karen loses 5 pounds

Karen loses 5 pounds… and here’s how

Over the last 6 months (or so) I have gained and lost the same 5 to 7 pounds, each time getting nearly to the 30 pound mark, and then falling off the wagon and gaining it back.  I feel within the very being of my soul that if I can just get to that “I’ve lost 30 pounds” mark, I’ll stabilize and be able to move forward again.

I noticed over the last few weeks while thinking about my weightloss journey that I’ve nearly forgotten my starting weight.  I have been swimming within 7 pounds of my current weight so long, that it feels like that’s where I started.  Which is good and well… not so good.  Good, because it’s nice to have kept as much weight off as I have, and not so good because it was making me think that I hadn’t made any progress.  I keep reminding myself… I have now lost 27 pounds.  YAY!

I’m back down to where I was before I fell off the wagon… because I started… (drum roll please…) The Whole30.

This is basically a Paleo elimination diet.  I’ve learned a lot about hidden sugar things, and also found support in most of the stuff that I already knew from reading The Metabolism Plan.

I like the whole 30, because it’s 30 days.  After 30 days there is a reintroduction process where I’ll be reintroducing food to find the specific foods that cause inflammation (sounds like the Metabolism Plan right?) No matter what the plan is called, for some reason is was easier for me to find people interested in The Whole30, then the other one, and as you already know, I need to surround myself with like minded people to keep me going too! (and who won’t sabotage me or allow me to sabotage myself)

And so… without further adieu… Here are my notes from the first 7 days. (no meal plan here… there are a ton online… Just the truth about my experience so far)

Day 1: Monday

It’s 8:00 pm. I keep walking into the kitchen.

I keep feeling like I’m looking for something, like I’m missing something.

I stuck my head into my daughters room yesterday to wish her good night and I saw her big bag of Swedish Fish (from an event over the weekend) and I LUSTED after it.  If that bag had been in the kitchen, I wouldn’t have been able to resist.

Today I drank a lot of water, and pee’d A LOT.

I ate sweet potatoes, whole30 fried chicken, carrots, hamburger with tomato.   I am NOT hungry.  BUT I’m not satisfied either.

This is what they mean by detox.

I keep checking in with myself to remind myself … “see, you aren’t even hungry, it might help if you stop thinking about crackers, cookies, bagels or swedish fish”.

So, I went to bed.

I slept terrible.  I woke up several times with pulled muscles in my feet when I stretched, it seemed like my body was saying… “SEE!  You NEED that sugar.  If you don’t have it, we’ll be pissed” And, yes, those are my half waking thoughts as I jump our of bed and straighten out my foot to bend the pulled muscle out of existence….. and go to pee AGAIN!

I keep thinking. This is what they mean by detox.

I can do this.

Day 2: Tuesday

The Whole30 is more than an elimination diet, it’s a movement.  I posted on Facebook that I was going to be doing this and a lot of people popped in to comment that they either have done it or do it regularly.

The Bad News

I’m on day 2 and it feels like torture, like a slow soul sucking torture.  Not the physical hurt of bamboo shoots under the fingernails but more like a self induced psychic abuse.

Yesterday’s menu was chicken baked potato for breakfast and whole30 meatballs and tomatoes for lunch, then sweet potato and skirt steak for dinner.

#1) I feel like I haven’t cooked this much in years… and I’m only 2 days in.

#2) I’m not hungry, but I’m not satisfied either.

And I can’t sleep.  This is day two of not being able to sleep.  And BECAUSE I’m not hungry my brain keeps going over the ways I suck…. everything from looming bills to thoughts of bad parenting… I feel like I have been doing this for weeks… and it’s only day 2.

Now in the light of day, I know these things are fiction.  They are the tricks of a brain that wants comfort from food.  They are the sly imaginings of a mind that is trying to chip away at my will power and force me to give up this crazy plan.  Those thoughts are not real… they are stories fabricated from fear… in the middle of the night… when I am most likely defenseless against the automatic inclination for comfort through food.

The Good News

I’m not hungry.  In fact, I woke up feeling full, not hungry at all. I feel physically well, aside from being a little sleepy tired, I’m fine.

I had precooked my chicken and meatballs the other day, so here on Day 3, I still have chicken available to bring to work for lunch and/or breakfast.  But the biggest “good news” I have is that yesterday a co-worker brought in Samosa. (an indian deliciousness, basically potatoes, peas and spices in a pastry deep fried)

I love Samosa’s and in the past (she brings them in once a year) I eat them all day long.  Breakfast, first snack, lunch, second snack… or whenever I walk into the kitchen.  Yesterday, they didn’t appeal to me.

