Week 11: Low Carb Character

The last 7 days have been a roller coaster in every sense of the word. The lows were tear-jerkingly low and the highs euphorically high. Here’s the weekly rundown:

  • Low-Carb Character: On Thursday morning, I woke up in tears. It was 4am and the hunger in my stomach would not let me go back to sleep. All week I had been experiencing intermittent moments of anxiety and desperation, and this instance of not being able to fall back asleep despite my exhaustion was just the straw that broke my back. I just laid there alone and cried. Blame it on the drop in calories, lower carbohydrates, my fast-paced work environment or physical fatigue – any of which could easily be the culprit. Whatever it was, it broke me. I had so many thoughts race through my mind. Angry thoughts. Why the hell am I doing this? Why the hell do I feel this way? I never, EVER want to do this again. (Breathe. Pause.) It didn’t happen right away, in fact it took hours that morning for me to get out of my funk, but I did something extraordinary. I summited a monster of a mountain. As I was scrubbing dishes in my kitchen, a rush of clarity came over me. I have so much respect for this process. And I wish I could phrase that in a way that maintains its simplicity but also punches you in the gut with gumption. I mean it. These 11 weeks have tested more than my body, my will power, my muscles, my heart, my grace, my boundaries. They have undeniably challenged my integrity and the strength of my character. This is so much more than selfies, spray tans, squats and salmon. This is about setting a goal, a BIG one, drafting a plan and making intentional choices each and every hour to follow that plan with uncompromising precision no matter where I am or if anyone is watching me. I am the ONLY person that can hold me accountable. Period. And guess what? I’ve nailed it every single time. For 77 days, I’ve faced that hour by hour temptation/adversity/doubt/hunger/pain/fear and stuck to my guns anyway. I don’t think I even have to argue that this paints a picture of the type of woman that I am in all areas of my life, not just in fitness. I’m proud of my integrity. I’m proud of the fierce woman that I’ve become. I am proud that I am sensible but willing to dive in head first even when I can’t see the bottom. I am learning that struggle and failure can breed passion and purpose. So thank you, tiny portions of brown rice, for breaking me. Although you cause a brain so foggy that I mysteriously “find” my sunglasses in the fridge on top of my egg whites, you’ve shown me that with the right attitude, I am unstoppable.

Shoulder Selfie!

Whew! On a lighter note….

  • Pumpkin Spice What? Ahhh, ’tis the season’. All you fellow harvest junkies feel me when I say Christmastime ain’t got sht*t on autumn. No matter where I’ve lived (even in Texas + Florida), the morning following Labor Day always beckons the inaugural indulgence of boots, scarves, leaves, college football and….uh oh….pumpkin things. Breads, cookies, lattes, candy, pastas, pies, muffins, yikes.  Not this year, Danielle! But the good news is I’ve found some really palette-pleasing replacements!
    • 1. Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice ground coffee;
    • 2. Sprinkling cinnamon & nutmeg on top of a robust Americano;
    • 3. SWEET POTATOES! Yea! They were added into my diet for the first time this entire prep (yea, 11 weeks!) and I’ve been swooning over how much I love them. Sprinkled with a little salt and cinnamon and they remind me of pie mixed with cinnamon sugar buttery toast. BALLER!
  • Belly Buttons are NOT Permanent: Welp, my belly button changed. For 27.91 years, I’ve been a veteran member of the “Innie Club”. No matter how thin or thick my tummy has been, my BB has always been, like, a cute little dimple or something. And I suppose I’ve always thought that once you’re an innie, you’ll never be an outie. Then again, I’ve never had abs like I do now (which make me  freaking PROUD!!). Long (and really weird) story short, I’m currently seeing an outie in the mirror, tightly and proudly popping out. So…..there’s that.

Here’s the part where I say “__ weeks out, y’all!” but not this time! I feel like I need a serious drum roll before I type this…. 13 DAYS out, folks! Yea, DAYS!!!! Woohoo!!


Honey hued locks for the big day!