Taking a Step

img_20170215_085814-1Pictured Above: December 2016 (left) and February 2017 (right) post-Whole30

Hey All,

I mentioned the other day in my Mom of 2 post that I was doing a round of Whole30. Basically, the premise of a whole30 is to eliminate foods that are triggers for inflammation, digestive issues, pain issues,unhealthy eating habits, and so on. You can read more about it here. I first heard about Whole30 two years ago when my mom mentioned that she would like to try a round. So I agreed.

At that time I was 9 months postpartum from the birth of my daughter. Completing a round was tough, but rewarding. I did another round 3 months later  because I felt so good. Many of you know or have read on here that I suffered from severe postpartum anxiety after my first pregnancy. The Whole30 really helped calm my anxiety, get my gut health back on track, and lose some extra weight (20 lbs total). Over the last two plus years I have done a few rounds of whole30 or shorter “mini rounds” whenever I felt the need to kick start my healthy habits.

Fast forward to pregnancy with my son I didn’t suffer from anxiety as much, but I really didn’t practice my healthy eating habits either. (I consumed a milkshake a day which for me was triggering digestive issues and pain). Over the past 9 months since Max was born I have been learning how to be a mom to 2 beautiful kids, getting back into my freelance writing and editing, bought a new house and moved in! With all of those wonderful events, I let my eating habits slide out of control. I went from never drinking soda to choosing that first. I usually avoid bread and cakes, but I would find myself overeating or snacking ALL day instead of just making a decent meal.

I am not blaming myself or saying “woe is me” because I was busy keeping my babies happy and healthy. The truth is that is not enough. My husband always encourages me to get out of the house, write, and just do things that make me happy. I am happy taking care of my little ones, but I want to show them that Mommy is strong. That I treat my body well by eating right and exercising (okayyy, I’m still working on that part) and treating my mind right by reading, studying, and pursuing my passion to write. I want my children to be happy in mind, body, and spirit. To me, this starts with FEELING good. So, I came back around to another round whole30.

My mom did the January 2017 whole30 with me and it helped to have a team mate. Together, we learned to cook some wonderful new recipes (Looking at you Chicken Chowder, pg 336 from The Whole30 book by Melissa Hartwig). This is an amazing non-scale victory (NSV) because before Whole30 I would have never, ever tried something like chowder and I LOVED it.

I struggled with this round emotionally. I didn’t realize how much of a hold that my eating habits had over me. There were times over the 30 day period that I cried and wanted to quit because I felt sad. I did realize though that it wasn’t healthy to be ruled my cravings and sugar like that. I wanted to use food to comfort myself and that is exactly what the Whole30 program wants to help you move away from. So I stuck it out. The sense of accomplishment, the NSV’s including less headaches, shinier hair, more confidence, and losing 10 lbs* was worth it.

The  successful completion of whole30 led me to signing our family up for the Y (shout out to my husband who has been going to the gym almost every day for 7 weeks), starting a planner, meal planning, continuing with a family budget, and making a promise to myself to write more often. I would use the excuse that the kids “need” me, but right now as I type Max is playing with toys at my feet and Sophia is watching an episode of Daniel Tiger. I have to make the time where I can spare it.

So here it is, last night I was scrolling Facebook and I saw a picture (Me in the white shirt) from a Christmas party. I laughed because I was wearing the same PJ pants. I had to do a side by side because I knew just looking at that first picture there was a huge change from December. The second picture says so much more to me than weight lost. I am standing up taller, I feel prouder, and I know I am healthier than I was before.

It is not that every day is easy now. There are some days where I will decide that pretzels are an essential food group and I am not going to get out of my pajama, but I’m going to keep trying to better myself. I’m not saying that the Whole30 is for everybody or that everyone needs to change their lifestyle, but as a self-proclaimed “lazy” girl  I want to show my family that you can still enjoy Gilmore Girl marathons and dessert without giving up a strong, healthy lifestyle.

xo AT

*The Whole30 program is NOT  a weight loss program, but for someone with  diplegic cerebral palsy  (read: mostly affects my legs) maintaining a healthy weight is essential. This helps me avoid joint pain, problems with walking, and even breathing. I’ve written more about my life with CP here.


Milk Was A Bad Choice

Can you guess that movie?!

One of the interesting things about pregnancy is how it changes your body. Now, obviously I have gained weight and grown a large bump to accommodate the ever-growing baby bug, but its the other things people don’t mention. The foods! I know I have heard people say, “Oh, I had so many weird cravings” or “I couldn’t even look at Chinese food or I felt sick.” None of that really happened to me (so far). What has  happened is that my taste buds changed around and things I used to LOVE to eat, just taste wrong and sometimes make me sick. I almost cried the first time I ate bacon and it just tasted wrong. It smelled delicious, looked delicious and I wanted to eat it, but it didn’t taste right. Neither did chocolate chip cookies. It was as if my body was teasing me and telling me to eat things it knew I wouldn’t like. The saddest thing for me and the “aversion” that is the worst, by far, is milk. 

For anyone who knows me, you know I love milk. I always drink it and have never had any issues. These days I still LOVE milk, but more than a sip makes me sick. It’s so disheartening when I would like to have a glass of milk with breakfast or in my cereal and I can’t. Last night, I decided to throw caution to the wind (very adventurous, right?) and had maybe 4 ounces of milk with my cake. (Richie and I made cakeeee…it was awesome!). Well, I thought I had won, but today I feel awful. My stomach is sick and I just want to lay down. Milk was most definitely a bad choice.

The point of that silly story is that you never know how pregnancy will change your daily life until you are experiencing it. I had lots of the normal symptoms: morning sickness, lack of energy, random crying jags, but there is so much more. And its not all bad things either, the feeling of amazement when we saw our girl on the ultrasound for the first time and realized there actually was a baby in there! The tears of joy when the doctor announced that we were having a little girl and the shared moment of indescribable happiness between Richie and I. Every little kick and flip I feel is like a victory dance. She’s here and she’s growing and she’s perfect. Last night, Richie and I were getting settled in for the night and he rested his hand on my bump. She must have liked it because she began to kick and spin so much that Richie could feel her. It was one of those perfect moments when we were all connected. And no one can every truly explain these feelings to you, even if they had the words to try.

I’m not going to say I will never complain because, let’s face it, growing a human is tough and sometimes its really hard to do, but I will try to remember to marvel at the experience I’m going through even when it gets really weird, scary or gross. I will never get these moments back and I really won’t drink milk again…maybe.