If you read my Epic February post, then you already know that my husband and I have taken on some pretty intense challenges for the month of February. Here’s a little update on how we’re doing, and what we’re learning… It’s Day 15.
1. Whole30 – We have been really surprised by how easy this Whole30 has been. Our original Whole30 was a much bigger transition for us, but this has been almost identical to how we usually eat anyway. When we’re not on a Whole30, we will occasionally splurge on some corn chips or a little sugar, and we aren’t QUITE as careful about an added preservative here and there on most days, but not on a Whole30! It is really good to test your self-discipline every now and then… and to get back into the habit of setting higher food standards.
2. The 21-Day Sugar Detox (level 3) – This challenge has been much more difficult than the Whole30. It’s our first sugar detox, so we really did not know what to expect. Leaving the fruit and sweet potatoes off the menu has definitely been an adjustment, but it’s been a VERY GOOD ONE. I knew before we started the month that I had some serious sugar issues… possibly some insulin resistance. I could even tell that my leptin signaling was off (I would feel full before starting to eat a meal, and then half-way through the meal, I would feel as though I were about to starve!). I was having crazy blood sugar crashes every day, which lead to mood swings, exhaustion, and cravings for more sugar. It was turning into a nasty cycle, so something had to give. I can definitely tell that I am more “on-track” now. Loving this new-found energy!
3. The Sleep Challenge – I expected this part of our February goals to be the toughest, but it really has not been too difficult at all! The goal is to get at least 9 hours of sleep each night, and to make sure we’re asleep by 10 PM. We have done really well! My husband and I are night-owls, so this has definitely forced us to apply some self-discipline. Shutting down the computers and cell phones at 9:00 helps alot. When we take some time to get ready for bed and just relax, and being asleep by 10 really isn’t that hard!
The best part of the sleep challenge has been how much better we feel the following morning. It was very common for us to wake up feeling drained and somewhat emotional before we started this challenge. Now we rise with energy, and we’re ready to take on the day! I can also tell that I respond to stress MUCH better when I’ve had more sleep. Things don’t bother me as much, or as quickly.
What a difference a few more Z’s make!
4. Fitness – The first week of February, I did great in this department. My goal is to work out 3-4 times each week, and work toward 10 consecutive pull-ups. I did great the first week, but not so great this past week. Unfortunately, almost every day this past week was so busy that I would have had to bust up my sleep goals in order to accomplish my fitness goals… yeah, it was a CRAZY week. Thankfully, this week is much more free, so I’ve have plenty of time to make up for my workouts! I’m still at only 4 pull-ups, so I’m hoping I can crank out some more as I continue my weight training!
I am going to admit here that the combination of Whole30 + The 21-Day Sugar Detox has been a little tough. I don’t complain much because I believe anything worth having is worth some sacrifice, but limiting our diet to meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, has been very challenging. It’s been tough to come up with snack ideas (other than too many nuts), but we’ve managed. And now I know that we were way too dependent on fruits for our snacks!
This past weekend we took a trip to visit some of our best friends, and it was definitely a downer to not go full-force into celebration mode! I didn’t realize how much we use FOOD to celebrate good times!
We have also come to realize how steeped we were in the “after-dinner-sweet-treat” habit. Every single night after we eat, my husband and I seriously crave something sweet – even a slice of apple would be nice! We are very excited about the thought of breaking this habit, and being able to just be DONE after dinner.
Yep… there is an ugly side to this month. Here it is: I am craving chocolate like nobody’s business. I can’t think of many things I wouldn’t do for a huge hunk of 85% right now. Seriously… I want chocolate. Bad. So bad, it hurts. I get mad when I see others eating it. And if I smell it, I feel ready to fly into a tail-spin. See? I told you it was ugly… I’m glad to be breaking this huge addiction.
So there you go… overall, we’re really enjoying our February CLEANSE! I can’t wait to see what our complete results will be after the next 15 days! We’re only half-way there!