Wow, day 21! I can't believe we are nearing the end of our Whole30 Challenge! I figured it was time for an update, including photos, although photos really do not do justice to the changes we've noticed in our bodies.
I (Mandy) have seen significant changes in Brandon's appearance over the last few days, even since the I took these photos of Brandon below. I was checking him out (as I often do) from across the room the last night when we were at our fellowship gathering/potluck, and I couldn't help but notice how his face looks slimmer, specifically around the ears, as does his neck.
Brandon and our youngest (of five) children, Molly Jo.
I (Brandon) am amazed by the quality of sleep I'm getting. I feel so much more alert in the morning, no fog brain. I once had a perpetual hunger, and now I actually feel full for a while after I eat. I also don't feel as gassy and bloated as I once did (which is to say, I used to always feel gassy and bloated).
I (Mandy) feel like I've been really, really, really emotional and hormonal which has probably been one of the most difficult challenges of our diet change. I know food has a huge impact on our hormones, and all of that is getting worked out during this time. I'm sure many people fly through the Whole30 without ever feeling these things, but I have felt so, so down at times. It's been hard not to turn to food, but I have committed to ruling that out as a coping mechanism so I've found myself pacing the floors not knowing what to do! I've come to realize that, in the past, I usually turned to food for comfort and rest/relaxation rather resting in my Savior and turning to His peace. I would pop a few pieces of chocolate in my mouth or, during a really trying time, make myself a "mini" chocolate cake (which should have qualified as 3 or 4 servings) and down the whole warm, gooey, chocolatey thing. I would always find excuses to give myself little "pick me ups" when I was running errands- a Sonic slush, Chick-fil-a nuggets, a caramel frappucino..... I had no idea how often I comforted myself with food, and with clearing out that option left me feeling weird.
Food keeps the hands busy. It gives us something to do. It occupies us for a while, distracts us, and yes, even soothes us for a bit so that we can avoid the real issues.
I feel like another reason why I have been so emotional is that normal coping methods were gone so I felt even more sad. That sadness turned into feeling lonely and abandoned, even though that certainly wasn't true. Honestly, I'm still working through a lot of that right now.
I projected a lot of that onto God as well. I felt like He was distant (Which is not true- God is never distant. Jesus Christ is in me, and I am in Christ, and Christ is in the Father. We are never distant because, reality is, we are inseparable.), and I felt very unloved. During my sickness and detox, I felt like He had abandoned me. It shocks me to see how I projected my issues with food on my Heavenly Father. Just goes to show you how many issues food can cause in our life- even spiritual issues!
Physically, I'm feeling good. I'm sleeping very soundly. I no longer wake up feeling sluggish. I have been having some issues with my anemia these last couple days, but I'm pretty sure that's because I haven't felt very hungry so I've actually skipped some meals (whoops, bad I know). As a mom, it's easy for me to forget a meal. I might have a cup of coffee in the morning and trick my stomach into thinking I've actually eaten something. I get the kids dressed, start on chores, and then it's lunch time! I've been much better about breaking that habit since being on the Whole30, but being sick threw me off a bit.
I'm really excited about being able to wear certain clothes in my closet! I have a few pairs of jeans that were my favorite that had been tucked away indefinitely! There's about a dozen shirts I haven't been able to wear because I feel so uncomfortable in them. They are some of my favorite shirts (and the cutest in my wardrobe), and now I can wear them without feeling like a stuffed sausage! Yay!