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What I’ve Learned in 30 Days

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So, we finished our office Whole 9 30 Day Challenge on Tuesday.  I lost a whopping 4.5 pounds. Yes, I’m disappointed but I am working out, lifting heavy things and walking the Vixenator every night so the scale is not the end all and be all of what’s going on with my body shape and size. Besides, this experience was about way more than the scale and boy, did it pay off in spades. The biggest being that I can now call myself a non-smoker!

In no particular order – some things I learned or experienced during this time:

  • I can *gasp* live without (and actually enjoy) a diet totally free of sweeteners (artificial or not) – which aren’t good for you anyway .
  • Tazo Wild Sweet Orange herbal tea is da bomb!  Thanks to the blogger who introduced us to it and sorry we forgot who that is.
  • Quitting smoking SUCKS!! REALLY SUCKS!! Even though I know it’s worth it.
  • Alcohol really doesn’t make you sleep better.
  • A really good night’s sleep on a regular basis can do wonders for body and soul!
  • Melissa has a really cool blog with lots of great recipes. (The Clothes Make the Girl)
  • My acne has cleared up.
  • My bra size has gone down.
  • There is something odd going on internally as I am usually one of the hottest people (temperature not looks) in the office. I vehemently defend the cryogenic temperature of our office. Not anymore, I’ve joined the ranks of co-workers who sport a jacket, sweater or parka during working hours.
  • I think Vixen lost more weight (% wise) than I did. I did cut back on her food because she is going to be in a grooming contest in October and needs to be closer to her show weight. I didn’t reduce it that much, but girlfriend is definitely curvier.
  • I have PCOS and insulin resistance. One glorious aspect of that is these hairs that grow on my chinny chin chin. I’ve tried electrolysis but because PCOS related hair growth is hormonal they don’t guarantee the process. As well they shouldn’t or I would be asking for my money back.  I’m not sure which element of the past 30 days is the hero in this situation but my neck and chin are considerably clearer. The growth hasn’t stopped completely but it has drastically slowed.
  • My two fingers that I worried had arthritis no longer feel stiff and painful.
  • Teamwork, support and peer pressure can not be overrated. I honestly don’t know if I would have stuck it out for the Whole 30 days if it weren’t for my coworkers. We talked food, recipes, challenges, favorite blogs and everything lifestyle change related on a daily basis.  I felt obligated and compelled to stick with it – especially the quitting smoking.

So, now that it’s over what happens?

I ventured to the store to purchase some awesomely ripe tomatoes which is what I missed the most. Surprisingly I have only had one tomato and here it is three days after we completed the challenge. I guess I didn’t miss them as much as I thought I did.  I plan to go another week or so with only adding back my tomatoes and peppers before venturing down the dairy aisle. I will continue eating real, wholesome foods – foods that don’t have a label – foods that nourish my body and brain.  I’m so proud to have the earned the “I Finished” badge and so thankful to Steve for challenging all of us jump on board! This has been a great springboard into living the healthiest life I know to live.

By Leia Speia / (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Photo by Leia Speia / (CC BY-NC 2.0)


Written by Sonya

September 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Posted in Diet, Whole 9

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Know Your Limits

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Mine involves almond butter. Thank goodness I only bought a small jar.  I was fine with it in the house until last night. Now the jar is almost gone and I know that’s way too many calories and n-6’s for me. I shan’t be buying that again till I can figure the best way to force moderation. Funny, I still have a chocolate bar that’s been in the kitchen for a month now untouched. I have a full jar of coconut butter at the house and one at the office – both are hardly touched. Some things are triggers and others aren’t.

I’m still smoke free and I’m still not happy about it. I even got a very nice, awesome massage tonight to see if that would help. According to everything I’ve found online I should be down to only 3 or 4 cravings a day and they should only last about 3 minutes. Either I’m way above average or that’s total bullshit – I’m calling bullshit! They do say if it’s this bad after 2-4 weeks I will need to see my physician. It damn well better not be this bad after 4 weeks!  That’s all I’m saying about that.

Breakfast was awesome.  I sauteed some garlic and onion in my freshly rendered beef tallow – added some fresh spinach – three eggs and, just as it was done, a bit more garlic. Such a tasty way to start the day.

Lunch and dinner was more hunks of roasted chicken, a handfull of olives, about 8 dates, an apple and too much almond butter.

