Many moons ago, pre-baby #4, I did Whole30 and lost 12 lbs. I loved it and felt great. Then the holidays hit. And my birthday. And before I knew it I was pregnant. You can read all about my first Whole30 experience here and what I ate here. There are plenty of inspiring Whole30 Experiences to check out here.
I feel like I have so many ideas swirling around in my head about food and weight and body image and I hope I can get my message across.
I spent most of my life as the skinny kid. People would actually say things like, “You are so skinny!” regularly. As an athlete, I got plenty of exercise and gave little thought to what I ate. I assumed I was naturally skinny.
In college I even rowed lightweight, putting my 5-7 frame under 130. Fast forward to adulting.
Can we just take a second to talk about how hard adulting is? I feel like I established a ton of really bad habits. Matching my 6-7 husband’s diet. Eating out too much. I also went through a ton of crazy body hormonal changes birthing four kids via c-section followed by a year of nursing for each kid.
Basically, when it is all said and done, I will spend a decade of my life in some form of relationship that has me giving of my body. Its a lot. I’m in awe of woman that just “bounce back” from pregnancy. I feel like such a deflated, fat, disheveled, leaking disaster rocking maternity yoga pants and my mind is blown by all these moms in jeans with blow dried hair and their sh*t together.
And if you are a new mom and you are there, girl, I get it. I gotta tell you, it gets better. Since having Quinn, I have yet to have a healthy BMI. That just irks me to no end. After Quinn I worked out two hours a day and counted every morsel that went into my mouth. I even trained for and competed in a triathlon. I was pounds away from a healthy BMI and that I got pregnant again. And again. And again.
With Fiona I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was devastated and felt incredibly guilty. I felt like it was my fault. I wrote about that my gestational diabetes diagnosis here. I learned it really can happen to anyone, but that didn’t make the guilt disappear.
My diagnosis meant that I had to count every carb that went in my mouth for 3 months. I had to prick my finger and take my blood sugar four times a day. I also had to go in for Non-stress tests (each test took anywhere from 45 min- an hour) weekly. It was a lot and it was one more thing to be angry at my body about. To feel like my body had failed me.
I actually lost 7 pounds and pretty much plateaued with weight gain for the rest of my pregnancy. I felt great. The controlled diet meant more energy, better sleep and no acid reflux. Can I get an amen! I was so relieved to meet my sweet little girl and to see she was healthy. Ironically, my smallest baby!! You can read all about her arrival here.
I lost 10 lbs right away. It was called a baby. I went on to lose another five. Then right around 2 months post partum I stepped on the scale and it had gone up. I just couldn’t.
So I joined Weight watchers and lasted like a week counting points. I was completely drained. I have four kids. I just had a c-section. I’m breastfeeding around the clock. I felt like I was starving and deprived and it just was not good for me and the mental space I was in.
Mid-December, right before the holidays I just randomly decided that I needed to start Whole30. I considered waiting until the first of the year, but I figured I can spend the next 2 weeks working on my health or the next 2 weeks binging (because I knew that is what I would have done through the holidays).
So just like that, with zero prep, I committed. The second night of Whole30 Fiona slept through the night. My energy stayed consistent, without crashing. I finally felt like I was coming out of the new-mom-fog.
(insert 3o minute nursing break here. Now where was I?)
My favorite thing about Whole30 is there is no weighing or measuring–just eating whole, healthy food. So I ate tons of fruit and vegetables and almonds and meat and good healthy fats. I didn’t feel guilty about it. I didn’t negotiate with myself about it. It is just what was and so I did it. I felt incredible.
I stepped on the scale after 30 days and I was down 11 pounds! I had lost 4 inches across my belly. I lost countless more inches, because the Solly wrap I had that barely tied had excess hanging.
I love you guys, I do, but not enough to share side-by-sides of me hanging out in my nursing tank.
I considered turning it into a Whole60 and even marked what that would look like on the calendar. And then it was my birthday (which I wrote about here: Starting, Birthdays & Cancer). The Cheesecake Factory might have been involved.
Then I thought I would just do my fitness pal. Then macros for a day or two. Absolutely hated that. Almost 30 days later and I’m only down another 2 lbs.
Then I saw that I would have been wrapping up my Whole60 this week and I thought, darn! I could have been down another 10 pounds. So I spent three weeks obsessing over food and my weight and going nowhere.
I needed to figure this out. I knew I needed it to be a lifestyle change. I knew that I needed to keep my milk supply up. I also knew I was really conscious of the message I was sending about food to my children.
I picked up these two books: Against all Grain and Practical Paleo and it just made sense. Choosing to love myself just makes sense. Listening to my body just makes sense. Eating real food just makes sense.
So oddly, I am going to attempt to lose 70 lbs without weighing myself, counting carbs or calories, measuring or weighing my food and it completely scares me.
My experience with taking my blood sugar, counting carbs and how my body responds to eating whole foods shows me that a diet focusing on good whole foods and old fashioned cooking in the kitchen helps me lose weight, inches and feel great!
In today’s society that isn’t always easy. Meal planning, food prep, cooking and clean up take a ton of time. I am not even going to lie about that. In a lot of ways I’ve started to enjoy the process and experimenting in the kitchen and in a lot of ways I’m exhausted by it.
I would love to share more of what I ate on Whole30 and what eating looks like now for me in future posts. If you follow me on Instagram, you already got a sneak peek.
I’m a lot nervous about putting this out into the world. My hope is that someone else sees hope and inspiration and knows that they are not alone.
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