Whole30 Reflections-Part 1

As I write this, Flower, our resident back yard squirrel, is adding leaves to her/his bountiful nest just in the tree just outside our kitchen. I’m wondering if s/he knows something I don’t, like some cold front is headed our way, or if squirrels just periodically decide their digs could be more comfortable, and why not spend a Sunday making it that way.

Either way, what Flower’s doing is somewhat of a mystery to me. Although I know that nature has meaning and purpose and I know Flower is among the extraordinary of the squirrel creatures, it makes me wonder.

This is exactly as I would describe my experience yesterday. I know that the Whole30 has meaning and purpose and that it is extraordinary (I have 29 days of blog posts to prove it), but what happened yesterday was somewhat of a mystery to me. So, 24 hours and one top notch country concert later, I will try to explain.

8am. I arrive at FitBodies for the Biggest Winner finale. I planned to measure/weigh and WoD. The place was buzzing with my friends doing the same. In no time, I hopped on the scale, with a spring in my step.

Now, here is the first clue. I truly have no idea what I thought the scale was going to say. But, I realize now I thought it was going to say something. I had expectations for those red, digital numbers. And those expectations were much higher (actually, lower!) than what I saw. Whatever idea I had in my head was certainly more than the 2 pounds I lost.

2 pounds in 1 month, you have got to be kidding! Let me count the one million ways I have lost 2 pounds and tell you how much faster, easier, cheaper, more socially acceptable, fun, and chocolate-filled they have been.

Immediately, I felt a wave of emotions. My heart sank a bit (and I know my face showed it) and my caring friends picked up on what had happened. All sorts of kind words and insightful ideas later, I realized I could avoid crying or doing permanent damage to the damn scale.

Time to measure. Honestly, 4 inches didn’t seem sufficient either, not that I’m asking for them back.

Damn, if I knew 4 inches was all it took to fit in those pants from 2003, I would have lost them a long time ago. 

One WoD, 11 minutes and 31 seconds later, I was nearly jogging to the car to get the heck out of there.

There was only one thing left to do.

I called my mom.

I explained how confused I was. This wasn’t making sense to me. I thought this was going to be the best morning of my life and now I was wishing it never happened.

I don’t know about you, but there are a few places I think more clearly about things. One is a run outside alone. Another is a shower.

Hair dryer in hand, I glanced in the mirror. Then, boom, a clue. I saw in my head those photos I’ve seen online when reading other people’s stories. They are a collage, 12-months usually, that show extraordinary change in body composition.

It hit me.

That’s it!

I’m not on a 30-day journey. I’m on a 6-month to a 12-month journey.

I’m a collage of photos away from where I’m headed.

See the thing is, with the confidence that the Whole30 has given me, I have an idea in my head. Its realistic. And its healthy. And I’m mentally and physically strong enough to get there. But its not going to happen in 30 days. Period.

As a wise FitBodies friend had already pointed out, I am fortunate that I already had decided to continue for 60 more days, because that would give me time to figure out the mystery. I didn’t have to jump right into deciding if I would have a donut or a glass of wine or a pizza.

And once I realized that my journey ends in a collage of photos and a collection of Whole30-s, I saw the wisdom in this idea even more clearly. Another clue.

Heading back to the gym, I asked myself, how can I make the most of the next 30-days?

I discussed this with mom and quickly decided to stay the course with the Whole30, keeping the nutrition program exactly the same. I am considering a few other Whole9-approved additions:

1. Engage a life coach. Parts of my life continue to have more stress in them than I can effectively deal with on my own. My body may be less efficient with this stress on-board so I need to be proactive about learning more tools to manage it.

2. Play the piano. I realize that my modern lifestyle has let my creative side slip. All sorts of research proves creativity helps us expand ourselves and our thinking and provides us with good energy. This blog is a great example of a creative passion of mine–writing. I also love the piano. And, if nothing else, it will give me more in common with Luke Bryan, so obviously it is worth doing.

3. Do the TriShark in June. I love CrossFit and plan no changes to my routine (5-6 WoDs per week), but I also love running (in body-friendly limited quantities) and swimming. And, I’m sure the fact that I’ve never met a bike that I haven’t fallen off of is just an opportunity to grow. I am interested in trying to add just a little bit more physical activity to further engage my body and mind.

