Back pain & Barbells

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Happy Monday! So an area of my life I haven't really updated about recently has been my training/working out. I was focusing on Whole30 and everything else in between so much that I haven't really talked about it here.

First of all, my back. Since the first week of January I started experiencing strange back pain that started while studying for my first big exam of the semester. It started as a poking sensation that I only felt if I was hunched over at my desk. Annoying but not a big deal, still had to study. Slowly, it started to bother me when I flexed forward or extended backward. Interestingly, the pain was mostly in my upper lumbars while having some soreness in my lumbosacral area.

Right around that time, I started my Crossfit Elements class as well. I'm sure all the pushup and burpees only served to aggrevate my condition further. Up until the end of January, though, the pain and discomfort weren't affecting my running but it was starting to spread to my right side and didn't go away as quickly. I was able to manage the pain (ice and stretching) & still push through my workouts but it was really bothersome. My Crossfit coach suspected that my glutes weren't firing properly so I started doing a few drills to work on that, as well. 

At the beginning of February I noticed my back was really starting to get angry when I ran. By this point, I had gone to see the doctor (actually a NP). They took an X-Ray and prescribe physical therapy since the issue was so acute. No "red flags" like radiating pain or anything that might suggest a disc herniation. My PT suggested that I stop running and scale back on Crossfit until I could stabilized my back.

In the course of my 6 weeks of physical therapy, we determined that I probably had a disc protrusion due to stress and strain on the ligaments/supportive structures around my disc. When I would bend backwards, in particular, the disc would poke out a little bit and make the motion painful. Our goal was to push the disc back in and heal the surrounding structures with LOTS of press-ups (up dog in yoga), perform soft tissue on my muscles, and correct my muscle imbalances. 

Like MANY people, my abs are pretty weak and don't fire in a way that supports my back. My glutes also don't fire properly when I run or lift - guess who takes up all the slack? Your back (and hamstrings)! Throw on top of that sitting A LOT plus poor posture, then it's no wonder why I had so many problems!

So 6 weeks later, I'm finally done with physical therapy! The last two weeks or so were when I saw the greatest amount of progress. At first, I felt like my back was getting worse when I first started therapy but I'm glad I stuck with things and put the effort in to get better! Right now, things still get stiff or painful if I over do it but I've been able to get back to running with no further pain. 

More than likely, this problem will have a tendency to reoccur so I have to stay on top of my strengthening exercises. Lots of glutes, abs, and back stabilization! I bought a nice big ice pack so I can ice my back after longer runs or intense workouts. I take much more frequent breaks while studying and always support my spine with pillows. Trying to do MORE mobility, stretching, strength, etc. instead of focusing all my energy on one or two things.

Speaking of energy...running. As you may know, I signed up to run my second Flying Pig Half Marathon (third half) that is coming up in May. Actually, I signed up for the 3 way challenge - 5K/10K/half but because of my back injury, it's looking like I probably won't be doing that. I'm still aiming for the half as long as I can ramp up my training accordingly. I ran an easy 3 miles for the first time in weeks about 1.5-2 weeks ago. Then I realized I was signed up for a 10K race so I decided to wing it! No back pain during that and a PR to boot. 

My goal now is to scale my mileage up without aggravating my back or getting another injury. If I feel like I'm ready for the half, I'll run it. If not, I'll probably scale back to the 10K and decide what to do from there.

To be honest, my heart really isn't in this half marathon. Maybe it's the injury or maybe it's because my interest has shifted elsewhere...I just don't feel as excited about this one. With the weather finally warming up, maybe I'll get out of my rut and really kill the rest of my training.

