“So, I gained 7 lbs last week.” I said to my sister on the phone the other day.
“What?!?!?! How is that even possible?”
“Yep, 7 whole pounds. One for each day of hedonism in Mexico.” I am unashamed in my declaration.
Hysterical laughing is what followed my brutally honest statement.
Fortunately for me, it was water weight and seemed to go away after a few days. I think at least half of it came from my ankles and feet, my God, were they ever swollen! Despite this, I know that I overdid it in Mexico. I ate all the food. And drank all the gin. It was glorious.
Then, reality sets in and I remember that, although glorious, I also felt like shit. And, if I am being really honest, I have been feeling kind of shitty for the last 2 months. The time has come for me to do something about it. I’m going to do the Whole 30 challenge.
I have done this before, as a matter of fact, I did a Whole 30 in January of this year. I felt absolutely fantastic when it was done, I was free of IBS symptoms, sleeping well, had loads of energy throughout the day, and I lost 7 lbs and around 12 inches. As great as I felt, sugar and its sweet siren call lead me back gradually to eating a standard American diet (SAD), something that I have known for a while doesn’t agree with me.
For those of you who are unaware of the Whole 30 challenge, here is the gist: For 30 days, you eat unprocessed food like meat, eggs, nuts, vegetables and fruits, and unprocessed oils; forgoing things like grains, sugar of all kinds, dairy, beans and pulses. At first glance it seems incredibly restrictive, but I’ve got to say that I really, really loved it. There was no guess work, the rules are simple, and I love to cook, so I had more food options than I could count. It was very freeing NOT to be counting calories or measuring my food. Definitely a plan I can get behind. So why didn’t I stick with it then? Well, I like chocolate. And red wine. And cheese. Unfortunately for me, I’m realizing that these foods just do not agree with me at all, and so it’s time to say goodbye to them. I guess the last few months have sort of been like the long farewell. No time like the present to get started! My motivations are slightly different this time around, it’s not just about me any more, but my little boy too.
I sometimes forget that I started this blog with the intention of documenting my forays into health and wellness, it’s morphed into quite a different beast over the past few years. I don’t regret that in the slightest, but now seems like as good a time as any to revisit a subject that was once SUPER important to me, and well, still is. Circumstances surrounding my health and wellness are different now than they were, just by virtue of having a baby.
I know that sounds corny as hell, and it’s not really what you think, I promise. Before I was able to do almost any activity imaginable, as well as any diet. I was only limited by my imagination, and sometimes the arthritis in my knees and left ankle. Now, not only to I have the obvious time constraints of having a baby to take care of, I have the lingering effects of the pregnancy on my body.
Ahh, the lingering reminders that I carried a baby full term… They aren’t what you think, I guarantee it. I was lucky enough to not get a single stretch mark! What I got instead was much much worse – a fourth degree tear and diastasis. I won’t bother explaining the first one, other than to say that it is pretty horrible and I may as well have had a caesarean section. The second, diastasis, it pretty easy to explain. I’ve been left with a gap in my abdominal wall due to pregnancy. I’m not going to lie, I am pretty bummed that this happened. I really thought that I’d avoided anything like this due to my relatively high fitness level before and during pregnancy, and the fact that I just didn’t get that big (lucky me!) Because of the diastasis, I have a little bit of a mummy tummy that I’d like to get rid of. When eating well (like during my January Whole 30), it’s pretty much non existent. When eating like crap, I still look like I’m 4 months pregnant. My physiotherapist has let me know that this might not go away until I’m finished breast feeding, so I’m going to keep my fingers crossed. This means that my exercise is also limited to lighter weight lifting, special abdominal exercises, and absolutely no running or jumping for the time being. It’s something that I can’t really control right now, but I am in control of my diet, so I’ll do my best to fix things that way.
There is also my baby boy to think of. He is very close to starting to eat actual food, and I would like him to eat a healthy diet. I know I’m not alone in this as a new parent, but I feel like I need to model proper eating. I can’t expect him to eat avocado’s and sweet potato’s when he sees his Mom eat nothing but chocolate and cheese all the time.
Here are the parameters of the challenge I’m setting for myself:
-Whole 30 compliant foods only for the next 30 days.
-No weighing or measuring myself for the next 30 days (Which means no sewing new outfits for the next 30 days)
-Exercise 3 times per week. I used to be able to do way more, but I’ve got to start slowly. I’m playing the long game here exercise wise.
The sewing thing is a bit of a bummer, but I’ve actually been wanting to try my hand a sewing handbags and such, so you will see some new projects in the near future. Perhaps some as of yet unblogged garments as well. If I come up with a new recipe or tweak an existing one, I’ll be sure to share it if it’s blog worthy.
What you likely wont see are daily updates, food diaries, and (hopefully) generic platitudes about dieting. I assure you, this is not a woo type thing, a la Food Babe (a known charlatan). I just want to feel better, and it my previous experiments of one, this is what did it. I will share my before and after results, which I hope will be as dramatic as they were in my January Whole 30.
Wish me luck! Anyone want to join me?