Whole30 + Lessons Learned

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Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a whole five and a half months since I wrote this post. You guys were all so encouraging and that has seriously helped so much even to this day. Now that I’ve been doing this for awhile and especially now that we’re in the beginning of a new year, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on how it’s all be going. There have been some wonderful parts and some not-so-wonderful parts – such as a 6-week hiatus in from the gym (and let’s face it, healthy eating) in Nov-Dec due to being sick, traveling, moving, and the holidays. Oops. Coming back has been an uphill battle, but pushing past the beginning is the hardest part before it starts to get easier and more hopeful.

With the new year, I made a couple of changes. First, because we moved, I had to switch gyms. This may not seem like a big deal, but it was hard to do. I had gotten very comfortable with my old classes and instructors. The routine was comforting. Now I’m the new girl again, but this time without the momentum/excitement of starting a whole new initiative. But I keep reminding myself that this feeling is temporary and I’m already starting to settle in and find my favorite classes (yoga, a “dancer’s body” type class called Lean Line, and spinning as always).

The second and probably the biggest change is that I’m cracking down on my diet by doing Whole30. In short, it’s a 30-day intensive “real food” diet with absolutely zero grains, carbs, soy, corn, sugar, dairy, legumes, or alcohol. Yep. You read that right. The crazy thing is that even though it’s so strict, it’s also the easiest diet I’ve ever done. It’s very straight forward,, and focuses on good, wholesome, basic, recognizable foods (coconut, avocados, grass fed beef, almonds, etc). It’s basically the Paleo diet with zero cheats allowed for 30 days. Today is Day 16 and while there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t desperately want a glass of wine, I’m feeling positive and strong and Ian says I’m looking thinner. I can’t tell by looking at myself, but hey – I’ll take it! You’re not supposed to weigh yourself while on it, so I’ll keep you posted on that when it’s over. A few of you spoke highly of Whole30 on my original post, so that definitely piqued my interest. If you’ve done it, I’d love to hear your tips! If you haven’t, I highly recommend this. The best part is that there is an end in sight. That doesn’t mean I’m planning to throw a sugar party when it’s over. It’s a diet that helps you form better, more sustainable habits. So while you can loosen up a little after the 30 days, you go forth with a better routine, lots of healthy recipes in your line-up, and a clear view of what you’re actually capable of. Plus… you can have coffee! Huge plus.

Right now I kind of feel like I’m starting a new chapter of my journey. So although this post is approaching a dangerous overkill length, if you’re still with me, I thought I’d share five lessons I’ve learned so far…

1. It does really get harder after your 20’s. I was 25 when I last tried to lose weight. At that time, the pounds just flew off so fast with a little no-carb week or two (I still gave up on it at the drop of a hat, but that’s a whole other issue). Now that I’m in my 30’s, I can do solid work for over a month before I see even the littlest changes. This isn’t meant to be discouraging, but rather a friendly warning of the reality that we have to work extra hard the older we get. So if you’re a youngin’, enjoy your superhuman metabolism! If you’re in your 30’s like me, let’s help each other make this work and then meet for cocktails when it’s over and all our clothes don’t fit. ;)

2. Success comes from paying more attention to how you feel than how you look. This is such a key point for me. I used to obsessively weigh myself and look at myself in the mirror waiting to see a real change and if I saw anything I didn’t like, I’d really beat myself up about it and want to throw in the towel. Waiting impatiently for visible change only caused me frustration and anguish. But there are so many more reasons to maintain a healthier diet and fitness routine. One thing that happens instantly is how much better you feel throughout the day after a great workout and healthy eating. I feel more alert, less sluggish, more positive, and filled with confidence. That’s the feeling that keeps me doing it for the long term.

3. The scale lies. It really is not to be trusted. Aside from the fact that every scale seems to be different, it also doesn’t take into account that you’re building muscle while also burning fat. Plus weight can fluctuate so much within a few days. When I first started this back in July, I would check the scale every few days and sometimes my weight had gone up even if I had been working my butt off. Not a fun feeling. I have found it’s best not to focus on the number and try to keep the weight-check to a minimum – say, every two weeks or so. This is another way to keep the attention on how your clothes fit and how your body feels.

