The Weekend + The Countdown + The Before Photos

This was such a great weekend to end the New Year, can I tell you? Mucho relaxing as we basically continued out trend of being completely ridiculous homebodies. We watched a lot of Homeland, tried to sleep late (Buster isn’t that into us sleeping late since he is used to getting breakfast at 6am, but we TRIED) and also read a ton in the bathtub. Well, *I* read in the bathtub — to be clear. :) Garrett mostly shot zombies on the computer while I was doing that, which was just fine by me.

We ventured out for a walk in the park on Saturday with the dog and once again his mind was mostly blown. He enjoys all walks, but this one particular park that we take him to just always makes him so happy!


It was just one of those days where everywhere I looked it seemed like everything was just so beautiful. I know that sounds cheesy, but it doesn’t make it any less true. It was crispy and wintery and despite there being more leaves on the ground than in the trees everything was green, the park was buzzing and I was just happy to out in the world hanging with my two favorite dudes.

Sunday, I woke up completely determined to RIGHT THIS SHIP, as it were. It’s been a fun season of indulgences but I’m ready to get back to healthy habits, a more active lifestyle and just a general fresh start. I headed out in the morning and took a 3 mile run with my friend Heather (who rocks for dragging my ass outside!) I was NOT happy about it (also, please ignore the bad hair, but please note: Mama Elsa Face) but when I finished I felt amazing. I love that post-run feeling and need to get back to a place in my life where I look forward to it more than I dread lacing up my sneakers.
Obviously the biggest thing that affects how I feel is the food I put into my body, so I can’t tell you how excited I feel about the Whole 30 is right around the corner (STARTING WEDNESDAY. YESSSS!) I made a loose meal plan for the week (which I’ll share tomorrow) and then did my grocery shopping to get ready. I posted this photo on Instagram yesterday but I think it is worth reposting.
This is totally my inner-crotchety-old-lady coming out, but I captioned it: Can we all agree to stop saying that (Paleo and) the Whole 30 is SO MUCH meat? Because really, to be frank, IT’S A SHIT TON OF VEGETABLES. That is the truth. And while I understand that it can be a major transition to rid your diet of grains, etc – I am sort of getting tired of people talking about ALL OF THE MEAT. Yes, your protein sources will come from animals (unless you’re a vegetarian, this is no change whatsoever from this Standard American Diet we all leave behind.) But if you are doing it right, it is a variety of protein sources: eggs, fish, shellfish, pork, chicken, beef, lamb… and the rest of your plate is delicious, nutritious vegetables. Man, sometimes I would like to tattoo that on my forehead. Sorry I got a little nutty there for a second. Oh wait, one more last little peeve and then I’m done: VEGETABLES ARE CARBOHYDRATES, PEOPLE. So check out that table FULL OF CARBS and get excited. :) Ok, end rant. Holy shit, that’s why I never let my Food Ranting Old Lady out. She’s no fun.

Anyway, ranting aside I prepped tons of vegetables, cooked up some protein sources and then went to call it a night.

But instead of leaving well enough alone I then thought to myself “Hey Self, you should post some before pictures.” And just the very thought of that made me want to throw myself off of a cliff, but I did it anyway because back fat needs to be documented. No wait, that’s not right. I did it because I’ve always said that taking photos is a really helpful indicator of body changes, so I am rationalizing showing you these by telling myself that the After Photos will be worth it.


I do NOT feel happy about these, but I’m willing to keep it real for you all. If you end up posting before pics too, link me PLEASE. Pretty PLEASE.

Anyway, here’s to rolling the dice and better After Photos and sugar free meals filled with green things and out door activity. 2013 is going to start with a bang, folks! I’m so glad you will be here to join me!


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23 comments to The Weekend + The Countdown + The Before Photos

  • Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie
    December 31, 2012 at 9:55 am

    First – What’s with the sudden zombie killing craze? Seriously, everyone I ask “what are you doing?” and the answer is “nothing,” I know that Sean’s killing zombies. Phone. Ipad. Laptop.

    Boys are weird.

    Second – You’re a braver blogger than I am. There will be no before pictures on my site. Pretty much as a rule. I’m so inspired by you though, whenever I need a dose of real life inspiration this is my one-stop-shop!

    Happy New Year & here’s a toast to a fabulous 2013!

    • Holly
      December 31, 2012 at 10:06 am

      Boys ARE weird. For certain. :)

      Happy New Year to both of you…I will drink a glass of champagne for each of you, because I’m that kind of friend.

  • rachael
    December 31, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Honestly? I think you look pretty great! i am so excited to be trying out my first Whole30 for the New Year. I am making 5 Whole30 Crock pot meals from Stuff I Make My Husband to start out, and am making pulled pork today! Really excited for all your posts about this, you inspire me to do it.
    Happy new year!

    • Holly
      December 31, 2012 at 10:07 am

      Rachael you are the sweetest! And your check is in the mail for that compliment. ha! I’m going to do some cooking tomorrow and I’m excited. It feels good to have all your ducks in a row!

