Brianne: I’m no longer one of those people that sits and looks at all of these other people and goes- I want to look like that, or I want to be able to do that, or I want to be able to run like that, or I want to be able to wear those shorts, or I want to be able to wear that dress because now I can do those things and it’s really exciting.
I’m not exactly where I want to be but that’s okay… for me to hit another goal weight would be another 44 pounds and if that happens great, because that’s a lot more attainable than almost 100 pounds.
I started this journey July 23rd, 2014. I will forever have that date in my mind. This is just as important and just as valuable as the day I had my kid! (laughing…but serious)
And we have talked several times…I was so afraid to start this journey. What will it look like? What will it be like? What will I look like? What if I don’t like what I look like? I mean, I already don’t like what I look like now. So it was kind of one of those things of … tell me what to do and I will do it. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to start. I don’t know where to go.
And so when you said here. This is what I have for you, and you laid it out, I thought okay! This is attainable. I can do this!
And then I wanted to start the next day (July 23rd). Even though we were going on vacation. (They took off for Sturgis, in South Dakota on her husband’s motorcycle the next day).
I wanted to start the next day because I knew that there was always going to be something. Whether it was going to be a vacation, or whether it was going to be somebody’s wedding, or whether it was going to be something, I was going to have to teach myself, through you, how I was going to be able to do this, and to eat.
And now I pick and choose the different things my husband cooks because he’s the chef, and that’s okay. So I don’t have to have the biscuit, I don’t have to have the bun, I can have the really good salad with olive oil on it, which I love, but you have to find a good olive oil…
But I know now what I can and can’t eat, and what I can and can’t do. And there are times where I do make choices. Sometimes I really miss cheese. And I have some cheese. And then I stop, and maybe sometimes I pay for that.
Me: what is the difference of eating it (cheese) now, versus eating it before?
I don’t overindulge in it, because I know how it’s going to make me feel. I know that I’m gonna pay for eating it. But I also know that I would never eat enough to go back to where I was before. I can do without the grains, I can do without the gluten… all of that stuff because I know now that it just makes me sick. It keeps people sick. Or at least it keeps me sick.
Me: what do you think is the difference between this program and other programs you have done that didn’t work?
So for me the 30 day fixes, or what I thought was going to be a fix, was a workout. And nothing changed. And nothing happened. And I would work so hard for that 30 days to see some kind of a change and I wouldn’t see anything. And I’d get so frustrated. And I would say forget it. I’m just gonna eat what I’m gonna eat, and this is how I’m gonna be, but I was never truly happy that way. I think I was probably depressed. I just tried to really work through that.
Because what I’ve learned from this is that yes, part of it is exercise to keep us healthy, but more of it is about what we put in our body. I would have never been able to lose 55# with just exercise, and not change my diet.
Me: do you remember a moment or time, during the 30 days, when you felt a shift in your body?
Absolutely. I know that like the first week was terrible. I felt really ill. And I knew it was my body detoxing. Totally knew. I felt like I had the flu. I felt hot and cold and I had a headache. And I just felt really terrible. And then the next week I felt a little bit tired but two weeks into it I thought okay. I’m going to start this “Couch to 5K” program because I would always start it I would never finish it because I couldn’t get through it. I couldn’t breathe while I was running.
About two weeks after starting the program, I had all of this energy. I just had this insane amount of energy. And I felt like wow! I can really do this.
And so I started by ordering the “Brazil Butt Lift” (chuckling) from the Beach Body program because I always wanted to check it out. And I love that. I love the program.And that was kind of the first purchase for me of a workout that I successfully did. And then started incorporating the running with it. And since then I’ve bought other workout videos and I know I don’t have to have a gym membership, or go to a gym. I have things at home and that saves me some money and I’ve really never gone back.I might have slacked off on the weights a little bit, but I
always do them at least two times a week, if not more.
Me: with eating differently, how has this changed…going to a wedding, an event…how do you approach this now?
We recently actually just went to a wedding and they had this taco bar. And there was not a single thing that I could eat.
Me: what did they eat in their tacos?! We laugh…
Their meat was combined with the refried beans, the corn tortillas- which would have been better than flour- but I was really living my Whole 30 at that point in time, they had a corn chowder salad mixed with a dairy-based dressing, and that was about it. So I just made the choice that that was not what I was going to have for dinner that night. I went home and I ended up having something else.
