Thursday, October 17, 2013

Post Whole30 -- Where do I go from here?

So now that I've finished a Whole30, I've got to figure out what I do next.

First, a summary of this past month:
  • I lost 7.3 lbs, going from 298.1 to 290.3, which is great -- about a pound and a half a week, average, which is really good. And I did it without counting calories or limiting the amount of food I could eat, and I did it while eating avocados and beef and sweet potatoes and homemade mayonnaise and all kinds of other really yummy stuff.
  • My before and after pictures don't look dramatically different, but I could tell the clothes were slightly looser now than when I put them on before. And really, I tend to have to lose a lot of weight before I really start noticing my clothes fitting differently. Here's the pic for reference:

  • It's a lot of work to cook three meals a day, even if I'm only cooking for one person, and even though I cooked extra when I really cooked stuff, so most of the daily cooking was really just reheating. 
  • Reading labels on food is scary. They put all kinds of stuff in food to make it look and taste better and make it more shelf-stable. And they add sugar to everything. Everything. And don't get me started on the soy thing, they sneak that into places you'd never think to look for it, too.
  • Although it's a lot of work to cook all your meals, it's very satisfying (except when you accidentally burn them, that's not satisfying at all). I like that I knew exactly what was in my food, and most of it tasted better than anything I could've gotten from a box in the store. 
  • Most of my meals during the last 30 days, I've eaten at the table, not watching tv, or playing on the computer, or messing with my phone, just sitting, and eating, and paying attention to the food. It was nice. I noticed I was eating slower than I would have, not gulping my food, and I didn't have the experience of suddenly realizing my plate was empty but not actually remembering eating the food -- which has happened before when I was paying attention to other things. 
  • Until the last couple of days, when I seem to have gotten some lovely seasonal allergy/sinus stuff that has included a sore throat, and coughing, and sneezing, and a runny nose, I was feeling better than I did prior to starting the Whole30. While I never hit the stage they refer to as "tiger blood" -- a point when people feel really amazingly good, and have lots of energy -- I did feel I had more energy than usual.
Basically, I found the Whole30 to be a positive experience. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, and after the first week and a half or so, it really seemed to go quickly. It has definitely changed how I look at food. It's made me want to make an effort to buy good quality food whenever I can, reading labels to make sure I don't get a bunch of unnecessary ingredients. I can honestly say I'm not having a lot of cravings. I was really wanting a really good chai tea latte (something about the spicy/sweet/creamy combo really sounds comforting when I don't feel so hot, and the unsweetened version I made for myself just didn't quite satisfy that craving), so today when I ran to Target to pick up a few things, I stopped at the Starbucks and had a short chocolate chai. It was good, but not great. I don't particularly want another one, but I don't regret having that one. (Also, I never ordered a short anything at Starbucks before -- the little bitty coffee cup is so cute! But could someone tell me why the short chai cost more than the venti unsweet passion tea that I'd been getting while I was on Medifast?)

So, now what? I think for now what I'm going to do is keep eating basically Whole30 stuff at home, but if I go out to eat or eat at someone's house, I'll do the best I can, but not worry if there's, say, sugar in a sauce, or soy in the brand of tea they use. Even when I'm eating in a restaurant, I'm going to (most of the time) opt for salad  over sandwiches and not eat a bunch of bread, because it turns out, meals can be satisfying without bread. Who knew? I know that sweets are a weakness for me, and that once I start eating them, sometimes I have trouble stopping, so it's really best just to not start. That doesn't mean I'll never, ever have dessert again, because I realize that's highly unlikely. The holidays are just around the corner, after all. But I am going to try to be picky about what I have. I don't think store-bought cookies, no matter how yummy they look, would be worth possibly triggering major sugar cravings, but maybe something homemade would be. I may try making some of the Paleo desserts I've seen for things like potlucks, if I think I'll really want something sweet, but would rather avoid the really sugary stuff, but I'm not planning on making them just to keep around the house for me to eat, because I don't need them. 

As far as this blog, I'll keep posting, although probably not every day, that just got really hard to keep up with and I think it could get stressful to try to do that for an extended period of time. There's a Healthy, Happy Shannon Facebook page, you can go Like it if you want to get blog updates in your newsfeed. (Updates also go out on google+, for whatever that's worth, but don't expect me to respond to comments left there, I never check it.) I've also started an Instagram account, that's where my daily food pics will be -- I don't want to go back to logging everything I eat at My Fitness Pal, but I do want some kind of record, something I can look at if I need to troubleshoot why I'm not losing weight, that kind of thing. If a meal is Whole30 compliant, I'll tag it #Whole30. If it's not, it won't be. My plan for the blog is to update 3 or 4 times a week, with how my week is going, any yummy recipes I try, possibly health-related book reviews (I've been meaning to do one for It Starts With Food all month and it just hasn't happened yet), and thoughts on this whole getting healthy thing. 

Sorry that got so long, I'm not really very good at editing things out. When I try, I usually just think of something else I meant to say that I need to add in, so I'll just stop now. So now, one last round of What I Ate Today:

Breakfast -- the last of the cauliflower and roasted veggie soup, with ground chicken with sausage seasoning, and spinach.
Lunch -- Beef stew with butternut squash and roasted carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Snack -- My itty bitty chocolate chai tea. Also, you can see my really dirty stove. Just try to ignore that part, okay?

Supper -- a brand new batch of roasted veggie soup (couple of beets, couple of turnips, carrots, acorn squash, chicken broth, coconut milk), topped with Aidells Chicken & Apple sausage and some sauteed broccoli slaw. 

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