And finally...Crossfit. So after all that running and back injury talk, you're probably like "why were you still doing Crossfit?" Well for one, I'm stubborn. And for two, Crossfit doesn't bother my back nearly as much as running did, particularly when I focus on using proper form. Since I've only been doing this for three months, I keep my ego in check and I haven't been maxing out my weights. If movements start to bother me, I either a) check my form b) scale the movement/weight c) stop and do more press ups (seriously haha). The only things that really bother(ed) my back are pushups and burpees (sometimes overhead barbell movements, too) but that has all gotten better as I've gotten stronger.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I signed up for the Crossfit Open because I have major FOMO and, again, I'm stubborn. The Open is a competition across the Crossfit community - Crossfit HQ releases a workout on Thursday night and everyone has until Monday night to complete the workout for a score (reps, time, weight, etc.) at an affiliate gym or via video. You submit your score and are ranked against everyone in your gym, region, country, and worldwide. 

Obviously, my goal was just to finish it. I had NO IDEA what to expect! Our gym encouraged everyone to compete because they opened a new "scaled" division this year so that more people could participate. My gym decided to make the Open into an intramural competition where we were divided into 4 different teams and competed for spirit and participation points. 

Doing the Open really helped me get more familiar with the Crossfit community and forced me to push myself to try something new! I really enjoyed it and I didn't do too bad, either! 

So that's where I am right now!  If I started to share my weekly training plan, would you all be interested? Like maybe every Monday I would share what I did the past week as far as running/Crossfit/gym workouts?  Let me know! 

WIW & My Whole30 Story - Part III: The Rebound & What's Next

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Weigh In Wednesday 

Hello everyone! We are proud to announce a new addition to our link up - Winter! She has been linking up with us from the beginning so we are pleased to have her on board! Go check her out :)

Also, a special thanks to Erin @ Love, Fun, & Football for making our beautiful new button!

Quickly, the weigh in:

Height: 5'8"
SW: 236.2
Last Week: 189.6
This week: 189.0
Change: -0.6
Total Loss: -47.2

Not a big loss this week which I think is a mostly due to bloating/water weight. Maybe that means a big loss is coming up soon :) Not gonna stress it!


So this is the last part of my Whole30 wrap up - what happened after it was all over. If you haven't read Part I and Part II, there are the links! If you're interested in what Whole30 is, you can read all about it at their website.

The week that I finished my Whole30, I had 5 exams/practicals. Let's just say the rubber band snapped back REALLY hard. Originally it had been my intention to either keep going with the Whole30 plan or to slowly reintroduce the different food groups (dairy, grains, legumes, etc.) in order to tease out whether any of these things were a source of problems for me. Well, when you fail to plan ahead, you plan to fail. 

I failed big time. 

I was staying at school late to study (I never do this...I like my sleep!), snacking between meals and relying heavily on caffeine to get me through. I tried my best to make good choices (salads, fruits, limiting bad snacks) but there were a few times I had to grab food on the run or I just didn't have the energy to cook. We ordered pizza, I grabbed Panera once or twice, etc. 

As you can imagine, by the end of the week (which included a trip to Louisville for a Bachelorette party immediately after my exams were over), I was exhausted and my body was angry at me. I never had a sudden "bad" reaction to reintroducing some of the foods I had removed from diet but overall I just felt bad. Like bloated, sluggish, and gross. If I remember correctly, I was still rehabbing my back at the time (more about this in a future post) so I wasn't allowed to run and I didn't go to all my Crossfit classes that week either. Woof.

Like I said, the rubber band snapped back. After that hell week, things did get much better. Now I would say I'm eating about the same as I was before starting the Whole30 - about 80% healthy, 20% "not-clean." 

I do want to tighten things back up and focus on losing the last bit of extra weight so that I can shift my focus to new goals. I'm really getting tired of the  whole "weight loss" mentality - I just want to be at a healthy weight already!

The scale is beginning to mean less and less to me and I'm starting to realize that I can set really cool goals for myself that don't include getting to a certain weight. Crazy, I know. Like maybe I'm capable of more than just burning X amount of calories. Maybe I can run faster and lift heavier. Maybe I can push and pull my own body weight around and still have energy to do the things I want and need to do during the day. Our bodies are pretty darn cool so why have I been limiting myself for all these years, viewing nutrition and working out as some form of punishment? 

