Why Dieting Doesn’t Usually Work

I thought this was an interesting bit of science related to dieting. I think that’s one of the things I really liked about the Whole30. The focus on goals other than weight loss, and not counting calories… eating whole foods… just a better overall approach to dieting.

“Even after you’ve kept the weight off for as long as seven years, your brain keeps trying to make you gain it back. If that weight loss had been due to a long famine, that would be a sensible response. In our modern world of drive-thru burgers, it’s not working out so well for many of us. That difference between our ancestral past and our abundant present is the reason that Dr. Yoni Freedhoff of the University of Ottawa would like to take some of his patients back to a time when food was less available, and it’s also the reason that changing the food environment is really going to be the most effective solution to obesity.”


Whole 30 | Food Log | 30 Day Round Up

I know it’s been a few days since my last confession post, and I was on Day 29 the last time we last talked. So, you might be wondering, how was Day 30? And how are things now? Did you enjoy the thing? Did you lose weight? Have you started adding foods back in? How do you feel?

Confession Booth
confessionI have some news for everyone. It seems my final few hours of the Whole30 were not entirely successful. Now, I feel that I have a good reason for that (see dinner Day 30 below), so I won’t be mad at myself. However, for anyone who feels I should have been perfect for all 30 days… I want you to know… I had like 4 pieces of gum over those 30 days too. Because breath. And I ate steak and veggies at Chipotle at least twice, even though they are both cooked in soy oil. I know we are supposed to aim for perfect because it’s only 30 days. Well, I did my best. Hopefully this isn’t demotivating to anyone else. I am not quite perfect. But I have a good sense of humor and I can be a good listener if I feel like it.

Final(ish) Weigh In? Probably Friday.
Well, here’s the situation. Shark week started in my uterus last Wednesday, and I haven’t really felt right since. I feel bloated, uncomfortable, not sleeping well, the whole nine hells. So even though it is technically over, I have decided in order to get a more accurate idea of how I feel, how much weight was lost, etc. I am going to wait for a couple more days. Hopefully today is the last day and I will have a better sense by the end of the week. I think I will do the final weigh in on Friday for the first month. Since we are still going, I will probably keep weighing in, but may not share the results unless you are dying to know.

Results for Whole30 Group
As you may know, I started this adventure with Becky, Melissa, Shannon, and Tracy. Each of them have decided to stick with the program for awhile longer. Becky and I plan to keep doing this till the May 5K run and Century Cycling ride challenge is over. Here’s what I have heard from the others at last report:

  • Becky reports more energy, and focus. She’s lost some weight, not a lot.
  • Melissa has added some exercise to her program. She’s doing the T25 workout. She’s adding a breakfast shakeology, and staying Whole30 compliant for her lunches and dinners.
  • Shannon says he pretty much eats this way all the time, so it’s really not much different for him. But he is cutting out some sugar and sodas and would like to keep doing that for awhile.
  • Tracy says she may have actually gained some weight on the program. She’s pretty thin, so she might be actually building muscle. Or she’s doing it wrong, or God hates her. She still seems excited to continue with the program.

Overall Response to Whole 30… So Far
In general, I would say this has been a good experience. And I intend to ‘keep on keeping on’ as they said in whatever year that was they talked like that. I had some Day 1 goals, some of which are still in progress. But so far, my main take aways have been:

  • Faster recovery time after workouts. Much faster.
  • Less pain in joints overall – even bunion, particularly after exercise
  • More energy throughout the day. Noticed mostly in the evenings after my hour plus drive home
  • Modest weight loss? Don’t have the final number yet, but I am guessing in the range of 5-10 pounds.
  • Fewer sugar cravings throughout the day, though I still think about grabbing a diet coke when I see one. Or even a regular coke.

Breakfast | Eggs, sweet potato, sausage, fruit
I stayed home because I wasn’t feeling well (cramps), so I had time to make this delicious breakfast.

Lunch | Leftover sirloin, veggies, guacamole, fruit
Leftovers. Never a favorite, but at least it was alright. I ate late to try and help stave off hunger at the upcoming work party.

Dinner | The middle of a couple roast beef sandwiches followed by breakdown to eating whatever they had. Two drinks.
I know, I know. None of this is whole30 approved. This was my very last meal of the fast, and I should have probably just not eaten. I had some Macadamia nuts before going, and a late lunch, but this was a very special occasion for my place of employment. It was an opening of a retrospective on work our studio has produced since it came to be. I took a few photos so you can see what sort of event I am talking about.