Just knowing that when I’m really sticking to Whole 30, I’m super sticking to it. I’m not allowing myself the dairy, or any of the dark chocolate, which I love, but it’s so worth it to me to feel that good, clean, healthy feeling again. And every time I started over, like if I have a couple weeks that I decide to go off- I don’t go off fully where I’m eating a lot of stuff that I normally wouldn’t , but I still have that couple days when I start back up again that I don’t feel the greatest. I feel tired, I feel a little lull, I don’t ever feel as bad as I did that first time, but I can still tell that I’m detoxifying in some way.
Me: how do you think that this has affected you mentally?
I feel amazing most of the time. I think that I was probably really depressed and just didn’t realize it, or tried to kind of put it at bay you know because there’s so many other things that- so many other people’s lives that are worse off than my own- and how could I be this person.
But I think I was just so unhappy. But now everything is awesome. I mean, mine is the grass that’s greener! You know? I’m not looking in from the other side anymore. This is just me. It’s exciting!
Me: when you’re not specifically doing Whole 30 “hardcore”, how do you approach eating?
Pretty much the same. Like if I go out to say, have Mexican food, I might choose to have corn tortillas, or even the tortilla chips, or have some cheese on my food but other than that I still stay away from the gluten, flour… I cannot incorporate rice, because I know that rice makes me feel ill. I’ve found that the gluten free breads, the buns, sandwich bread itself, has something in it that does not agree with me. However, I can still have gluten free pizza, which I am totally okay with, because I love gluten free pizza! Other than that, I pretty much eat fairly normally.
This has just become a way of life. It’s not a diet. It’s a total lifestyle.
Me: do you take any supplements, or protein shakes, or powders?
No, I probably should have some omega 3’s and some vitamin D, but thus far, I haven’t taken any of that. No offense to the shakes by any means, but it’s not something I believe in.
I’ve lost 55# eating real food. Eating clean, eating healthy. Exercising. Diet. I just don’t feel the need to buy into supplements or shakes.
Me: do you remember the main symptoms that you used to experience on a regular basis, before Whole 30, and how has it changed over time?
I know that I had headaches every day. I would just generally not feel good. Itchy ears. I felt like I was having allergy symptoms to outdoor allergies. I never in a million years would have ever thought that it was my food. I would have thought that it would have been outside elements. General aches and pains that I no longer feel.
My first initial interview with you- my Medical Symptom Questionnaire- was an 89 (points), which is terrible. Now I have maybe a one (point), if that. Most of the time I’m zero.
Again, I cannot say enough. I would have never thought that it was tied to food. Ever. It’s amazing that we don’t take the time to look at what we’re really putting into our bodies.
Me: did this experience train you to think about food in a whole different way?
Absolutely. Food is fuel now. I don’t wake up in the morning and go- what am I gonna have for breakfast, and then what am I gonna have for lunch- in a bad way. It’s not like I’ve eaten breakfast, and then I’m still hungry and I’m looking for that next meal, or overindulging in junk food to try to make me feel better. That was a lot of what I was doing. I was eating a lot of candy bars and different things like that. I was looking for sugar to kind of comfort me and make me feel better. Which I would have never thought I was doing either, until I got away from it.
I know that what I’m putting into my body is healthy.And I know that if I choose to have a day when I have some dairy, it’s gonna be okay. And if I choose to have some dark chocolate, then that’s gonna be okay. And if I choose to have a glass of wine with dinner, that’s gonna be okay too.
There was a time at the very beginning of this when I first started that I was like, I’m never going back! I was almost afraid. I was afraid to introduce that kind of stuff again. I thought it’ll hurdle me backwards, and I’ll just gain all this weight back. I was so fearful. But I know now that those kinds of things- all is good in moderation. I don’t do the milk chocolate though at all. If I’m going to have dark chocolate, I really want to enjoy it and it’s got to be over 50%. I totally still have gum. Every day. (laughs). I will not give up my chewing gum. That’s the one vice.
Me: how has this had an impact on your family, or people that you’re around on a regular basis?
