversary last week. He wasn’t able to get the day off work but we got good news about his job that day: starting next month, his schedule is shifting and we’ll have weekends off together! We haven’t had evenings or weekends together since he started his job a year ago, so we’re really looking forward to that.

We did have a couple days off together this week though, because I took a couple days off. We got SO MUCH DONE around our apartment. It’s seriously never looked this open and airy. We also got rid of a bunch of stuff. About a year ago, we saw a documentary about minimalism, and have slowly been trying to pare down our belongings. I don’t think we’ll ever be actual minimalists but we liked the idea of having less stuff in general. So we’ve gotten rid of some things here and there over the past several months, but we really went to town on it this weekend. We ended up donating 13 bags of stuff, 2 storage buckets of stuff, a shoe rack, and a dvd/bookshelf. We still have plenty of things, believe me lol, but everything has a place now. Everything we have either serves a purpose or brings us joy. (If you haven’t seen the KonMari Method of organizing your home, I highly recommend checking it out).

Also! Writing it here for public accountability, haha… I will not buy any more clothes until I have to. Meaning, all my clothes are either too big or worn out and they actually need replaced. Going through my closet could have been an Olympic event.

Other good stuff: I registered for 1 online class for the summer term, and 1 on-campus class for Fall. I’m gonna try physiology again, lol. I talked about my experience taking physiology in the Spring semester a handful of posts ago, but in a nutshell, it was a hot mess and I had to drop it. So! Round 2, here we come. That’s not until the Fall though… I’ve got a few months. My summer class is a nutrition class – I’m looking forward to maybe learn some new things to go along with the dietary changes we’re already making.

The only big thing that I’m still struggling with right now is the continued lack of motivation to go work out after work. It’s getting warm enough now that I could go to boxing or go swimming but I’m just totally done by the end of the day. Maybe more sleep? A different snack mid-afternoon to up my energy? I’ve got a couple things I can try.

Figuring Out What “Moderation” Looks Like

My motivation has been all sorts of off the bandwagon this past week! We’ve been eating *some* Whole30 since the challenge ended last week — but not so much over the weekend. It was my mom’s birthday on Saturday, and I had a donut for breakfast, a fancy coffee drink in the afternoon, birthday cake for dessert… it was a fun day and it all tasted really good, but then I kept wanting more sugary things as the effects of the previous sugary thing started to wear off. So then that rolled over in to Sunday as well. I had a carb-fest at a friend’s house, haha. Again, it all tasted really good, but by the time I got home that afternoon I realized how sluggish I was feeling. I definitely overdid it.

I’m trying to figure out how to approach this going forward. I’d like to be able to say that food like that is fun in moderation… but what does “moderation” look like? If I have one donut, what’s a good way to manage my cravings when I want another treat when the sugar wears off later? Is the sugar crash and resulting temptation later worth the donut? I’m not sure yet. I want to figure out a way to have a sustainable, healthy diet, while still enjoying things and not depriving myself from “treat” food all the time.

My husband has been feeling the same way. We were talking about it last night and both see that we were feeling better while we were more strict on Whole30. “Better” meaning that we had more energy, weren’t as tired, weren’t having tummy issues, didn’t feel bloated, less acne, and we swear we could even think more clearly. So we’re going to hop back to eating more that way while it’s still fresh in our minds, and figure out our limits for special occasions as we go. For sure going to be a work-in-progress.

I’ve also been really struggling to convince myself to go to boxing recently. I’m not sure what that’s all about. I always enjoy it once I’m there, so, I don’t know. I’ve just been craving time at home, I suppose!

Whole30 Day 30, and Out With the Old

Day 30! We’re here! Even though this is the last night of the challenge, we’re going to keep our eating habits largely in line with Whole30. We think we’ll try adding in small amounts of things just so we can have more recipe variety – for example, tomorrow night we’re trying a new jalapeño chicken recipe that is all Whole30-compliant ingredients except for 1 tbsp of cream cheese and 1 tbsp of milk. And it says it serves 4 people, so, it’ll be 1/4 of a tbsp of both per serving… so not bad at all there.

