WE DID IT! We finished strong! I won’t say I can’t believe it because I do… I knew with GOD’S help we would finish our whole30 stronger than when we started. And we did! I am so proud of my “WHOLE FAMILY” for having so much self-control and working together so well to accomplish something so great. I have a HUGE list of all the things we learned and all the ways we improved our health during these 30 days that I want to tell everyone about but first… THE BIG NEWS!!! Drum roll please……..
WE’RE DOING IT AGAIN! (well, sort of) Here’s the scoop: For the past week I’ve been “gently prodding” Brandon to have a game plan ready for when our whole30 is done so that he doesn’t, and we all don’t, fall back into a bad pattern of eating, exercising and reading the bible. He thought about it, debated back and forth in his head, struggled with it a little and this is what he decided: That he feels great! He likes the way he is looking, feeling, and sleeping and he wants to continue to feel that way. He also is aware of how SIMPLE (my favorite word) eating paleo/whole30 is and doesn’t feel constricted eating this way- but actually enjoys the delicious food, how he can eat as much as he wants, and how good he feels afterwards. With so many great reasons for eating great he doesn’t want to stop! To make his, what may sound crazy, decision he also based it on his mind-blowing weight loss these past 30 days and the fact that he would love to lose more.
Soooo….. we came to a compromise and decided together to take off 2 days and start again. We are starting another whole30, actually a “whole20”. The reason for this is we will be starting Nov 2nd and ending Nov 22nd, the day before we leave for Tennessee to visit family for Thanksgiving. Perfect!
Okay, okay! I know you all want to know our results so here goes! I’ll start Brandon since he had the most obvious change.
Brandon started day 1 of our whole30 challenge weighing in at 180 pounds.
When he weighed himself this morning he weighed in at a staggering…(drumroll again please)…. 165 POUNDS! In 30 days Brandon not only gained muscle but lost 15 pounds! He wanted to make sure I mentioned that he had already lost 10 pounds over the course of a few months before whole30, so he has officially lost 25 pounds.
He went from a pant size of 38 to 40 to a size 32. His shirts were all extra-larges and now he is in a comfortable medium. His belt that used to be on the last hole is now on the first and is working hard to hold up his way-too-big pants. The pants I bought for him years ago that he has never been able to wear because they were painfully small are now too big on him. He sounds like me complaining that nothing fits him anymore.
Not only that, but he is sleeping like an oversized baby! This is a HUGE deal. Before whole30 Brandon took sleeping pills every night before he went to bed and frequently took them in the middle of the night as well. You would think all this medicine would have knocked him out but no- most nights he still slept horribly and woke up exhausted. NOT ANYMORE! Nowadays Brandon gets an average of 9 uninterrupted, medicine-free, baby-like hours of sleep and has enough energy to get through the day without an ounce of coffee. GOD IS GOOD! He even has left-over energy to play with the kids (even sometimes help me with my new overload of dishes) which was a rarity before.
Brandon has worked out 3 times a week for the past 30 days and it shows. After a little prodding he has even started working out in the mornings and LOVES it.
Most importantly, Brandon has been leading our whole family in studying the bible almost every day and has been studying the Word on his own as well.
He has a bible reading plan on his phone that gives him 4 bible passages to read every day and he has been keeping up with that on a daily basis. Together, we have prayed and are growing in the Lord together. Things are going great for Brandon and he is very thankful for it.
As for how great he looks he told me the other day, “I’m looking…WOW…I mean, I’m getting sexier every day!” That just about sums it up, doesn’t it?
As for me, I feel great.
Thankfully, I was already eating really well to begin with so this wasn’t too big of a change for me. The biggest, and best, change was my giving up of counting calories. I started my weight-loss journey in July of 2010 and since then have lost 57 pounds.
I lost the first 37 pounds by counting calories and it worked for me.
Until I hit a plateau. I was smaller, but not fit.
What did I do? I started eating paleo and the last 20 pounds fell off quickly.
But… I was still counting calories WHICH IS REALLY REALLY BAD! You cannot eat paleo and count calories and my friend Ashley had been telling me that for months. I finally listened (thanks Ashley) and I feel FREE. For these past 30 days I did not once count calories, I ate more than I have ever eaten before, I feel better than ever and I DIDN’T GAIN OR LOSE A POUND. I say that in bold because there are many of us who would be worried about not counting calories and then gaining, or even losing, weight. Let me tell you: THIS WORKS. Obviously you guys see what we eat and we eat A LOT and A LOT of fat.
I weigh the exact same now as I weighed when I started, which confirms to me that this is where my body wants to be. I truly believe that by eating paleo and whole30 your body finds where it WANTS to be and finally is able to be there. This is where I was MEANT to be and I love it! So obviously, this whole30 was not intended for me to lose weight, but to feel better along with my whole family. And I do!
I also was recently diagnosed with a gluten-sensitivity so eating paleo is really the only way to go for me. I have made a personal decision to not eat processed “gluten-free” foods just because they’re gluten free. I have chosen to eat foods that are naturally gluten free, which for me means: I eat paleo. And my insides are thankful for it.