A very well attended event. You can see why someone might find this a special occasion and would partake in an adult beverage.

A very well attended event with lots of fancy types. Doesn’t it make you want a drink? The drinks were free. Just so you know.

I really thought there would be something I could eat legally at the party. Maybe some veggies without cheese all over them… or a sandwich center without a dairy sauce. But, no such luck. So, I ate illegally. I did, however, knowingly have the two vodka drinks. I had Tito’s vodka, soda water, and a splash of cranberry juice. I wanted the drinks, and even though I could have said “no,” I really felt like I wanted to have them for this occasion.

Some of the food I ate. Weird sandwich. Curry chip. Tomato soup in a glass.

Some of the food I ate. Weird sandwich. Curry chip. Tomato soup in a glass.

SO, day 30, final hours… a bust. But they tell you to have no guilt. If you go “off-road” enjoy it. You should neither use food to reward — nor punish — yourself. So, I enjoyed those drinks. The food, not so much. Anyway, call me a failure and send me to hell, but I did what I felt was right for me for this occasion. Life happens, ya know? 🙂

Quote of the Day

When I buy cookies I eat just four and throw the rest away. But first I spray them with Raid so I won’t dig them out of the garbage later. Be careful, though, because that Raid really doesn’t taste that bad. ~Janette Barber






I’ll post the follow up final sometime late this week or next. TaTaForNow!

Whole 30 | Food Log | Day 29

Well yesterday is over. And we are moving on to today… which is the end of the beginning (Day 30 of ?). I am a little bummed that I’ll be riding the cotton pony (sorry fellas) for my last day. I guess I will have to do the weighing and measuring a couple days after the final day, otherwise it won’t show apples to apples progress. Anyway, tonight is a big event for work, so I have to dress up and be cheery through it anyway. I’ll just go bloated.

That’s new my motto.

I’ll just go bloated.

Breakfast | 2 softboiled eggs, sweet potato, mango
No, I wasn’t planning on having a “soft” boiled egg for breakfast. Yes, I originally had 3, but one did not survive the shelling. So, that is what I ended up with. It’s clear that we encountered a batch of the rare “boil resistant” brown eggs. Or, maybe I don’t know how to boil an egg. There seem to be multiple ways, but the way that I am now planning to stick to is this one from Martha Stewart. If I get another soft boiled variety, I may never eat a hard boiled egg again. Which means Easter will really suck. No candy. No eggs. Only pain.

Lunch | Chipotle bowl.
I still love Chipotle. Part of me does miss that rice though. Yummy butter, lime, cilantro rice. I will reintroduce that sometime to see if it messes me up.

Dinner | 4-5oz. Sirloin, fajita veggies, guacamole, sweet potato, and mango.
This is a standard meal for me. Kind of like a fajita with no silly corn or flour shell. I enjoyed it last night. Abby enjoyed watching me eat it all, I think.

Sirloin (5oz ish), peppers and onions, guacamole, sweet potato, mango (not the whole container)

Physical Condition Report [ for women only ]:
I had some terrible cramps last night. One of my hopes was that this eating strategy would help me with my cramps and general monthly misery. So far, relief has not been a by-product of the experiment. Becky is thinking about seeing a hormone specialist. I didn’t even know there were such things, but it seems like the health care industry had changed a lot in the last 10 years or so. Maybe 20. I don’t know. The person she may see is a “DO” which I had to look up (difference between an MD and a DO). Our old Dr. was an Integrative Medicine (?) or something Dr. which is a more holistic approach to medicine. I think. Anyway, seems like a good direction, but I don’t know much about it as you can see. Anyway. I’m still not prengant.

Quote of the Day

I bought a talking refrigerator that said “Oink” every time I opened the door. It made me hungry for pork chops. ~ Marie Mott

Whole 30 | Food Log | Day 28

Hi everyone… Day 28 down… and we are left with 29 and 30…

I have only two days left of my “first” Whole30. And by my “first” whole30, I mean that Becky and Melissa, and I (and maybe Shannon?) have all decided to keep going for a bit longer. I guess I just don’t want the fun to end.

