Whole30 – Week 4 – It’s a Wrap Folks!

Welp the Whole30 is OFFICIALLY over today!!! If we’re being completely honest, the Whole30 was over a week and a half ago. (yikers! oops!!).

Yep – we failed. I FAILED – something I hardly EVER do. Something I normally CANNOT allow myself to do internally…. annnnnnnndd this time, I am kind of OK with it. Honestly I just look at the whole thing as – it just wasn’t for us. Excuse? I hope not since I am taking complete fault and responsibility for quitting. In the short reality following all of the rules of the Whole30 is just not the way want to live our lives realistically. YES we like to eat and BE healthy – but we also truly believe that sometimes its OK to indulge –  to enjoy food (whatever it may be), and that’s ultimately how Jeremy and I want to experience life. SO – we quit.

I am sure there will be people out there who really think of us as “quitters” – a family who just couldn’t do it – a couple who couldn’t stick to a challenge for 30 days….Anyone can do anything for 30 days right? Honestly, I really believe we COULD have finished just fine, we just chose not too. If I really had wanted to complete the challenge, if I really had wanted to not cheat, I could have. I just didn’t want it that much.

We’re still starting this year off healthier and more fit than we’ve been in the past and we’re keeping up other ends of the bargain…. to me that with a little balance it’s perfectly fine. Nothing to beat myself up over.

A few weekends ago Jeremy had a wild craving for Pizza – a BIG Whole30 no-no. At first I said; no way, not giving in – not doing it. We had already cheated with wine the weekend before and had been back on the healthy eating train all week and I really didn’t want to mess it up AGAIN. THEN, 5 minutes later I was just like – you know, if we want Pizza – who is to say we can’t have pizza??? Yes we made the decision to take part in this challenge, yes I wanted to finish it out – but there was part of me that just didn’t want to do it more!! What if we could maintain our weight and fitness without a program telling us what to do?? WHY do we have to deprive ourselves if we simply don’t want too?

SO off the wagon we went again…. and once again, I do not regret it. While we still ate, and continue to eat Whole30 approved meals during the week and most of the time on the weekends, we indulged when we felt like it for the final week and a half and I am 100% OK with that.

All I really wanted to do was to start this year off on a healthy foot and I truly believe we STILL accomplished that.

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In all honesty I LOVED eating by the rules of the Whole30…. I even plan to continue it as much as possible in the future. I love eating fresh produce and organic meats, I enjoy the prepping and cooking and I LOVE how it makes me feel. There are definitely things I will NEVER go back to eating on a regular basis. Mostly I love how I have really learned to stay away from processed foods and how we don’t plan on making them part of our weekly meal plans ever again. Every once in awhile? I am sure…. but not as a constant – definitely not as a go-to.

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I said from the beginning I have NEVER been the type of person who will deprive myself of a certain food for ANY reason hence why I have never done anything like this before – the Whole30 apparently was no exception. I was more turned off by the fact that I COULDN’T have something if I wanted it more than anything else – not the actual missing out on it. I do realize that is part of the program – a MAJOR part of the program, learning to fight the urges and cravings – which is the entire point….. but I still personally just don’t find this completely healthy or balanced. I am not AT ALL saying this is the wrong way to go for some people – because I see the results and I understand the reasoning…. its just not the way I want to do it.

All in all I don’t consider the last 30 days a complete failure because we “didn’t finish”…. Here’s why:

5 things I have learned from the Whole30

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1) How to cook with all fresh, organic, non-processed options – something I will definitely keep up!
2) How expensive it is to eat fresh, organic, non processed foods. We doubled our grocery budget during the last month – will def be doing some recon on that issue but I’d like to keep up with as much of it as we can for sure.
3) Coffee with Coconut Milk = not that bad. Will not be going back to artificial creamers.
4) It’s not always about the pounds you lose but the inches matter more! Progress is Progress!
5) I love eating like this and prepping for eating this way.

Three things I love about the Whole030

1) I have learned SO much about what I am putting into my body and what I WANT to put into my body. I learned to read ingredient lists and nutrition labels and what certain “code words” for additives mean. It’s actually quite fascinating and eye opening.
2)  The FOOD…. it really is so good. Getting creative with meal planning and going outside our comfort box was a lot of fun.
3) It made me push myself – I needed a push in the right direction and the Whole30 made me go that extra inch. Now if I feel like just grabbing something on the go while out running errands I know it’s better for me and will go the extra mile to just make something at home instead on MOST occasions.

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Three things I don’t love about the Whole30

1) The Rules – I don’t like being told what to do…. this was no exception. Definitely a personal issue of my own. I am more of a “guideline” person.
2) The fact that I am considered a “quitter” because I didn’t follow said rules for the full 30 days – It  just doesn’t really gel with realistic lifestyle goals for us and motivation for after the challenge is over. “I quit so I ruined everything I worked for” – No – I don’t think that’s really true.
3) There are only 2 dislikes 😉

How we did. Time for our Check-In.

Jeremy lost 15 pounds!!! YAYYYYYYYY for him!!!! You can DEFINITELY tell and see it in his whole body even with the cheating factor (and he cheated more than I did). I am proud of him for doing something like this and sticking it out with me as long as I wanted to…. We chose to stop together but he wouldn’t have done so if I hadn’t. (He didn’t want to do his after measurements).

