Accountability Report: let’s regroup

“Every day is a new beginning. Take a deep breath, and start again.” Ritu Ghatourey

dogwood 1

Yesterday would have been Day 30 of the Whole30 Program, IF we had stuck to it for thirty days. One of the “rules” of the program is that if you go off the program, you must start over. Well, we did stumble a bit while we were in Miami. We didn’t really stumble, so much as consciously decide to take a break for a meal. We ended up sharing an ahi tuna burger and a cubano sandwich with sweet potato fries, oh yum. I could have eaten the tuna without the bun, but I didn’t. The cubano was a bust all the way around though… why eat it if you can’t have the bread and the cheese. Blue Eyes LOVES cubanos. Sweet potatoes are good for you, but not so great when fried. We know the rules. We agreed to break them. We did the same in New York City. I was totally still craving that pepperoni pizza and where better to get a slice. Most of the time we stuck by the Whole30. Honestly, I felt good. My allergies were still there. I never got much relief from that, but I never felt bloated and I did not have any stomach problems.

I didn’t, however, want to “start over” every time we went off track. How many days in a row I could follow every rule was not my biggest concern. So we kept plugging along, and then celibacy happened, and then Blue Eyes got really sick. I ended up running around town, skipping meals, and then eating in a hospital cafeteria where you would think I could make sensible choices, however, hospital cafeterias in the U.S. are notoriously bad. The salad at the salad bar looked scary. The salmon looked unappetizing. The grilled chicken, all dried out from sitting under heat lamps, was never even a viable choice. I opted for a burrito on a whole wheat tortilla (no doubt with preservatives), and it had cheese and beans and rice, carb city! And that started a downward spiral. This week has pretty much been a total bust. On the way home from the hospital one night, I even ate the dreaded FAST FOOD! This past Friday I had a decadent gourmet mac and cheese, AND chocolate cake! I was miserable all night. Time to re-group.

I have, however, been working out this week. The facility where I have signed up for fitness classes and a personal trainer has a 6-week nutrition program. My personal trainer helped develop it and is happy to guide me along the way as part of our sessions. It is not all that different from other healthy eating lifestyles I have adopted (even if temporarily) in the past. During the first two weeks of the program, I eliminate all those “bad” things we already eliminated on the Whole30. No sugars, no weird fake ingredients, and no white shit stuff. But on this program, high fat foods are also eliminated for the first two weeks and then added back in sparingly until you reach goal. “High fat foods” include some of the things we could actually eat on the Whole30 like butter, mayo, and red meat. Some of the forbidden foods on Whole30 like my beloved legumes are good and even encouraged on this program. I have decided that during the first two week cleanse, I will continue to follow the basic Whole30, but eliminate the “high fat foods” as prescribed by this program. That way, as I add the other foods back into my diet, I can gauge how I feel and find the real culprit of my stomach ailments, and headaches… is it gluten, dairy, legumes? I’m pretty sure it is going to be a combo of grains and dairy and that will dictate how I continue eating for the rest of my life, but we shall see if my diet can be tweaked so that I feel good, I get down to my desired weight, AND I can keep my blood sugars in check while maintaining a diet that is satisfying to me. I like the fact that a thin, physically fit 20-something kid is monitoring my progress. Pretty sure he’ll keep me in check!

We will officially begin the 6-week program on Thursday, so that will be the day I do my “before” weigh-in. Some of this stuff feels like a game to me. Even though I have a weight goal, what I am really going for is how I feel and I do not feel well when eating the old way and the way I ate last week. I want to feel good. Blue Eyes weighed himself this morning and he is six pounds from goal. You’d think he would be happy, but even that depressed him. He knows how difficult it will be to maintain his diet “sobriety” along with the other sobriety. He knows his weight loss is due to illness, not a healthy eating and exercise lifestyle. He knows how quickly that weight goes back on.