It’s easier now to recognize eating out and/or more decadent foods as being a treat, rather than a way to eat every day. Not eating that way all the time also makes that type of food more fun to enjoy and we savor it more. It’s also easier now to look at food in terms of “what does my body need right now?” versus “what sounds good right now.” I feel like my body is more attuned to recognize what I’m actually needing – protein? veggies? a little fruit to pick me up? I never thought I’d be the type of person to crave carrot sticks, but, there you go.

It’s been a great experience (even with a few cheats, which I talked about along the way). I hope we’re able to stick with it like we plan to, and perhaps if we slide back into old habits over time, we can re-do the actual Whole30 challenge as a re-set. Overall, I feel like that’s essentially what this was: a re-set of our relationship with food.

Oh, and, we did lost weight. So that’s another reason why we’d like to continue! I lost 16 pounds. Of course, I don’t expect to lose as much every month, since that’ll slow down as my body adjusts and these new eating patterns become the norm. But eating this way combined with boxing and swimming will definitely help me get to a healthier weight.

We got so much done around our house this weekend! Our living room looks so spacious now! We got rid of an old couch that we didn’t need anymore. We tore apart a dining room table that had been in our back patio for months. We dismantled a well-loved cat tower that our cats had outgrown and used within an inch of it’s life. (The cats are totally fine with it though… it had been in our bedroom, so now they’re just laying on the bed instead, and they’re not exactly suffering.) We’ve been slowly hacking away at making our apartment be less cluttered and stuffed full of stuff and it’s so great to see our efforts paying off. However, we did add one thing to our place this weekend. My dad brought over the grandfather clock that my grandma gave me before her move next month – so our living room not only got more spacious, but also classier, haha.

Whole30 Day 22, and Mental Health Days

I played hooky from work today and took a mental health day. And it was lovely and much-needed. I got to spend the morning with my husband (he works a later shift), have lots of cuddle time with the cats, and lounge on the couch and watch Downton Abbey to my heart’s content.

I woke up this morning and just felt sad and overwhelmed, by a combination of things. My grandma is moving out-of-state in a few weeks and my emotions are not handling it particularly well. I know she’s excited and feels like it will be a good move for her, so, I’m happy for her. But I’m miserable. Last night she gave me a bag of items that belonged to my grandpa, and it was very emotional for me. Don’t get me wrong – I’m so pleased to have them. Truly. But I’ve got tears sneaking down my face just even typing about it. Some of the items are funny little knick-knacks that I didn’t know he had kept; things I had made him when I was a kid. Coins we had collected. Old movie tickets. He kept more mementos than I ever realized. But the item that about brought me to my knees is his pipe. I hadn’t thought about that detail about him in years, but it all came back when I pulled that pipe out of the bag. There’s even a bit of duct tape still wrapped around the mouthpiece. He’s been gone for 14 years and it still can hurt like hell sometimes.

I also got the results of some blood tests today, and I’m pre-diabetic! Yikes! Thank goodness I’m in the “pre” stage and have the opportunity to reverse things now. Avoiding added sugars with Whole30 may now be even more impactful than I originally thought. I wonder if my numbers would have been worse a few weeks ago, before we’d made any dietary changes. I have an appointment with my doctor next week so I’m looking forward to learning more then. I also want to talk with her about increasing the dosage of my happy pill prescription. We started with the lowest dosage at first. I do think I’m feeling a little better, but there is definitely room for improvement. I’m really struggling with getting stuff around the house done (like dishes, laundry, etc.) and if you’d have seen how clean I kept my apartment in previous years, you’d know why this is distressing, lol. It makes me feel so damn lame to be struggling with stuff like this, things that to me seem so basic… but that’s the truth of where I’m at.

Oohf, I’m a little grey Eeyore today. Here’s to hoping for a good night’s sleep and a brighter attitude tomorrow.

Whole30 Day 19, and Whooooa We’re Halfway There 

We’re over halfway done with Whole30! I’m not sure yet what post-Whole30 is going to look like for us… but we’re over halfway there regardless, haha. The time has gone by so much faster than I thought it would. I feel like we’ve learned so many new recipes and healthier eating habits. I’m getting much better at looking at food from the perspective of “what does my body need” instead of like, eating because I’m bored or watching Netflix. My cravings are still pretty consistent. There’s been moments when someone has had something that looked tasty, but I’ve done ok with resisting and moving past it pretty quickly. I still want a glass of milk though!

