Today is the first day after our Whole30 program. First of all, WOW. I can’t believe we finished the 30 days! It might sound crazy, but I actually am a little sad it’s over; knowing that every single meal we had was optimizing our health and healing internal damage from past food habits makes it hard to wade back into the muddy waters of other food groups. I am almost reluctant to do so, in fear of gaining back any of the inches, pounds, bloating, or digestive issues (among other side effects of my previous diet).
So you probably want to know the facts; did I lose any weight? Was it worth it? What will my diet look like now? Here are the highlights:
- In 30 days, I lost 12 lbs, went down 2 dress sizes, and my stomach has flattened significantly (losing approximately4 inches!). I lost several inches off my arms, my bust, and my thighs. Did I mention that this is the first time in two years that I can finally get my engagement ring back on? And how amazing it feels to get rid of those ever-present “love handles”! “Muffin top” is no longer a nickname for my belly!
- My sleeping habits have been completely revolutionized; I fall asleep quickly, I sleep incredibly soundly, and I wake up feeling refreshed. This is definitely significant, considering I have a 10-month-old who doesn’t always sleep through the night!
- My energy levels have stabilized. No longer do I experience that midday slump, because my body no longer depends on sugar for energy; my body is finally burning fat like it is supposed to do! No longer is my body just storing fat around my midsection because it is relying on sugar.
- My thyroid medication has been reduced significantly! I had a thyroidectomy 6 years ago (removing my thyroid, which is responsible for hormonal tasks such as metabolism and body temperature), so I will always need thyroid medication to replace those hormones. While I had several fluctuations during my pregnancy (usually needing a higher dose), I always required anywhere from 112 mcg to 125 mcg. After just two weeks of Whole30, my doctor has reduced my meds to 88 mcg; a huge drop!
- My skin has cleared up, my hair is thicker, my nails are strong and growing!
- I feel clear-headed, more focused, and my memory has improved significantly (“Mommy brain” issues, anyone?); I can’t tell you how many home projects I have finally been able to accomplish and tackle with my newfound motivation! Not to mention all the time I have saved by NOT constantly thinking about what food I was going to eat next!
- My workouts are more effective; I have been able to “up” my intensity and, in turn, see more results! And the bonus? No more aches and pains the day after a workout; my body has been healing and repairing itself faster, which means more incentive to work out, and actually being able to enjoy exercise!
- Zero digestive issues (constipation, diarrhea, cramps, gas, etc), and no headaches (I used to get frequent headaches depending on the weather and pressure in the air before a storm).
- My general mood has improved; due to the stability of my energy levels throughout the day, I find myself feeling calmer and more relaxed.
- Whole, unprocessed food tastes good again! I had never realized how heavily I relied on additives, condiments, and other sugar-laden, processed “foods” to make my food taste “better”. I didn’t think twice about indulging in a “treat” at the end of a stressful day, and I never realized how many bad food habits I had slowly acquired (after dinner “snack” while watching TV with the hubby, “grazing” throughout the day, while I was making meals or picking at food while at a party when I wasn’t actually hungry). I can now decipher a craving from actual hunger, which has helped me kick most of those bad habits and that deep-seated desire to binge eat!
- I have greatly increased my creativity and skills in the kitchen, and my family now tries out new foods and meals on a regular basis! No longer are we stuck in a rut when it comes to meal planning and eating a wide variety of nutritious foods! I have gotten excited about eating, especially because I don’t have to feel guilty about what I am eating!
I could go on about the benefits of this program, but those are the highlights that come to mind, and I intend on reaping those benefits long-term. The next 10 day period is called the “reintroduction” period, where you slowly introduce the “less nutritious” foods back into the diet one at a time, in order to ascertain how they affect my own unique body. I can tell you right now that there are certain foods I don’t think I will ever put back into my food rotation, now that I know they are not the best source of nutrients.
Was it worth it? YES. And that is an understatement. My whole outlook on food has been completely transformed and my life, my health, my wellbeing has been changed permanently. I cannot go back to making nutrition choices and claiming ignorance; I know how my own body processes food and how it affects my life. How can anyone go through such a life-altering experience and want to go backwards? Not this girl!
I challenge anyone reading this to take some time to read up on Whole30 – educate yourself about what you are putting into your body and understand how it affects your day to day life! After 34 years of eating the way culture and society has dictated and influenced me, 30 days has thrown it all out the window and I am all the better for it!
Watch out world, another Whole30 convert has joined the ranks!