One Week Progress

I ran on the one week anniversary of my fourth round of Whole30. It was hot, but it felt good to be back at it again.

Yesterday was the end of one full week on this fourth round of Whole30. How did I do? Well, I made a lot of progress, and a lot of it is what are called Non-Scale Victories (NSV’s). I’ll list them.

  • I lost 9 lbs. Whole30 says to not weigh yourself until the end of the Whole30. I ignore that because:
      This isn’t my first Whole30
      I am data driven and need to track progress to stay motivated
      I am not easily deterred or demotivated when I see the numbers climb. I know it’s part of the process.
  • I lost a solid inch (or a little more) as told by my belts and how my trousers all feel now
  • I am through the Whole30 Flu, and I feel the surge in energy every morning now
  • My sleep is better and I’m not waking up in the middle of the night anymore
  • It’s easier to focus and think. It’s hard to explain, but everything just feels better

All of the above are very welcome and positive. But what are the negatives?

  • No more drinking cider or some sort of alcohol with dinner or in the evenings
  • No more chia puddings which makes me less “Regular”
  • No more occasional Paleo chocolate chip cookies. God, I miss those

After writing out the “Negatives,” I realize how much I have gained through my NSV’s by giving those things up. Those three items on that negatives list is where the bulk of my bad habits were, and where the vast majority of sugar was finding its way into my diet. By cutting those out, I’ve gained so much!

It was a hard week. Honestly, it was the toughest first week on a Whole30 I’ve ever had. But I’m glad I’m doing it right now, and I’m glad to be past the first week. Now, it’s just on to three more weeks of solid progress and doing the work. Coupled with my exercise, I should be seeing more weight loss over the coming weeks, though admittedly, I know that the chances of me losing another 10 lbs in the next three weeks are pretty slim. 5 lbs, however, is well within the realm of possibility.

Size or Weight. Ne’er the twain shall meet.

Or something like that.

I lost a good 8 lbs in the last 7 days. Most of that was water weight, sure, but still; a loss is a loss. The funny part is that I lost the 8 lbs in the first 5 days. The last two days? Nothing. I’m the same, to the tenth of a pound. But what has changed is my waist. I’m an inch thinner/smaller.

I have noticed many times in the past as I dropped down the scale that I never lose both weight and size at the same time. Never. It’s either one or the other. I know when a drop in weight is coming because my belt gets a hole tighter. Or I know that another hole is needed soon on my belt when I lose some weight. It’s never concurrent.

I don’t know why this is. I have ideas, but nothing concrete or science-based to accredit this phenomenon to. I don’t know if it’s the same for anyone else, but it’s been like this for the past nearly four years. It’s reproducible for me.

So, right now, I’m in a size-loss cycle. I’m hoping to get back to a weight loss cycle soon. I have about 6 more lbs to go to my first goal. Then, it’s 10 more to the final goal to be in my comfort zone. I am not certain I’ll be there by my birthday, but by August would be nice. ‘Til then, it’s going to be more of the same: eat right, get enough sleep, and get some exercise.

The Week Alone

Sherry and I in Galveston on Saturday.

Starting this morning, I’m all alone. Sherry had to go to California for business, and I am here in Houston fending for myself. Well, not really. But kind of.

Yesterday, Sherry made me a wonderful breakfast casserole for me to eat during the week which was made with eggs, onions, green pepper, and chorizo. I had it this morning; it was amazing! I also smoked a brisket and Sherry made a pork carnitas in the slow cooker that we ate for dinner and tasted delicious!

We still have some leftover Ropa Vieja with plantains and some meatloaf that I’ll use up as quickly as I can this week, but now I also have brisket, pork carnitas, and a planned wing dinner on Wednesday night with friends from the National Guard.

So, maybe I’ll survive. Well, I at least won’t starve.

Whole30 Emergency

Today, Sherry and I went down to Galveston and spend the day going from place to place where I flew my drone and got some amazing photos and video. In between shooting, we stopped along the way to get some lunch, and later dinner.

Lunch was easy: we ate at Gaido’s, a famous Galveston landmark seafood restaurant where music luminaries like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra once performed. We both had Grilled Golden Tile with crab meat with a side of asparagus. While it was delicious, both of us felt a little hungry still, so we split a Larabar.

A little later in the day, we decided to eat at another seafood restaurant, but the wait was 45 minutes to an hour, and both of us had headaches from hunger (that, coupled with it being Day 5 of our Whole30). So, we decided to hit another restaurant a mile or so away. The problem here was that the only food they had that we could eat was steak, and they didn’t have oil and vinegar for a salad dressing. What to do?

Sherry and I both had a silly idea at the same moment: squeeze some lemon onto the salad along with some salt and pepper. It was amazing! The tangy flavor of the lemon meshed very well with the salad and to our tongues, tasted a lot like vinegar would on a salad. We now have a strategy moving forward in case a restaurant doesn’t have oil and vinegar for a house salad.

