Whole 30 Thoughts: Week 1

It’s been 7 days since I started the Whole30 challenge and I have to say, I feel awesome. I’ve got tons of energy, my body feels happy, and I’m sleeping better than I have in months. There have been some difficult moments but overall, it hasn’t been that hard - I do miss wine and chocolate though! The other day I stumbled across the Whole 30 timeline on the Whole9 website and it gave me the idea to keep my own day-by-day log of how I was feeling. So before we get into the good, the bad, and the lessons learned of the past week – here is a quick recap of week 1: 20130113-194648.jpg

[meal prep for this week - absolutely essential]

DAY 1: Felt terrible when I woke up like I had the worst hangover and the flu, combined. I felt sick the majority of the day until late afternoon before my barbell class. I had the ultimate willpower test since work involved me making chocolate & caramel covered things, a cake, and all sorts of sugary goodies. It was hard but I didn’t cave. I felt surprisingly strong and alert during my workout and slept like a baby.

DAY 2: Felt energized but slightly weak/dizzy for part of the day. My body felt really good while I was training in the morning (minus an ab strain), which was surprising considering it was only 12 hours after my barbell class the previous night. I felt great the rest of the day, although still a little dizzy.

DAY 3: Felt really great and was SO hungry all day. I kind of slacked on eating enough the fats during the morning and afternoon so I was ravenous at night. Overall, felt really energized and alert.

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[typical lunch - tons of veggies, meat, in a bowl]

DAY 4: I was super energized today to the point of being hyper – I think it was due to the fact that it was a rest day! I upped my starchy carb intake slightly today and it helped eradicate the slighty woozy feeling I had been having most days. I had some strong wine and chocolate cravings – especially after dinner. I was full but felt like I needed something sweet – drinking some tea helped ease the craving.

DAY 5: I was extremely pissy today. I officially reached the “kill all the things” stage. My body felt great but my mind was out of control – I think my brain is stressed from the high level of willpower depletion. Also, I struggled with the feeling of eating all the time – apparently, my body needs more than I have been giving it lately. We went out to dinner, which wasn’t too bad – I had a beet/argula salad with a burger with no bun and club soda and lime to drink. The club soda totally satisfied my need for something other than water!

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[husband made this dinner - baked chicken, spinach, mushroom, apple saute and asparagus]

DAY 6: I felt amazing today – my workout was great and I did much better than I thought I would. I was super hungry today as well and fed my body accordingly emphasizing lots of fats and protein. Energy levels were through the roof even after lounging around for a few hours. I’m sold.

DAY 7:I felt surprisingly energized and not hungry during yardwork all afternoon. I didn’t’ eat much of a lunch and probably should have but I never got “hangry and felt adequately fueled for most of the day.

I’ve been keeping a more detailed log for myself, including my workouts and check-ins at different times a day, but I figured this post is getting long enough and you all probably really don’t care about how many kettlebell swings I did (a lot) or how heavy my barbell hip thrusters were (p.s. those are evil, pure evil. My ass was sore for days). So now, let’s get down to the other stuff.

 

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[bench pressing - always fun]

THE GOOD

I’m feeling strong, mentally and physically: I PR’ed both my snatch & my clean on Saturday, which are difficult lifts for me. My body felt incredibly strong and my mind/body connection was the best I think it’s even been – I felt like I had a level of proprioception that I’ve never had before. Now, a lot of that is due to the fact that I’ve been practicing those lifts for weeks but I think the level of clarity and overall good feeling from the Whole30 is definitely helping.

My energy levels are through the roof: I don’t think I’ve ever been this energized in my life. On rest days, it’s to the point where I feel almost hyper. I even voluntarily ran sprints one day since I felt so energized (I hate running, I suck at running, and I rarely run on my own. I’d prefer to pick up 200lbs than run a mile, any day).

My body feels & looks better: Before starting the challenge, my body felt heavy and looked puffy. Now, my body feels light and a lot of the bloat is gone. I’m super excited to see how this changes over the next few weeks.

 

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[my favorite non-water drink - club soda with lime and splash of pure pomegranate juice]

THE BAD

Cravings: I had some pretty bad wine and chocolate cravings this week. My cravings made me pissed off and not pleasant (sorry husband). I’m so glad I’m doing this challenge with a group of people and my mom because they all helped me keep on track. I've found that club soda with lime and a splash of pomegranate juice totally cures my wine craving which I think is actually a craving for something other than water.

Tired of food: I’ve already gotten tired of some things, like chicken, but I think this is because I made everything too plain this past week. I kept things super basic and easy which was nice but now I need to get creative and spice things up. I’ve already planned out several new recipes to try this week and my food prep is definitely going to involve some spices.

 

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[habits may die hard but my habit for knee socks will always live on]

LESSON LEARNED

Old habits die hard: Almost all of my cravings occurred at night, when stressed out, or when I was making something with foods I couldn’t have. This week really exposed how strong my habit loops are for certain things – especially nighttime chocolate and wine. Every time I used chocolate this week (for work), the smell would prime my body to receive it – my mouth would water slightly, my brain would get ready for a dopamine hit, and I would start craving sugar. Instead of having something else sweet (like fruit), I’ve been turning to things like lemon water and tea. Substituting another sweet thing for chocolate would only reinforce that habit loop (for me - I don't think that is true for everyone) and one of my goals is to really break the sugar habit. After dinner, no matter how much I ate, my body is still being cued to receive something sweet. I think this is going to be the hardest part for me and I need to work on better identifying what part of my routine is cueing my body for the need for something sweet and then work on changing that.

Overall, this week has been an awesome learning experience and I can tell that this challenge is going to benefit me in more ways that I thought. Anyone else doing a Whole30 right now? What are your thoughts?