The other big goal is getting off the diabetes meds. My morning blood sugars have been fine, within the range of acceptable by the doctor, but not consistently in my “normal” person acceptable range (under 100). Plus, I still take Metformin and even though I have cut back, I still take it a couple times a day. I have no visible or obvious “signs” of diabetes. Obesity, yes. Diabetes, no. Not suffering enough, and not seeing the signs, is what did my Dad in. When you don’t feel sick, it doesn’t feel real. Now I, sadly, look at my 72 year-old Dad who has broken bones in his foot (and he thankfully still has both his feet) that won’t heal. He has neuropathy so bad he cannot feel either leg from the knee down. When he breaks a bone in his foot, he cannot feel it. They are talking dialysis, the years of excessive meds have taken their toll on his organs. He has been hospitalized numerous times over the past two years. He never changed his eating habits. He never cranked up the exercise. There would always be tomorrow for that. Well, his tomorrows have come and gone and now he is staring death in the face, way too young. I love my Dad, but I do not want to make the same mistakes he did, and I have to be honest with myself, I have already made some of the same mistakes. I can see the writing on the wall… my health story is the same story being told across the country, and begins and ends with denial. Sometimes reality is a bitch, but changing my relationship with food and exercise is something I can do, something I have control over. I can’t pawn that reality off on anyone.

Life is a journey, not a destination. I’ll keep you posted…

30 thoughts on “Accountability Report: let’s regroup

  1. And another thing……I love love love cheese and bread and wine. I still eat and enjoy them because if I totally cut them out I would be so sad. They are now a sometimes food choice.
    Being mindful does seem to work but it takes time to change old habits and to retrain our brain. My H feels like he has not eaten properly unless his plate has meat and three veg( upbringing) with one of the veg being a potato. So because I replace white potato with sweet orange he has real difficulty and will even go and search for white bread ( good luck with that) I am ever so slowly getting his mindset to think about those white starches. He was brought up to fill up on white pots and bread as a child. Cutting them out he does not feel full. Weird hey? So he will have a mountain of food with assorted green veg and meats and still not feel sated. It is a work in progress……as is so much in our life today 😀

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    • Yeah, I’m not seeking perfection, but I need to stop making excuses too. The program at the training facility is a modified Whole30, so I will just add stuff back in and monitor the results. I have at least 40 pounds to lose (I still haven’t weighed myself, but I can feel the weight creeping back on when I eat grains) and I do want to drop at least 20 by the end of the year. I know slow is the only way it will stay off for good. My only problem with the Whole30 is I am honestly so tired. I eat until I am full or satisfied, and I don’t get that hungry, but I have no energy. I need to find something to give me enough energy to do my workouts. I’ll figure it all out eventually, but even after 3 weeks of consistently following the Whole30, I still felt lethargic. If it is something other than the diet, I should probably be worried. Last week, off the Whole30 for the most part, even though I had stomach issues and didn’t get a lot of sleep due to BE illness, I still had tons of energy. There is some balance here. I just need to find it. Thanks for confirming that we are all fallible and that nothing is 100%. I’ll figure out my balance. Hope you are well. I have missed you!

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  2. Arghhhh….been working so nearly missed this awesome conversation. One thing I have have had drilled in me working where I work is we are all human and we do not need to set ourselves up for failure. It is ok to drop off a diet. It is ok to take a few weeks off exercise. It is all GOOD. As long as we hop back on. In one of your posts Kat you gave me some wise words of advice ….the exercise isn’t going anywhere. It will be there waiting. So will the whole 30 and if it isn’t a whole 30 then it can be a whole 7.
    For me the use of the whole 30 was to find my intolerance. I found it. Thank you gluten and white starch. Life changing. Now my diet is paleo. To eat paleo just think what the cavemen ate. Nothing processed. But you know the other night I was absolutely whacked after work. I knew I had nothing at home and it was 10pm so you know what I did? I went and had a burger chips and a mc flurry. Disgusting……loll lol but I so enjoyed a junk food fix and it was so feeing not to feel guilty about eating crap. I probably won’t do it again for months but when caught out like that I chose to enjoy it.
    As time goes on you will find that food choices will change. It is not an instant change. Slowly you will just learn to make and also to crave better foods. Sweetness is so easily replaced with dates or even maple syrup but as you begin to leave processed sugar out of your diet your sweet cravings will reduce. A handful of strawberries or grapes will be enough. I make date balls. Big batches of them. I use 2 kg dates. 600 Gm almonds. Acaii powder, golden berries or goji berries 200 g. 8 tspn cacao. Blend this up in my thermi with some coconut oil. Roll the little devils in coconut or whatever ( ground almond) and put them in the fridge and the whole family feats on these whenever they have a need for sweets. So much better and so filling. You can put all sorts of things into the date balls. Protein powDer, seeds cranberries …anything and everything as long as it fits in the paleo context.
    I rarely do a whole 30 anymore even tho I keep saying I should but I will do a whole 5 or 7 or even a detox for a couple of days with just fresh juices and green soup.
    My cholesterol was never bad but with menopause they say it often increases but mine has stayed the same healthy level. I have lost the bulges around my middle which was proving hard to shift and I just feel so full of energy most of the time. I hit sixty this year but I feel better than I did at 25. Thank you good food and yoga. No thanks to dumb arse husband but I often think if I was feeling like I did five years ago I wonder how I would be handling this thing called betrayal????????

