Search for a Whole-y Cure: Part II — The First 15 Days

 

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“I hate this. I hate this. I hate this. I want to be done. I’m hungry ALL THE TIME and I’m over the no carbs. I mean…at this point, oatmeal looks to me like what I imagine crack looks like to a junkie. OATMEAL. Ugh. Day 9. Shit on a stick…there are still so many days left.”

Yup. That was my desperate message to my dear friend on Day 9.

I’ve decided to skip the gentle coaxing and just be real about what the first two weeks were really like for me. It looked a lot like this:

Day 1: This is awesome. I love healthy food. I should’ve done this ages ago.

Day 3: I’m soooooo hungry.

Day 6: I’m soooooo tired. Hu? Sorry, I think I dozed off there for a moment.

Day 9: Worst. Day. Ever. I’m a freaking adult. If I want a goddamned piece of toast, I should have it. If I want a glass of wine, well hell’s bells—it’s not illegal! This is soooooo stupid!

Day 11: Whoa. I could run…like…foooooorrrrreeeeevvvveeerrrr!

Day 13: MY WEDDING RINGS FIT AGAIN!!!

Day 15: Food? Meh.

So, in fifteen days of squeaky clean eating I learned a few things. Most significant was the indisputable realization that I was totally and completely— although unconsciously, addicted to sugar. Before I began this program I would’ve told you, “I probably eat too much sugar, but certainly far less than the average American— for the most part I eat real food, cooked at home, and “treats” are occasional.

Bahahahaha! (Hold on…I can’t stop…laughing…) Can you say DENIAL?

Those nine days of detox were ROUGH.  And proof of the reality I failed to recognize. Now that I’m on the other side (writing this post on day 20), I know what real hunger feels like. And guess what? It’s not anything like the impatient screaming NEED for sugar (in any/every form—be it something as obvious as chocolate, or a more deceptive craving for oatmeal, granola, cereal, pasta, rice, beans, or beer) that I experienced so often before taking on this little experiment. When I’m really hungry I want to be satiated. Which means, I want real food. I look at chips, cookies, crackers, bread, candy, a string cheese, a yogurt cup, etc. and I see…”not good enough”. Because those foods aren’t going to make the hunger go away like real food will. “Give me eggs, a salad the size of a small country, or a solid pound of perfectly grilled salmon—maybe all three a the same time.” That is what by brain screams these days.

By day 15 my body was responding to the major dietary changes—nails growing long and strong, clothes fitting again, and when the alarm goes off in the morning I no longer curse the universe, my children, OR the idiot who decided we should do anything before 8am.

So…what about the hives—the impetus for this whole endeavor? Let’s take a look…

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Hives on trunk after run in April 2015.
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Hives on trunk after run on Day 15 of Whole30 program.
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Hives on back after run in April 2015.
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Hives on back after run on Day 15 of Whole30 program.

Okay, so now that you’ve inspected my crummy pictures, I’ll confirm your suspicions. The hives are noticeably reduced but obviously still there.

I checked in with my Naturopath at the two week point. She adjusted my supplements as I was still showing signs/symptoms of yeast overgrowth in my gut. I’ll be on the new herbs for a month. I am encouraged by the results shown in the above photos. Any improvement is progress. What will another 15 days bring? Continued improvement, I hope.

I’m not going to pretend that two weeks into this some kind of magic transformation has occurred. It’s still a lot of work to eat 100% compliant with the program. It takes prep, organization, and when I’m tired and not feeling like putting in effort, it’s hard to cook instead of getting carry out. Wine still beckons me like some mystic siren singing a sailor unto death on the rocky shore. Thanks to my practice ignoring the Head Wench, I’ve learned to tune out sneaky bitches.

The idea of reintroduction (begins on day 31—each food is systematically added back in) of the foods I’ve cut out makes me both excited and nervous. Excited to enjoy some of my favorites again—a smathering of sharp, tangy cheese across a herbed cracker and paired with a bold cabernet.  (Hold on…need to refocus…) Yes, that will be nice—I hope. I’m a little nervous some foods will be culprits in the criminal investigation of my health issues—a relief to know and also incredibly sad for a self-described foodie. Only time will tell.

In the mean time, I’m learning—I can maintain commitments I make to myself. I can say no. I have far more control over how I feel than I previously knew.

I can do this.   *You’re being cyber high-five’d right now.*