A lot of people have asked me, what is it that you are doing? And so I talk to them about it, and I give a testimony, and I will say, I cannot say enough how much this has changed my life.
I think that my husband has seen a huge change in me. We have a happier, healthier relationship. A happier, healthier marriage because I am happier and I’m healthier. My daughter enjoys the foods that we prepare.
And although she still likes her cinnamon bread, we’ll hurdle over that one later. Some people have adopted what I’ve been doing and are living it. And other people have said I just can’t do that. It’s too strict. But again for me, I would never ever go back. I really look at this as I have this amazing opportunity, and this amazing opportunity to change my life, and I just grabbed it with both hands and I will never look back.
Me: what have you seen as the benefits of working with a Dietitian as you have gone through this process?
Oh my gosh. So much. From all these different feelings… I never ever had the feeling like I can’t do this. I knew from the very beginning, like I said, if she (me) laid something out for me, I was gonna try it. I was at that point in my life that I was going to try anything. I mean anything. If someone else would have come along with shakes at that time, I would have done it. I totally would have done it.
Lindsey has become my friend. Which is really exciting. Because I know I can call her up, and I can talk to her, and I can be really excited about something, or I can be really maybe a little bit upset about something, and she’s not gonna charge me for that phone call. (we share a laugh) She’s gonna listen and she’s gonna be there. However, when we sit down face to face, I know that she’s worth her weight in gold. Because she has been encouraging, she has been loving, and with every step of the way that we have gone, she has really been there, and she has really just encouraged me through this whole journey.
I think that I probably would have stuck with it, but I would have definitely struggled a lot more than just trying to be on my own with this.
So I would just really encourage people… if Lindsey is not on your radar, find somebody else who believes in this Whole 30 plan, and if you’re in a different community, and you need somebody face to face, find somebody who believes in Whole 30 that is gonna give you their undivided attention and really help you through the struggles and walk with you through this journey.
Me: what would you say to anyone who, a lot like you, has experienced various programs, or even supplement programs for weight loss specifically--what would you say to them, if they’re looking at this and are curious?
I would really say to them, find somebody, like Lindsey, who believes in this, and if that’s not something that you’re capable of, if the funds aren’t there, I would still check into it.
See if they’re willing to work with you. See if there’s a Dietitian through your health care system that believes in this, maybe a Naturopath. I would try to go that route. And if those things don’t work for you, I would really research it online, and I would read the book “It Starts With Food”. Because that’s really going to give you the valuable information that you need. Unfortunately, I don’t believe in myplate.gov. It’s what a lot of our Western Medicine doctors believe in, and I really honestly believe it keeps people sick. And I don’t know that maybe they’re just not aware. Or I don’t really know where to go with that. But if you’re not capable of finding somebody who believes in this program, look it up. Research it for yourself. There’s a shopping list. There’s a guide online. There are short little tidbits about why this is really good for you.
Me: what are your top 3 favorite foods to eat right now? Okay, 5.
It’s getting into summertime. So… I just bought figs. I love figs. They’re delicious. I love plantains. Dried plantains. Little bit of salt. Yummy. I am a meat eater. Everything but fish. I wish I liked fish. I hate it. I love cauliflower. Sweet peppers.
Me: tell people that combination you do with avocado all the time?
My go-to food for lunchtime is usually a can of chicken, it’s white breast meat, not filled with anything else, maybe a little bit of salt, and I like to mix it up with avocado. It is delicious. Little bit of salt, little bit of pepper, good to go!
Me: is there anything else that comes to your mind at this point? It has almost been a year (since beginning her first Whole 30). Anything you would like to share?
Just how incredibly happy I am. That to me is worth everything. I can look back now and go oh my gosh, I went from the beginning of “Couch to 5K” running a minute and walking two minutes, now I’m running almost 5 miles. I am doing weight lifting programs that I don’t have to force myself to do anymore. I want to do them. I like to do them because I know that it’s going to make me feel good, I know I’m going to be healthier because of it.
I know that I’m being a good role model for my daughter, my family has seen such a difference in me… I think that this program has really, honesty changed my entire life. It has changed my way of thinking, it has changed my relationship with food, it has changed my relationship with my family. I’m just a happier person.