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    • Ha, that is one of my husband’s new mantras he picked up last year at “group.” I was actually going to type that in at the end versus life is a journey, but he says it so often, I am letting him own that one. 🙂 .

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  3. Be careful. One of the reasons for the high fat foods in the Whole 30 is that it curbs the appetite. I have read the book, but not actually started the diet just yet as I have been working on my own. The Whole 30 is absolutely perfect in its form and was designed very well.

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    • Thanks for the warning and perhaps that was why I was so freakin’ hungry yesterday. There is absolutely no question in my mind that the Whole30 is a healthy eating lifestyle for me, however, I do have some issues with the red meat, not necessarily with the fat choices. Red meat is not my favorite protein source and I had pretty much given it up years ago. My husband absolutely craves red meat and so I started cooking it again regularly and it still doesn’t sit well with me. Pretty sure it is not causing any of my discomfort though. I will minimize my consumption for now. I am interested to see my cholesterol numbers on my next blood test. I have never had issues with cholesterol (genetics seem to play a big part in this, just like diabetes). If they come back good, I am sure I will be less anxious about the fats/red meats. It is also crazy how much back and forth there is on eggs. Honestly, how does a person know what to believe?

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      • I know it sounds crazy, but since I have included lots of healthy fats in my diet my cholesterol has improved. My doctor was amazed, but I also noticed that she had the Whole 30 book sitting on her side table, so she does understand. I don’t eat a lot of red meat, as I try to stay with small portions, but when I do it is always pasture raised grass fed meats. I also eat chickens that are raised cage free the way nature created them to be without hormones or antibiotics. As long as I am pounding heavy weights my body needs these healthy proteins. If you take the typical steak that you see people eating at a steak house, this would make 4 fine meals for me.

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        • Yes, I very much get the portion size dilemma. Americans! What are we thinking? The system itself is pretty messed up with all the mis-information and conflicting information out there and all the chemicals and processed foods. We shop at New Seasons and Whole Foods pretty exclusively (and still have to read all the labels thoroughly on anything with a label–what you notice very quickly is, almost nothing with a label is good for you) and choose our restaurants very carefully (most of the time) and share when we can agree! We each have unique bodies and genetics, so obviously what works great for one will not necessarily be the same for all, but eating healthy is good for everyone regardless of their health/size. I continue to enjoy reading your blog and all the re-blogged articles as well. I think once I verify those cholesterol numbers for myself, I will be able to relax a bit. I am a bit obsessive-compulsive. 🙂

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          • My doctor asked me how I think my blood test will be when the results come out. I said I believed that everything will have improved other than my cholesterol. It turned out that I was so wrong. Eating out is a nightmare for me. There are is a Paleo Restaurant and a Paleo Food Cart in the Portland area, but neither is close to me here in Oregon City. I know that you travel frequently and it must be even more frustrating for you.

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            • I think the Whole30 is a little stricter than regular Paleo? I am not terribly familiar with the Paleo guidelines. Our office is downtown, I’ll have to check out the Paleo Cart. New Seasons has so many Paleo foods now too I have noticed. Traveling is difficult, but there are good choices everywhere now. Where we end up having the most difficulty is airports/airplanes so we bring compliant snacks with us. Well, we also have a lot of difficulty because each town holds “favorite” foods that entice us. It’s a mind game, that we really need to learn to master, especially while I am on the weight loss journey. Maintenance will be easier, I hope. I feel like by then I will really have mastered what makes me feel ill and I can avoid it and otherwise indulge occasionally in something I really like that doesn’t make me sick. I hope my blood tests are as positive as yours. I think my A1C will be improved… we’ll see.

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              • I think you are doing a great job by simply being mindful each time you eat. As you see in my posts I do make some pretty stupid mistakes now and then and try to remember those mistakes by blogging about it. We are human after all. I believe that you will see a difference in your A1C and it will give you even more confidence to continue your journey. Only those things that we overcome that are difficult make the effort worth it.