4. There is no way around the hardest parts. Man oh man, this is a big one. The biggest. If you recall my plan from my initial post, I was so excited about the exercise but a little loosey goosey on the diet. I was taking a laid back approach, that’s for sure. I simply could not give up certain things. Well, my friends, the weight has been much slower to come off for this reason. In addition to exercising, I seriously needed to cut back on a lot more grains, dairy, sugar, and alcohol (ughhh) before any real change can come. It’s a harsh reality I’m still trying to cope with.

5. Finding a plan you believe in is key. Since I started out as a diet and exercise amateur, I used to look at what other people were doing and always think, “I guess that’s what I should do.” But for whatever reason, certain things just didn’t resonate with me. Counting calories with Weight Watchers made me obsess over food too much. Going running made me not push myself hard enough. I’m a person who needs classes for workouts, and a diet that doesn’t require me to buy weird groceries and eat weird meals I’ll never eat again when it’s over. I have found that in a whole big world of diet and exercise options, it helps to really ask yourself what works for YOU and then stick to it.

Thanks so much for your kind words and support, you guys! Anyone in the same boat for 2015? I’d love to hear what you guys are doing, and hey – if you need a little motivation, you got this! WE GOT THIS! Oh and be sure to follow me on Instagram where I give more regular updates at the hashtag #thelifestyledfit.

And LA folks, keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a little something I have up my sleeve with SoulCycle! Hint: Get ready to ride!

Michi top and pants  from Carbon38 / Takeya water bottle

 

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  1. You look amazing! And you go girl for doing whole30. I don’t know if I could do it. I’ve been trying hard to get myself back on Dukan Diet, but it has been rough…Might need a change!

    1. thelifestyled 01/23/2015

      Thanks girl! It felt like the right time to do it since we just moved into a new place/neighborhood and were coming back from the holidays so we had to form all new habits anyway. It’s been hard but surprisingly sustainable!

  2. Wahoo I love this! And you are looking great – you look so slim in this post! Whole30 does seem intense and the alcohol would definitely be hard for me.Serious kudos for doing it and you’re halfway done which rocks!

    Last week I cut out beer – a HUGE weakness of mine. I would find myself drinking it casually like 4-5 times a week. Not okay. So I’m opting to stick with “healthier” alcohols 2x a week for now.

    With Kimmi getting married in September I’m fully hopping on the weight-loss bandwagon as well. I’m currently 3 weeks into training for a half-marathon but I know that running isn’t going to help me lose the weight I want so I’m relying a lot more on eating habits. You obviously know the Cannon Fam real well so you know we’ve done it all and I think it’s sooo about finding what’s right for you.

    1. thelifestyled 01/23/2015

      Thanks Christine! The alcohol is by far the hardest part since I love being able to unwind with a glass of wine at the end of the day! But if I can come out on the other side of this and think of that more as a “only when I’m really craving it” or special occasion thing. I hear ya about the beer – I’m the same way with cocktails. But (before Whoe30) I started just sipping on a little bit of bourbon by itself rather than a sugary cocktail and that feels healthier. ;)

      That’s SO AWESOME that you are training for a half-marathon! Major kudos to you!! You will definitely lose weight from running for sure – but yeah, it’ll just work much faster if you assess the diet. Keep me posted on everything!! xoxo

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  4. you look fabulous! my sister has done the Whole30 a few times throughout marathon training and mommyhood etc…and she swears by it. keep on truckin’ !

    1. thelifestyled 01/23/2015

      Thank you so much Bridget! Whole30 has definitely been great. I can now understand why people swear by it!

  5. Keep up the great work! I started following your blog and Instagram because I feel like you are more relatable with your outfit posts, compared to some other blogs. And to know that you have some of the same challenges is so refreshing. 30’s are definitely not the new 20’s when it comes to weightloss. I just realized that I will also need to step up in the health and exercise aspects of my life. 2014 was a year where I fell off the healthy wagon (I took a year vacation ;) ) and the two years before were all about health and exercise for me. I had completed Whole30, started weight training, completed a half marathon. There were mornings when I was up and at the gym at 4 am. Well the year break really did me and know I see myself and don’t really like what I see. Honestly Whole30 was tough but I would and will do it again. My biggest advice is have people around you that support you (those mood swings were no joke) and prep all your meals and snacks. Thank you for sharing your journey, this might have been the little push that I needed.