You know, I didn’t really know if I would be able to stick to this eating strategy for 30 days. But honest-to-goodness, THIS WAS NOT HARD. They say in the book, “This isn’t hard. Cancer is hard.” Which I suppose is motivating in an almost creepy way. But in the grander scheme of things, eliminating Diet Coke (god i miss it!) and at least added sugar for 30 days along with all processed foods has been much easier than I might have thought. I mean, I still have two days to fall prey to a cookie or the coke in the work fridge, but I don’t see that happening. I guess I just was ready to do it.

The question now will be, what else am I ready for? And what are YOU ready for? “…What other questions are there? What other questions are there? If you want to understand the universe, embrace the universe. The door to the universe is YOU!”

Breakfast | Eggs over easy, 1/2 Adiell’s sausage, mango, sweet potato

The most important meal of the day!

Lunch | Mango, guacamole, shredded chicken, carrots, prosciutto
This was essentially

Mango, guacamole, shredded chicken, carrots, prosciutto

Dinner | Outback prime rib, salad, sweet potato
If you don’t know me well, you may not realize that Jennifer: Outback as Norm: Cheers. Except nobody shouts my name when I enter the room, there is on TV show, and I am not allowed to drink beer or anything else right now. Anyway, point being. I go there a lot. I know it’s a chain and that there are terrible things about chain restaurants and we should eat locally and all that. I know. But it’s a favorite of mine and I thought I should come clean. Apparently I am not the only one who enjoys it because there is a 45 minute wait on a Friday or Saturday night. I certainly wouldn’t wait that long to eat there, but anyway. They probably don’t use grass fed beef, so this is a potential failing of my whole30. I did do a little research on the Whole30 forum and they seemed to think Outback was OK but Chris reminded me that fattier cuts of meat should really be organic if possible because of all the junk that gets sticks in the fat bits. Anyway, I have been meaning to mention that when posting Outback dinners.


Marilyn Monroe Diet/Workout
This story came out last year, or the year before, but I found it while searching for quotes and thought I would share. It’s Marylin Monroe’s diet and workout plan. She often had a Hot Fudge Sundae in the afternoon. I guess a fancy actress could say that sort of thing back in those days without being murdered by the press. Although, it wasn’t all progressive back then or anything. Anyway, read the whole MM story here.


Physical Condition Report:
Cramps. Cramps. Cramps. They make everything suck. But at least I’m not pregnant.

Quote of the Day

Never eat more than you can lift. ~ Miss Piggy

Anyway, much love to all of you. Here is a video from the Whole30 newsletter to make you feel happy inside. Followed by the food log and other bits.

Whole 30 | Food Log | Day 27

Tumblr image to add a little color to this post.

I needed an image to give this top bit some color and came across this. I thought it was kind of interesting. It may be inaccurate. Don’t live by it.

Hello all. Day 27 is in the books. I am still keeping my eyes on the prize, but also looking towards what will happen next.

One of our co-30er, Melissa, would like to keep going till her birthday in April. She says she will add “Vegan Shakeology with almond milk” after her workouts for some extra protein. She says she will try not to do any drinking, and will save her “off-road” adventures for special occasions.

Becky and I have been talking about riding out “paleo – caveman + science” eating strategy through May, when I plan to run a 5k around my birthday, and we still need to plan on some sort of cycling challenge – which we have done before. Here are two potential such events in May:

Sunday, May 4, 2014 | Ride to Keep Kids Safe | 62 mile (metric century) ride
Sunday, May 11, 2014 Great Mother’s Day Race | 5k run

I’d like to do both of these events consecutively, or another similar 5k with a cycling event after. I just want to make sure I keep riding the bike because I love it so much.

On a side note, I’d also like to go see the The Wiz in the park around that same time. We can do it all, while easing on down the road. Looking forward to Summer!!!

“…This Is How Thin Feels”
My friend Ang and I have been discussing all this dieting business, on and off, for many years. This morning she shared her conclusion about dieting which is essentially, if you want to actually LOSE weight, you pretty much have to starve yourself. Her new mantra she says is “I’m not hungry…this is just how thin feels.”

I am hopeful that she’s wrong about this, and that the Whole9/Whole30/Paleo can be a a way to do better than just maintaining my current situation. I don’t have very ambitious goals — like a number — but I do have some pants I’d like to wear one day, and I would like to continue eating “real foods” rather than the processed stuff. It seems like the benefits are all very positive so far. And all along, I remember that I love my body. I am not my weight. I am not my big khakis, or my small khakis. But health is important, and a lot of food that tastes good is junk. Right? Yeah. Anyway, on to the food log.

