I conquered my Everest. No sugar, grains, dairy, or legumes for a month was HARD. But I will say it was worth it. I can’t complain about the results.
I can’t say that I loved it, but I also didn’t hate it. I will never look back and think, “Dang, I really wish I hadn’t eaten so healthy…” I mean, look at my Mother’s Day dinner. Steak with a balsamic glaze and a balsamic matchstick salad. Can’t feel bad about that!
Energy levels: My energy levels are incredible. I am keeping my house cleaner, I am WAY more productive, I have the energy to get down on the floor and goof off with my kids, and I need less sleep than I used to. I can’t sleep past 7:00 anymore and before the Whole 30, I could not force myself to get up before 7:00. (I usually go to bed around 11:30 or midnight.) Eating healthy food feels good. It’s hard to describe, but in general, I just feel better. I no longer feel the need for an afternoon Diet Coke, but I still do get a hankering for chocolate.
Digestion: Ehhh, no huge improvements here.
Skin: Again, no huge improvements. My skin isn’t perfect, but it’s not that bad either.
Aches and Pains: I have had really bad knee pain for a while now. I was hoping the Whole 30 would help this because people swear Whole 30 has helped any odd pains they are having. No. Still hurts.
Weight Loss: Although the Whole 30 makes no weight loss promises, people usually lose an average of 10 pounds. I lost 7 pounds. I am back to my pre-baby weight, at least with my second child. I’d have to do this all over again to get back to my first pre-pregnancy weight. Because of the knee pain I mentioned before I can’t run as much as I used to, and unless I am doing a group class like Zumba (which I do once a week), no other form of exercise motivates me like running does. I don’t work out or sweat as hard and I am just bored. So my boredom may have had something to do with it too.
What Now? This was not a lifestyle change for me. I believe in moderation in all things. I don’t feel the need to cut out dairy, or grains, or anything altogether, but I do feel that I need to control a little more of what I eat. My family didn’t always eat what I ate, and making two meals was hard work. But on the other hand, I rediscovered my love of fruit, especially strawberries. I discovered recipes that I LOVED. I don’t want to go back to how I was eating before. I am going to feel a little lost for a few days, until I figure out a good balance.
Would I do it again: YES! Especially for weight loss purposes. I am already thinking about doing it again in a couple of months.
My Tips for Doing the Whole 30:
- Get rid of ALL the junk food! Having kids in the house made this a little hard, with all the little snacks we had around, so get rid of as much as you can. I replaced their snacks with apple slices and bananas, which require a little more work than opening a package, but if I wanted a snitch of their snack, then I wasn’t cheating, and they were eating healthier too.
- Make a plan. You HAVE to have a meal plan. If I didn’t know what I was eating, I moped around and got mad at the diet. These meals usually take a lot of preparation and time, or special ingredients that aren’t your everyday pantry items, so you have to know what you’re eating, or have something easy to make on hand.
- Forgive yourself. If you cave and eat some candy or bread, that’s okay! Tomorrow is a new day. Whole 30 rules say you have to start over, I say forget that. Your Whole 30 is not going to be ruined by a little bump in the road. Pick yourself up and move forward with a resolve to do better.
And now for the embarrassing before and after pictures.
I saw the most improvement in my stomach and love handles. And the least improvement in my butt and saddle bags. I am starting to think getting older and bearing children has forever ruined my behind.
Until next time, Whole 30. It’s been real… It’s been fun…