I am blown away first off that I was even able to stick to something for 2 weeks let alone 30 days! This month has not been easy by any means and I am super proud of myself.
Why: Doing a whole 30 seems crazy. And it is. Seems restrictive…and it is. Ive told myself since competing several years ago that I would not go back to anything restrictive. But this was a little bit different…hear me out. Here’s a short background….I decided to stop my birth control a few years ago and after that is when i started to notice my PCOS symptoms. After being throughly checked by my physician with lab draws and an ultrasound, it was confirmed that that was the problem. I was prescribed multiple medications and they just made me feel like crap. So I needed to take it a step further. I had started doing extensive research and saw things like keto and paleo diets helping to lessen and even resolve PCOS. I had done whole 30 a couple of times in the past and loved the results and how I felt but this time, round 3, my life depended on it. Whole 30 is extremely similar to paleo except its more strict. Now only strict for 30 days as you start to reintroduce foods after and find your food freedom after the 30 days is complete. So being strict for 30 days, I could mentally get past that. My main motivation was my health and wellness. At the age of 30, not having a regular period, having acne on my face (embarrassing), having eczema on my body, gaining weight and unable to lose weight despite how much i worked out and how much i tried to change my eating habits…..all this was nearly depressing. So knowing what i knew about whole 30 and its benefits, I had to dive in and try it again.
What whole 30 was like: Uh well. It was hard. Every day was tough. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think about the desert I was missing. Or for goodness sake, the ease of eating out. Like wow you literally have to cook every day. Each day was a challenge, but that is what makes finishing that much sweeter. Again, my motivation being that I could solve my PCOS symptoms and more, I knew I just had to push through and there was no way around it. And Also, I had started building a following on my instagram which forced me to stay consistent with my meals each day. I found a way to make it fun though. On previous rounds of whole 30, I thought my meals had to be boring with just meat and veggies and a fat, but this time I got creative and made something new each week which kept the interest and fun going.
The benefits: SO MANY!!! By no means is everything just perfect with me and my body yet because in the grand scheme of things, 30 days isn’t really that long when we talk about the issues that I do have. The acne on my face has cleared up! The eczema on my skin is almost gone! I have FINALLY lost weight! Losing weight with PCOS seems nearly impossible until you actually figure out what you are supposed to do. I can sleep longer than four hours at a time! And I work night shift and so this is usually a huge problem! My season allergies have been extremely minimal. Practically absent. And they are usually TERRIBLE!!!! I wake up for 5am workouts! Uh what. Yea. I have done a 5am work out quite a few times in this past month. Im crazy I know. Lastly, I saved a ton of money NOT eating out! I didnt even realize but I have significantly more money with just grocery shopping and eating what I made from home. Its quite amazing actually.
The downfalls: Because its not all good and I definitely like to keep it real! You have to meal prep every day. Although I enjoy cooking and making new recipes, seriously cooking every day can be a drag especially when your tired, in between shifts, or just busy. Its hard! You have cravings and you fight the cravings every single day and nothing really helps except just getting over it. The first week I got sugar withdrawal headaches but that soon resolved. I felt nauseous toward the end and I concluded that I believe it was my hormones trying to regulate themselves just like when you become pregnant and you have a fluctuation of hormones in your body and in turn causes morning sickness, it was the same feeling. So much that I even took a pregnancy test knowing I wasn’t pregnant. Hahaaa but it was bad!
Ultimately, I am super excited with my progress. It makes me want to continue this lifestyle. Life after whole 30 encourages a reintroduction of all food groups and finding food freedom. I do not plan to do a reintroduction as i know how most foods make me feel, but I will be on the quest for food freedom because I know it will be much more possible to stick to this lifestyle if I am kind with myself and allow myself some choices in moderation.
Here is a photo of my progress
I FEEL SO GREAT!
Seriously, physically and mentally i am feeling stronger and better each day. So i did a plan of care about a month ago and there i stated that i was giving myself 3 months to have a normal menstrual period, clearer skin, and weight loss. I am happy to say in 1 month i have noticed improvements in all 3 areas….yes after not having a period since July 2017 i finally started my period!!! My skin although still a work in progress is so much better. As far as my weight goes, i lost my scale due to an upstairs bathroom flood into my apartment so I’m not sure number wise if I’ve lost weight but my clothes fit differently!