I on the other hand am teetering on either GAINING a pound or losing 5 – depends on the day. That’s where I stand at the moment – on any given day lately I fluctuate 6 pounds, which is more than usual. (Normal day to day fluctuation for me is about 3lbs).

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Honestly I think I look the “best” in the middle picture which was half way through the challenge – day 13  – the majority of the bloat is gone in that picture and that is when I felt the best….. However, not much really changed in the following 2 weeks if you look at the numbers. (Side note: The last picture was taken at night, the other two were in the morning – not sure if that really makes a difference, but I think so).

I did lose 4 INCHES off my belly which I kept off!! I also lost an inch off my thigh, 2 off my chest, 1 off my bum and and a half an inch off my waist. Not too shabby.

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My clothes pretty much still fit the same but I do have 4 bikini’s in a online cart ready to purchase as soon as I get the go ahead green light from the hubby! I am ON my WAY to wearing a 2 piece bathing suit once again!!

Here is the Official Motivation Photo!!

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I am sure most will tell me that I probably could have and would have lost even more if I would have stuck to the program. I suppose that could be true (probably accurate lol)…. but who’s to say, right? Can’t go back now – only forward. I do agree that my bloat would be minimal had I stuck it out – that is for sure. You can definitely tell the difference with that when you eat “normally” again.

I still have a good amount of work to do and plan to keep updating with my progress towards my summer goals!!!

Working out and Staying Fit.

The Whole30 gave us the push towards the gym that we have been needing and waiting on for a LONG time. What we were waiting for I am not sure exactly but nonetheless…. it pushed us to really get back into the swing of things and we’ve been going full force since. We both have been maintaining 4-5 days in the gym per week for the past 4 weeks which is HUGE for us, so I am definitely pretty proud of that!! With Jeremy’s work schedule and the kids routine in the evenings it can get really hard to make the time (something we’ve put off easily with excuses for far too long) but we’ve finally put working out and putting our fitness first again – and it’s really paying off.

We definitely plan to keep up our gym routines and stay in the swing of things as much as we can – I still plan on being in that bikini come May so I don’t have a choice really – I still have a lot to do. I started a 5 week program doing X-Factor at the gym which is an instructor led class once a week with my sister in law and LOVE the extra push. That class is a whole new level of sore – working out muscles you never knew you had.

Honestly in my eyes nothing beats balancing healthy eating and working out.

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Week Four Menu:

Our last week actually ON (or off whatever you wanna call it) the Whole30.

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Friday: OFF the WAGON – Pizza and wine (WOOPS!! Sorry I am not sorry?)
Saturday: Seared Tuna soaked in Coconut Aminos andcoated in Sesame Seeds, steamed Mussels (in Ghee and spices) and a side of Bacon Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Sunday: Beef Stew with Organic Beef stock, Carrots, Onion, Celery and Rosemary
Monday – Baked Seasoned Pork Chop with Zoodles (Zucchini and Squash)
Tuesday: Shrimp Salad (made with homemade mayo, onion and celery) and Tomato, Cucumber and Onion Salad.
Wednesday: Baked Lemon and Onion Salmon with a side of sauteed Zucchini and Onions.
Thursday: Italian Chicken Casserole – (at Kim and Brian’s casa)

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I honestly commend the people that stuck this out the entire time. It takes dedication, will power and sacrifice for sure. And I applaud those who keep it up even beyond the challenge. Its not easy at all. It’s actually really hard to stay on track and to make this a realistic part of your lifestyle when the world is throwing you everything it can to get in your way.

Going forward our Week 5 Menu really hasn’t deterred from the “rules of the Whole30” much but I do have 2 Birthday’s I will be celebrating out at restaurants this week, and I am glad I don’t feel like I have to miss out or not participate because I am doing the Whole30… Quite frankly the Whole30 was exactly that – 30 days – it was a challenge (that we lost)….which we never planned on continuing past – at least not as strictly. I have started up logging onto myfitnesspal.com again which is a calorie/exercise tracker that has always been helpful to keep me mindful and on track with my food decisions and intake. Contrary to the Whole30 – I do have pretty good will power when it comes to knowing what is enough so hopefully this will help me along my way.

Would I try this again? In short – possibly – never say never, but probably not. Do I think it works? FOR SURE – I saw weight and inches come off, not just in me but in others as well!! It’s just not the way I personally like it to happen. The program did improve our health, and the Whole30 really did change our lives – for the better…

While doing some research I found this link: Six Reasons Why the Whole30 Didn’t Work for You – I honestly believe I fall into the category of: Your Expectations Are Simply Too High. I feel like I had this huge expectation to drop a vast amount of weight and when it didn’t happen I gave up with the strictness of it all. Plain and simple. No Excuse.

As I said previously, I really don’t see myself as a “quitter”…. I see a person who gave this a shot and came out with more knowledge and experience than she had before. I see someone who is ready to continue creating a healthy lifestyle balance for herself and her family and who is ready to put in the work to get to her summer goals.

All in all it was not completely a wash!

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December 31, 2014 – January 30, 2015

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