I arrived back at the gym more sure of the Whole30 than ever. My plan was shaping up. Clue by clue, I was piecing together the mystery. This is the beginning, not the end.

And month by month, I will piece together the collage of the rest of my life. 

So you can imagine the enormous sense of pride I had only minutes later when we celebrated our Biggest Winner contest results.

Lost over 200+ lbs, 170+ inches

Check out this incredibly amazing group of athletes (and coaches)! Together, we lost over 200 pounds, and 170 inches. As someone pointed out, that’s like a whole person!

Biggest Winner Male & Female Winners

And then, a humbling honor. That amazing group of people voted for the top males and females.

From L to R: Barry R, Mark G, Adam S, Julie S, Kristin T, and me

Incredibly flattering feeling to stand with this wonderful group of athletes and celebrate this humbling honor.

Another clue that my ability to reach out and share this with others–as honestly, clearly, and realistically as I can–is a Whole30 gift. I’m truly honored that so many of you give me the opportunity to share ideas that can motivate and change your lives.

Now do you see why I had to just tell Luke Bryan that I had way too much on my mind to kick back and drink Patron last night? Seriously.

Case closed?

Not even close.

More to come?

You  bet.

Ready for the next 30 days?

Hell yes.

You with me?

I hope so.

Jen’s Whole 30 kicks it off today with a brand-new superbowl menu and a breakfast newbie you don’t want to miss. Stay tuned.

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12 Responses to Whole30 Reflections-Part 1

  1. Donna says:

    I cried when I read this, I totally related to the feelings you shared. I smiled though the tears as I read the amazing perspective you have on life. My heart felt confident of your determination, dedication, and commitment to learning. I’m inspired by your well thought our approach, your wisdom, and your joy of the journey. Trust your journey, love your life! Release the past, embrace the present, and create a life you love. The learning that comes from this experience is not about numbers, it’s about being enough just as you are, loving yourself for who you are now, going inside and knowing your value, it’s about changing your relationship with food, and becoming a new person that doesn’t place judgement on yourself or others. The scale does not define Jen – that power remains with Jen! As always, I love your style.

    • This is beautiful Donna, thank you so much. Enjoyed seeing you yesterday and can’t wait to spend more time working with you. Thank you for your support and kindness. And, PS, the strawberries and coconut cream are amazing. Thanks a ton.

  2. Melinda says:

    Congratulations on the first 30 days, Jennifer! I think losing 4 inches is incredible. Keep up the good attitude; it inspires the rest of us.

  3. Lauren Silva Laughlin says:

    Sis way to go! I couldn’t be prouder! Here’s to the next 335 days!!!! Love, Sis

  4. Kristin Y. says:

    Jen – Congratulations!! This is just one step in your journey! You are stronger and healthier than ever and you will accomplish your goal! Stay the course!! You are awesome – I love your honesty. You are such an inspiration!

  5. erin furiimsky says:

    Jen, I have known you for years now and I see you on a journey that is so much bigger and more enriching to your soul than I could ever anticipate. This is something that cannot be summed up in numbers of any sort. I am so proud of you. xoxo

  6. Amber says:

    Hey, I’m catching up on your blog. This post was really moving to me, and I love that you’re blogging your experiences. Firstly, I hate scales and think they’re a terrible measure of anything really. I could lose or gain 5 pounds (and have) in a day. If you’re getting stronger and your clothes are getting looser, who cares what the scale says (though I know it’s that mental thing). 4 inches in 30 days is awesome! I’m proud of you, and I hope you can pat yourself on the back for all your hard work. This is just the beginning for you, and you’re already kicking a@#!

    What I also love about this post is that you are showing that you’re constantly reevaluating. You’re so right on the stress management thing and getting your creativity back. I used to think health was all about nutrition and exercise and would neglect the mental aspect. Stress management is a huge factor, and something I also need to work on. Your blog is inspiring me to reevaluate as well.

    I think you’re looking great, and I admire you for doing this challenge with all the other obligations you have. Now..I need to try some of your delicious recipes. Keep up the great work!

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