  • Erica
    December 31, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Ugh, I know I’m one of those cranky-making SO MUCH MEAT people. I’m sorry. But even though it was mega-tons of vegetables, it was still about ten times more meat than I am used to eating. But I was a meat-once-a-week type, which is not really standard. Anyway, I am so into it for other people! I love that I know about a dozen people doing Whole30 in January. You guys eat the meat and send me your breads!

    • Holly
      December 31, 2012 at 10:13 am

      You know, I actually wasn’t thinking of you at all despite the fact that you wrote about Meat Month. Ha! I have selective irritation, clearly. (Doesn’t everyone though?) It’s more just the general feeling I have gotten on The Twitters lately, so don’t you sweat it. (I’m sure you weren’t, heh, but just to clarify.) Please expect a shipment of crackers and crusty buttered asiago cheese bread COVERED IN MY TEARS tomorrow. :) Happy New Year lady! Can’t wait to read about your food experiments in 2013.

      • Erica
        December 31, 2012 at 10:21 am

        Ha. I’ve actually eaten way more meat since my Whole 30, but also…bread and potatoes and such, so I’m probably much closer to a SAD than I’ve been in about ten years. Whoops! Anyway, I’ll take those extra-salty crackers and bread. And probably dip them in gravy.

  • Maggie
    December 31, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Happy Whole30, Holly! I’ll be right there with you, though I can’t wait until Wednesday — starting first thing tomorrow, eek!

    I took “Before” photos over the weekend, but of course I dumped them on a computer at my parents’ house, promptly forgot about them and left the state. Oops. I blame the holiday sugar fog lol. I’ll definitely link you once I post them.

    Wishing you a very happy, healthy new year :-)

  • Heather
    December 31, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Yay Holly! Loved running with ya and we are sooo going rock the relay come May! Can’t wait! Cheers to 2013 and to being our very best!!!

  • BuchaBelly
    December 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    My Hubby and I are doing our first Whole30 next month and I just want to say THANK YOU for your honesty and courage. Your post today gave me the the extra ‘umph’ I needed to start the year off right.

    • Holly
      December 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      My back fat says “You’re Welcome!” :)

      Glad you two are joining in. It should be a fun month. Not devoid of challenges of course, but with all these folks participating, how could it NOT be fun?

  • Rachel @ painfreekitchen
    December 31, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Amen to so many things you said in this post. Realizing that paleo isn’t a 100% meat diet is definitely something people have a hard time realizing. Including myself. My boyfriend and I have even considered trying Meatless Mondays just to push ourselves out of the “must have meat” mentality.

    And I am also guilty about the carbs part…boy am I guilty. My blog name since April was “Cutting Out Carbs.” Cute, yes. Accurate, no. So many people kept asking me if paleo was just like Atkins…#fail

    Thankfully I finally fixed the blog name issue today :)

    And finally, a huge high-five kudos for taking one for the team and posting before pictures. That is a scary thing to do, especially when you’re not feeling 100% comfortable in your own body. I’m also taking before photos but am leaning towards waiting until I have awesome after pictures to post both sets together.

    • Holly
      December 31, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      I am so excited to hear about your experience Rachel. The asthma thing especially. Go YOU for documenting all of that! Best of luck!

  • Rhonda H
    December 31, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Excited about starting the Whole 30 with you all! Holly I love that table full of food photo! It is so inspirational about what to eat!

  • Alicia @ Humble Foodie
    December 31, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Before pictures are a great idea! Like someone said above, you’re a braver blogger than I. I think mine will just stay on my harddrive as motivation. :-)

    I did a small W30 shopping run yesterday to get food through the 2nd, but I’m looking forward to a huge cart full of vegetables when I can get to my favorite local produce market. Happy new year!

  • Andrea
    December 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Well you inspired me to post before pics. That was the hardest thing ever, honestly I wanted to cry. I am excited to start on the 2nd. Thank you for posting such inspirational and motivating posts about the whole30. Good luck!

    Here is my before link:

    Please don’t judge me LOL!

  • Susannah
    December 31, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I will take before photos because you took before photos (and all the other brave brave people!). Last night I actually started to cry talking about taking a before photo. I think the glass of bubbly I had drank helped with the tears, but seriously, I am so disappointed in myself for way I have ate all fall that the thought of a revealing photo was overwhelming. But now, I’m doing it! Tomorrow! I am ready for my Whole30!!

  • Tarable
    December 31, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    You’ve inspired me to take some before pics also but I don’t have the balls to post my pics until I have some nice afters. :)

  • Jude
    January 1, 2013 at 1:14 am

    I’m with ya. Here are my starting pics.

    Roll on clean eating! Your shopping haul is impressive! :)

  • Happy New Year (and some before pics) | fastlife, slowlife
    January 1, 2013 at 11:50 am

    […] we have plenty of compliant food to pull it off. I can’t believe I’m doing this, but that damn Holly issued a challenge I couldn’t refuse, so here are my before pics. Let’s hope things are looking a little better on 1/30! […]

  • Jacki
    January 1, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    I did my grocery shopping for Whole30 yesterday, my first one. Glad to see so many of the items I purchased are in your pick. That broccoli slaw is the best stuff.





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