So to sum up the end of Whole30:

What has changed 

  • No soda - I haven't had diet soda in two months now which I'm pretty excited about. I couldn't have done it without La Croix which is carbonated water with natural flavors (my favorites are Berry & Lemon but I love them all!).
  • More veggies & fruit - I NEVER thought I would get to the point where I grabbed an apple or some carrots with guacamole over traditional "snack" foods (like a cookie or chips) but I have. I feel like that's a HUGE accomplishment from where I used to be.

  • A little more meat in my diet. I was never a big meat person growing up and the meats I do like tend to be overly processed things like sausage and salami. With the Whole30, I started to embrace good quality beef and bison as well as chicken. Currently I typically have 3-4 oz of meat twice a day so it's not a huge amount by any means but it's enough to keep me full and satisfied. Still, I don't like meat to be the center of the show. I really try to make sure I have more veggies and carbs on my plate than meat.

  • Fewer cravings/Less emotional attachment to food
    •  I used to get food cravings 24/7. During the 30 days, that all but disappeared which was a huge shock to me. I expected to feel awful, to detox heavily or crave everything. Instead, I found myself looking forward to my meals but not craving something more. Now, I feel like I'm much more in control over my food choices and I can more easily make appropriate choices. I don't feel deprived if I don't get another treat and I also don't feel like I'm going to go off the wagon or worse, binge, if I allow myself something "off plan."

  • Quality of food is more important than ever. When possible, I really try to avoid junky food that's filled with sugar and lots of fillers. I try to get the best eggs possible (pastured, cage free, etc) and do my best to find grass-fed/finished red meat and ethically sourced chicken. Organic produce when we can afford it. Overall, food that is REAL and animal products that are as sustainably and ethically produced as possible. We aren't perfect by any means but we try.

  • Three meals a day instead of 4-6 meals/snacks. I think the whole "keep your metabolism going by eating every 2-3 hours" thing just doesn't make much sense to me from a biochemical stand point. Regardless of the science, it's not ideal for me. It encourages me to graze and it's not practical from a lifestyle standpoint either. Nope, three squares a day plus the occasional snack. 
What has stayed the same 

  • Limited dairy/grains - This has been me since Day 1 of this blog. I'm not convinced that I have any specific intolerances to these items so I don't see a reason to NEVER eat them again. But I will continue to limit them to special occasions and not make them part of my every day diet. There's nothing I get from either of these food sources that I can't get from other more nutrient dense foods.
  • Still tracking macros/calories. Sorta. Someone asked if I followed my macros during Whole30. The answer is no, at least not in the IIFYM sense of things. I still continue to track my intake on MFP but I just use it as a general guideline now to keep myself around a certain goal and to make sure I'm not overdoing it. I don't have the willingness to count specific macros - I think it triggers bad behaviors and restrictive thinking so best for me to keep it loosy goosey. 
What am I doing now?

  • Keeping it simple. No points, no specific macros, no complicated formulas or crazy diets. I'm staying within a specific calorie goal that I vary based on my activity for the day. Running/lifting? maybe a little more. Lazy study day? Maybe a little less. My methodology? I guess you could say I'm "Paleoish." I'm eating good sources of protein, TONS of veggies, moderate fruit and carbs, and healthy fats. And sometimes I'll have a little ice cream or chocolate. I want to enjoy my life but I also need to zip things up again.
  • I would love to lose the last 20-30 lbs (depending on where my body decides to go) before I start rotations in July. I know the stress of starting a new part of my life will not be conducive to weight loss so if I can get to maintenance by then, that would be optimal. 

Size 12 jeans! Wahoo!

  • Resuming half marathon training after 6 weeks of physical therapy on my low back. I still plan to run my half in May so I'm working my way back up!
First run after being put on hold for a month!

  • Continuing my Crossfit journey!