I made a goal at the beginning of the month to exercise regularly during these 30 days and I can proudly say that I achieved this goal.
I did not OVER-WORKOUT, but I purposefully planned my workouts and I know I am stronger now for it. Every Monday and Friday- in the very wee hours of the morning- I have been doing TRX with my girls.
Not only is it fun and totally different than anything I’ve ever done, but it is making me have MASSIVE muscles! TRX is such a great workout and really helps me to focus in on one individual muscle at a time. I love that my muscles have become more compact and lean because of this. Every Tuesday and Thursday I have been working out with Lauren over at Swat Team NOLA in City Park. We go through a combination of free weights, abs, leg work, jump ropes, hoola hoops, ladders and much more. Not only is it fun, but it’s a great workout.
For the most part every Wednesday and Sunday I have been going to a yoga class for recovery. It’s so nice to stretch out my muscles and relax for an hour. I really look forward to these classes now. And the best part…I have also been running with my Sole2Soul sisters every Sunday evening.
We are a group of Christian women running together- training together- to run a 5k. We just ran our 5k on day 29 and it was SO MUCH FUN. Although I would have liked to run faster, I did beat my previous time and ran the 3.1 miles in 30 minutes so I’m happy with that.
A couple of times this month I ran hills with the girls which is super hard, but I think it helped to improve my 5k time so I am thankful for it.
As for my spiritual health…it’s still not where it should be but I am working towards it. I’m sure I always will be! I am going through the book of Daniel with a small group of wonderful, Godly women and am learning a lot. It’s funny how it happened to be Daniel that I’m studying when Daniel ate very differently from everyone else and glorified God in the process, and that’s what we’re doing. Pretty cool how God works these things out.
I have also been reading through, again, the book Respectable Sins. This is definitely a must read- which is why God made it that I am reading it TWICE. Evidently, I REALLY need to learn about my small, subtle sins and how ugly and big they are to God. I have some new goals set for our “whole20” to continue on what I started during our whole30. I pray that I keep growing in the Lord as I am hoping to.
Side note: I actually only figured out I had a gluten issue, and was later diagnosed by a doctor, because of changing my eating habits. When I stopped eating wheat I felt great not realizing I used to feel bad. It was something I had lived with for so long I didn’t realize I was living with constant stomach pain. When I ate, even a small amount, of wheat after going for a while without eating it, I FELT AWFUL.
My stomach would swell up, my back would hurt horribly, and I realized just how bad I used to feel and how wonderful I feel now. I went to the doctor who did blood work and confirmed that I am on the road to developing celiac’s disease and he highly recommended that I discontinue eating gluten from now on. Although this can be frustrating at times, I feel so good that it’s worth it to make these changes for my health…and my family’s health.
Speaking of my family, I recently had my children tested for celiac’s disease also with surprising results. Levi and Shiloh both have one gene to develop celiac’s disease sometime in their life. Jeremiah has both genes and is at a VERY HIGH RISK of developing celiac’s.
My doctor recommended they stay away from gluten, meaning our eating of paleo is not only good for them in general, but also DOCTOR RECCOMMENDED for their health. I couldn’t agree more.
So let’s get to their whole30 results:
Levi did great. Of course, he can’t talk- he’s 20 months- so he can’t complain, but if his eating habits are any proof of how much he has liked the food, HE LIKED THE FOOD.
He eats like a little piglet.
He only messed up once this month and again, since he can’t talk, I won’t hold it against him. In the church nursery he was accidentally given a few, and only a few, goldfish (I forgot to tell them not to) and his belly blew up.
He had a few enormous bowel movements, he screamed for 2 hours straight that evening, and he walked around all afternoon holding his belling saying “bo-bo”, then pooting and holding his behind repeating “bo-bo”. If it wasn’t so sad it would have been really funny. Obviously he has a gluten sensitivity that we are keeping an eye on. Besides that one day, he has done great and felt great all month. Way to go baby Levi!
Shiloh did wonderfully as well.
She also has had signs of a gluten-sensitivity but has done great all month. Normally her belly can grow to be very large and bloated, like me and Levi, but she hasn’t had that problem all month.
Shiloh’s main progress this month has been her quick growth of self-control. At the beginning of the month she was not thrilled about eating healthy and a few times told me how she wanted to eat bad.
She actually told a friend of mine, who is also her teacher at Alpha that, “One day, I’m going to eat BAD.” Too funny. She has definitely grown from this place.
She takes her own snack to church, her own meal to Alpha, her own cupcakes to birthday parties, her own food to friend’s houses, without any complaining. She even went to a friend’s house, helped them make cookies, and never once asked for one.
She was completely content with her apple and ham roll ups. She has definitely grown up before my eyes. She has been learning from me and Brandon more and more about the bible and the example that is set before her to follow. She is growing in the Lord and becoming a little lady like Ruth and Esther. She is also becoming a great helper to me in caring for Levi. She is like a little mommy and we both love it.
