If you’ve been following my journey over the past 8 months, you’ve read about how I’ve been working a lot on myself. Putting myself back together, basically. 🙂 My self-care is part of a larger plan to set me up so that I am well equipped to be my best self, and to meet the needs of those in my sphere of influence: my husband, my son, my family, friends, students, and … really any random driver out on the roads with me during rush hour (not that I ever struggle with road rage!). One of the key elements of my self-care plan has been two rounds of the Whole30 reset in the last 8 months. I finished my most recent reset on January 31st.
Doing a reset was a great way to start the new year, especially after all of the many celebrations and indulgences that happen between October 31st and January 1st. And while I did lose some more weight (more on that later), what I am MOST excited about is my Non-Scale Victories (NSVs). Because at the end of the day, … how much does a number on the scale matter? Wouldn’t you rather feel amazing, and have a new and improved outlook on your life, your meals, your clothes, your energy levels and your relationships than just a lower number to look at on a fairly meaningless device (that is subject to extreme variation, depending on your hormones, hydration level, sodium intake, etc.)?? I know I would!!!
So before I get to the bottom line, I’m going to string you along by telling you about some things that matter So. Much. More. to me than a number on a scale. Here are my top NSVs from this round:
- My face lost its puffy-ness. I noticed this by taking weekly pictures, since I did not weigh myself for the entire 30 days.
- My “bacne” (back acne) that I had come to accept as my reality with all of the working out I do is gone. My back became smooth as a baby’s butt by about day 10.
- My singing voice! Seriously the most surprising NSV! I noticed this the last round, too! My singing voice is FREE. Its difficult to fully explain, but I feel that I’m not fighting to sing. I don’t have to deal with froggy throat in the morning when I’m eating this clean. My voice feels easy and effortless, regardless of dynamic level. And my high register doesn’t feel like I’m up against a strain or a block.
- My workout recovery. Workouts that previously would leave me feeling destroyed and needing to take a day off to recover are not like that at all now! Don’t get me wrong … after a heavy leg day, I still feel it and know I’ve done myself some good, but I’m not walking like Frankenstein, and I’m able to get right to another workout the next day. With the exception of illness, I’m working out 6 days a week now.
- I kind of forgot that I used to have wine every night. This is huge. I know now that it was a habit I’d developed, and it was not doing me any favors. My primary issue with the wine was the craptastic night of sleep that would result from it. Now, I find myself forgetting that I used to have wine so often, and tea or water are my new nighttime habits!
- I sleep like a freaking teenager! Although I have great energy during the day, I can really fall asleep at any time and sleep solid a good 9 hours (provided that Little Bean does as well)! I don’t wake up during the night anymore, either! In fact, one night Mr. Bean told me that Little Bean had cried multiple times in the night, and I only heard him once because I was sleeping so solid!
- I noticed this one in the first round, but it bears repeating: the anxiety that I never knew I had before I did a Whole30 … is gone. This is another big part of why I came back for a second round … something is causing this. Feeling anxiety melt away, and becoming emotionally resilient has been amazing.
- Dealing with heartbreak/loss/emotional duress without falling face first into a bottle of Pinot Noir and bag of Ghirardelli squares! On Day 19 of this round, I had to put my beloved kitty cat down. She was almost 22 and was my first child. She’d been with me literally half of my life, and prior to January 20, 2017, I could not begin to imagine a life without her there at my side. It was a VERY hard day with a lot of tears and headache from said tears. Followed by a weepy weekend. I stayed compliant. No wine, chocolate, BBQ chips or runs to the taqueria to console myself. Which leads me to my next NSV …
- SELF-CONFIDENCE! If I can make it through hard things like losing my kitty without having to resort to poor coping strategies like wine and chocolate, I think I can actually do LOTS more hard things … and be just fine!
- I now drink my coffee black even when I have plenty of full-fat coconut milk available to cream it up with. Mr. Bean does, too! (He did what he calls the “partial 30” plan and lost about 10 lbs by making just a few minor adjustments!)
- Prior to this round of Whole30, I had this weird chapped lip thing. My lips would get severely chapped to the point where my husband even noticed when I gave him a little peck of a kiss. Then they would peel and be OK for a day or two, and then another round of chapped. It sounds inconsequential in comparison to severe medical conditions that other people have had to deal with, but it was a constant of discomfort. That went away about halfway (ish) through my Whole30.
- “NEW” CLOTHES. Due to my unusual build, it is very difficult to find stylish pants, and when I do, they are spendy. So for the past few years, it has been hard knowing that I have two pairs of CUTE dress pants in Extra Long from Express that I had been unable to wear because I was carrying some extra pounds. Now they magically fit! I also discovered, in the bottom of my drawer, a cute pair of workout pants that I was surprised I still had because even when I first bought them, they never really fit that great. (Bought them off the table at Costco without trying them on.) I remember having considered donating them and must have thought that I already had, because I completely forgot about them. But I pulled them out in the last few days of my Whole30 and discovered that they looked pretty rockin’! Super glad I didn’t donate a year ago!
So, with all of this in mind, the weight loss that happened, in addition, is cool … but is not really what I am most excited about (except those pants … THAT is huge). On February 1st, I finally weighed myself, and was down 6.2 pounds. Given my build, and that I didn’t have much to lose to begin with, …. I’ll take it! And I’ll also take a full wardrobe of clothes that I can confidently now wear again!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, which will discuss the lifestyle changes that I am making as a result of completing this second round!