  • Studying for my board exams that I take in June and surviving the last few months of second year.
  • Prepping for our belated honeymoon to Seattle after boards! (So I wanna look and feel my best!)

Weigh In Wednesday March 18

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hey everyone! I'm still working on Part III of my Whole30 Story and my favorite recipe post. Stay with me, board prep has begun so my free time is pretty limited!

Last week was my spring break which included a trip to Louisville for a friend's Bachelorette Party, a few days at home, and then a trip home to Cincinnati to visit family. Before I knew it, my break was over and classes were starting back up again. 

Delicious, homemade Hungarian Schnitzel from Cincinnati. Sometimes it's nice to eat just plain GOOD food. (For the record, I took half home and then forgot to eat the rest haha)

This week marks the beginning of our Integration course and board exam studying. For the next few weeks I will be slowly ramping up my studying for my board exams in June - I can do a post on my plan if anyone is interested :) Anyway, I'm going to need to be a lot more judicious with my time - prioritizing, lots of to-do lists, and cutting out the time sucks. Just trying to be as efficient as possible! 

Day 1: Board Prep

Weigh-in. I'm sitting right where I was when I finished the Whole30. During finals week I made my way back up to 192-193 for a few days, probably water weight from the extra carbs and salt. I worked my way back down by tightening things back up but I certainly not following Whole30 strictly anymore. I'm working to find a good balance that allows me to not "worry" too much but still ensure that I'm getting the best nutrition possible. 

Height: 5'8"
SW: 236.2
Last Week: -
This week: 189.6
Change: -
Total Loss: -46.6

Asparagus, brussel spouts w/ a little bacon, bleu cheese, and basalmic vinegar, roasted chicken breast.

So that's it for today. Class, studying, Crossfit, maybe a run if I have time, dinner, more studying, bed. Stay tuned for my next Whole30 installment, an update on my training, and my board prep plan!

My Whole30 Story - Part II The Details

Monday, March 16, 2015

Today I wanted to share the details of how my Whole30 journey went - my timeline and all the good/bad features of the 30 days. If you haven't read Part I yet, you can do that HERE. In Part I, I shared my results and discussed the basics of the program. 

My Timeline
When I signed up, I noticed the Whole30 website published a timeline of what to expect during your typical challenge. You can find the whole timeline HERE.

My Whole30 didn't go exactly as described. I really didn't have any low-lows or high-highs. I didn't feel like terrible but I also didn't feel like I was a tiger in the rain forest. It went more like this:
  • Day 1-6 No problems
    • Life as usual. Everything was prepped and ready to go. I was excited to get started and see some changes. Aside from a little extra thought about what I could and couldn't have, life was very normal. I never really felt "deprived" during the whole program because it was truly a personal choice. I kept waiting to get really cranky or be really tempted to cheat. 
  • Day 7-10 Death
    • Just kidding. But I did get these very strange belly cramps. Kind of like hunger except it couldn't be satiated even with upon eating. At first I thought maybe it was an ulcer but after a few days the cramps went away and I felt much, much better. Side note: roasted potatoes were the only thing that really helped settle my stomach. Perhaps my body was adjusting to increased fat intake or just detoxing after removing all the junk. 
    • In addition to the belly cramps, I also had trouble falling and staying asleep during this time. I still don't know the mechanism behind all of this - metabolism changes, anxiety, something totally unrelated, etc. Not sure!
  • Day 11-26 Smooth Sailing
    • After belly issues, the rest of the Whole30 went along relatively well. For the most part, I felt comfortable declining foods that weren't Whole30 approved. Even as my husband ate tortilla chips in front of me and my classmates noshed on free pizza. 
    • My sleep improved and by this point I'm falling asleep quickly and sleeping HARD all night. I wake up BEFORE my alarm, which is how I always was before med school.
    • My food choices stayed pretty consistent during this period as I was prepping 90% of my own meals. I figured out a handful of recipes I really liked and just kept making them (much to the chagrin on my husband). Had the challenge lasted longer than 30 days, I'm sure I would've had to try even more recipes but #medschoolprobs. When something works, work it.