The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful, and aside from (what I’m hoping) is the last day of the Whole30 flu, I feel good. I have lost both weight and bulk off my waist. I can feel the freedom from sugar, and I can feel the increased energy happening.

My Strategy for a Week Without Sherry

Sherry and I on a sunset cruise on Lake Travis, TX

My wife will be going out on a business trip all next week, leaving me to make sure I feed myself good, quality Whole30-compliant foods. That’s no small task, and so far, my wife has been my secret weapon when it comes to my success with getting healthy and losing weight. I guess now it’s time for me to test myself: can I do it alone?

I will be smoking a brisket on Saturday and packaging it up to eat for lunches and dinners this coming week. I will also make some sweet potatoes to put into the containers for lunches. I will probably make some kind of egg casserole or something like that to package up for lunches as well as have some kind of meat around for a dinner or two during the week. I’ll likely have some Buffalo Wings on Wednesday night with some of my friends from the National Guard, but I’ll skip the ranch dressing and I’ll have the wings dry with a garlic powder on it. I’ll also limit myself to 5 and a small side of the sweet potatoes.

I think I will be alright. I am certain I won’t “Cheat” or sabotage myself, so that’s not the issue or concern. My main challenge will be to make sure I don’t get palate fatigue by eating too much brisket. Well, after I wrote that, I realized how silly that is: I can never get tired of good brisket. That’s like saying I might get tired of bacon. That can never happen.

Time for some facts

My weight on Monday morning: 193.7 lbs. My weight this morning: 188.2 lbs. My goal for this Whole30: 175 lbs. (I know, I KNOW! You’re not supposed to weigh yourself on a Whole30. Well, I break that rule because I log my process, and I monitor closely how different foods affect my body. Yes, even Whole30 compliant foods affect my body differently, and I like to know the cause/effect of those different foods).

I was doing IF (Intermittent Fasting) prior to this Whole30. I am not doing that now and have resumed eating my two eggs and two slices of bacon breakfast that I ate for three years. Why? Because this formula worked for me in the past three Whole30’s, and I’m not going to mess with a recipe that has been successful three times in a row.

How is it possible that I lost 5 lbs in three days? Well, the majority of that weight was bloating due to the increased carb and alcohol intake this past weekend. I’d guess about 3-4 lbs of it was just water weight. I am expecting another 5 lbs by the end of the month, but realistically, I should be able to see 2.5 lbs a week on average over the next four weeks (as I did the last three times we did this).

Challenges coming up for me: my wife will be out of town next week on a business trip. That will leave me to fend for myself. She’s been the foundation upon which my Whole30’s rested (and the reason I was successful). Now I will have to try to figure out the food part myself. I’m up for the challenge, and I have some ideas. More on this later.

Annual Training (AT) in the National Guard. I have a two-week AT coming up in June. The last two weeks of my Whole30, in fact, will be during AT. AT is a stressful time and five days of that will be in the field at Fort Hood. I’ll have to carry all my food with me (Epic bars, RXBars, and nuts) and I’ll have to make sure I drink a lot of water and stick to just my own food. I’ve done this before in 2017. I even lost a little weight in the field. I’m hoping for a repeat of that success this year.

I’m still feeling a bit of the flu-like symptoms this morning, but nothing like yesterday. Yesterday was brutal. Sherry and I are expecting more of the symptoms this weekend, so we will try to do things to keep busy and to keep our minds off of the discomfort and any hunger. I remember the hunger part took a week or so to subside last time. At least I know it’s normal and I know what to expect next.

Whole30’s aren’t easy. Many people don’t succeed their first, second, or even their third times around. Sherry and I were fortunate in that we had each other to lean on, and that we made it through them before. I have new challenges this time, but I think now that I’m a veteran of three prior Whole30’s, I can do this. I must do this.

Oh, and running? I haven’t run since last week. The trip to Austin coupled with a bunch of things to do after work Tuesday kept me from getting out there and stretching my legs. I will do that this afternoon after work. If I can’t run outside, I’ll run on our treadmill. One way or the other, it’s going to get done.

Oh, that Whole30 Flu!

Sherry and I zip lining at Lake Travis, TX.

Today is the second full day of our Whole30, and even though it’s our fourth time around, I forgot about the flu-like symptoms. I didn’t experience them yesterday, although I was a little hungry after each meal. Today, however, I have the full-on headache. I feel a bit under the weather. My body is rebelling. These are all signs to me that I allowed too much sugar back into my diet. Then again, I also went a little carb-crazy this past weekend, so I’m sure that didn’t help this transition.

Otherwise, I feel good. Sure, I have a headache and I feel a bit groggy, but I also know what this feeling leads to: a much better me. I know that this will pass within the next 1-3 days, and by next Monday, I’ll be feeling awesome and back to reaping the benefits of eating fully healthy for over a week.

This is the worst part; the beginning. After the first week is over, I’ll feel much better, and I know that I’ll be making the progress I’m looking for. I just need to make sure I keep getting enough sleep.