Friday, September 2, 2016

One Full Year

If you've been with me for a while you'll know that I'm the kind of person who writes fairly personal posts now and then.

I have shared my struggle through grief after losing my father unexpectedly several years ago, I've opened up about my anxiety - postpartum and every day, and I've spoken fairly freely about my struggle with my weight, including trying over and over again to establish some sort of fitness regimen that works for me.

I can't say I've made it to a point in my life where I've got it all figured out. I don't think any of us ever really DO reach that point. Not as far as I can tell, anyway. But I do want to fill you in on what's been happening with me over this last year of my life.

A year ago yesterday I started my first round of Whole30.

Whole30 is an eating program, for lack of a better word, where really - you're not dieting - you're not depriving yourself - you're trying to figure out what the hell is up with your body.

And so, prompted by restless nights, a bloated body and a Starbucks-filled summer, September 1, 2015 was a new day for me.

I had read about the program months before. I bought all of the books. Well, two, two books on it. I had been reading about Paleo-style eating for years. Maybe a decade, even? I remember downloading all the free Paleo books and cookbooks on my iPad Kindle app. And then I read them. No cheese? Are these people crazy?

* Surprise, they aren't. *

It was the removal of dairy that terrified me.

I lived off of cheese. How could I not? I mean, seriously. Dairy was my life. My bae, as the kids today say. [wink] I couldn't give it up.

And then, 2015 hits. I spent the spring researching, contemplating, and considering when might be a good time to give this Whole30 thing a try. I decided (with my sister-in-law) that September 1st was the best start date. I knew I'd be traveling a LOT over the summer, and knew it'd be hard to figure out what the hell I was doing if I tried to start it off away from home.

I posted this after arriving home. This is from August 17, 2015. One of the most important decisions I've ever made.

Might not be officially starting this week due to lack of groceries, but beginning my meal planning to get myself on track and back to eating whole foods after so much traveling. #eatclean #eatgreen #Whole30

And so, a year has gone by.

A year of ups and downs. Emotions. Frustrations. Successes. Setbacks. Failures. Fresh starts. All of it. From September 1, 2015 - September 1, 2016 I've completed three Whole30s (one turned into a Whole45), one Whole9, and I forget, but I think I tried a 15-day in there, too.

I want to tell you that this isn't about weight loss.

I'd be lying a little bit.

It really is about being healthier, making better choices for my body, and trying to figure out what foods and ingredients work best for me. And I've learned. I've adjusted. I've made better choices. And yes, this summer slammed me with the not-so-good choices. I traveled for an entire month. I did well for much of it, and not as well for the rest. I'm human. I know when I fall down I need to get back up again.

And so I do. I have.

And it IS about weight loss.

Many people have asked me exactly how much I've lost. It's a valid question. I appreciate and understand it. We're so conditioned to look at numbers. To recognize exactly what the scale says and how we've changed. But I'm sorry. I won't tell you. Actually, sorry, I ain't sorry.

I'll admit, it's a good amount. And yeah, I'll also admit that I've got a few pounds that have returned that I'm working on again (Thanks, Starbucks!). But I'm really doing another round because I NEED to get back to cleaner eating. I need fewer carbs and sugars and dairy, less of the grains and more of the greens. New motto, maybe?

But I feel so much better. And I think I'm looking better, too. And you're not going to see a semi-naked before/after shot, because nobody wants that (least of all me!). But since I am, after all, the queen of the selfies, I will give you one for comparison. And if you can't see it, that's okay, because I do. I see it. But more importantly? I feel it.

Whole30 changed my life.

It really did.

It's enabled me to work more at being fit and healthy. Losing some of that weight gave me room to breathe better and stay focused on movement. And y'all just love my sweaty-selfies, right?

So - I hope you'll stick with me over this coming year. Because I'm not stopping now. This is my life. My body. I only get one go-round, and I expect to be here for quite a long time - enjoying every minute of it.


  1. You look terrific. You are an inspiration. I have also been trying and did well when I had a goal (Ashley's wedding) Then came summer and vacation. Now I plan to get back on track. I sometimes try your ideas. Honestly I'm not that strick but definitely less carbs and more veggies. Keep it up! You're doing great.

  2. Andrea, you look great! You look happier and more confident. I can see it not just in the selfies posted here, but in your regular #sweatyselfies that you often post. It's inspiring and awesome! I'm glad you've found a way to help yourself feel better. Whole 30 was a really tough experience for me but you're right - it's about figuring out what the heck is going on with your body!

  3. I'm finally snagging a moment to comment – – but reading this when I first saw it made me think: I wonder if I couldn't make whole 30 happen here at home for the entire family.

  4. I've never heard of Whole30 but I LOVE the idea of getting intimate with what works and what doesn't with your body. Kudos to you for taking your health into your hands!!! PS. You look GREAT!!!

  5. Hi Andrea! Congratulations on becoming so healthy! And I so agree with you that should be the REAL goal for us all--becoming as healthy as we can with whatever time we have left. It does take determination and it sounds like you've found yours. Looking forward to another annual report a year from now! ~Kathy

  6. So great! And yes, I know how hard it is, having done 3 of them in the last year too. I always feel better on Whole30. It's just so much work sometimes in the midst of my other restrictions and travel, etc. But I tend to live much more "on" than "off" these days. Once I discovered nut cheese/cream that made it a lot easier!

  7. Hi there! You've inspired me to try the Whole 30. I'm meal planning now. :)


Comments are like air to a writer.

So please - say something - help me BREATHE!