September 3, 2014

Whole 30: Day 3

I think that initially, the hardest thing for me about the Whole 30 isn't sugar and processed carb withdrawal but rather, not being allowed to step on the scale. It's something I have always struggled with: if I know I am eating well, eating enough, and exercising, then why do I need a number to validate it? This morning I woke up before the alarm feeling energetic and less bloated already. Why do I need to see a number to prove that I am doing the right thing?

In my earlier attempts at completing a Whole 30, I've always peeked. I am hoping to be stronger this time around - to be strong enough to shift my focus on making consistently good choices for a month, rather than fixating on what the scale will say at the end.

This time around, I am trying to listen to my body more, or at least listen better. I am trying to notice patterns in my eating, the places where I eat mindlessly or make poor choices because it fits in my calorie goal. Some examples:

1. My sodium intake the past few weeks has been pretty high. When I first lost the weight, I didn't keep a food log, I just ate pretty much the same thing every day. I tried doing that this time too, but changed up a few things - for example, instead of a chicken and veggies meal for lunch, I'd have a sandwich, because it's only a few more calories. Except - the sodium is way higher. Just because foods fit within a calorie limit doesn't mean they're the best choices. Another example that blew my mind was a serving of fat-free sugar-free banana Jello pudding - a 1/2 cup serving has 330 mg of sodium! (To compare, a 10 oz bowl of watermelon has 3 mg of sodium.)

2. My nutrient breakdown has been very carb heavy. Some of them are good carbs - we've been enjoying watermelons and cherries this summer, for sure. But most of the calories I'm logging are coming from carbs - cereal with breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, crackers for a snack. Even though I am under my calorie goal, since most of the calories are coming from carbs instead of protein, I feel hungry all day, and I have to fight with myself at night to avoid snacking. With the Whole 30, I eat a good size dinner full of veggies and healthy protein, and I don't feel hungry again until morning.

3. On that subject, my eating has become very mechanical. Something I notice about food tracking is that it makes me a bit obsessive - I focus so much on when my next meal is, what my next meal can or cannot be, and whether or not it fits in my plan for the day. I find myself eating a snack not necessarily because I want it, but because I have room in my calories and I want to delay dinner as long as possible (because after dinner, the kitchen is closed to me). When I follow the Whole 30 way of eating, I think less about food between meals, and I eat mindfully and purposefully.

I'm sure some things that are easy now will become more challenging, and current challenges may ease up. At the moment, though, things are sailing pretty smoothly.


Amy said...

I am happy you're trying the no scale rule this time around! I feel like my lessons from that rule came months afterwards. I was so disappointed by my weight loss the first time I did the Whole 30.

I actually haven't weighed myself in probably 9 or 10 months and I probably won't again until I have to (i.e., doctor situation).

I went to see a trainer the other day, it came as part of my package at my new gym, and I told her I didn't want to be weighed. She was completely supportive of that decision. Realistically, the inches and how I feel are way better measures of how I'm doing than the fluctuations day to day and week to week on the scale.

Imagine you could never weigh yourself again? How would you measure progress? Probably your clothes and your inch loss.

Those are much slower and gradual changes, but also much more sustainable ways of looking at progress.

I honestly feel so much more healthy mentally ever since I have adopted that mindset.

I really hope that you continue to see that shift in your thinking as your Whole 30 progresses!

Denise said...

I'm so happy you're doing this. I don't know what was different with my most recent Whole30, but my relationship with food is really different. I spent the first few days dreaming of what I could eat when I was done. The day after the Whole30 was done I got Cold Stone. A pint of it. It was delicious, but the compulsion to eat when it was done was gone. I ate it until I didn't want to, put it back in the freezer, ate some more a few hours later, and so on. I've never been one to put ice cream back in the freezer so it was fairly startling to realize that I was capable of eating just part of it. I felt like a regular person.