Stupidly, I didn’t take a picture of myself the day I started The Whole 30. I guess I just wasn’t expecting a month to change my ass enough that pictures would matter.
Since my husband and my two oldest chicks
were forced agreed to do The Whole 30 with me, we should have taken group pics, but we didn’t because we suck. So, there.
Instead, here are some pics of me recently, pre-Whole 30, that I hope will give you an overall idea of where I carry my weight. Have you ever seen a pear? Yeah, well you are about to:
All of these pics were taken in April/May of this year. My weight had fluctuated up and down about 3-5 lbs in this time frame and right before beginning The Whole 30 on 7-4-11.
In these pictures, I am wearing some sort of spanx type thing. I had an awesome tank type one that smoothed out most of my stomach flab. But it was starting to suck because of the heat. Vanity, of course, reigned supreme, and I still wore it.
Here are the results:
Total inches lost: 9.25
Total Body fat loss: 4.8%
Total Weight loss: 13.6 lbs
For me, this was amazing shit. I mean, I am 36 and I have 7 kids, people. Depending on how old you are, I may not be old. But it does become more difficult to lose weight as you get older. Over the course of the last year, I already lost 40 lbs through following a healthier version of the SAD (Standard American Diet).
But I had hit a plateau. No matter how many hours I Zumba’d my pear-shaped lower half off at the Y, I couldn’t break through to the next 10 lb level.
Imagine my surprise, when I not only broke through, but freakin’ bypassed that 10 lb range I had hovered over since the beginning of 2011.
The thing is, I had reconciled myself to being okay with where I was at body-wise and weight-wise. When you hear things like, “You have 7 kids? You look great.”, you start to take comfort in that. You start to look around and think, “I don’t look that bad. In fact, I look better than most of these women who have had less than half the kids I have had.”
But what does that have to do with being healthy? What does that have to do with using food to solve all my problems and celebrate all my victories?
And damn it, I don’t want to look good “for having 7 kids”, whatever that means. I want to be healthy and strong and just feel plain kick-ass-amazing.
Aren’t we called to be good stewards of the bodies God gave us? I’m pretty sure that doesn’t mean using every pregnancy as a justification to feed my face and grow my ass.
When both my parents had strokes within 6 months of each other, something changed in me. Who is going to take care of everything and everybody if I can’t? Sometimes I feel like the glue that holds it all together. for. everyone. I’ll be damned if I leave my kids behind or worse, become a burden to them because I love me some effen cheese more than I love life. I do believe in God’s sovereignty, but I’m not a fatalist, either.
So, during the 30 days, I decided to focus on building strength. I read stuff from Nerd Fitness, talked to my bestie at Becoming CrossFit, and poured over stuff on Whole9life, Mark’s Daily Apple and many, many other paleo/primal/crossfit blogs.
I started lifting heavy things. I dropped Zumba and focused on strength training. I am not against Zumba, but it ain’t going to make me strong and that is what I am after. Plus, working out in my garage, rather than going to the Y saves me a ton of time and my husband’s sanity since he is left alone with the kids while I am gone. I cut my workout time down to about 30 minutes 3x per week, which is way less time than I was spending at the Y, especially with driving time.
CrossFit may be in my future. For now, I have decided to take Mark Sisson’s advice in his free e-book, Primal Blueprint Fitness. It just makes so much sense to me. Plus, it’s FREE.
Even though my 17-year-old daughter was the primary reason we started this whole thing, the girl could not stop whining about bread and yogurt and cookies, etc. She shut up abruptly when she started fitting into clothes that she was wearing back when she was 14.
Note: It wasn’t that her chronic stomach pain stopped. It wasn’t the fact that she was able to stop taking her 2x per day meds that she was on for said stomach pain that made her stop. No. What made the girl STFU about all the things she “couldn’t” eat, was vanity. Pure and simple. It runs in the family.
