Whole30: I did it!!

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Thirty days! I made it 30 days!  I can barely believe it.

Whole30 means that for 30 days, you live on a diet of clean meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, coffee, tea, cold-pressed oils and/or animal fats…and nothing else. It is a lifestyle/eating plan meant to reset your system and allow you to determine, in your post-Whole30 efforts, what foods are working with your body and which ones are better left out of your diet.   You do not weigh yourself, take supplements, count calories or fat, or anything complicated.  Just eat these foods when you are hungry.

This was my second full Whole30.  In the summer of 2013, I did a Whole30 and when I was finished, I concluded that it was the hardest thing I have ever done for myself.  And it was also the best I had ever felt as an adult.  I felt invincible.

After you finish with Whole30, you are supposed to do a reintroduction phase where you bring back one food group at a time and see how it makes you feel.

Well…I did not do that back in 2013. Nope.  Instead, I promptly popped open a bottle of bubbly, drank it and then ate everything in sight for 24 hours. (In my defense, I ended my first Whole30 on the same day as my Dad’s memorial service.) Needless to say, I quickly transitioned from the “best-I-have-ever-felt” to the “worst-I-have-ever-felt”.

Now that I am finished with this round, and have successfully navigated New Year’s Eve, several work parties, a birthday party, and all of the days in between without sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, processed foods, alcohol, soy, or artificial anything, I do not want to screw it up again. But before I go charging the into my future all hyped up on good intentions, let me recap my results.

  • I lost NINE POUNDS, which is especially good since I gained 12 lbs over the course of 2014, whilst steadily enjoying ingesting spiraling-out-of-control-on a diet of goody bag treats, holiday candy, takeout pizza, French fries and other junk food.

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  • I lost 12.5 inches from my bust, waist, hips and thighs. The biggest drop was across my bust (of course) which dropped from 37” to 35”, but the change that makes me the most happy is my waist where I went from 29½ ” to 27¾”. I can definitely feel it when I get dressed. In fact, I pulled out and tried on two formal gowns that I was unable to wear to my Rodan + Fields convention in September.  Before, I could not get the zipper past my waist.  Now, they zip up all the way!!
  • My hair has stopped falling out. Last year, I was in denial that the amount of hair that I held in my hand at the end of a shower. I kept telling myself it was stress related and as soon as ______ happened, it would change. Now, it has completely stopped falling out, proving that my diet was the primary culprit.
  • I embraced cooking. On my last Whole30, I relied on a short list of go-to recipes and I ate them over and over again. This time around, I cooked more and tried to be  inventive. I bought 3 new cookbooks (my favorite is this one), joined Facebook Whole30 support groups and followed a few Pinterest recipe boards. I made compliant versions of Outback’s Blooming Onion, homemade mayo, bone broth, Brussels sprouts, chicken nuggets, fried plantains and plenty of other new recipes. I also made sure to prep a few days out and to have options in the fridge, leveraging leftovers when possible.

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The one big downer was that I did not slay the “sugar dragon”, although I proved that with enough motivation, I could ignore him for a while. I readily admit that I want a Reese’s Cup as much now as I did on Day 1. I am not sure when or where I will cave (who I am kidding…it’ll probably be tomorrow), but I do know that I will likely stop at one. I do not want to undo all of the goodwill I have shown my body. I feel like this time around, I will be able to choose small indulgences on rare occasions without falling into the viscous downward spiral of 2014.

As for the rest of my diet, I am going to try to do re-entry the right way. I will be starting with dairy. I miss cheese. I mean I reaaaaaaaally missed it – I dreamt about it 8 or 9 times over the last 30 days.   I will try to start with one kind of cheese and then experiment each day with something else new. AND, I need to stick with good food, whether it is cheese, or yogurt or anything that has been on the no-fly list for the last 30 days. Whole30 (and the incessant label reading that you have to do to comply with the program,) teaches you that real food is the way to go. It you cannot spell or pronounce the name of an ingredient, it is likely not real food. You should take a pass.

Tomorrow, aside from the real feta I plan to add to my Greek salad (and maybe a Reese’s Cup), my food will look very similar to the things I have been enjoying these last several weeks.  And that is just fine with me.

If you want to know more about Whole30*, check out the book that started it all, “It Starts With Food.” If you want a step-by-step guide, preregister for the soon-to-be-released Whole30 Guide.

Let me know if you want to jump in.  It is not easy to do, but it is SOOO worth it, and I would love to support you in your journey.

~Jennifer

*The products here are placed in an Amazon store I created for my blog.

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About dabosslady

Da boss, wife, mom, lobbyist, wanna-be cook, crafter, wood-worker, photographer, gardener, avid reader, occasional insomniac.
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