Tag Archives: Before and After

Mission Whole30: COMPLETE

I survived, no totally crushed, 30 days of no sugar, dairy, grains, or legumes. That’s no candy, no cheese, no rice, no hummus. And you know what, it really wasn’t that hard. I learned some lessons about my body and about food, but I mostly just feel like a total champion. Most importantly though, I don’t feel the need to reward my success by scarfing down a large pizza or having a bowl of ice cream. For me, that was sort of the whole point.

Despite having lost a significant amount of weight over the last year, I still wanted to eat all the garbage all the time. But now, I feel like a lot of that stuff just isn’t tempting me. Could this change in the next week or month? Yes, and in that case I will do a reset again to remind myself that healthy eating is the best way for me. This is Food Freedom, and I’m currently halfway through Melissa Hartwig’s new book, Food Freedom Forever. It’s a guide to a lifetime of eating well, whatever that means to you. For me, that’s going to mean eating pizza again after my reintroduction, and not feeling bad about it, but I also hope that it means I won’t have any desire to eat pizza in excess.

I want to tell you about the cons of this program, however you can totally get through them. Yo, cooking yourself every. single. meal. (save two in my case.. thanks Briands!) SUCKS! It sucks. Yes, you can make bulk meals and just heat them in the microwave, but you are putting in work all the time. There are days that are totally exhausting, not because you’re eating shitty, but because eating well requires work. So, as my roommate pointed out, which made me almost fly off the handle because I was tired of cooking, I was eating bacon maybe too much. Shout out to BLT+A salad for helping me thrive. To get through these 30 days, you might have the same meal a few too many times, and that’s alright.


The second con of this program is not the program’s fault, but the people around you will, hopefully unintentionally, constantly ask you if you want a drink or a doughnut. There are days within this 30 days that you might tell these people where they can shove their doughnut hole. That’s alright. You’re just doin’ you boo, and if getting through this means that you have to tell these people every day how dumb they are for constantly asking you if you want something you can’t have, do it. I spent a lot of my Whole30 at home alone because I really wanted this to be a success, and going out was just too much for me. Alone time turned out to be really great for me. I went to bed early, felt well rested, went for a lot of walks, started reading again, and found new motivation to achieve my goals.. this was also thanks to my new healthy diet. I think we call that a WIN-WIN!


There are so many pros that I might end up sounding like I joined a cult if I listed them all, so instead I want to share my non-scale victories. I actually can’t share my scale victory because I don’t have a scale, so I have no idea what I weighed when I started, or what I weigh today. No big deal to me, I will weigh myself next time I visit my Aunt and Uncle’s to see where I’m at from my starting weight and then give myself a little high five. I did however measure, so I’ll put those down below.


First victory, my sleeping habits; I fall asleep faster, I don’t wake up in the middle of night (unless my cats wake me up -_-), and I feel well rested every morning. My hair has started growing like a flippin’ weed. I got about 2 inches cut off just before the start of the Whole30, and all of the length is already back. My hair is also a lot more shiny and strong, and so are my nails. My focus is like a lazer.. ok maybe like a disco ball, but no diet can fix that. While I still have lots of things that I’m focusing on, I find myself less distracted while working. There are more, but the biggest non-scale victory here is my HAPPINESS. Last month I was struggling. I hated everything. I wanted to move home. I just couldn’t hang. Today, I feel happy. I am looking forward to so many things. Things that I knew about before I started the Whole30 that were just meh, are now YAAAAS.


Completing this Whole30 makes me feel so much more capable and in control of my life. No matter how you spin it, food is key in a healthy body and a healthy mind. I wish that I could convince all of you to do a Whole30. It’s really not that hard. I mean, do you remember what you ate 30 days ago, or even last week? Doing this reset has made me feel amazing, and I want every single one of you to feel as good as I do now.

So here’s the stats:
September 2015        September 2016          October 2016
Neck: 14″                     Neck: 13″                       Neck: 13″
Bicep: 12 ½”                 Bicep: 12 ¾”                 Bicep: 12 ¼”
Breasts: 43″                 Breasts: 39”                  Breasts: 38”
Chest: 35 ½”                Chest: 34 ½”                  Chest: 32 ½”
Stomach: 38″              Stomach: 35 ½”             Stomach: 34”
Butt: 49″                       Butt: 44 ½                      Butt: 43 ½
Thigh: 29″                    Thigh: 24 ¾”                   Thigh: 23 ½”
Calf: not recorded      Calf: 15 ¾”                      Calf: 15 ½”

I’ve lost a total of 24 ½ inches, 7 ½ of that on the Whole30.. if my math is right.. which it’s probably not, but whatever. Here are my before and after Whole30 pictures, which I can’t’ say I’m totally stoked to put on the internet, but progress is progress!


