Killing the Binge Beast

Last month Isaac and I were driving home from the beach and because road trips = junk food binges without guilt or consequences (right? Isn’t that a rule?), we loaded up on snacks at a gas station. I don’t do anything in moderation, so I giddily stuffed a sack full of salt and vinegar chips (2 bags), sour patch kids, pretzels, and a soda, all of which were consumed within 30 minutes of purchase. The girl can binge eat with the best of them.

Naturally I was still starving when we got home that night, so we ordered a pizza and I ate half of it, per usual. Had we had any chocolate in the house, I would have scarfed that down as an after dinner treat, but I had already demolished what was left of the baker’s chocolate in the pantry. Tragic.

See a problem here?

I did at about 10:30 that night when I realized what I was doing to my body, and my psyche. In bed, the guilt that washed over me was heavy and suffocating. It felt like I was trapped under a lead blanket, slowly pushing deeper and deeper into my lungs and stomach– or maybe it was the indigestion. I normally rationalize my junk food binges by telling myself “this one time isn’t going to kill me or affect my body”–and that is true. One binge isn’t going to kill you. But when that “one time” becomes a twice-a-week or an every weekend kind of thing, your body and mind start to suffer. Even if you eat ‘pretty healthy’ the other 4 or 5 days of the week.

I woke up the next morning, Monday, May 5th, and decided enough was enough. I needed to quit the vicious eating cycle that was affecting my mood, self-esteem, sleep, and the way my clothes were starting to fit, errr not fit. My moodiness was one of the biggest problems as far as I was concerned. It’s not like I was lashing out at people and making those around me miserable (I hope), but I just felt unstable on the inside. I’d be feeling great one moment, and then a few minutes later would be grumpy and annoyed for no reason at all, or so I thought. Spoiler alert: It has to do with what you’re eating. I did a few minutes of research online and came across a 30 day challenge called Whole30, go figure, and in my true “all or nothing” fashion, decided this was the diet/lifestyle change for me. In a nutshell, here is the Whole 30 diet:

Fast forward 30 days (today), and here I am amazed that 30 days has already gone by, and I completed the program successfully!

In 30 days I have cooked more than I have in the entire past year. I haven’t had a morsel of sugar, a sprig of grain, a sip of alcohol, a slice of cheese, one lab-created chemical or preservative. I haven’t counted a calorie, stepped on a scale, and haven’t worried about how much I’m eating. On Day 1, I was anxiously plotting my end of Whole30 meal– one that was sure to be filled with sugar and pasta and smothered in cheese. But sitting here now, I want nothing to do with that because I feel so good.

If a doctor handed you a little magic pill and said “take this every day”, and that magic pill made you feel AMAZING and operate at your full potential, would you stop taking it? Of course not!

That’s what eating clean and eating “whole30” has done for me. Why would I stop something that has drastically improved my quality of life, in a way that no diet, exercise, or other regime ever has?So without further adieu, here are my Whole 30 Results (sans the before/after body pictures because I don’t need photos of me in a bra and underwear circulating the internet):

RESULTS OF WHOLE30:

  • I’m sleeping so much better and not waking up during the night like I always have before. What a difference that makes!
  • About 3 weeks into Whole30, I started waking up without an alarm and feeling refreshed and ready to go. This is a complete change for me. Normally I lay in bed until the last possible second, and then rush to get ready for work, grumbling all the way. I’d skip breakfast (no time for that) and be starving by 11am, so I’d eat a frozen meal at work. Now, I wake up, make my bed, get ready, clean my bathroom, make a delicious breakfast, take care of the dog, get our lunches ready to go (they have already been prepped for the week so it’s quick), get online for a few minutes, catch up on some of my TV shows, and head to work by 8am. WHO IS THIS GIRL!?
  • No more sleepwalking!! Along with the better sleep, I haven’t had one sleepwalking incident since eating W30!
  • Mood is more stabilized, no 3:00 pm crashes or mid-day exhaustion. I feel great all day long.
  • For the first 2 weeks my anxiety was actually worse than normal, which I chalk up to detoxing. But now? It is great! I catch myself randomly thinking to myself throughout the day, ‘why do I feel so good? Why am I so happy? Nothing is even happening right now!”
  • Don’t have the bloated, uncomfortable feeling anymore
  • Asthma has improved, haven’t used my inhaler for weeks. That’s especially amazing considering the allergy season going on now
  • Weight loss– One of the Whole 30 Rules is that you aren’t allowed to weigh during the 30 days. The challenge is about reestablishing a healthy relationship with food, and the scale is not part of that. I get it now. For the first 2 weeks I wanted to weigh SO BAD. I could feel my clothes getting looser and just wanted to know what that number would be, I was begging for some validation! It’s a detrimental habit that many of us are in, and a number does not indicate how healthy a person is. That being said, it did feel good to get on the scale today to see that I’ve lost 9 pounds! Exercising was not a part of the past 30 days for me because I’ve been dealing with some achilles tendon injuries, so that’s even more impressive in my opinion. Also, 10 days into the diet, I had to have my bridesmaid dress for my sister’s wedding emergency altered the day before the wedding because it was falling off!! It was too tight just 10 days earlier. Here is a face comparison, after only 10 days of Whole30 eating:

photo (4)