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  4. Hey CK, I wanted to let you know that you inspired me to start Whole30! I’ve just completed day 5, following the rules to a T. If anything brings me down, it will be the sugar. I have such a sweet tooth. Have noticed the slight change in my body shape. Clothes fitting better, it’s encouraging! Go again, you can do it! I always keep a little bag with nuts when I’m on the go (macadamias, walnuts, pecans) and through in a couple of pieces of fruit in my handbag : ) Sending you love. SWxo

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    • Yay! SW. CheaterFantasy was my inspiration and she sent me a bunch of emails from her work that included recipes. I also have a Pinterest Whole30 board. I love to cook, but don’t always have the time to shop, cook, clean. The times when I struggle are when I don’t have something “compliant” at my fingertips when I am hungry. Then I start craving, but I did really really well for three solid weeks. Our life was just kind of turned upside down emotionally after that and well, you know. Unfortunately, as soon as I veered from it, I could feel my body going back to old habits very rapidly. My husband has actually been the one to encourage me to stay on the Whole30, so we are back on it. Since he started paying attention, he has lost 18 pounds (he weighed himself yesterday). Some of that is due to his illness, but he wants to keep it off. I understand them wanting us to be vigilant because honestly, even a little cheat does do something funky to the brain… like, oh, I cheated so now I may as well just have that cookie. That is why the starting over mentality. I just keep doing the best I can under the circumstances. I really do feel a whole lot better on the Whole30. Sending you love right back! I may post some of our favorite recipes soon to keep myself motivated. ❤

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        • Yes, even getting through a week is impressive, I KNOW. That first week is brutal. I wasn’t on the Whole30, but I was watching everything I ate and counting calories when I visited my brother back in early March. I hadn’t had sugar or chocolate for a couple weeks and they have some computer game for their 3 year old where they make cakes for every occasion (it’s not the whole game, but my nieces favorite part). I do not know how many times my brother and my niece said “cake” before I thought I would scream. I LOVE cake. It is one of my biggest weaknesses. They thought it was hilarious as of course the cakes were cartoonish and not real and it was just a computer game, but honestly their just saying the word “cake” was enough. I embarrass myself sometimes with my food obsessions. 🙂

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    • Yes, I do think gluten is not my friend. What probiotics to you eat/take? How long have you had the IBS? My family has a history of IBS with my mother and brother having it the worst. I have had a couple really horrible bouts with it, but both were years ago when I was under a great deal of stress and pregnant with our first child. Since then, I think I have just lived so long with the symptoms, they have become part of me. Now I know, I don’t have to live with all that.

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      • I started with whatever Walgreens sold. Branded and store brand. I tried different strengths and I have finally landed on one from Whole Foods called Raw brand probiotics. It’s sold in the cooler case. It’s got billions of good bacteria in it.

        I had horrible bloating etc and since on my daily regimen of almost gluten free, low carb and the probiotics I actually have a flat stomach. Do some Googling on the subject. There also a FB page Dr. Perlmutter that has lots of info on it. A friend recommended the liquid probiotics which I will try next. I also do the raw unfiltered honey, Braggs vinegar and cinnamon with warm water in the morning. Not pleasant, but very effective. Old age ain’t for sissies!!!

        The Whole 30 sounds like a great diet but I can’t do such restrictive diets that if I go off it on a trip or for whatever reason I’m screwed. I like the 5:2 but I like feeling hungry. I actually feel better when I’m hungry. I’d suggest sticking with salads with chicken and fish for a while and slowly add other foods. Don’t try to add too much variety when dieting. I try to eat very boring unless I’m going out to dinner and I still don’t go nuts. Dessert is only 3 small bites. Fries are 10 off my husbands plate 🙂 and yes I encourage him to order them! LOTS of salads which thankfully I like.

        Oh yeah, I lost 60 lbs and have kept it off for 4 years.

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        • Wow. Very impressive. You’ve obviously figured out what works very well for you. I will definitely pick up the probiotics and give them a try. And, 60 lbs. was my original weight loss goal when I was first diagnosed with diabetes. I have taken off 20, so I have a long way to go… it’s not a race, but it is a difficult and rocky journey, our relationships with food. I also love salads, I just wish someone else would make them for me 🙂 . You are not really screwed on the Whole30 if you go off of it, but they do want you to start over because they know how easily we can fall off the wagon, if you will, if we keep giving ourselves passes. It sounds like you have figured it out though, so not sure you need the Whole30. You have your own well established lifestyle that works. Again, very impressive!!!