Saying Goodbye to 25

It has been a little over a month since I celebrated the end of my 25th year of life. Totally had to ask my Mom what we actually did on my birthday.. this is why I blog, or why I need to blog more often. The weekend of my birthday was a whirlwind. The end of college and work, graduation, Mother’s Day, and then my birthday. On top of all that I was packing and running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to figure out my plan to get California.

Whatever I did on my birthday, it was great, I’m sure of it.

So if you’re new here, or you just don’t pay a lot of attention to detail, for the last two years I’ve created a list of goals equal to the years old I am, and set a completion date of the next birthday. Thus, I made a goal of 25 things to do before I turned 26. Here’s the list with some additional comments regarding completion or otherwise…

1. Create blog content that I am proud of, and feel less guilty about how often I post. Half completed, still not super proud of the content I created this past year.. but I have no guilt about it.
2. Maintain my current GPA. Last semester was hard, but I made tons of cool friends, so.. Whatever.


3. Appreciate Iowa through travel.
4. Go on a mother/daughter adventure
5. Build a professional portfolio.
6. Propagate an excessive amount of succulents and give them away to friends!
7. Grow an herb garden from seedlings.
8. Finish the beauty room: hang pictures, cover pillows, etc. Going to miss this perfect room, but all it’s contents will be making their way to my new home.

Beauty Room

9. 30 days of biking It rains a lot in April, and I am not about pouring rain bike life. Should have done it in the fall, totally missed my opportunity.
10. Put a bird feeder in the yard.
11. Paint the front door red.
12. Complete a month of yoga challenge.
13. Get in the habit of meal planning, and grocery shopping once weekly.
14. Be more patient. I think I need to accept I’m never going to be very patient. Again, Whatever.
15. Finish at least one internship.
16. Update and re-design my resume.  Most beautiful resume ever. Jussayin’.
17. Mail birthday cards often. This year. Promise.
18. Host a themed party each season. As much as I love my friends, they have no ability to show up on time, and they don’t really like games very much.. BLAMING THEM.
19. Wear my glasses (and maybe get new ones). NO BUT SERIOUSLY, DO THIS!
20. Clean out my closet, and stop hoarding clothes that I never wear.
21. Be kind, caring, and more available especially to those who need me. Can I really be the one to cross this off? I don’t know if I was, but I tried to be, so I feel good about it.
22. Have a girls night at least once a month (sorry Jess and Becca, I guess you have to do this too).
23. Look at events in life with a best-case instead of worst-case interpretation. Or just ask. I’m going to say I did pretty flippin’ good at this, and I think it made a huge difference, especially in terms of winter blues. I would highly recommend not being so hard on yourself, and if you have anxiety or you’re worried about how someone feels about you or why they treated you however or whatever.. either get over it, forget them, or just ask what the hell is up. Endlessly worry about stuff is a huge waste of time. You do you, girl.
24. Make at least 5 of these crafts Officially accepted I am not a crafter.
25. Lose 30 pounds! BOOM CROSS THAT SHIT OFF BITCHES! Whaaaaat. Yep. Nailed it. The picture below: 1. Last weekend in April 2015. I saw this picture and cried because obviously that’s how like every weight loss story begins. ‘WHO THE HELL IS THAT PERSON!?’ 2. Birthday weekend 2015, I felt pretty, but my vest was really tight on my arms. 3. February 2016, I had been working out with Dan for a month. I felt better than ever. 4. The last weekend of April 2016. Not a huge difference since February, but I was so stupid stressed and still felt good that night. That never would have happened in 2015, or really ever. 

before and after

I’m stupid pleased with how 25 Before 26 went. I mean, if I’d accomplished nothing but worrying less, spreading more kindness and support, and losing 30 pounds, I’d be happy. But I did a bunch of other cool stuff, and it made for a really great year. If you want to see more of that cool stuff, check out the 25 Before 26 category. And that denim vest is a little big on me now.