So yay i finally got my period! Funny story, i went to vitamin shop to restock my maca powder and the lady working there asks me “have you seen results yet?” Meaning have i gotten a period yet lol. I laughed and said not yet but i am hopeful and then boom. It’s here just 2 days later! I think my supplements combined with my improved diet, sleep, and stress control all had a factor in this. I hope to continue this progress with my hormonal balance!
My skin is visibly clearer. I was getting breakouts with huge areas of acne. It’s not 100% but it’s so much better than what it was! A great part of it i believe is the collagen peptides i have started using but again, the improved lifestyle with every area is what i think they key is. It can’t just be, i take collagen peptides but don’t fix anything else that could contribute to poor skin like a horrible diet and not enough water. It all works together.
The weight loss speaks for itself. Again. I have no clue how much i have lost but if i can visibly see in my clothes AND my very critical mother (who’s Mom isn’t lol) even says i am as well then that is all the confirmation that i need! So although before intentionally making an effort to balance my hormones, i was working out, i still needed to show improvement. Of course without the consistency in my workouts and my diet, i wasn’t going to see any change. And the diet specifically being paleo based or like i like to call it, paleo-ish. I told myself i wouldn’t limit myself on food. If i wanted it then i would have it and not feel guilty about it. But at the same time, that didn’t mean i was going to go ham on pizza every night because that is what i wanted to do. No. I made the focus my health instead of the focus being how i looked and that was a major game changer for me!
If i can have a take away for how my last month has been and why it’s been so good it would be shift your focus! Make your focus about your health and not what you wish to see and everything else will start to fall into place! This is what i plan to continue to do for myself
That moment when you land back in Michigan and realize you are no longer in 80 degree and sunny weather and it’s time to get ready for the work week…sigh. Ah such a sad moment! I had 9 beautiful days in sunshine and warm weather but as the good saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
Being back from vacation isn’t all bad of course. I can finally get some grocery shopping done, cook in my own kitchen, and not live out of a suitcase anymore. Top priority, grocery shopping and cooking a good healthy meal because my goodness, how much crap did I intake in 9 days. Don’t get me wrong…I have no regrets but there is nothing like the feeling you get after being able to eat your own food from your own kitchen with your own wholesome ingredients.
Today I spent a good portion of my day jumping right back into my routine and that started with grocery shopping and updating my supplement supply. Lucky for you (wink wink), I vlogged a great portion of my grocery shopping. How fun! You can check it out right here!
There are a few things that are odd, for example, I typically do not go to three stores for shopping but I was gone for 9 days and I needed to get a lot of things. Also, I totally skipped filming in Meijer because what I got in there was unimportant things like Tupperware and an essential oil diffuser (because sleep goals).
The RN in me thought it would be fun to put my goals into a nursing care plan and share it with you guys so here we go…
Assessment: 29 Year old Female, without a period for 7 months now. Unable to lose weight and constant acne break outs.
Diagnosis: Polycystic ovarian Syndrome
Date: February 15, 2018
Plan/Goals: After 3 months of consistent interventions, Felicia will be able to demonstrate success by having a normal menstrual cycle, clearer skin, and weight loss
- Will eat foods that are best for her body including mostly plants (fruits/vegetables), Lean and grass fed protein and healthy fats. Decreasing the intake of sugar and being mindful of portion control while continuing the goal of not stressing when the diet isn’t perfect. It is food.
- Will exercise with a goal of 3-4 days a week at Orange Theory Fitness and with self created circuit workouts including a great mix of cardio and weight training
- Finding the supplements that will best help with the success of accomplishing the stated goal. Supplements that support balanced hormones, healthy gut, increased immunity, improved skin, and maximum energy.
- Daily skin care: wash face twice daily and use Mia for exfoliating. (I do still need to find a hydration/moisturizer. I prefer something natural. But that is TBD.)
