JOIN COACH KALEENA AS SHE GOES THROUGH THE WHOLE30 PROGRAM.
That.was.fast. I’m seriously amazed at how quickly this is going by. Day 1 felt like the death of all things tasty and delicious. I was mourning the loss of carbs, cheese, and beer and it felt like 30 days was just so far away. But, here we are, 21 days down and only 9 left. Week 3 was what I like to call The Grind. It’s that last 100 feet of hiking up a mountain. You’re having cravings, but can’t give in, so you just have to put your head down and do the work. Once you get to the top of that mountain, you can enjoy the view and then coast back down to the bottom. Although, I’m sure Week 4 will feel more like running down a mountain made of marbles with my arms flailing trying not to slip and fall directly into a taco truck.
I kept hearing, and waiting, for the “euphoric high” from eating clean and healthy to arrive. This magical moment of enlightenment and clarity where you feel like you are walking on clouds. Yeah, that never happened. I think it’s a myth, or maybe an alternate truth. Don’t you think if people could get high off of clean eating, that A LOT more people would be eating healthy? Same thing with the so called “Runner’s High” that people get after long endurance runs. I did a half marathon a few years ago and thought that I had finally achieved it. Turns out I was just dehydrated and feeling light headed. I’m built for speed, not distance. While I never reached clean eating nirvana, I certainly had moments of realization and awareness to how my daily moods and energy levels have been in comparison to before starting Whole30. Contrary to popular belief, I am not some super human with endless amounts of energy. I start to lose enthusiasm and feel beat up towards the end of a long day. Between Gymnazo and coaching soccer, I sometimes work 10-14 hour days. I’ve been happily surprised that I haven’t been as tired as I thought I would be. I feel up beat and energized through most of the day. Once I get home, I turn into a zombie, but that’s par for the course.
The long days are always the hardest to stay on track. It’s easy to just pick up something quick or order a pizza when you’re tired. It’s the convenient thing to do when you have no energy or desire to cook. I found myself saying “I’m over it!” on many occasions. Those moments where I just wanted to cave in and say “screw it, I’ve done enough. All I want is just one _____.” Whether that be glass of wine after work, a sweet treat for dessert, or a High Street Deli sandwich I just want one. But, then I remember that I hate losing more than anything and I refuse to lose to food. Grind it out, Kaleena! Then I look in the mirror and realize that I have collar bones and a sternum all of a sudden? Where did those come from? The baby fat (that’s what I tell myself) that has been on my face is now gone and I have a jaw line? My boobs shrunk! Sidebar- Why does it have to be like that? Why can’t we all just have our fat go to our chest and have perfect, perky, C cups? Ok, back on track now. I don’t have to jump up and down while grunting to get these quads into my skinny jeans? WHAT IS HAPPENING?! I’m actually slimming down, and I actually have some definition. I’m seeing and feeling real results and it’s pretty awesome to see the hard work and sacrifice pay off.
When I do have those moments or cravings for something not on the approved list, I immediately make something to fight the urge. French fries = roasted potatoes with sea salt and herbs. Frozen yogurt = frozen banana blended with almond milk. Beer = La Croix sparkling water. My guilty pleasure is taking a spoon directly into any sort of nut butter. Almond butter, cashew butter, or Nuttzo (which is a crack loaded nut butter made from 7 different nuts and seeds) are my kryptonite. I’m 100% positive that it is NOT Whole30 approved to sit there and shamelessly eat straight out of the jar, but I’ve moved past it. I haven’t counted calories once this month. I’ve eaten when I’m hungry and, to my surprise, in smaller portions. My mom is a petite and feisty, little Japanese woman (not the FOB kind, she’s a born and raised California girl) who still kicks a** at her UFC inspired gym. She is also a vegetarian, whom I openly mock for eating like a squirrel. Two slices of cucumber and a cup of ice chips, and she’s full! 15 minutes later…she’s starving. Well, now I can’t really mock her because that’s how I feel with food now. An apple and handful of cashews?!? I.am.stuffed. Flash forward 30 minutes and I feel like I’ve been fasting for 12 hours. This is how I end up spoon deep in almond butter.
One thing I haven’t touched on is workouts. Part of our fitness challenge is to get at least 30 minutes of activity in every day. By my standards, if I don’t sweat then it isn’t really a workout. I’ve taken my fair share of days off because I’m too sore, have low energy, or because I just need some time to lay down and watch TV, but I have gotten my 30 minutes of something in every day. I haven’t added any workouts to my usual schedule though. I typically workout between 5-6 days a week. Depending on my mood, it’s 4 or 5 Gymnazo workouts, with a run and/or hike somewhere in there. Even though I find great joy in whooping booty and trying to beat CJ on G3 cardio days, I really don’t like cardio. Competitive much? I prefer to get my cardio in while chasing down a soccer ball, but those days are few and far between so I begrudgingly settle for rope throws, burpees, and that awful AirDyne bike. My week is focused more on strength workouts (I just really like throwing heavy things around) and I sprinkle cardio in when I feel like it. I have made an effort to lift heavier in the last two weeks because, again, I just like throwing heavy things. It also establishes dominance, I mean credibility, amongst gym members *sarcastic tone*. I believe that strong is the new skinny. So, Ladies, squat low and grab the heavy weights!
Seeing and feeling results is incredible, and it’s good to reflect on what we’ve done in order to get those results. For me, it has all been attributed to diet. It’s the only thing that I’ve changed in the last 30 days, and it’s the only reason I’m seeing results now. I can almost, almost, see some ab definition! My focus for the next 9 days is to just push through it. I can hold out for a few more days without cheese and beer. I’ll avoid situations that will temp me to cheat, i.e. Super Bowl parties, and I’ll plan out activities to keep me busy. I’m not here for a super model body (I don’t meet the height requirements anyway). I’m here to change the way I eat and how I treat my body. I can see and feel results and I want to keep that going and see where it takes me. I will certainly enjoy that first beer when Day 31 arrives, but I’m mentally planning how to not revert back to old habits. My biggest fear is that I will simply go back to the way I was eating before. Week 4 will be spent strategizing on how to stay on track after the Whole30 is over. Happy eating!