I didn’t want to fill this space with a constant barrage of Whole30 posts, but I think a little check in is in order. I have had so many people ask me about it, ask me how I’m doing and how it’s going, I’d thought I’d share my two cents so far.
I’m on day 22 and will be only staying this course for three more full days. I’ll have a total of 25 days under my belt and feel pretty good about that! So, with no further ado here’s what I have discovered in my 22 days . . .
These are random thoughts and in no particular order. If you want to see the Whole30 “official timeline” check that out Here.
- The beginning is super fun. Beginning the program with others is a little exciting and exhilarating. I spent a lot of time going through the website, blogs and reading about the program. I spent a lot of time gathering recipes and coming up with fairly easy and doable eats for meals and snacks.
- I found myself not feeling great around days 3-4. I was more bloated than I had anticipated and this was a little disheartening. However, I stayed the course and it magically disappeared on about day 5. Ever since that day I have had a noticeable difference in my stomach, in that the normal pooch is gone and all of the other unmentionable stomach stuff disappeared.
- Typically I am a very poor sleeper. For whatever reason I have really slept much better than before I began Whole30. I was very skeptical about the sleeping claims and did not think I would be affected as my sleep patterns are so poor. I can happily say I do sleep better and feel more rested in the mornings. (Of course, when The Husband snores or wacks me with a flying arm, or my dog decides to go out in the middle of the night, or bark at imagined prowlers, I don’t think even the Whole30 can help sleep on those nights!)
- You have to be SUPER organized! I mean you have to be so organized with your foods and abilities to get only certain foods at any time that it can make you feel a little crazy. You can leave NOTHING to chance! You can’t get busy and not have time to eat before rushing out the door to a wine and cheese and expect to find Whole30 approved food on the buffet! You can’t spend all day at a son’s wrestling match without making time to pack your Whole30 approved foods! If you are forced to be without your approved foods for 9 hours and you feel yourself about to pass out, you do the best you can and grab a Market Salad from Chic Fil A and push all the feta cheese to the side.
- You HAVE to talk about doing the Whole30. You have to let people know you are committed to this program and are really taking it seriously so you have accountability and so people won’t think you have some sort of food disorder going on! Your Husband has to know what you are doing so he can kindly ask if there is anything on the menu you can eat when he suggests you go out for dinner . . .
- This brings up the next point, which is you HAVE to eat 99% of your meals at home! Planning, shopping, preparing and cooking your own foods is a huge part of this program. To be successful in knowing exactly what you are eating and what is in your food, eating at home is the way to go. I found that even if I ordered a bowl of soup in a restaurant there would invariably be something in the soup I should not have, whether it was white beans, rice, pasta or even additions you might not be aware of.
- Around week 2 I would have given my right index finger for a cracker. For about three days straight I just wanted to eat a cracker!
- This program has worked miracles on eliminating my sweet tooth or any longing, desire or taste for anything sweet. That is success for me!
- If you think the number on the scale needs to come down a few pounds, this program can really work for that. I do not want to talk numbers and weight loss as that can be so negative, but I have dropped that pesky number on the scale that seems to fluctuate back and forth. My clothes fit nicely and I feel good. I do not consider this program a diet and do not want to be a proponent for a diet program in any way. I view this program as a way to reset my thinking about food, about what foods feel good to my body and a way to get some of the foods out of my system that may have been holding me back from feeling my best.
- I still have not cultivated a taste for straight black coffee.
- I have not been perfect. The weekends are difficult due to planning (see #4 ). The weekends are also difficult due to my mindset. I’ve always been able to be disciplined during the week and then enjoy things on the weekends. On this program the weekends are to be no different than during the week. I decided that was not always going to be the case for me and I am totally okay with that decision. I do not feel as if I failed on the program because I have made so many good choices and changes. When I was not perfect I wasn’t sneaking in my pantry munching on that cracker or diving into a cookie jar. I was out of my routine and made sure I admitted out loud that whatever I was eating was not on the Whole30 program! Somehow that made me feel better and more honest about the cheat.
- There was a point around the end of week two that I got bored with the program and my food choices. During that time I basically lost my appetite and did not even want to eat. That was not good for me because my energy level did drop. I found myself hungry or on the verge of not feeling well during some of my workouts or teaching classes. I had to be careful to make sure I was eating what I should be eating so I could perform and feel my best.
- I hate to admit this next point, but feel like I’m sharing so might as well confess. While I normally am not a slave to the scale and try to not weigh every day or allow the scale to guage whether I have a good or bad day, I found myself right back in that old, negative cycle. When I dropped a few pounds I found myself stepping on that scale a little too often to make sure the number remained the same or was even lower. I know this can be a problem for me and may be a problem for others. If you have ever had any tendency toward any type of disordered eating or any negative tendencies toward diet and body image, you need to make sure of your own mental and emotional well being before beginning any type of program. You have to make sure you keep any bad old habits in check and realign yourself with only healthy goals.
- I still like eggs and could eat them daily. If you do not like eggs you might need to rethink the Whole30!
- It is okay to get hungry. This society bombards us with food at every turn. Food has been made to be so easily accessible that we have allowed ourselves to forget what it feels like to actually be hungry. Food companies make it so easy to get food fast, get so much food, and tout the conveniences of so many different types of foods that we forget that our bodies do not need that much foo; we do not need that many different types of foods and we do not need to feed ourselves the minute we think of food. We do not need to feed oursleves the minute we think we might be getting hungry.
- I will definitely make the Whole30 Program a huge part of my healthy lifestyle. While I’ve never given much thought as to whether I’m gluten sensitive or have a dairy intolerance, I’ve always known that I feel better without much dairy. I’ve also known I gain weight quickly with breads or pastas. Before beginning Whole30 I treated both more like treats. I did enjoy a little half and half in my coffee each morning and would enjoy some bread if it was really good bread or that slice of pizza as a treat, or pasta occasionally. I am convinced that eliminating the bloat and the last few pounds are from taking these foods completely from my diet. I feel like my skin looks better than it did before the Holidays. My energy level is definitely better than before the Holidays. These 22 days of recommitting to really clean eating have been a good thing for me.
- Just THREE more days . . .
Let me know if you want to embark on this Whole30 journey! I’d love to you’re your questions and hear your thoughts and experiences!