I am going to make an effort to keep future blogs short. This one on the Whole 30 though just can’t be short. I’ll mark off into sections so you can come back! If you’re looking for a way to kick off weight loss or if you suffer from chronic pain, food sensitivities or health issues, take a few minutes to read.
Deciding to do the Whole 30
Just over a month and a half ago, I made a very last minute decision to do the Whole 30. The Whole 30 is a way of eating. It’s not a diet because there is much more to it than just for weight loss, but I originally decided to do it to kick off weight loss. However, I refuse to do super restrictive ways of eating like cleanses or strict calorie counts or types of food. When you do that for weight loss, once you’re done you typically gain it all back and then some because super restrictive things aren’t sustainable. I’ve learned it is important to do things you can sustain long term.
Basically, when doing the Whole 30, you cut sugar, grains, carbs and legumes. It’s very clean eating, which I’ve learned does not have to be boring. I told myself the only way I could do it is if I made a list of things I hoped the Whole 30 could help me fix. I wanted to:
- See if it cured my TMJ pain and ringing in my ears
- Lose weight
- Clear up my skin
I didn’t buy the book but just got a subscription to their Real Plans online meal planner and spent an hour researching recipes.
Was the Whole 30 easy? Not always. Was it doable? Yes. When you do the Whole 30, you aren’t calorie counting. That’s not the point. They advise not snacking but I mean, life happens. It’s just focusing on following the food and the science behind it.
On my first day, I was on top of the world.
“I got this,” I thought.
Day two? My sugar detox set in and it was brutal. When this happens to you, don’t give up. Just fight through it.
Sugar detoxing is very real and very tough. I guess it’s even worse if you binge and have a ton of sugar before (so note–don’t go all out and eat every sweet in your house in the days before your Whole 30).
I got sick. Sick-sick! And since I couldn’t have sugar, I couldn’t have my normal zinc tablets that help me not get sick. I haven’t been that sick in years.
The second day was a sore throat and muscle aches. The third day added congestion and nausea. Then after, I ended up feeling like I had a cold for a week. It took about a week and a half to feel better.
That’s insane that my body had that much of a reaction to…. eating better.
Getting Through It
During the week I can stay on track just fine. Probably because I’m such a creature of habit and stick to routines. But once the weekends set in, that’s when it as was hard. I wanted to have a drink or order a pizza. There are no cheat meals, not one bite, not because they are the fun police, because then it can mess with the science behind things.
Did I have things that probably had some sugar or ingredients I shouldn’t have had? Probably. I followed things the best I could but when eating at a restaurant, it’s so hard to know if everything has been cooked right.
Willpower is also the hardest thing throughout the Whole 30. I’ve always been a person who will try to start things when I don’t have anything coming up. But the problem is, something will always come up. Your life will never just stop for a diet or food change.
And the more those things come up, the better you get at dealing with them.
Mixing in with Life
During my Whole 30 there was Easter, dinner with friends, dinners out with my husband and days I worked late and all I wanted to do was grab food on my way home. I went to a bar with a friend for a fashion show and even spent an afternoon at a bar watching a Pacers’ game with my husband while he drank and I didn’t. I assured him it was fine and I wasn’t mad at all. This was my thing.
I got through all of it. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t easy. At first. But sticking out the 30 days really changes things. Now I don’t feel like I need to have a drink when I get home from a stressful day. I don’t feel the need to get appetizers before dinner. I’m not looking forward to and depend on food for… happiness the way I had been. It was a change that needed to happen and I am very glad I did it.
So all in all, the results of my Whole 30 after the 30 days?
- No more facial pain from my TMJ (unfortunately still the ringing but that’s okay, I’ll keep working)
- Cleared up skin
- No more digestive issues
- No more acid reflux (except once when I ate an orange–usually I would have acid reflux I’d say five out of seven nights of the week)
- Reduced anxiety
- Falling asleep much easier
- Reduced inflammation so now my chronic shoulder and knee pain that I’ve been dealing with for a couple years is gone
- Lost at least five pounds (okay… so I didn’t weigh myself before I started…but I took measurements before) and inches in all measurements, some more than others (almost 2″ in my waist and thighs, then anywhere from a 0.25″-0.75″ in all other areas, and I didn’t work much at all)
- Changed my relationship with food where I’m not looking at it in an emotional way where I use it to try to make me happy when I’m down, or eat or drink because I’m happy
- Discovered so many new foods and drinks that I never thought I would try (or heard of for that matter) that I like very much
I’m glad I did the Whole 30. If you suffer from any type of food issue, are trying to lose weight or are trying to be healthier, this is a great way to get started. It changes your tastebuds and mindset when it comes to food. It is a great reset. Some choose to continue on past 30 days. It’s not easy but it is sooo worth it. It’s just 30 days.