There was a recipe this week where we bought ranch dressing at the grocery store that wasn’t totally compliant. The recipe was really tasty: buffalo chicken with bell peppers and celery over a baked potato. The recipe included a drizzle of ranch dressing over the top. After working all day, the last thing I wanted to do was make homemade mayo… and then  turn that into homemade ranch… just for a drizzle. Oh and then of course make the rest of the meal. Soooo I looked at like every bottle of ranch dressing in the store and found one that was really really close to being compliant and deemed it close enough. We made enough leftovers for lunches the next day and it might have even been yummier on day 2. I’ll absolutely make it again. Nom.

I was really pleased this week with my progress in my boxing classes too. I didn’t get tired as easily. I was able to go through our drills without needing to take any mini-breaks to catch my breath. I did better remembering the sequences of the drills too, which I’m stoked about, because I get really anxious about messing up the sequences. I don’t want to frustrate whoever I’m paired with for the day (even though everybody is super nice and has never expressed frustration with me – I still get paranoid that they’re just too nice to say anything!) I’m starting to catch on to some patterns, so that’s helping with the sequences for sure, and is a lot of fun.

My lunch break is about over, so time to wrap up here. Happy Friday!

Whole30 Day 11, and Talking to New People

Oh man, today was so much better! The Wrath of the Poorly Chosen Taco Bell last night totally reinforced how we *should* be eating and it was a billion times easier to resist temptation today. I was in a meeting that had donuts and pastries all over the place and it was like, nope, not even interested. BOOM.

I went to boxing today too. I hadn’t gone very much these past two weeks; I just didn’t have the energy after work. Makes sense though… my body was adjusting to a new pill and a very different diet than what it was used to. But now things feel like they’re starting to run on a few more cylinders, so I went straight to boxing after work, and it was a blast.

My boxing gym is rubbing off on me in a good way. The people there are the best – everyone is so nice and encouraging, and nobody ever makes you feel bad for not being as “good” as someone else. I need to lose about 100 pounds, so I’m slow and get out of breath fairly easily, and not once has anybody made me feel bad about it. I am not an outgoing person by nature. But then today, a new person came to boxing for the first time, and I was the first to go up to him and introduce myself and whatnot. Depending on your personality, that might not sound like anything notable, but it was like a freaking Kodak moment for me. I don’t think I’ve ever been the first one to introduce myself to someone of my own free will! I usually need someone I already know to do the introducing. Social anxiety can be a pain in the ass like that. But I just wanted him to feel as welcome as I always do there, so I think that overrode my usual anxiety. Making all sorts of progress over here, guys.

Whole30 Day 10, and the Cone of Shame

Confession:

We cheated.

We big fat cheated on Whole30 and it was.not.worth.it.

No ma’am.

So, it all kinda started at work today. I was in a workshop all day and they had kindly provided food, but none of it was Whole30-friendly. (Not complaining! I chose to do this thing.) But it was tough to be surrounded by muffins and cookies and tacos that I couldn’t eat. It was really the first time I’d been around non-Whole30 food since we started. It made me so, so grateful that my husband agreed to try it with me, because I’m not sure I would have made it more than a day or two if non-Whole30 food had been in our apartment.

All that to say, my resolve was feeling pretty weak by the end of the day.  And when my husband got off work and we started talking about dinner, burritos came up. And there just happens to be a Taco Bell between the office and our apartment. You can guess what happened next.

In the words of the knight from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, we chose… poorly.

All the cliches are true. It didn’t taste as good as we thought it would. It really, really didn’t. We both felt super gross afterwards. My stomach felt awful and heavy and ew. It’s been a couple hours, and I still feel nasty, plus now we’re also having Taco Bell burps that are just about unholy.

My husband was like “maaaybe we should keep this just between us,” but I wanted a record of it. He ended up agreeing – so here I am, lol. One, because I said I’d be honest about the experience, and two, I wanted something to look back on as a reminder next time we’re tempted. Future me, it’s not worth it. Step away from the Taco Bell and/or Dominos app. 

Overall I’m glad we did it, because now we know. I feel like this will make it easier to stick with it. We learned a lesson.

It also brings up a question about what we’ll do after these first 30 days. I thought we might eat more Whole30-ish in general, but bring other foods back in, and maybe have a treat once a week or something. But this was not a treat. Hoo boy, nope.