Emily’s Story-Eating Healthy as a Nurse

In this video we sit down with Emily to discuss her experience with our one-on-one nutrition coaching program. Emily’s story is unique for a few reasons.

-She is a nurse, who typically works the night shift
-She had actually done the Whole30 before
-She was already quite knowledgeable about healthy eating

Yet, she was still able to make a tremendous amount of progress during the program.

Emily:
-Lost 30lbs over 3 months
-Lost 12% body fat
-Lost 4 inches on her waist
-Lost 3 inches on her hips.
-Even while losing all that weight her muscle mass stayed the same

But even more important than what Emily lost in body weight, inches, and percent body fat is what she gained in terms of eating healthy. Her #1 goal was to get control over food not have food control her, and she definitely did that. In the video she tells us how now off-plan food items are now a choice she can choose to make or not make rather than a compulsion.

Great job Emily! We’re so proud of you and all your progress! ________________________________________________________________________

– Hey guys, Robby here from CrossFit South Bend. Today, I’m here with Emily who just finished her three months of nutrition coaching. Emily, thank you so much for joining us.

– Thanks.

– So first thing we wanna talk about, even though it’s not just about the measurements, Emily did a fantastic job. And she basically ended up losing 30 pounds while her muscle mass stayed the same, while she ended up losing 12% body fat. And then, 22 pounds of the total weight loss was basically fat. And then she lost four inches on her waist and three inches on her hips. So you did a fantastic job.

– Thank you.

– How you feeling?

– I feel good. I just switched back to night shifts so I’m a little groggy right now, but overall, I feel that, that my body is doing more what I want it to. I’m more in tune with what it is doing. That it’s not like, I just am inside of my body, I am, we’re together, we’re one thing now.

– Good, good. So tell us a little bit about what eating was like before you started doing this?

– I definitely ate out a lot more. And just something quick. I did try to pick the healthier eating out options, but that’s all relative. And then, I did, I guess you don’t realize until you start doing the food journal how you’re really eating, so I would have probably argued that I ate healthier than I actually did. And then doing the food journal kind of showed that I was eating a lot of red light foods that I didn’t have to have. Or like at work, those little mindless snacks that you don’t recognize that you have because you’re writing everything down. And so almost immediately, I stopped mindlessly snacking because then I had to write it all down and I didn’t wanna write down all of those things. So that was like a big eye opener for me, that I was eating things that I didn’t really realize that I was eating. And none of those were good for you. Someone will bring chips to work and there would be an open bag. Or occasionally, someone would bring fruit, but that’s, you know, once a month versus once a week. So that was definitely a lot of bread, carbs, that like what I would eat out, that’s what it would be. And now that’s not the case.

– Good. So take us through the journey. Take us through like, what was month one like? Where we were gradually working up, and then month two with the Whole30 and then the reintroduction. Tell us how journey was for you, that whole process.

– So the first week was just, I did what I had been doing and just wrote it all down. And so, I was surprised that I was like, “Oh, this is what I’ve been doing.” So that was a good, I wasn’t terrified at the beginning. And then it was, every goal was something that was accomplishable. And I do remember missing a goal at the beginning and I was really mad about it. But it wasn’t like an accusation, it was like, this is like, it just wasn’t made. And then from there, it was just like, now I’m making choices of, you know, if I’m not gonna eat as many bad things, which ones would I choose? And then, the final week it was like I don’t have to eat anything bad and I think it was almost like a conscious decision to have a glass of whisky with my sister. So, at that point I felt like it was already that control over food was starting to come into play, because you’re conscious of what you’re eating and you know that this is an actual decision.

– And then, in terms of your Whole30 journey, you and I were just talking about this. You were saying you had kind of attempted it before but this time was different. Tell people about that.

– So, part of the difference was I didn’t do it cold turkey this time, so with the gradual cutback in the month one that made it a lot more realistic for me to believe I could achieve the Whole30. And then moving forward beyond that, my kitchen was ready to accomplish the Whole30. That was a big. I already had all the food I needed with the grocery store tour, I knew I didn’t have to make a whole bunch of random sauces myself. Because plain chicken, or whatever, is very boring after a while. So they have all the different sauces that I could buy instead of trying to make them myself. That was a lot more convenient. And then, having the book resource, as kind of what to anticipate per day because it had the days marked out. So then I would read that, or if I was having a particularly bad day, it’s like well, that’s how I’m supposed to be feeling right now. So that wasn’t as scary, and then just knowing that I had support, that I wasn’t just off in no mans land doing it myself.

– Absolutely. So one of the big things with Whole30 is the whole concept of not in scale victory. You obviously got major scale victories, but one of your main goals that was a non scale victory was control over food and your relationship with food. Tell people about that.