I don’t know if it was my mental state, (because I have to admin I am getting a little cranky) or my idea of delicious is slowly changing, but I walked by the tray without even the slightest “wish” to partake.  I also haven’t given any thought to the office “candy drawer” which is a veritable Hershey heaven with some chuckles sprinkled in.

The swedish fish bag in my daughters room still giving me a little trouble, as I have to avert my eyes…. but in the end, that’s what I did.

The Best News

I know this plan isn’t a regular diet, your not supposed to weight yourself until AFTER the elimination diet is over, but I am also doing weightwatchers.  I am in the habit of weighing myself every morning at exactly the same time.

I love 27 pounds on weight watchers, then gained back 7… then yesterday morning… I was down 3 pounds.

Now, don’t think it’s from 1 day of dieting.  Like most other humans who are preparing for a life changing food challenge, we kind of unconsciously or intentionally start before the actual start date.  In other words, Saturday Day (before the wine & cheese party) and all day Sunday I was already dropping carbs, sugars and cooking meals to prepare for the week.

So, the 3 pounds was probably a combination of my changed diet and water weight (remember, I am now drinking and eliminating a lot more water)

My overall goal for weight watchers was to lose 60 pounds.  I started last August.  Now, coming up on a year, I can see that since January I haven’t made any headway towards my goal.  I’m hoping that this 30 day challenge will help jump start my motivation to keep going and tracking and of course, discover the foods that cause inflammation.

Day 2 Summary

Lyn-Genet Recitas, author of “The Metabolism Plan, Discover the Foods and Exercises that Work for Your Body to Reduce Inflammation and Drop Pounds Fast” explains that we are all unique and process food differently.  Our bodies are made of up chemical reactions and even foods that are supposedly healthy may be causing inflammation.  And, when we always eat foods that cause inflammation that’s called: Chronic inflammation.

Today I am starting the book: It “Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and change your life in unexpected ways” by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig.  I expect that I will hear a lot of what I already know but more of what I don’t know, I don’t know. PLUS I will get “hip” to the lingo.

Day 3: Wednesday

Can it only be three days since I started?  Perhaps it’s the lack of sleep, maybe it’s the crankiness (or as I like to think about it… complete and utter removal of filter).  I don’t know, but it feels like I have been spending my LIFE cooking and cleaning up after cooking, and then cleaning up after eating… uuggghhhhh.

As I write, I can feel my crankiness surfacing and I want to complain and complain and complain.  I feel like everyone sort of glosses over these moments, they say things like:  “I felt like crap for the first 2 weeks, but then I felt amazing.”  and we all (being humans) focus on the AMAZING bit.

Well, I’m not writing this blog in retrospect, I’m writing as I experience it… and day 3 is a crappy feeling.

I’m not hungry.

I’m not thirsty.

I’m just… out of sorts.   I’m literally … unhappy, sad. Like there’s a small voice telling asking me:

“Why are you doing this? You could easily just buy what you want to eat and be done.”

“You deserve to be happy and east bagels and pancakes”

“You have enough responsibilities and challenges why not make mealtime as easy as possible?”

“You are happiest when you are eating the delicious things you like, why not just do that?”

And, I am realizing that those questions and statements haven’t changed. They are the same things that convince me to go to the local deli, the “made for you” section of the grocer or the pizzeria.

They are the same statements that I’m teaching my kids as they wait for me to bring home everything they LOVE to eat, made by someone else, instantly presented without requiring any patience while I cook, or cleanup before or after.

I realize.  This is all a BIG HABIT.  A habit of thinking. A habit of doing. A habit of eating.

And like most people, whether I am saying it out loud or subconsciously thinking it, I am resisting change.  This habit of eating that I’ve stepped into over the last 10-20 years and have been teaching my children is fighting me.  OR to be more accurate, I am having this internal struggle changing.


I can do anything for 30 days.  And, thankfully I only have 27 days left.  So, here’s the rundown thus far.


  • Lost weight – 3 pounds so far
  • Not Hungry
  • Consistent Energy
  • No Aches or Pains


  • Can’t Sleep (on my regular schedule) although a little better last night
  • Cranky (ok full on bitchy)
  • Lots of dishes to clean (may not be a “con” for you, but definitely is for me)
  • Lots of cooking and preparing to do (may not be a “con” for you but definitely is for me)


If you’re doing this with me… or have already done this … I’d like to hear from you… you can comment below.   I think it gets better, but I’m using this blog to really document how I feel emotionally and physically… because I know that eventually it will all be worth it, and I don’t want to forget these first few days.

Day 4: Thursday

4 pounds in 4 days

Those of you that personally know me… know, that I started Weight Watchers Last August, and January of this year I was 3 pounds away from losing 30 pounds.  Something about that particular goal did something to me and I completely stopped tracking my food and promptly gained back 5 pounds.

