Whole30 Challenge Day 15(ish)

Well, day 15 came and went. I’d say I didn’t notice, but I definitely have. Overall I’d say I’m happy with the Whole30, but I’ll be even happier when it’s done.

First off, i’ll say it’s been easier than I thought. It’s unfair of me to say this, probably, because I’m already so used to a primal/paleo diet as it is… I’ve been living it for 2 years or so! The modifications for strictness around dairy and alcohol were really the only major bits – that and absolutely no 1apses nor cheat days or small indulgences. More on that in a moment.

Despite the prohibition to weigh oneself or take measurements I have been doing both. I’ve been weighing myself almost every day and pretty rigorously measuring my intake of food going into MyFitnessPal. I won’t tell you the numbers until it’s done – so as to pretend like I wasn’t measuring anything, but in short, I may hit my goal weight by the end of the month… for whatever that’s worth. It was an arbitrary goal–as I stated before. The nicer thing is that I’m already noticing that I’m losing a little belly fat. That’s nice both from an appearance perspective, and clothes fit, but what’s more heartening is knowing that my body isn’t as stubborn as I thought, and I can still make some changes on it without resorting to heavily restricting calories or taking up something hellish like running. More on that later, too.

The restrictions on dairy, alcohol, and other deviations are definitely the things having the most effect. I don’t think I’m limiting my calories artificially by tracking them, though I’m sure the spirit of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle applies in here. For many people just tracking their food will cause them to lose weight, and I know that has happened to me in the past, but since going primal, I’m still listening to my body better and eating foods that make me happy, so I never feel lacking after meals. The dairy is iffy because I really ate so little of it – maybe two servings of a cheese per day, but it’s probably having an effect. The no alcohol is having an effect because of the no beer – that’s just carbs and I understand that, but by enforcing it totally – no spirits of any kind, I find that it feels too restrictive. I haven’t done enough research to know if alcohol itself has an effect on metabolism, but I know removing alcohol has an effect on morale and stress. It’s more of an annoyance than the dairy restriction, and that along with the zero tolerance for sweets – even antioxidant rich dark chocolate – I find have a negative impact on my happiness level, and that makes this 30 days feel like a diet… with all the connotations of that. That’s the main reason I suspect this is unsustainable beyond the 30 days without some modification. A regular cheat day of sorts makes sense if I want to continue the progress. We’ll see.

A note about exercise. While I’ve attempted to have a regular twice weekly focused workout, I’ve also tried to incorporate a daily movement goal of either walking or stair laps at work or both. My focused exercise is more like a sprint, so the daily movement is just to maintain those benefits. On Sunday this week I ran an impromptu mile. It’s a long story, but wholly at random I decided to go for a run. I hated it. I’ve always disliked running, and it really showed. My issue is that I hit my cardio limit a lot quicker than with anything else, and I hate being out of breath. On a bike I can top out, but what’s nice is even slowing down is nicer than the plodding of running or jogging. I probably have pace and form problems, too, as I had some lingering ankle soreness. Fast-walking is almost acceptable, but “almost” is still not acceptable. I will relegate running to sprinting at max effort as part of a focused workout and do my best to get on a bike instead.

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