Veggie and sausage breakfast cassarole

Paleo chicken tender salad with homemade guac and carrot chips
  • Day 27-30 A little bored
    • The last few days I was just a bit bored. School was starting to get crazy again and I didn't have time to make anything new so I stuck with the recipes I had been using for the past few weeks. I felt great, was sleeping well, but I could easily see the end was near. I wasn't really anticipating any food in particular, I just wanted to have a little more wiggle room in my life and not have to worry about doing everything perfectly. 
Chicken topped with some type of compliant sauce, smashed potatoes, green beans

What I Loved About Whole30

  • My overall well-being and energy was good. Not OMG amazing but definitely an improvement from where I was. 
  • New recipes - I promise I will share these. I'm compiling my photos and a list of all the links so I can share very soon. Nothing too fancy, either. 

  • Decreased GI distress. I have been experiencing some reflux and IBS type symptoms on and off for a couple years now. My reflex virtually disappeared during Whole30 and my ummm..bowels found a more desirable equilibrium. (TMI..sorry!)
  • Meal structure. Whole30 generally suggests three squares a day which departs significantly from the common clean eating suggestion of 6 meals a day. They also recommend cutting out snacking or at least limiting your snacks to only when necessary. I tend to agree with this - why should I eat if I'm not hungry? And why should I force myself to eat 5 meals a day when it is highly inconvenient and just doesn't work for me. Yep, three meals a day it is for me! Maybe a snack here or there.
  • I felt satisfied. I didn't feel deprived or miserable because I was eating plenty of really GOOD food - tasty and healthy! AND I lost 11 lbs eating the same or more than I did before. I was easily eating 1800-2000 calories a day, working out 3-4 days a week (and not killing myself during it either because of my back).
  • Community. Whole30 has a tremendous community for support, education, and everything in between.
  • Perspective. I can either spend my time going through a drive-thru or waiting in line for Panera or I can take 3 minutes to pack breakfast and lunch. Essentially, it's the same amount of effort but the outcome of home prep is 10x better. I am NOT too busy to prep or pack meals but I have to prioritize it. 
What I Didn't Like About Whole30

  • The social aspect of being on this plan is by far the HARDEST part for me. Going out to eat was nearly impossible. For one, it's a lot of work to find 100% compliant options and I'm not a big "special requests" person. I'll make the occasional substitution but that's about it - it makes me uncomfortable!
  • Going along with the first point, many people just don't "get" this crazy plan you're on. I started to get kind of salty about it (which I kept to myself, except on this blog obviously) because it KILLS me that eating real food is a foreign concept. It's NOT crazy to eliminate foods that make you feel bad or are doing damage to your body. I decided to keep my explanation simple: "I'm cleaning up what I eat to see how my body reacts without certain foods. After the 30 days I will reintroduce things and see how my body responds."  If they want more information, I was happy to discuss it further. If not, oh well. 
  • Lack of variety. This was simply my own doing - I just wanted to survive the 30 days so I found things that worked for me and ate the same variation of that. I think I also probably ate more fruit and nut butter than the Whole30 creators may have liked but that's just what I enjoyed. Roasted veggies and potatoes were and continue to be a daily staple. Nothing will change that :)
  • I was constantly worried about cheating - I wanted to do the plan perfectly. While I never intentionally "cheated," I did accidentally ingest some added sugar a handful of times. Mostly in my tea that I drink - apparently some bagged teas contain stevia! I also tried some braised cabbage that definitely had been cooked in sugar. I only had one bite but I was still mad!