 

  •  Energy– did I mention energy?! All day long. From 6am-10pm going at full steam.
  • Here’s one of the weirdest ones for me: I quit caffeine. I wasn’t trying to, actually, it just happened. About halfway through the challenge, I noticed that every time I drank my daily unsweetened iced tea, I would get extremely nauseated, shaky, and uncomfortable feeling. I asked some other Whole30’ers if that had happened to them, and they said they experienced something very similar.  So I stopped drinking it, and haven’t had caffeine in 2 weeks, and I don’t need it! I actually feel better without it!
  • Improved digestion. Not going to go too far into this one, but trust me, it’s good 🙂
  • I don’t have any sugar or carbohydrate cravings anymore– they are just completely non-existent
  • I am not hungry all the time like I was before. I used to eat a snack every 2 hours to keep me going. Now I eat 3 meals a day and am completely satisfied. I don’t even want an after dinner snack or dessert– WEIRD.
  • My tastebuds have changed. One of my favorite “treats” now is just steamed zucchini with nothing on it, the sweetness of the vegetable that I never noticed before is so satisfying and I eat it for every meal!
  • I feel a lot more relaxed and easy-going, especially with spontaneous plans. I think it’s because when you feel good, you are up for anything. My normal feelings of being too tired, too cranky, or too stomach achey to do last minute plans are not an issue anymore.

I honestly feel like I could keep going and going, but I’ll leave it at that. I’m a believer in the Whole30, and cant wait to see what a Whole60 and Whole 90 (with cheat days for special occasions) will do for me if Whole30 made me feel this good. My sister and cousin are doing it with me, and they are experiencing the same results. We love Whole30!!

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Some Links for More Info:

What is Whole30? Program Rules

Read the book that the creators of W30 wrote, it will totally change the way you view food and the standard American diet!

Frequently Asked Questions 

Testimonials (A-Z) 

PS this post was not sponsored, I just can’t stop gushing about how this book/diet has changed the way I eat…hopefully forever!

Sad. So go do a Whole30!

Sad. So go do a Whole30!

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21 thoughts on “Killing the Binge Beast

  1. It’s been years since you wrote this post, but I’m getting ready to start whole30 and found your post interesting. I’m particularly interested in the part about you not sleepwalking while eating clean. Is that still the case or did you start again? I go through spurts of sleepwalking but have been doing it every night recently and I am just so tired. The idea of not sleepwalking makes dietary changes worth it all on its own!

    • Hi Amber!
      I’m excited you’re getting ready to start the Whole30, it has been the best decision I’ve ever made. While this was several years ago, I still eat Whole30 style 90% of the time, and it has truly changed my life! The first round of Whole30 is hard, but stick with it. Even when you feel awful! It is SO worth it.

      Yes, it helped my sleepwalking drastically. Still to this day. When I eat a lot of sugar and junk, I sleepwalk and sleeptalk and do crazy things. When I don’t, it disappears. Incredible! I hope you have similar results. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions as you’re going through it– I’d love to help and support you in any way! 🙂

      Courtney

      • Do you have any suggestions for just getting started? I’m reading the book and starting to buy basic ingredients I am seeing in several recipes but I think my greatest fear is that I am going to be constantly starving because I have no foods ready to eat. I have 3 kids so preparing there food is exhausting all on its own.

  2. Pingback: Little Conversations: Bathroom Breaks and Satin Vests | The Other Courtney

  3. Since I just discovered your blog yesterday I guess I am wayyyy late to this party. Did the rest of your summer allow you keep on the Whole regimen?

    I’ve lost 25-30 lbs this year on a modified vegan diet. Modified by the fact that the vegan in my life (20 year old daughter) is away at college.

    Was wondering about the tag line on your masthead. So has the sleepwalking not returned? Interesting cause and effect. Makes sense.

  4. So happy to be doing this with you, all the way from AZ! Love you, my lettuce soul sister(cousin).

    • Me too beautiful girl! I love being able to talk about the super feminine, classy parts of this diet with you haha. I’m sooo proud of you. Also, it’s nice to have someone who you can share your mostly naked “fat pics” with and have no shame! lol. Love you!!

  5. That sounds pretty amazing! Unfortunately, being vegan, their non-animal protein options are pretty slim. I find it odd that you’re not supposed to have soy powder but whey powder is okay…not sure where that logic comes from?