Tonight will be the shorter loop for our evening stroll.  Wanting to walk in a shady area today, I took Vixen to one of the wilderness trails out in Geneva. We’ve been there many times but not lately, so I didn’t take one of the map with me since I figured I knew my way pretty well. (You see where this is going, right?) We (I) took a wrong turn and we ended up getting turned around and lost for nearly an hour. We ran out of water and I was concerned about Vix getting overheated and carried her part of the way back. Scary!  I’ll take more water and a map next time.  We sat in the car with the AC on full blast for about 10 minutes before even thinking of driving away.

At least we had a cool, nice smelling house to come home to.

Photo by Surreydweller / by CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Written by Sonya

August 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Posted in Diet, Whole 9

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Same Song ~ Next Verse

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Today is Day 4 and it’s much the same. I’m thinking about smoking 24/7 and having a real hard time with it despite reminding myself of all the reasons I want to quit and the benefits of doing so. The good part about that is, I’m not thinking about the wine I’m not drinking. The food aspect is great, but it’s easy when you like what you eat and one dish lasts all week. Sleep is getting better but needs to be longer. Stress will be better once these damn nicotine cravings go away. This is all about the whole picture – not just nutrition, but I’m starting to feel like I may need 30 days just to get over the fucking cigarettes and another 30 to be able to deal with everything else.

This morning was more ugly egg muffins with the last of Greg and Dorothy’s smoked butt.  Lunch was another roast beast salad with the awesome pear infused vinegar, some black olives, grilled asparagus and a La Croix carbonated water. Dinner, finally, I seemed to be back to my normal lack of hunger in the evening. Since I wasn’t real hungry, I whipped up more of Melissa’s cumin/chili powder okra – this is definitely a keeper of a recipe!

I’ve got oxtails thawing in the fridge and look forward to making this recipe tomorrow night or Saturday. Doesn’t it look good?

I’m off to walk the kiddo and instead of listening to any of my favorite podcasts, I think I’m going to jam to some good tunes.  Music is healing and soothing to the soul.  It’s also conducive to the mind being mentally confused and prone to wandering. I probably wouldn’t remember or comprehend half of anything in a podcast tonight. Now to choose what I’m in the mood for… Broadway tunes, country, southern rock, folk, cajun, rock, classics, standards, smooth jazz….. We’ll see, I reckon. What do you listen to when you’re dispirited?

Written by Sonya

August 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Posted in Advice, Diet, Whole 9

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This. Is. Not. Hard.

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I keep repeating that mantra from the Whole 9 website in my head.

It is not hard.  Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Giving up heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard.  Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your “struggles”.  YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.

And, since I’m not buying it right now, I’m also counting up how much money I’m going to save this month by not smoking or drinking my wine.  I’m imagining how nice my house and my car will smell. How delighted I’m going to be as these 30 days get me through the weight loss plateau I’ve been on.  It’s the smoking, not the nutrition aspect of this that’s really giving me a hard time right now.

Breakfast was three more of those ugly but yummy muffins.  Lunch ended up being a pleasant surprise.  My friend Dorothy brought in some smoked butt she and her husband prepared this weekend.  Those two can cook and the butt was absolutely freakishly good – so good, in fact, that Noralynn and I were accused of cheating because it smelled so good.  It tasted even better than it smelled!  Again, it doesn’t look so good but if we had Smell-O-Vision, you’d be crawling through the computer.

Being a true southern gal I’m a sucker for fried okra and it’s one of my “go to” dishes when I’m homesick. Uncle Jones BBQ is where I used to go to get my fix for that and lots of other good soul food. He’s back but out of his food truck so there’s no buffet anymore.  So, I was excited and intrigued when I found this recipe from Melissa.  I safe, Whole 9 compliant way to have my beloved okra. I’m not homesick but something comfort-ish wouldn’t hurt, right?  This was delicious!  I used the almond flour/meal I already have instead of grinding the almonds myself but it turned out wonderful.  Will definitely make this again!

So tonight was leftover beef curry and noodles from last night and Melissa’s okra. (If I can figure out how to flip the picture, I’ll edit the post.)

I didn’t get to go to the gym again tonight because of work.  That means I’ve missed my water aerobics and my water zumba classes which are the things I do at the gym because I enjoy doing them. The weight training and body weight exercises are for the health, weight loss and insulin sensitivity issues I need to fix. I’m pretty bummed but it’s okay. I’ll survive. Tonight will just be an extra long walk with the squirt to make up for it.  She’s not complaining.

Written by Sonya

August 16, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Posted in Diet, Whole 9

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