All this talk about Whole30, you are probably curious as to why I’d take a 1/3 of my blog to share about it all in great detail, right? Maybe I should share my results and you’ll understand a little more. And, if you haven’t heard of Whole30, I’d highly suggest you check out Melissa & Dallas Hartwig’s book The Whole30. It’s a great read and will get you all set for your first round. Ultimately, this is a program where you remove inflammatory foods, let your gut heal, and then reintroduce foods to see what effect they have on you. Very simplified; read the book, trust me.
Why Am I Sold?
Anyway, I’ve shared about my experience during my first Whole30, and you can read about similar experiences in the book. But really, I’m pretty obsessed with this program for it just to have helped me shed a few pounds. I know a lot of people like the appeal because ultimately, when you are removing inflammatory foods and cutting out sugar, you are going to drop some lbs. For me, while losing weight was a great bonus of this program, it’s more like the cherry on top when I look at the rest of my “non-scale victories”. But, I did end up losing 16 lbs. in 30 days and I was pretty happy with that 🙂
AKA The Results!
In the book there are 2 pages devoted to these things that happen as a result of the program that have
nothing to do with the scale. TWO PAGES. That’s a lot of good results happening in direct correlation to what we are putting into our bodies. It was enough to get me excited for more than just weight loss. Here were the amazing things that happened for me (in no particular order):
1. Down 2 pant sizes
I’ve never been TOO worried about the number on the scale. I do check, but I know muscles weighs more than fat… but your clothes can’t lie! Not having any pants that fit me half way through the 30 days felt pretty good. And when I went to buy new ones, I was shopping in 4s rather than 8 or 10s!
2. Less puffy all over; finally a flat stomach
My face has always been round and full. There is rarely a day when I don’t have a food baby. Well, I’m guessing this has something to do with the food I eat because a week into Whole30, my food baby was nonexistent and my face was thinning out! My muscles were becoming more defined all over my body and clothes began to fit loser within 2 weeks. AMAZING!
3. Victory over the scale
Although I said my head knows my weight is just a number on the scale, I still weigh myself religiously. Almost every day. It doesn’t mean much to me, but it definitely doesn’t help my confidence. After not getting on a scale for 30 days, I really didn’t care what it said, all that mattered was how I felt!
4. Clearer skin
I’ve struggled with adult acne starting in college. Drinking made it worse. Tanning made it much better. Since I’m fair-skinned, and my doctor recently removed some moles, I’ve had to stay out of the sun. Therefore, I’ve been seeking other ways to clear this up. Whole30 helped a ton! I’m still not sure if it was the food or the better outlook on life which decreased my stress, but it worked!
5. Healthier Gut
For so long, my stomach was upset 90% of the time after I ate. I was so used to it, I just didn’t think much about it. Until it was no longer an issue. I don’t have the churning, the bloating, the gassy feelings on Whole30. After experiencing this, I’d be crazy to go back!
6. Increased and more consistent energy throughout the day
I found myself having energy throughout the whole day, not having the crashes mid-morning or around 3pm. I am able to maintain that consistent “just got the day started” feeling. In the evenings, I don’t want to crash on the couch the minute I walk in the door. And after cooking, I’m ready to go for a walk or whatever else we might think of. It’s such a nice change of pace for us!
7. Sleeping better
I’m guessing my consistent and increased energy has to do with the sleep I’m getting being more restful. I wake up with my alarm or just before (4:30am), and don’t feel like I want to keep sleeping.
8. Better mood
After the first week of Whole30, I rarely felt grumpy! I’m not a grumpy person, but I have my days. During the program, the grumpiness was gone. Plenty of times throughout the month I’d pause and be almost shocked at my reaction to situations and life. Things (or people, let’s be real) that normally would normally make me crazy didn’t even have an effect on me!
9. Ability to focus
For my full-time job, I’m a project manager. I’m good at my job because I can “multi-task” (Yes, I know this isn’t a real thing. I’ll get to THAT lesson later) and juggle lots of things. It tends to make me feel overwhelmed in the moment and sometimes I can’t remember what I am doing, or what I need to do next. During Whole30, my mind slowed down, I was able to move smoothly from one thing to the next, rarely feeling overwhelmed. It didn’t matter if I was at home, the office, running errands or what.
10. Tennis elbow is gone!
Since the end of last summer (2015), I’ve struggled with tennis elbow. I’ve had tendonitis in multiple places throughout my life (bicep, wrist, foot and shoulder) that have all come and gone since I was 15. Elbow was the latest location. It made lifting extremely difficult and on arm days, I could be quite painful. However, I’m not one to stop anything because of a little pain, it has to be pretty bad. I tried a few things (anti-inflammatory meds, braces, resting) to make it go away with no luck. Within 2 weeks on Whole30, it was GONE! Talk about mind-blowing!
11. Increased strength
Lifting was a little rough at first, until I got into the groove of the program. Then I kept up with my normal workouts. I saw my strength increase quickly and consistently and now I wasn’t taking any additional supplements to help me heal, or to kick-start my workout. This was all me and natural foods!
12. Less dramatic cycle symptoms
This was a pretty great victory for just changing my diet. My PMS mood swings were almost nonexistent, just like my cramps and lower back pain. No meds needed!
Our marriage was not bad, by any means, just because of food. But because of my improved mood, our lives not revolving around treating ourselves, not battling weight loss and feeling crappy, we get a long better and have more time for us! We cook more together now because, well, Whole30 is more work in the kitchen. But we enjoy cooking and share those responsibilities. I no longer feeling like feeding us is a chore. We try a lot more new activities now, not just new restaurants. And we aren’t always feeling sluggish or bloated; we have energy for things like, you guessed it, sex! 🙂
14. Power over food
I said this list was in no particular order, but I’m going to take that back here. This is the #1 benefit from this program FOR ME by far! Here’s why… I eat like I drank. If it’s there, I eat it. I don’t care if we are talking about a bag of chips, a box of cereal, a bowl of fruit, a steak, or a carton of ice cream. Buffets were my weak spot. I have no control and I’m not sure when that happened. I’d never get a small anything. “Make it large!” Thankfully I married someone who gets me, which is nice that I don’t have to explain, however, it’s not helpful. When we binge, we binge hard.
I’ve worked out for years and do alright with nutrition like 60% of the time, but weekends never go well and that usually carries into Mondays. Since we’ve been married, we’ve had big arguments when I’ve wanted to cheat and he was trying to help me keep on track. Using Whole30 terms, my Sugar Dragon has been out of control for a while!
Gratitude for Whole30
Thinking about what this program has done for me brings me to tears. I finally feel free from my obsessive mind always telling me I need “a treat” or to “reward myself”. I created a list of rewards during my first round — and that was hard to do considering they couldn’t be food related! My relationship with food has changed and it’s amazing. I think twice before I have anything outside of Whole30. I enjoy the things I allow myself to indulge in so much more. When I have a “bad meal” it’s just that, a meal. Not a bad weekend. I eat to nourish myself today and that’s a beautiful thing. Don’t have to count anything or “hit my macros”. I’ll just eat when I’m hungry, three times a day, and the rest of the time, I live my life!!