In the end, my husband lost 10 lbs and 6 inches. My 17-year-old
whiner daughter lost 2.5 lbs and reduced her body fat by 9 freaking percent. I wanted to kick her ass, but she is now stronger than me so I decided against it. My 13 yo daughter lost a whopping 16 inches total. Yes, 16 inches!!
Breaking The Cycle of Negative Body Image
But what’s even better than that, is seeing my girls come up with their own paleo recipes and owning this as a way of life for them and not simply a 30 day thing that their mom made them do. We all see and feel the health benefits. Mental clarity, energy, lack of bloating and other stomach ailments and just an overall sense of feeling good.
It is about seeing them desire not just a skinny ass, but a fit one. It is knowing that I can encourage them to view food as fuel. I can do that because I believe it.
She’s Not Yo’ Momma
Another amazing thing happened during this process. I converted my mom. My 66-year-old mom. My 66-year-old mom who has not eaten red meat for at least 7 years. My 66-year-old mom who ate oatmeal and Shredded Wheat N’Bran multiple times a day. The brown box. Yes, mom, I know.
This is the same woman who doesn’t eat sugar, ate a ton of veggies, some chicken and ground turkey, soy milk, etc., but was primarily existing off of grains and veggies. If anyone would have examined her diet, they would have considered her freakishly healthy according to the SAD.
She is, and always has been, extremely thin. She is 5’10 and weighs not enough for her height. Like maybe 115 on a good day. She just can’t gain weight. (I did not inherit this gene.) I think she was 135 when 9 months pregnant with me. I would call her a curse word for that, but she is reading this and already hating the fact that I am posting about her and telling her age multiple times. (It’s okay mom. I will not post any pics of you, nor reveal your secret identity or lair.)
But then in January of 2010, this woman with the “perfect diet” had multiple strokes and all of our worlds were turned upside down.
My mom, is a fighter. She doesn’t believe that about herself. She sees herself as weak. But it isn’t true. Not a bit. She is strong in ways I am not, in ways I haven’t had to be. She has worked her way back to being self-sufficient again and getting a second chance at life.
They have never been able to figure out what the cause of her strokes were. She has never smoked or drank. She is not overweight. She doesn’t eat sugar and followed the food pyramid like it was her freakin’ Bible.
But when they ran all of their tests, she was borderline diabetic. My sister and I thought that was impossible. How could SHE be borderline diabetic? The woman sniffs sugar and cringes. I mean she hates chocolate. No literally, she hates chocolate. The smell nauseates her.
During her recovery she became even more restrictive and crazy with her diet. She would not eat anything with saturated fat, or a hint of sugar. She cut out all dairy and fat. I was worried as I saw her getting even thinner.
Instead of telling my mom a ton about it, I sent her articles to read. I wanted her to want to do this because she believed that it would be healthy for her, not because I guilted/manipulated her into it.
Right away, everything that I sent her just clicked. It is like all the things that she thought were healthy about her lifestyle and diet were probably the exact contributors to her strokes. The high carbs, the lack of good fats. You have no idea how happy I was when I cooked up some beef in coconut oil and watched my mom eat. every. last. bite.
What Does “Life Changing” Really Mean?
See, this is about so much more than just losing 13 lbs. That is great. Don’t get me wrong. But what if this could prevent my mom from having more strokes? What if this could change the way I have always obsessed over food and allowed it to control me? What if this is changing the way my girls view themselves and their relationship with food and their own bodies? What if I can raise strong sons and daughters who appreciate the bodies that God gave them instead of looking at Hollywood and it’s distorted view of beauty as the unattainable standard?
Then all of those things, well, they would be life changing. Will The Whole 30 change your life? The answer is yes. In ways that you might not even realize.
I don’t plan on looking back. I plan on looking forward and seeing just what this body can do. One thing I know. If this mom of seven kids can change her life, so can you.
PS: I’m spanx free, as seen in the pics below. Anyone need one?