Food Log | DAY 27

Breakfast | 3 hard boiled eggs, sweet potato
I still love this breakfast. I do still wonder if too many sweet potatoes might slow down weight loss success, but I think they make me feel like I am eating well. So, that makes it possible to continue without feeling like I’m missing out on the finer things in life.

Tip: Trick for Easy Hard Boiled Egg Peeling
A coworker of mine, who is a jackass, shared this video with me after watching me struggle with all that hard boiled egg peeling in the mornings. This trick hasn’t worked for me yet. If it works for you, please take video and share the video in the comments. Thank you!

Lunch | Leftover Porterhouse steak and mixed veggies

Added a little ginger to the Porterhouse steak and veggies leftovers.

Leftovers cost less.

Dinner |
Beckster tried something new last night and she ended up not liking it much.

Vitamixed veggies with crock potted chicken.

Snacks | Macadamia Nuts and Pistachios

Inspirational Video:

I know these Dove commercials are a little trite. But I guess I sometimes like that. I like that Dove has taken on this issue, even if they are ultimately an enormous conglomerate that really wants to make money off women’s insecurities by pretending that they want them to be less insecure so that women buy their products. Anyway, point being, I think there is a positive message here if you ignore a lot of facts. And, I am sharing this as an inspirational thing. You’re welcome:

Quote of the Day

When friends tell you how awesome you look, drop the “I still have more to go” crap. You worked hard and you deserve the compliment! ~Jillian Michaels

Whole 30 | Food Log | Day 26

Day 26 complete. I am getting on towards the end here. As of Friday, I will be a free woman. Well, Saturday. And really I don’t think I’ll be free. I still want all the cookies and diet cokes. So, I guess I am not free to tackle those just yet.

The tentative plan is to continue this until early May. We will see how it goes. I think it might be best to just keep on, since I’m already used to it. The occasional treat will be allowed for special occasions (NOT the stupid hard candy bowl at work that won’t go away). They say not to use food as a reward, or punishment, but that you should leave room for a few of those things you really enjoy – even knowing they are not good for you. SO, I plan to have some So Delicious Mint Chocolate Chip Dairy Free ice cream after this 30 days as up. In the Whole30 world they call this “off-roading.” If you do diverge into the unhealthy, they say, you should do it deliberately and without guilt. Then you should get back on the highway – or whatever.

As we draw nearer to the end of the program, I have been reading ahead on where I will be left on Saturday morning (day 31, if you will). Since this really isn’t a lose weight quick diet… it’s a healthy eating strategy… they encourage you to not be too caught up on the number on the scale. Sure, I have heard that a million times, but I do like the way they break it down. They give you a ‘new scale” by which to measure successes. They include lists like the following:

Physical (Outside)

  • Clearer skin
  • No more under-eye circles
  • Brighter eyes
  • Fresher breath
  • Whiter teeth
  • Flatter stomach
  • Clothes fitting better
  • Less bloating

Physical (Inside)

  • Healthier gums
  • Less swollen, stiff joints
  • Less painful joints
  • Fewer PMS symptoms
  • A more regular monthly cycle

There is stuff about your mood, sleep, etc. there too. It does make more sense to put more value on these kinds of visible changes instead of a number on a scale which no person other than myself (and I guess a doctor, nurse, medical assistant) will ever know – unless I tell them… which I most CERTAINLY WILL NOT.

It’s like they say. Nobody cares how much you weigh really… They just care if you’re fat and ugly. And I mean, they don’t even really care, they just might not want to hang out with you publicly. So… I mean all this is a real comfort, right? Sure it is! Not really. I suffer with the concept of dieting because I am not ashamed of myself. I have friends. I don’t hate my body. But I know that there is a part of the world that will always think you are more if you weigh less. I’ve obviously never really agreed. And I always wondered if some form of dramatic, magic weigh loss solution found me, would I be the same person? I’ve always liked this Woody Allen quote about weight loss:

When we lose twenty pounds… we may be losing the twenty best pounds we have! We may be losing the pounds that contain our genius, our humanity, our love and honesty.