- Keep a journal (or blog) of progress and set backs.
- Realize she will not be perfect in this journey and know that it is okay to learn along the way
- Be sure to have outlets for life stressors (such as work)
- Do yoga at least once a week
- Embrace all feelings and know that it is perfectly normal to be happy, excited, sad, mad, etc
- Use those around you to keep your uplifted and supported
- Set daily positivity goals and give yourself positive affirmations each day
- Get sufficient amount of sleep each day… 7 hours at least. (This is a joke since i rotate day/night 12 hour shifts every 6 weeks)
Now that I’ve told you, we can keep each other accountable on this wonderful journey. I will share what is working, what isn’t working and the progress I am making.
Get ready for a dramatic scenario….
You’re so ready for a fun Saturday night. You’re playing some jams, getting dressed and….Oh man….The dress isn’t zipping. Downward spiral begins. You get sad, upset and depressed. Say you’re gonna go on a diet the following day after finding the frumpiest outfit to get you through the evening while being sure to cover every fat roll that is controlling your ever being. Next morning comes you start the diet and, shoot, it sucks and the food is tasteless. You want something good to eat. After 24 hours you’re back to eating everything in sight only to feel horrible and like a big slob again. Dang now you gotta start the diet again…..
Does this sound familiar? Yea, horrible right?
Unnecessary torture that we put ourselves through.
Diets fail because we call them diets. We see them as a short term thing instead of making it part of our lifestyle. We set unrealistic goals and throw in the towel when we can’t reach those goals. We let our mood be determined by the number on the scale. We let unrealistic instagram bodies of women be our motivation when most of them paid for their bodies. I was that person. I let what the scale said determine how i felt that day. I would wake up in the morning, weigh myself before eating or drinking, be unhappy with the number and realize oh wait i haven’t used the bathroom yet….use the bathroom and hop right back on the scale in hopes of a magical difference.
That is why i failed at diets. One because i called it a diet, two because i didn’t see it as a long term change. It was something i was doing for the moment. Lastly, I let the scale determine my progress instead of focusing on how i felt.
Try this instead;
- Make small changes at a time
- Do what feels good
- Eat like you love your body AND your soul
- Don’t be so hard on yourself…It’s just food
- Don’t strive to be perfect…we have one life to live
- Enjoy every choice you make
- Be proud of each milestone of progress that you make
Yea…this is hard for people to wrap their minds around. They look for the cookie cutter tips. So I guess you want me to tell you to eat 6 meals a day, no carbs after 6 pm, only drink water, and never drink alcohol. Well sorry friend, you won’t get that from me. I am in no way bashing those that live those lifestyles. This advice is for those that are just regular people trying to create better lives for themselves each day. This is part of the beginning of a holistic, balanced and healing life.
Let’s be real with ourselves here. Most of us are busy and being too busy is one of the top reasons for not sticking with your healthy eating right? I am here to tell you, health eating doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. I made this lunch in about 7 minutes. You know the saying “keep it simple stupid”. Or did i just make that up? Oh well. Here ya go
- Unthawed frozen or fresh shrimp.
- A head of cabbage
- Marinated onions
- Honey garlic seasoning
- Pink himilayan sea salt
- Olive oil
- Warm two small skillets with olive oil
- Prepare the shrimp to your liking. Cleaning, removing tails, seasoning etc
- Shread about 1/4 of the cabbage (if you’re making for your family chop the whole head up)
- You may season your shrimp either before or during cooking. I don’t have one specific way of doing this. This particular day i added my seasoning before cooking. Also feel free to add what flavoring you think will be tasty. My seasoning of choice was honey garlic rub I bought from fresh thyme (loveeee that store) and pink Himalayan sea salt. Super simple. Don’t complicate it
- 5. In one skillet add the chopped cabbage and in the other skillet add the shrimp.
- Cook cabbage until soft and cook shrimp until they are pink and lightly browned through out
- Add shrimp on top of cooked cabbage
- For added flavor and don’t you dare skip this step because they are amazing, i topped with marinated onions.
I broke the steps down to be as detailed as possible but seriously this meal is so quick, easy and tasty!