Post #4 – Life on the Whole30, Day 11

Dear Reader:

Today there were real glimmers of hope in an otherwise same-old-same-old day on the Whole30.  I’ve got to be honest: this Whole30 thing is getting old!  Today was day 11 and it feels as if each and every day crawls by at a snail’s pace.  It’s not like I’m ready to wave the white flag, throw up my hands and surrender, but this is really wearing on me.  While my experience remains basically the same as last week, there have been two major changes: one welcomed and one not so welcomed.

Before I started the Whole30, I read each and every bad thing listed (that I would supposedly go through the first two weeks) to my husband and asked for his patience in advance. I am happy to report that 95% of those issues have not been my issues. Thankfully, I have yet to suffer from mood swings (read “hanger”) or any of the other maladies listed in the book (head-aches, body-aches, feeling like I have a hang-over, etc.).

However, I have felt utterly and totally bowled over with exhaustion!  My energy levels, which are usually sky high, have barely gotten off the ground.  I haven’t really feel like myself at all.  It’s odd.

Until yesterday!

Most days since I started this I’d wake up, roll over and go back to sleep, snooze off and on for roughly an hour, maybe 90 mins, then drag myself out of  bed and stumble around as I got dressed for the day.  And by dressed, I mean putting on sweats or throwing a sweatshirt over my t-shirt and remaining in my flannel jams most of the day.  This is NOT normal for me.  Ok, sometimes I do live in sweats or yoga pants, but the not being able to wake up and stumbling around part is WAY out of character.  Plus, normally I tend to get things done every day.

I have struggled to feel motivated to do anything, be it get dressed, eat breakfast, go to yoga, run the vacuum, do the laundry, go to the grocery – – you get the picture.  NO MOTIVATION.  NO ENERGY.  NO DRIVE.   This is not the best situation for a happy state-of-mind.  It’s had me feeling rather down in the dumps.  One night I totally fell apart and cried like a baby because I haven’t had any real appetite and nothing has appealed to me. The word depressed has crossed my mind more than a few times.

Today, however, it was as if a light switch went off.  It was the second day I was able to wake up with relative ease.  I even got dressed in real clothes.  Like, I actually WANTED to get dressed in real clothes.  SCORE!!

Yesterday I completed most of my to-do list, which consisted of household chores such as cleaning the first floor, changing out winter linens for spring, and putting away all the Easter decorations I took down and gathered on the dining room table over a week ago and then promptly ignored.  The annoying thing is that while these chores might normally take me half a day, yesterday they took the ENTIRE day!  I must have sat down half a dozen times, if I sat down once, just to rest.  Some times for an hour.

Today was much better.  Still not getting up super early, but I woke easily and got ready for the day.  By 9AM I had made the bed, gotten dressed, done a few kitchen chores and was ready for a grocery run.  After returning with a bounty of delicious whole foods, my youngest and I put on an old Mary Chapin Carpenter CD, cranked up the volume, and did (what the millennials call) “meal prep”.  We had such a great time together!  All day I felt up-beat and eager to go.  I haven’t felt the need to rest.  Not once.

After a quick trip into the city, I finished up my tasks and made vegan salted chocolate chip cookies for No. 3 and gluten-free (also super low carb) pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for my guy – – all from scratch, which is the way I roll.  Sadly, I can have neither of those until May 2nd, but who’s counting?  Really.

I am so grateful for the energy I have felt these past two days.  It’s been like a ray of sunshine.  It’s hard to explain what it was like the previous nine days.  Feeling flat.  Absolutely no energy.  None what-so-ever.

To illustrate my point, Saturday I drove No.3 to Philly to attend an accepted students day event at one of the schools to which she applied.  We left at 5:45 AM.  I packed bananas, apples, nuts, and an RX bar, but I failed to pack anything else that was Whole30 approved thinking: “This is Philly.  Super hip.  Cutting edge.  Vegan restaurants.  They’ll have something easy for me to grab within the vicinity of the school.”  NOT!  I momentarily forgot that vegan does not = Whole30.  UGH!

The food offered for lunch at the school was carb-based – – not a big surprise.  The vegan restaurant down the street was also carb based and offered fake meat options, which are not allowed on the program because they are processed.  The only thing Whole30 approved on the menu were sweet potato fries.  The other options close by, outside of fast food, were two restaurants, each with a pricey menu and the inevitable wait for a table, wait to order, and wait for the food to arrive, etc.  I didn’t have time for that because we were on a schedule with the school program that day.

So, for the entire 24 hour period, I ate an order (and it was not a very big one) of sweet potato fries and two apples and one banana and one RX bar – – and more nuts than anyone should consume in one day.  (Plus my first almond milk latte from Starbucks, ending my coffee drought, which turned out to be the highlight of my entire week!)

The drive back should take roughly two hours and 15 mins, without much traffic.  We were less than an hour from home when I suddenly became so utterly tired I could not keep my eyes open.  It was scary.  Seriously.  Like a blanket of exhaustion covered me completely.  And No. 3 doesn’t have her driver’s license yet.  (Don’t ask.)  So I pulled over to shut my eyes for maybe 20 mins, and 90 minutes later I woke up in a fog of confusion and horror at the time! That, coupled with day after day after day of not being able to complete the most menial of tasks, had me like WTAF???????

BUT today was a good day, as was yesterday.  No fatigue/exhaustion.  Also, I’m feeling pretty upbeat!  Seems like I might be on the up-swing here.  Don’t want to jinx myself, but things could be looking up.

The other change, but not for the good, has been pretty persistent stomach issues.  This is my ONE AND ONLY low for yesterday and today.  It started Sunday, which I basically spent lying around on the couch with a heating pad on my belly.  I was not nauseated, but my belly ached severely all day and I felt like crude.  It has remained an issue ever since, but to varying degrees.  Kinda comes and goes and  right now it’s nothing I can’t handle, but it is annoying and sometimes slows me down a bit.  The book tells me this too shall pass, so I won’t let it get get the best of me.  Apparently, it is possible I have been consuming far more nuts than is advisable, so they are off my list for a while.

As I round the corner of my second full week on the Whole30, I am feeling my highs today well outweigh my lows.

  • I am back to feeling more like my old self.  I have motivation again for tasks, and not just my day-to-day tasks but projects.
  • I made it through the entire day today without once feeling as if I needed to sit on the couch and veg.
  • No.3 and I enjoyed some really nice quality time in the kitchen, which is not always, maybe even rarely, the case.
  • I enjoyed another almond milk latte, even experimenting on my own to make it at home as good as Starbucks does.
  • Today was the first day in a really really long time that it wasn’t cold, or even chilly.  And tomorrow and Saturday it’s going to be even warmer!  Such great news for this southern gal.

Here’s hoping all is well with you and, if you live anywhere north of Philly, that you are able to be out and about enjoying these first few days of real spring weather.  Please feel free to ping me with any questions, and if you have tried the Whole30, I would certainly love to hear about your experience.

Until next time…

E.M.

 

Author: Elinor May

Southern expat, formerly in New England, now living in NEPA/Mid-lifer/Mother of three/Divorced/Widowed/Third time's the charm! You can check out my Instagram: instagram.com/elinor_may_/

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