I just did the WHOLE 30!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 Public 0 Comments

If you had asked me back in December if I would be willing to give up dairy (cheese, milk, butter, ALL of it), grains (bread, pasta, rice), legumes (peanuts, chickpeas, black beans, etc), alcohol, AND sugar, for 30 days, I would have said it was impossible.

But here I am, 30 days later, and I DID IT. A group of girls and I committed to doing Whole30 for January, and kept each other motivated through a Facebook group. More about what Whole30 is here:

(note: I did not read the book, just followed the website, and signed up for the daily emails)

It was hard. I’m not going to lie. But I needed this. After just giving up from Halloween to New Year’s, and eating whatever was closest because I felt stressed out, I knew I needed a change. I had gained 14 POUNDS from Labor Day to New Year’s. I needed something drastic to snap me out of it.

And now I feel AMAZING. I lost 9 pounds of the 14 I had gained, and I’m not slowing down anytime soon. My energy is back, my mood swings are tamer, I sleep much better, my skin is clear, and I just feel HAPPY most of the time. What I learned on this journey:

  1. I can’t do this without some big support. I had daily check-ins with my friends online, and my other friends keeping me in check at social events. I am so grateful for their support and advice, and I know it is KEY going forward, to keep this going.

  2. If I can do this during one of the most stressful months I’ve ever had, I can do this ANYTIME. I had work craziness, a big presentation for my leadership group to prepare, a talent show to prepare for (which is tonight by the way, yay Voyagers Got Talent!), and the normal kid/house stuff on top of everything. I had many days where I just wanted to give up and veg out on the couch. But I didn’t!

  3. I had a plan. I planned out every meal for the first two weeks, and then by the 3rd week I started throwing together leftovers, and winging it a bit more because I had the hang of the program. When I felt defeated and overwhelmed, I just stuck to my plan (having whole30 compliant foods around at all times was mandatory), and it helped me weather all the challenges and temptations I had along the way. And if I was REALLY tempted, I kept up the mantra that “it’s only 30 days!” to get through.

  4. I need someone to tell me that I CAN’T have something. I used to love Weight Watchers because it was “eat whatever you want, just count the points”, but I got tired of counting points and got lazy about the portion sizes, and then each little indulgence started adding up. I was treating myself with something small every single day, and not realizing how much of a habit it was. Some candy from CVS, a mocha from Starbucks, a hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts. With Whole30, having stuff be “off limits” gave me an excuse on WHY I can’t have it, and it helped really kill those cravings, and get out of the habit. I realized through this that I need an “all or nothing” approach if I want to stay healthy, and need to be stricter after Whole30 is done. No more pizza Fridays… if I’m going to have pizza, it’s going to be because it’s a super special occasion, not because I’m lazy on a Friday.

  5. I don’t miss dairy, really. I do miss eating slices of cheese, creamer in my coffee, and I did miss sour cream in a BIG way, but I don’t need cereal anymore, and can actually go 30 days without any of the above and not die. So my plan is to slowly reintroduce it, but in really, really small amounts.

  6. My moods stabilized. I still get emotional when I’m stressed, but I don’t feel the dramatic swings/shifts anymore. I feel more even keeled with my energy and emotions throughout the day. I’m not tired at 4pm, and now find energy to get through the bedtime routine with my kids, without needing to down some sugar/coffee at 3pm every afternoon. I’m overall feeling happy!

  7. I also didn’t have any conditions that I was worried about, so I didn’t have any aches and pains that disappeared. I did have headaches, but I realized that I have a teeth clenching problem (exacerbated by hunger pains) that I used to use gum to help with. But I gave up gum during Whole30, so I resorted back to clenching my teeth. My jaw and head really hurt, and I had to make a conscious effort to stop (I fear I may still be doing it in my sleep though). Some pain relievers helped with that, too.

  8. Pre-whole 30, I was not eating out of hunger, but because I was bored, it was there, it was a habit, I was stressed, etc. So I made an effort to listen to my body during these 30 days, and feel REAL hunger pains. When I felt hungry, I’d wait 10-15 minutes, and if the feeling got stronger, I’d eat until I felt full (no measuring, just eating compliant foods). What surprised me is how often it went away! It was hard the first few days when I felt like I was starving all the time, but by the first week’s end, I was able to survive on a lot less food than I thought I needed. I was also surprised at how many times I reached for my kid’s food off their plates. I can’t even count how many times I had to stop myself mid-bite when I realized what I was doing. That snacking was out of control!

  9. I planned out my meals every week, which helped, but by the last week I was only doing dinners and got back into the habit of eggs and a veggie (like green or red pepper) and leftovers for breakfast and lunches. That hurt me, since a few mornings I was scrambling to find things to eat or take for lunches, and I am bored with eggs now. So I still have some work to do, but recognize how much EASIER things are when I plan out everything!

  10. I discovered that I LOVE frozen bananas in the food processor. It was technically a “cheat” but I did it 3 times in 30 days to have something in the evenings when I was still hungry, and it was DIVINE. So creamy, it felt like I was eating frozen custard, but it was only a banana. I wish I had a bigger food processor so it didn’t take so long to make it! But again, that wasn’t technically Whole30, but oh well, I still consider it a success :)

So where do I go from here? I feel so good, that my goal is to keep going! I’ll introduce some things that I know are still ok. Like milk in my coffee (but no sugar), sour cream, and some slices of cheese, maybe some yogurt. I’ll add in some legumes because I miss hummus and I love black beans, but I’ll swap out peanut butter for almond butter. I am going to keep watching out for added sugar, and save it for super special occasions (not the kid’s birthday parties, I’m talking once a year type festivities). I’m also going to limit grains, and try to only have bread/pasta/rice about once or twice a month, if that. So mainly stick to a paleo diet, and tweak as we go along.

It was hard, but SO SO worth it these past 30 days. I highly recommend anyone try it, and COMMIT to the 30 days. You won’t be sorry!

(Benjamin is 6 years 1 month and 3 weeks old and Juliet is 1 year 9 months and 4 weeks old)