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  5. Diabetes runs in my family and I am scared to get it being on prednisone. I have found I need to avoid everything with soybean flour, soybean oil, just plain soybean and it takes my pain and headaches away. My allergist explained that it is not a good allergy but an intolerance that cannot be tested for but many people have problems with soy. It really takes away many good choices but not healthy ones so it still works out! I wonder if this would help you?

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    • I think a lot of it does have to do with genetics, and hopefully you won’t suffer from diabetes, or if you do it will be much later in life if you have a healthy diet and are not overweight. My husband was on prednisone for years, but he has never known anyone in his family to have any kind of diabetes so that is good for him, he has enough problems. He is also not really overweight. Sure he has goals, but he is healthy, other than the obvious, at his current weight. Me, not so much. I actually do not eat any soy any more. I used to eat soy sauce, but even that is not allowed on the diet. It has got to be something else. I had no headaches the entire time I was following the Whole30, then last week, headaches every day again (no soy, but I did eat grains and dairy and some sugar). I hope I can find my intolerance and then I can eat other things in moderation that I have eliminated. No question the grains were a contributing factor to my stomach problems. There are other members of my family that get headaches from dairy. I have never had a problem with headaches until recently. It’s just going to take some time to figure this all out.

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      • Oh this is all so interesting. Have you thought about histamine intolerance? Of course if you are not itchy or have allergies this might not be an issue. You have eliminated soy, grains, & dairy. My allergist and gastroenterologist have both said dairy can cause inflammation as well. I can eat ice cream sporadically and seem to be okay. I cannot tolerate yogurt at all (I also hate the taste of it) even though I would love to eat it! Milk I’ve actually cut out since New Years when I wasn’t able to eat anything for weeks due to DDay stress. (I actually felt so much better and less inflamed so I learned something about foods that give me issues that way). For grains I cannot eat quinoa, or whole wheat anything. Plain white bread without soybean oil I am okay with. Even meat gives me issues. Vegetables fresh or cooked (not corn though as it’s not really a veggie from what I learned) no problem!!! Salads are my go to food and I love it! You are correct it just takes time. But migraines are no fun at all. I used to be incapacitated by them for days. I ended up having to take meds to take away the nerve pain I was having associated with it and the antihistamines helped even further. Hugs to you, I know how difficult it can be trying to figure out what did you are reacting too – difficult and challenging to say the least. I love reading your food posts so much!!

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        • Wow, Bugs. I am glad you have figured out most of your issues. I am pretty sure at this point, it is gluten AND dairy for me. Gluten for the tummy, dairy for the headaches. Eventually I will need to tweak the diet to see if I can eat any of either of those. The Whole30 eliminates both for the first 30 days, but the 6-week program at the training facility allows them in limited quantities. I think if I do this right, I can figure it out but it will most likely take me weeks of diligence and really paying attention when I add things back in. Thanks for the encouragement on my blog!

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  6. I think all women have a weird relationship with food. Food is just awesome, but we want to look good. Sadly, the happy medium is a THIN line. Nevertheless, diets and travel do not mix. Part of the fun of travel for me is eating new foods. If thats all you had, you are practically saintly. I go on out and out binges!

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    • Yes, I saw your Sweet Caroline burger and I want that burger. I did not even show it to my husband. He would have wanted to fly to Florida, again! My husband and I have completely different metabolisms and that is also an issue. He is not heavy. He can eat a lot more than I can (of pretty much whatever) and maintain a lower weight… another reason to get rid of him, ha! Unfortunately, even my binges are pretty completely carb loaded, the worst thing for a diabetic. I also really really love food. Travel IS extremely difficult. We leave again this Thursday…. (the first day of this new program). At least the travel is to Santa Barbara and they have a lot of healthy options down there. You know those Californians and their bikinis. 🙂

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        • I will, I will let you know when I am next in Florida. I think we would get along famously. As soon as I saw your comment I remembered I had forgotten to read your latest post. You are honestly one of my top three bloggers. I need to get back to it, and comment. I LOVE guilty pleasures and even if I wasn’t an anonymous blogger (which I hate by the way, having to be anonymous for my husband) I love to share all those good bad things about myself. I think it makes us more human, and people love feeling like they’re not the only one because obviously we all have them! I used to post all the time on my personal blog and my sisters would constantly be shocked at what I put. Keeping my husband’s addiction mostly a secret has been so difficult. Thank goodness for the blog.

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          • I am the same, being anonymous allows me a lot of freedom to speak with honesty without worrying if I hurt or offend anyone. I don’t think I could blog any other way.
            And thank u for the compliment, I love reading you too!

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