Well, my Whole 30 turned out to be a Whole 25. On Day 26, I caved! The almond flour I’d ordered unexpectedly arrived incredibly fast and just sat there, taunting me. All I could think about was making chocolate chip cookies. So, last Saturday, I did. And they were delicious.
I try not to be an all or nothing person, so I definitely find value in taking on this challenge even though I didn’t make it to the bitter end. It was a great exercise in discipline and showed me what I am capable of when the commitment is there. The attention to my eating coupled with working out more has me feeling leaner and more energetic. I did not weigh myself before, during, or after this challenge because I want to get away from the scale as my barometer. What if I didn’t lose a pound this month? I think seeing that would make me feel down, even though I am registering so many other signs of better body composition, not to mention the mental and emotional benefits. On the flip side, I’m sure I’d feel like a rock star if I saw some substantial scale movement. But, I’m willing to let that go in search of “better” goals. I’m not doing this to see a certain number. I’m doing this to feel fantastic, strong, and healthy. How I judge my progress should match up with those goals. Yes, they are quite nebulous and hard to quantify. But I’m OK with that. I’m in this for life – I’m “training for life” as Relentless Roger likes to say.
So, I mentioned the chocolate chip cookies. There were also snickerdoodles and there were pancakes. And pizza. Nothing crazy and all gluten free. Pretty tame as binges go… It does give me a hint about how I react to perceived restriction, though. There is the inevitable bounce-back. And I should also mention the “last supper” type of eating that happened just prior to the Whole 30. I think it’s just basic psychology and is not necessarily even a bad thing, per se. I just need to be aware of it. That’s not to say I won’t ever do another challenge again. I think it’s helpful to nix the sugar, in particular, for a stretch to reset my taste buds from time to time. I may go with the 21 Day Sugar Detox next time for the shorter time frame and slightly less restrictive mentality. My plan for now is to go forward more moderately, including a modest amount of treats within an overall diet that is Paleo and full of healthy meat, veggies, and fats. I will continue working out – I’m going to try out the high intensity/low volume training laid out in The Smarter Science of Slim. I really think that the hormonal shift from more exercise has helped quite a bit this month as well. Decent eating + punctuated intense exercise = Healthy Amelia, or at least, that’s the plan!
How about you? Did you participate in any sort of challenge this month? How did it go/is it going? What are the big takeaways?