    1. thelifestyled 01/23/2015

      Hi Jessica! Thank you so much for following! It really means a lot that you said I’m relatable because that’s important to me. I’m not someone who’s constantly buying brand new everything – I don’t think that’s realistic.

      Wow so you’re a pro with Whole30 and working out! I understand needing a break after going so hard though, so don’t beat yourself up about. But at least now you know exactly what to do when you want to fix it! Prepping meals and snacks is a great piece of advice. It’s those times when you don’t plan ahead that you end up starving and want to give up. Cooking enough to have leftovers has been very helpful too.

      Thanks for following along with me!

  6. Keep up the great work! I started following your blog and Instagram because I feel like you are more relatable with your outfit posts, compared to some other blogs. And to know that you have some of the same challenges is so refreshing. 30’s are definitely not the new 20’s when it comes to weightloss. I just realized that I will also need to step up in the health and exercise aspects of my life. 2014 was a year where I fell off the healthy wagon (I took a year vacation ;) ) and the two years before were all about health and exercise for me. I had completed Whole30, started weight training, completed a half marathon. There were mornings when I was up and at the gym at 4 am. Well the year break really did me and know I see myself and don’t really like what I see. Honestly Whole30 was tough but I would and will do it again. My biggest advice is have people around you that support you (those mood swings were no joke) and prep all your meals and snacks. Thank you for sharing your journey, reading this post might have been the little push that I needed.

  7. I completed my 1st Whole30 in October of 2014. I HAVE NEVER FELT BETTER! It was tough, but amazing. During this time I ran 2 15k’s and a half marathon. I ended up losing 8 lbs. and 3% body fat.
    Here are my tips.
    Amazon_ashley, check her out on Instagram. Great photos that make your mouth water.
    I also used many recipes from theclothesmakethegirl.com. She also provides shopping lists which make the planning and prep easy.
    Also follow Whole30 on Instagram, they have guest bloggers with lots of inspiring food options.
    Aidells turkey apple sausage is awesome. I bought it at Costco and devoured it in 30 days. I would make extra and have it with my eggs for breakfast. I also cooked a lot of golden sweet potatoes. A little coconut oil and salt, chop in small pieces and bake at 375.
    I always carried LaraBars, nut mixture and apples-just in case hunger hit.
    Plantain chips with guacamole or salsa was another favorite.
    I could go on and on. I plan on doing my next Whole30 in February. Good luck!
    You always look fantastic. I love your style.

    1. thelifestyled 01/23/2015

      That’s awesome Elizabeth! You really rocked that Whole30. I’m not quite as hardcore but I do feel awesome! It’s nice to NEVER have that feeling of “I ate too much” or “I shouldn’t have eaten that at all.”

      OK I just followed Amazon_Ashley and I’ll check out theclothesmakethegirl.com! Thanks for the tips! I make a lot of recipes from the Whole30 instagram.

      All your go-to foods are ours too! We love chicken apple sausage, plantain chips, and sweet potatoes like nobody’s business! LaraBars are total lifesavers too.

      Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your thoughts!!

  8. I just wanted to tell you how amazing you are for sharing the real side to changing your lifestyle. I have been checking into your blog regularly for about a year now, and I really love all your posts but this one, & the one where you first mention your desire to change your lifestyle, are great because they are so honest.They might be my favourites! & that says a lot, because you’re style is pretty kick ass, so those other posts are hard to beat.
    I just really like that you’re not sugarcoating it, or playing it up: you’re telling the truth about weight loss, working out, and how tough it is to break habits. It’s hard, but rewarding, & I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate you sharing that side of it. I just started trying to get back into shape recently, so I can identify with a lot of what you’re going through.. Particularly the absence of wine from my diet :(
    Keep up the good work! You are looking extra fab, by the way :)