Thusly, the goal is not to lose weight, but to be healthier. Should you be in the same boat, or perhaps just a dreamer, here’s an inspirational song for you to enjoy today. From the Musical Seussical “I’m Alone in the Universe”

Inspirational Song:

Food Log

Breakfast | 3 hard-boiled eggs, sweet potato, mango
Lunch | Chipotle bowl. Delicious this time.

Dinner | Porterhouse steak stir fry with baby bok choy, peppers, onions

Portion of porterhouse, bok choy, peppers, onions, and sweet potato

Physical Condition Report
I got very tired today around 3:00pm. I think all the mango is catching up with me. Chasing that Mango dragon is tough. One is one too many, and one more is never enough.

Daily Quote

I will be posting quotes for the next 4 days. I just decided. Here’s the quote of the day today:

“Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her.

I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain…

I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ‘You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!’

‘Well,’ I said, slightly nonplussed, ‘the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’

What I felt like saying was, ‘I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?’ But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!

I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.” ~ J.K. Rowling

Whole 30 | Food Log | Days 23, 24, 25

It’s been another busy weekend, so no time to blog about the foodstuffs. I even forgot to take a few photos, but many meals are repeats so not really so interesting. BUT, there were a couple noteworthy meals to mention. I have the hardest time getting excited about a chicken recipe, but Becky found two really good ones on the NomNom Paleo website. She made both of them and both were winners. So here is a breakdown of all things chewed this weekend, with an emphasis on the new chicken dinner recipes.

DAY 23
Breakfast | Day 23 | | eggs, sweet potato, mango

Lunch | Day 23 | Leftover roast, carrots, guacamole

Dinner | Day 23 | Doro Wat (Spicy Ethiopian Chicken), avocado, fruit
This was delicious chicken! Becky made this Doro Wat recipe from NomNom Paleo and I hope she makes it again. It was pretty spicy, even without all the spice called for in the directions. It was nice to have the guacamole to cool things down a bit. I can see why someone would enjoy eating something like this with some spongy bread, but this was good on it’s own for anyone who wants to eat paleo forever, or who is gluten free and eats meat.

Doro Wat (Spicy Ethiopian Chicken), guacamole, fruit.

DAY 24

Breakfast | Day 24 | Over easy eggs (cooked with Ghee), sweet potato, avocado, mango

Lunch | Day 24 | Chipotle salad
Usually when you go to Chipotle everything is really good and fresh, and other times you should probably just walk out the door after you get a look at the dry crusty food. That was the case today. But we were hungry and we ate the dry stuff anyway. We decided to go ahead and have chicken and steak even though it is cooked in soy oil. We asked, and they confirmed that. Although they seemed a little confused by the question. I may ask again at that location and see if we get a different answer. Anyway, I am not complaining. Really.

Dinner | Day 24 | Tacos (lettuce wrap), grilled peppers, steak, hamburger/turkey burger mix
I had planned to make pico de gallo but my spicy pepper got lost along the way, so I didn’t make my pico because it was all ruined without the hot pepper. Not that I am complaining again. I guess it was just the moon today.

DAY 25

Breakfast | Day 25 | eggs, sweet potato, macadamia nuts, mango
I have had mango as much as I possibly can since Becky is here to cut it for me. Next week will be sad. I’ll be eating bananas again.

Lunch | Day 25 | Outback sirloin, salad, sweet potato

Dinner | Day 25 | Chili Lime Chicken Wings, sweet potato fries, guacamole, mango, pineapple
This was very, very delicious, and will be served again at an upcoming party at our place. Becky made this one with a little help from fellow Whole30ers (Tracy and Shannon). This is a NomNom Paleo wings recipe, that is Whole30 compliant, and a lovely treat for those who miss fried variety of wing. I highly recommend this food item.

Chili Lime Chicken Wings (whole30 compliant) guacamole, with sweet potato fries

Physical Condition Report
Still feeling good this week. It’s hard to believe the end is near. I am still trying to figure out exactly what I will do after the Whole30 is over. Saturday I will reintroduce either dairy or gluten to see how I do with it. I am also going to let myself have a sugar snack at some point over those 10 days or so of reintroduction. Hopefully it doesn’t start the beginning of some crazy downhill sugar shame spiral where I will eat four bags of Oreo’s. Anyway. That’s about it for today. No tips or anything. I know, bummer.