My peak weight during my full term pregnancy was 205lbs. I never thought I’d be able to hit a deuce in weight EVER! Being a medium frame, 5 foot 6 inches short, I had gained 40 pounds during my pregnancy and I was mortified. I was also uncomfortable most all the time, my feet and face were fully swollen most always, and I was craving and major salty and sweet snacks around the clock. My go-to breakfast was a sausage, egg and cheese on a croissant. My lunch was anything from Chipotle, McDonalds, or the New York Deli nearby. I would always get chips as a side to the sandwich or burrito bowl that I took on. I almost was drinking coffee with sugar and dairy creamer, that was ALSO packed with a ton of creamer. For dinner, I would eat a full on steak and then realized when I went for a doctors appointment that I had become anemic during my pregnancy. Hence the major cravings for anything with a good amount of iron in it.

FRL loves NYC
FRL loves NYC by FOREAL® Studio is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

When I look back at that time in my life, I can’t believe I actually LIVED through it. I was able to walk around New York City down through the Financial District, and commute via boat everything morning. I was LARGE in CHARGE, and I did not want to stop commuting until my husband told me I was too big to commute (so embarrassing). The crazy part about this whole story is that I topped out at 205 pounds, but only a month later I was down to 135 pounds. This was mainly due to stress, breastfeeding twins, staying up all night, and having to remind myself to eat as I became a new mother.

Flash forward to 5 years later as a working mom, I found myself up to 188 pounds. I was finding comfort in any foods I wanted to eat, drinking 4 plus cups of coffee with creamer and sugar a day, indulging in any sugar cookie I could get my hands on, and so on and so forth.

I knew I need a change, but I didn’t know how to do it alone. The reality was that I COULD NOT do it ALONE. I needed help. And it was more than just the ability to try out a new fad diet that would only work for 30 days and then I’d be back up to an unhealthy weight again, feeling tired, and hating life.

ABSTRACTS – 2017 | 2018
ABSTRACTS – 2017 | 2018 by Marica Martella is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0


I needed to address what was wrong with me emotionally that was making me overcompensate for food. I realized that I was not taking out time for myself to heal and rejuvenate. I wasn’t in therapy. I isolated myself within my immediate family only. I didn’t want to see anyone and I certainly did not want to ask for help.

I had to though! I ended up doing group therapy, which was a total blast. I met new friends with common strengths and weaknesses. It allowed me to be myself and share my issues without the restraint of feeling overwhelmed and afraid.

I dug deeper, and found that my lack of self-care was not just affecting me, but others around me. I wasn’t fun to be around and was always moody to the point where I did not want to be around anyone but myself. And even that was annoying. My inner monologue was self-defeating, self-deprecating, and self-indulgent. I was self-absorbed and needed to start thinking about the bigger picture by helping others while helping myself. I volunteered and started mentoring others. I got the therapy I always needed and found a group that really understood my troubles.

This made me feel able to step back into my skin, while not reaching for other vices that would keep me out of myself.

Cardiff University Fun Run
Cardiff University Fun Run by Eirian Evans is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0


I heard from a smart co-worker that limiting yourself to a max of 25 grams of sugar a day would help me lose weight and feel better. I looked into it further and came across an influencer that was promoting the Whole30 diet and she had lost over 17lbs in a month. I was ready to sign up! The diet consisted of many raw foods, and nothing processed. That meant EXNAY on the ADDED SUGARAY (and I’m not talking about the “I Just Want to Fly” song artist, Sugar Ray either). The only sugar I could eat was through fruits and vegetables, without the ability to drink fruit juice (you were able to bake and cook with it though which was a HOOT as I never tried that before this diet). It turns out that there are many ways to sweeten your food and drink including fresh squeezed orange juice, monk fruit, raw honey, and stevia sweetener.

I wanted to provide some EASY WHOLE30 LINKS below that will help guide you on how to get started, what to buy at the grocery store, different snacks and meals, drinks and yummies to help get you through it.

The Expedition 56 crew members pose for a fun portrait in the International Space Station's Kibo laboratory module
The Expedition 56 crew members pose for a fun portrait in the International Space Station’s Kibo laboratory module by NASA Johnson is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0


Have you tried the Whole30 and Paleo Diets before?

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