On day 30 she participated in her first ever duathlon….and finished in record time.
Really. Record time. She finished about 10 minutes after the last person before her finished. But she finished. Actually, we both finished (I ran with her for motivation).
And she is so proud. I AM SO PROUD. She went at her own pace, did what she went out there to do, and finished the race. Good job baby.
Last but not least there’s Jeremiah. Everyone did a great job. A GREAT job. But GOD. GOD did a great work in Jeremiah these past 30 days…in numerous ways. The most obvious way was that Jeremiah’s diabetes made an ENOURMOUS turn for the better.
His numbers are completely under control and they never have been before. They haven’t necessarily always been awful, but they’ve never been perfect. And now…they’re PERFECT. His numbers normally jump from low extremes to high extremes without any reason, and without anything we know to do about it. It’s been very frustrating, but supposedly that’s just been a part of having diabetes. Well, not anymore. Now, his numbers are PERFECT.
The week before our whole30 started we saw Jeremiah’s endocrinologist and these are some of the numbers we showed her: 214, 37, 117, 279, 411, 279, 36, 57, 26, 43, 139, 276, 235, 253, 53, 376, 411, 173, 124, 204.
Here are some numbers from our whole30: 121, 136, 121, 84, 78, 70, 128, 81, 141, 119, 133, 85, 117, 95, 128, 102, 107, 112, 88, 107, 102. I can keep going if you’d like!
I asked Jeremiah today if he has felt any difference in eating healthy compared to before and he had a list. He said his stomach used to hurt all the time and now it doesn’t. He said he used to feel bad when he went high or low and now he feels better and can concentrate better. He said he has more energy now than he did before and that he thinks he has gotten stronger in these past 30 days (I think so, too).He also goes to the restroom VERY frequently when his sugar is high and now he’s not rushing to the restroom like before.
I definitely agree that he has been able to focus better. When his sugar is high Jeremiah acts more like a child with an attention problem; with his blood sugar doing so well lately his schooling is going very well and he is remembering, and retaining, what he is learning much better than before.
I can’t fully put into words how amazing this transformation has been. Instead of feeling like this whole30 has put restrictions on us, I feel like we can BREATHE. I now KNOW without a doubt that Jeremiah’s body is working the best it can and that I am doing my job as his mom to keep it that way. We feel so beyond BLESSED that God led us to this natural way of eating, the way He intended it to be, and that it is having such an AMAZING effect on Jeremiah’s body. I wish we had known years ago that eating paleo has such a wonderful effect on diabetics, but at least now we can share with other parents of diabetics what we have learned, in hopes that their children can thrive as well as Jeremiah is now.
Like Shiloh, Jeremiah has also developed more self-control this past month. For example, every Tuesday at Alpha we have been taking “healthy” pizza to eat, since everyone else eats pizza. On the last Tuesday in our whole30, in the true spirit of the challenge, Jeremiah decided to make us his famous tuna salad for dinner- instead of the planned pizza. I was very proud of him for deciding to eat so completely different than his friends and not being embarrassed, like he would have been at the beginning of the month.
He also brings his own snacks to church (which the other kids are jealous of), his own cupcakes to parties, his own food to friend’s houses…without a word of complaint.
I’ve even caught him on numerous occasions explaining to his friend’s how wheat isn’t good for your body and how fruit and berries are much better for you than processed sugary foods.
He’s a funny, passionate kid. He trained this month for the duathlon with me and did a great job.
He ran half a mile, biked 2.25 miles, and then ran half a mile again… with his good friends Noah, Jonah and Riley. It was hard work but he did it and finished in the middle of the pack. His goal was to not finish last and he definitely met that goal.
He did an AWESOME job!
He also has been learning from Brandon and me about God’s word and it really has been sinking in. We have had numerous, deep conversations with him about biblical questions that he has and we’re seeing fruit from these discussions. The other day Jeremiah recited the Battle Hymn of the Republic at a networking breakfast with Brandon. After the meeting a man came up to him to let him know how much Jeremiah’s speech encouraged him. Jeremiah was able to have a long conversation with him about what he has been learning about Daniel and how Daniel was obedient to God even in the worst of circumstances. He talked with this man for 30 minutes, encouraged him, and ended his conversation by praying with him. It was only God.
Jeremiah is still just an 8 year old boy, but we are greatly encouraged as we see God molding him into a Godly young man. He is faster to feel the prodding of the Holy Spirit from being in the Word so often and deals more gently with his brother and sister than ever before. I am so proud that he is my son, and so thankful that God has trusted us to guide him to HIM.
So, we’re doing well. We’ve grown- some of us have shrunk- and we’re not done yet. We are excited to keep growing in the Lord as a “Whole Family” and continue on this journey that He has set before us. I am so blessed and in awe of the people God has placed strategically in our lives to encourage us, teach us, learn from us, and grow with us. This new season has been a welcome and fruitful time that we wouldn’t change for the world. THANK YOU for supporting us on our journey.