Things I Learned

  • Self-efficacy. Something that has largely alluded me for nearly 25 years. It's one thing for others to believe in you, but it's quite another to complete a task based solely on your own motivations and belief in yourself. Now that I know I can stick to this plan, I know I can stick to a 80/20 version in my daily life. 
  • "Paleo" does not mean low-carb. I think this is a misperception about the real food/paleo/primal movement. There is nothing that says that you have to eat low carb. I would say I eat moderate carb 150-200 g a day typically with most of that being potatoes, fruit, or vegetables. I have no interest in eating ketogenic as I need those carbs for running and lifting. And, quite frankly, I love me some carbs!
  • Paleo does not mean eat all the meat. Actually, I didn't feel like I was eating more meat than I usually do and I'm not a huge meat eater anyway. I usually have 3-4 oz of protein at any given meal so I think that's pretty reasonable. You don't need to eat huge hamburgers and big ole steaks at every meal to be "Paleo" or feel full.
  • Fat is a beautiful thing. Healthy fats (like those that come from coconut oil, nuts, avocado, etc.) taste delicious, keep you full, and have so many health benefits! 
  • Food is fuel but you can still enjoy it! I think the key for me going forward is to remember that I need to strike a healthy medium in my attitude towards nutrition and food. Life doesn't have to be "all or none." You can enjoy what you eat while it still being healthy. Salads aren't punishment. They are nourishment, energy, fuel. 

Stay tuned for Part III tomorrow where I discuss life after Whole30 and what I have planned next for my nutrition and health goals! 

My Whole30 Story - Part I Results

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Happy Weigh In Wednesday! Just FYI, we are still working on picking a new co-host for the blog but Erin and I should have an announcement soon!

So I'm finally putting my Whole30 journey out here! I finished last Monday but I wanted to gain the proper hindsight on my journey and gather my thoughts. 

When I started writing, I realized I will need to release this in a three parts: Results, The Details, and The Rebound/What's next? Today, in accordance with WIW, I will share and overview with my results!


First of all, what is the Whole30? It's a nutritional program designed to help you determine how certain foods may be affecting your health. These foods are commonly problematic for people and include dairy, legumes, grains, alcohol, added sugar, etc. At first glance, the program seems super restrictive - no fun at all, right? Wrong. 

The first thing I would tell someone who is presented with the Whole30 program is to take a mental tally of their "symptoms". Do you have reduced energy? Trouble sleeping? Gut issues such as diarrhea, bloating, constipation? Skin issues? Seasonal allergies? General aches and pains? Brain fog? (And of course, these things haven't been explained by a conventional medical reason.). Do you experience any of these things? Does it make sense that something we are nourishing our bodies with multiple times daily COULD be the problem? To me it does. 

The second thing I would tell someone who is interested in the program is to pick up a copy of It Starts With Food. For me it is really important to understand the "why" of what I'm doing. I'm pretty skeptical of dogmatic approaches to weight loss - I want science and studies! There is SO much good information in there - I couldn't possibly highlight it all here! Do the work and find out if this program may be right for you. I promise if you read the book, you will understand what is so compelling about healing your body with real food. 

Whole30 is something I came across 1-2 years ago when I was just starting this blog. I thought about it long and hard but never committed to doing it. I never talked about it, that I know of. The truth is, I really didn't think I could do it. I would peruse the list of "no" foods, would stop at legumes, and say "nope, not happening...then get a bean burrito from Taco Bell (not far from the truth...). I think that's pretty common. We take our time to come to a realization - things don't happen over night, especially when they are uncomfortable and potentially good for us. :) 

Within the last few months, though, my thinking started to change. I began to believe that MAYBE I could do it. I was cycling between losing/gaining the same 5 lbs for months. Nothing was changing and I was just stuck - I needed to shake things up. February looked like it would a relatively calm month with very few interruptions - not a lot of parties (save the Super Bowl) or holidays (just Valentine's Day) so I could really focus on success. So I finally pulled the trigger!