I remember a Dr. telling me that on any day you can swing from 1 to 5 pounds just based on what you eat and how much you drink.  AND I kind of used that as my explanation but then 5 pounds turned to 7… and I could see the future.

That’s one of the reasons I started the Whole30, someone I knew had had success… and I love success.  Having said all that, it is nice to be nearly back to where I was in January… and to be nearly at my first weight loss goal of 30 pounds down.

One thing I’m learning more about is the chemical reaction that different foods cause and I’m learning how to figure out what causes what. Because THEN, we can choose which ones we want to cause.

Back to my weight loss.

Whole30 is basically a modified Paleo diet.

I’m proud of my weight loss, I’m not hungry and I’m getting less and less angry.  I’m sort of settling into the new normal.

Today’s menu included green olives, avacado, flank steak, hard boiled eggs and potato and tomato.

I’m not going to apologize for not liking green vegetables. 🙂

Day 5: Friday – Day Five Recap (written Saturday Morning)

I woke on Friday feeling better then any of the previous days… I can’t tell if it’s because it was Friday or because it was payday or because the funk of no carb or sugar chemical reactions in my body was finally releasing it’s hold on my attitude.

When I look at how I was feeling over the last 5 days, it feels like someone was forcing me  to do this diet… like someone outside of myself was making me do it.

You know that feeling.  Remember when you were young and your parents made you clean your room… or the garage… or … anything that you didn’t want to do… but you knew you had to do… but you weren’t going to be happy about it.

Yup, I feel like a surly teenager.

It felt sucky.

It felt better on Friday.

However, I’m still not sleeping well, and last night I woke up MANY TIMES with pulled muscles in my feet.  I’m going to take that as a sign for more bananas and water.  I’ll keep you posted on whether that’s the solution.

To be honest, I have always suffered from this problem intermittently, and I would go long stretches of time without any issue, then for days in a row have to get out of bed to stand on my foot to straighten it out. It’s painful.

AND, I think by now we can eliminate sugar and carbs as the cause.

THAT is good to know. (especially when I reintroduce items into my diet) So, I have 25 days to figure out what’s causing the pulled muscles in my body.  That’s ALSO good to know.

What do you think?

Day 6: Saturday

This will be a QUICK UPDATE, I thought this would be a hard day for me, but it wasn’t.  My kids were unexpectedly home (not with their dad) and I spent most of the day shopping and cooking.

To be honest, I am still a little… hangry.  It’s the only way I can really explain it.

I’m not hungry and I’m not really angry… and I’m not (in the normal sense of the mashup) angry because I’m hungry.

It’s really this overwhelming feeling that I want something, I can’t put my finger on it… it’s something and I can’t find it, I can’t discover it… I am not having it.

WOW!  I believe that would be the sugar or carb addiction talking because seriously the only thing I’m not eating right now are carbs and sugar.  Everything else has always been on my plate.

I would love to believe that it’s my “body” telling me that I need some nutritional value derived from either sugar or carbs, but I can’t find any science to support it.

See you on Sunday

Day 7: Sunday

I can’t believe it’s only been a week!

My unconscious mind or subconscious mind or ego or whatever part of the brain that loves bagels is fighting me every step of the way. EVERY SINGLE STEP.

Sunday was a difficult day, I was left to my own devices and kept wandering into the kitchen.  The kids were with their dad, and I was home… already having done the shopping (because I did it yesterday) and the weekly cooking (because I did it yesterday)

I cleaned the girls bedrooms.

Now, I’ll tell you…. my kids are teenagers, I don’t clean their room anymore, but it was either clean their room… or …. something else.  I chose clean their room because it also made me feel better. It made me happier to look inside their room when it’s clean.  It made me happy thinking about them being in a clean room… and most importantly it took my mind off the food in my house that wasn’t whole30 compliant but that I needed because my kids aren’t “doing” whole30.

I’m still feeling a bit bitchy.  Cranky.  Like, the switch between good humor and … angry is a hairtrigger.  It’s better today then last week, and I can’t wait until it’s gone. Untill I am back on an even keel.

5 pounds down.

If everything I’ve read is accurate, I only have 1 more week of torture and then it starts to feel better… a lot better.


2 thoughts on “Karen loses 5 pounds… and here’s how”

  1. Hi Annie and Karen – love your podcasts! As someone over 50 and needing to lose weight I can relate to a lot of what you have gone through. I knew I needed to make a permanent lifestyle change and was procrastinating too long. Finally when my body started to ache I realized I could no longer wait. Started WW in April and so happy I did! Thanks for the blogs and podcasts.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement! My sister and I LOVE doing the podcasts… we listen to them too! It keeps us on track. – Karen

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