– So, after the Whole30 there’s been some significant life stress and in the holidays, too. But, it was really important to me to not consciously choose to send Robby an email that said, “Hey I had something I wasn’t supposed to, I know you’ll forgive me.” It was, I know that I don’t have to make this decision and it was really important to me to not use food as a coping mechanism, and it was also like I was really proud of myself afterwards because once you finally are done, it’s “Okay, I’ve made it this amount of time without using food as a coping mechanism and now I know going forward that I have the will power and I have the capacity in education, too, to make healthier decisions and to follow up knowing that when I do make an unhealthy decision, I’m not just being ignorant.

– So did you experience, besides the control over food which is fantastic, did you experience any other non scale victories like, in energy, mood, cravings, digestion, recovery from workouts, anything of that nature?

– I will say I was kind of irritated about the cravings

– Yeah.

– Because, in relation to my menstrual cycle, they would still come, and so I was really mad because I read the Whole30 book and after you pass a certain point you’re not supposed to having the cravings. So that’s the only thing that I was a little irritated about but that’s realistic. And so, now I know that and so can be proactive about that. Also, I definitely remember it was like October 13th, and I thought the workout here was pretty challenging. But I was really proud of myself, I felt like my body was working really hard and I knew I was taxed but I didn’t feel like I was achieving. So I patted myself on the back for the capacity that my body had to achieve the workout, so definitely noticed an improvement there. Since then I got a cold but, you know, it happens.

– Right. So, you work as a nurse in a hospital. One of the most overworked, underappreciated jobs in the healthcare field, but harder to be healthy. What would you say to people, and you know, you work the night shift and you’re incredible working the night shift. What would you say to people who are like, “Oh my gosh, I work the night shift I can’t do this,” or, “I work as a nurse,” “I work in healthcare, I can’t do it,” what were your thoughts?

– There is always food, always food. And patient’s family members will bring us food all the time so, that’s a realistic thing that will never change. And a lot of people experience that at their work as well, that there’s constantly something that someone brought to share. And so, it was just, “No I can’t have that,” it wasn’t like a big deal and I would just walk away. Because I work 12 hours at a time, and sometimes have to stay over, I always have different nuts in my bag, an EPIC bar, or some kind of dry protein that way. And then typically, whenever like, quick grab type things I would do hard boiled eggs, and sometimes fruit. And then I always take two lunches and two snacks. And people think I’m crazy ’cause I’m like, “I gotta eat some more food,” because every two hours I’m sneaking food out which is against all the rules and if anybody from JCAHO, they don’t know where I work. Sometimes you’re really busy and you don’t have time to eat, so making sure that the food I brought was nutrient dense was important. So now I’ve been meal prepping more regularly I know which foods will sustain me for the majority of my shift, or for a significant portion. And sometimes, I had read, nurses had written about doing the Whole30 and eating healthy at work, and I had read about that she would bring multiple options so that if she didn’t want something, she would have something else to fall back on. So that also helped me to maintain staying on track and working nights, they would only offer the night shift menu, which is typically, if they offer a salad, it’s scary. And then most of the other options are fried or scary. I don’t know they are prepared. So, then you have to be a lot more conscientious that you bring your food. Because a lot of my coworkers will stop on the way to work and pick up something. So it’s making sure I get up in time to make breakfast. And even if I take it with me and eat it at work, I still have made it and I have it. So that’s been the biggest thing, just being conscientious in that way.

– Okay, that’s really helpful. And then, I guess the last question I have is, do you think there’s a sustainable long term? Do you feel like, I mean obviously you and I have talked about, you know of course you can have pizza for special occasions. But I mean like, generally speaking, 80 to 90% of the time do you feel like this is sustainable long term?

– Now I do. If you had asked me at the beginning I don’t think I would have, I would have probably lied and said that I believed that I was because that was the right answer.

– Right.

– But as I had success, just with one, like the meal template itself was successful, and then as I saw success in like, my clothes no longer fit. And then saw success that it wasn’t a figment of my imagination either, it was on paper. Those things were encouraging to maintain the changes I was making. So now it’s knowing that putting good food in my body means that I will feel better and be more confident that’s like I know I’m feeling myself appropriately to do the job that I need to do at work and then to perform well in the gym, and just to live a healthier life and feel better in general. And now I know, even just as we’ve added the things back in, and we’ve talked about too many of the yellow things I can tell, it’s like, “Oh you are eating too many,” because I feel that heavier feeling even though those aren’t nearly as bad of the foods I had been eating. So it’s also being accountable to yourself that, if I choose to eat something bad I know the consequence that will have. And so, now I feel that I have the education to make an accurate decision. I have the capacity in my kitchen and in my desire to eat healthy. And then, just being persistent that I’m going to choose to do that anyways.

– Awesome, absolutely. So, I know I said it before but I’ll say it again, super proud of you. Think you did a fantastic job. The numbers speak for themselves, but I think even more importantly than that, just your ability to have control over food and just control your own destiny, so I think you did a fantastic job. So thank you so much for joining us.

– Thank you.

– For telling us your story. Alright guys thanks so much for tuning in, we’ll see you next time.

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