More advice - don't start something you don't think you can do. Whether it's a sugar detox, Whole30, Weight Watchers, Advocare, IIFYM, or just portion control, DON'T start something thinking you will fail. That makes no sense - it's wasteful and it does a number on your self-efficacy & self-esteem. If your feelings of failure are greater than your desire for success, you aren't ready. Period. Start with something smaller to build you confidence. Had I started Whole30 at any other point in my life, I probably would not have succeeded - cue the cycle of failure and self-loathing. 

This program isn't about punishment, deprivation, fad-diets, etc. I can't say it any better than the Whole30 website so here it is:

Put simply, the program is about eating REAL FOOD. That's crazy, right? No shakes, no supplements, no quick fixes - real damn food. How our ancestors ate is up for debate but I can guarantee they would probably pick an apple or piece of meat over the frankenfood we stuff ourselves with now. More on this later.

So with all that said, my Whole30 experience was surprisingly positive. I will go into the details in my next post but I feel like my overall health and well-being were positively impacted. I sleep much better, my belly problems improved (occasional reflux and IBS), and I feel more confident about my ability to achieve my health goals. I never really got the "tiger blood" that some people talk about and I don't feel like an angel walking on clouds (what?) but the improvements are enough for me to use the Whole30 program as a template for my eating habits - Paleo-ish? I know I will have toast or a cookie or cheese again (if fact, I had them during finals week which I will talk about later) but now that I know how these things affect me, I will do a better job of keeping my diet "real food" based. More vegetables, more fruits, higher quality protein sources, healthy fats, tons of water -- all the things we KNOW support our healthiest self.

I don't think there is anything too earth shattering about my results. Yes, I lost weight. Yes, I lost inches. For me, the physical results pale in comparison to the mental results. When I started this blog, I don't think I really realize how disordered my relationship was with food. Food is the enemy but it's also my best friend. So it's amazing that a month of Whole30 could help improve my cravings, impulses, and most of all, the emotional eating. I still have a ways to go with improving my overall self-image and disordered thinking but I think I made big steps over this past month! 

So weight loss. I feel like the first 5 lbs were probably water weight since I was around 196 just a few days before I started. So in all likelihood, I probably lost more like 6 lbs, still pretty good. I know I lost inches because I was able to throw on a pair of size 12s the other day! They were pretty tight but hey, non-scale victory :) Clothes are fitting better but I still find myself cycling back to my old thoughts - "I have a lot more work to do..." negative nancy stuff. It's hard habit to break!

Starting Weight: 200.8 
Ending Weight: 189.6
Weight Loss: -11.2

Not too dramatic or shocking, right? Still, I'm pretty pleased with the progress I'm making. I'm getting back on track, plateau no more! 

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part II where I'll talk about all the details - the good, the bad, the ugly. 

What questions do you have that I should address about Whole30?

Weigh In Wednesday & Whole30 Preview

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

First things first, today we have a couple of housekeeping issues to take care of. Ash has decided to back away from co-hosting this link-up so Erin and I are looking for another blogger to co-host the link-up with us each week! If you're interested, please e-mail us (Heather & Erin) to let us know... we'll consider everyone who's interested and will hopefully have a new co-host next week! In the mean time, here's this week's (temporary) button for the link-up...

In other news, I'm in med school hell week. 5 exams/practicals. 5 days. Let's do this! Who needs sleep, right? (Ummmm just kidding..I do!)

As you may know, I finished the Whole30 successfully on Monday!!!! I really want to do my Whole30 experience justice so I'm not going to throw together a post really quick today. Give me a few days to get my thoughts down :) 

I can tell you that Whole30 was a very positive experience for me and it has played really nicely into my Crossfit and running journey as well. I feel for the first time like I'm "free" from my food demons and overall, I seem to function better. Yes, I lost a significant amount of weight but I also GAINED self-efficacy and understanding about how food affects my body. I can't wait to share the details with you!

Be patient with me, everyone! Just a few more days until a much deserved break! I'll have all of Spring Break to get caught up on blogs, emails, and laundry! 

How do you handle stress?