It was only for 30 days, but it is seriously the beginning of a new perspective for me.
First, the short story: the physical results. I feel AMAZING. For the last couple of weeks, my energy has been high, I sleep well, and I feel like I am my fully functioning self, free of afternoon slumps groggy mornings. Following the Whole30 model for the month of March, I lost about 12 pounds (taking back to my wedding weight…phew!). This translated into 5 inches lost from my chest, waist, and hips. I didn’t do this for weight loss, but I’m pretty dang happy about it. Also, my skin is generally pretty clear, but now it’s even clearer and the circles under my eyes are gone.
The psychological results are also AMAZING. For years, I have eaten small meals and snacks throughout the day. And it really felt like I was constantly thinking about when I could eat next and I was never completely full or satisfied. I’ve noticed that while my meals during Whole30 took some planning, my mind is no longer constantly on food or when I get to eat next. I know the next meal will come and it will be nourishing, and I’m able to better focus on my work and the people around me.
And the longer story…
Most of you who read this probably won’t care. But when I was preparing to do my Whole30, I read a lot of testimonies and a lot of stories that sounded like mine. So if you are one of those people on the fence who wants to know about other people’s history with food, weight, and overall health, here you go.
My mom was always very aware of her weight and health, and cooked relatively healthy meals for us. I started paying more attention to my own physical health in early high school, and over the years I mirrored my mom as she tried weight watchers, new workouts, and other things to maintain her health. I started running, going for walks, etc. I’ve always been a pretty average, healthy weight. (And for the record, mom did whole30 with me and also feels AWESOME. And we agree – it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle we are both excited to adopt.)
In college, I suddenly ate everything in site and didn’t exercise as much. I gained 20 pounds easily my first semester. So the rest of the four years consisted of yo-yo weight as I would go through spurts of calorie counting and working out, and the spurts of not caring. But by the time I graduated I was back up to my +20 weight.
Again, yo-yo over the years. Calorie counting, working out, feeling guilty about choices, feeling bad about myself when I’m sure I looked just fine. I did that 10-day cleanse where all you drink is lemon juice, cayenne, maple syrup and water. STUPID. Don’t do it. I lost weight but immediately gained it back and more.
Whenever I did count calories and up my workouts, I would get back down to what I would consider my “happy weight,” which is a weight that is fairly easy to maintain if I don’t go nuts.
When I got married in June 2013, I was just slightly below my happy weight. Hooray! Couldn’t have been happier with how I felt and looked on my wedding day. Inevitably I guess, I gained a happy 10-14 pounds or so since getting married. When I started the Whole30 I had a few goals. Yes, I wanted to get rid of this little bit of extra weight. But I also really wanted to get to a point where I was no longer constantly thinking about food, my body, my energy, or the gym. I’m not all the way there yet, but in only 30 days I was able to do what has taken me months to do in the past. And for the first time EVER, I have energy all day, every day.
My ultimate goal: Feel great with constantly counting calories or worrying. As I move on from Whole30, I plan to live as close to a Whole9 life as possible. I want to keep up this lifestyle that has, so far, helped freed me from my self-image demons. I’m learning to appreciate my body and mind for what it is TODAY instead of some crazy idea of what it might be someday!!
Today, I’m back to just under my “happy weight.” My next goals include continued weight lifting and working out so I can keep toning up and gain some muscle mass. Screw the scale. I feel and look great, and that’s all any of us want for ourselves.
Now, GO DO A WHOLE30!!
My favorite meals:
Beef and sweet potato chili
Sweet potato chips and guac
This chicken seasoning
Sweet potato and egg hash skillet
Want to know what I ate and how I felt throughout the process? Follow these links!
Click here to see Week 1.
Click here to see Week 2.
Click here to see Week 3.
Click here to see Week 4.
Click here to view all of my Whole30 recipes and posts.