    I did try and avoid sugar and overeating (and processed foods) for a couple weeks a few weeks ago and I definitely felt better…and then fell into the traps again. Maybe 30 days is long enough to actually keep the habits?

    • That’s true, it would be a lot more difficult being vegan! I have read of people doing vegetarian/vegan versions of it, but I’m not sure I’d be up for that. Also, I don’t think you can have whey powder, where did you see that?

      The traps are easy to fall into, I think that is why they chose 30 days. It’s enough time to see if it’s actually helping your body, and isn’t TOO crazy long. I’m still going, on day 35 now! I am going to go until this no longer feels like a “diet” in my mind, it’s just the way I eat. Ya know? I know it can take time for something to become a true habit, so working towards that. I think I’m getting close! I craved zucchini the other day, so we are on our way lol.

      How long have you been vegan?

      • If you check out the “Shopping list for Vegetarians and Vegans” in their downloads section, it’s in there. I guess they modified it so that the non-meat-eaters can join in and still get protein. Looking at that shopping list it seems…doable but…very very hard.

        Awesome for you! I commend you for sticking it out until it becomes habit. I keep telling myself I’m going to do it…right after this stressful life change finishes. I hope I actually do this time.

        I have been vegan for 1.5 years now! And I still love it 🙂

  6. This sounds amazing! I am going to have to check it out! Maybe I’ll start it when I move in a few weeks – I know I’ll need something to distract me and keep me from sabotoging myself with food

    • Awesome, I hope you do! I am the same way– I will turn to food if I’m feeling sad, angry, tired, stressed, really anything haha. Even happy! It’s just such a go-to. This diet has completely changed that. For the first few weeks when I’d be really stressed at work all the sudden my brain would say, “I need chocolate.” It was SO interesting to notice that, because I never did before. I’d just get up, like a zombie, go get some chocolate from the candy drawer at work, and go back to my desk. I needed this intervention!

      I hope moving goes well! We are moving too, it’s so much work. Hope it all goes smoothly for ya!

  7. OK lady, first off I’m so happy for you! Your results sound (and look!) amazing, and it’s always SO GOOD to find a lifestyle choice that fits like a last-minute-altered-bridesmaid’s-dress!

    Now, here are my questions:

    1. Did Isaac do it with you? My biggest hurdle would be having to eat different food than J, and not be too tempted by what he’s having, because there’s no way he’ll ever try this.

    2. After the 30 days are over, if you do have some sugar or cheese or wine or whatnot, does it undo all the good effects? Because I think I might like to reset my taste buds and get more energy, but I simply cannot look forward to a life without wine and cheese and pasta. I’m just too Italian (again, by marriage!) for that.

    • Thanks Jennie!! It’s been so great, I feel like I no longer am under the evil grasp of food. How silly to ever feel like that, but I totally did. I felt like a garbage disposal just eating all the time.

      1. Isaac did do parts of it with me, but he would still have bread and random treats when he wanted them. On Sunday’s I would prep our lunches for the entire week, as well as have some breakfasts/quick dinners ready to go. So every day he would eat his whole30 lunch, and sometimes for dinner too. He was great about it and really enjoyed all the food, except this one beef brisket that I really jacked up. But he still ate it for a few days haha. As far as temptations go, it really wasn’t bad! I sat there eating veggies and a chicken burger while he ate my FAVORITE pizza in front of me, and it was totally fine. After a few days of not eating sugar/bread/dairy, the cravings and temptations went away. I think because it is SO strict and so “all or nothing”, it’s not hard to just look at something and say “I can’t have that” as opposed to a calorie counting program where you say “I can have that, I just need to make sure I don’t go over in my calories for the day!” And then I would eat a whole pizza…haha

      2. So after 30 days there is a re-entry process that the website outlines to get you back to eating your normal diet…and people generally decide what they do and don’t want to add back in based on how they’re feeling. Some people add back cheese and yogurt, and not bread. And some add grains back in, but leave off the dairy. And some add it all back in. Just depends on the person! I think it’s their (the creators) hope that you learn about your body, and what makes it thrive vs just exist. And you redefine your relationship with food, and healthy eating. So at the end I think a lot of people successfully add foods back in and just don’t go CRAZY with them anymore.

      You’ll have to let me know if you try i! 🙂

  8. As I sit here eating my body weight in sugary treats, I feel somewhat guilty and remorseful…ok, make that VERY guilty and remorseful (and a little bit disgusted with myself). Well done you for going the full thirty days! 🙂

    • Hahaha hey it’s okay, we all need to binge eat sugary treats sometimes!! You read what I had the day before I started this diet! 😀 And thank you, still going and on day 35 because I feel too good to stop! We’ll see how long this lasts haha

  9. Courtney!  This is SO great!  So glad you have had such great results! I would like to try it,…when I get back from the beach

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