Above is a collection of some of the meals I made during my Whole30, some I enjoyed, but most I ate simply because it was all I was “allowed’, and lets face it, I needed to eat!
Well it was a long 30 days….I bitched, I moaned, whined and got angry… but I did it! I completed the Whole30.. Please remember this is my take on it, how I felt and feel about it all, we are all entitled to our own opinion and that’s what this is… my opinion, while some love the program and have benefited from it, I did not and hated everything about it! If your not familiar with the program (and that wouldn’t surprise me) this quote was taken from the website “Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system”. I can’t say I was looking to achieve the above, the best reason I can give as to why I did it is… I was simply curious.. and I was putting my willpower to the ultimate test. I did not go into it hoping to change my relationship with food, I was perfectly ok with how I got on with food, If I liked it, I ate it..but I also taught myself when to stop, when to say “yes” and when to say “not today”, not “no” because that was not a part of my vocabulary anymore when it came to food. For example, If I took my daughter out for a froyo treat I would ask myself “am I going to have some” If my answer was yes because I felt I earned it that week, or I had barely touched my weeklies then I would enjoy it, track it and move on.. meaning don’t go home and eat half a pack of cookies because your mindset is now thinking you blew your week by having a frozen yogurt! Or maybe I decided “not this time” and instead make myself a treat back at home to keep me within my daily points. Either way you need to be able to accept which route you go, and if you struggle with this or you struggle with bad habits and think whole30 is the answer…I think most will be disappointed to learn its not.
Restriction is one of the unhealthiest and stressful things you can put your mind through when trying to lose weight. I spent 13 years battling that, saying no to certain foods that I felt was my reason for not being able to lose weight. It never ended well, all those “no” foods were on my radar and I just wanted to dive head first. Saying “no” is exactly what your doing on Whole30, and you say it a lot! You are given a list of “compliant” foods which is basically your proteins (meats, eggs, seafood, processed meats which have to contain no sugar or nitrates, sulfites etc) your vegetables, fruits and healthy fats (cooking fats and nuts/seeds). Everything else is a big fat “NO”! So that means no grains, no dairy, no alcohol.. NO FUN!!! So if you can’t talk yourself through a froyo treat then I don’t know how you think you can talk yourself into only eating of an “approved” list of foods. I knew going into this I was a terrible candidate, I disliked most vegetables and could never find a liking for eggs (although I really wish I liked them) yet I was still determined to try… I had a friend on my Instagram, Jessica that offered to tackle the journey with me, so we picked our start date and away we went.
Day 1 & 2 are a bit of a blur, I was eager and dare I say excited to start. All these people on my instagram were telling me how amazing I would feel soon, my sleep would improve and I would have so much energy. Day 3-5 hit me hard, I felt awful.. I spent more time in the bathroom than anyone ever should! (I know that might be a little TMI but I am just keeping it real, it was pure hell, nothing was agreeing with me) Unfortunately it didn’t improve much from there, I suffered upset stomach a lot, and then the bloating kicked in. I swear there were days I said to my husband “look at me, I look like I’m 5 months pregnant!” it was brutal. On day 11 I had the worse night, I barely slept and felt awful and I was almost ready to throw in the towel, I was not going to do this if it was going to jeopardize my health! I couldn’t understand why I felt so bad, I mean I was eating all “whole” foods.. Anyway as day 12 went on I started to feel a little better, still bloated and bored to death of food but felt decent enough to continue on. As far as my eating went, I didn’t struggle much going from meal to meal but come night time I wanted to snack.. I tried to keep it to just a few nuts or raisins, but after 2 weeks I decided to stop with the nuts all together, people were telling me it may be causing the bloating and it did help tremendously. I was now left with very little to snack on. So over 2 weeks into it and all I was left with was feeling miserable.. I was fed up, bored and hated the thought of eating more meat! I had yet to have any of those “I feel fantastic days” I mean there were a few days I felt good but I am going to sum that up to a few nice spring like days we had and maybe the fact that Mumford and Sons released their new single “Believe” which I instantly fell in love with. 😉 Anyway by day 20 nothing had changed for me, my sleep was the exact same, my energy level was no different and I saw no changes in my hair/skin, although I have never suffered bad skin so was not expecting changes there. I also did not experience one weird dream I heard so many talking about.. So at this point in my journey I just basically trekked on, I just wanted to finish, to say I finished. I figured after 20 days I wasn’t going to quit, even though I was confident it was not for me and I was not going to experience any of the “benefits” so many claimed they had experienced. I know some may say that maybe I should of continued on if I was not feeling those things yet and to that I say I seriously would of been concerned for my family’s health and safety if I continued on 😉 plus I was not willing to give the whole30 anymore of my precious days, hours, minutes or seconds!!
So my final thoughts on the Whole30, I know some will not like this but honestly I just feel it is the next “in thing”, It seems to be the trendy thing to do within the weight loss community. Do you know that not one person I told outside of my instagram community that I was doing it had any idea what it was. I know some very healthy and active people and they had never heard of it before. I also think a lot of people do it strictly for the weight loss which is why I will also sum this up to just another “fad diet”! The question I was asked the most throughout my journey was “how much weight have you lost?” I know the program states it is not suppose to be just about weight loss but please.. they know what their doing, the weight loss industry is one of the biggest industries out there and of coarse they wanted to tap in on that, and now they are laughing all the way to the bank! People see the book and right away associate it with a 30 day program that will change their lives, they will lose weight and feel fantastic! Well let me tell you, it takes more than 30 days and a list of “compliant” food to lose weight and feel fantastic. You can still eat healthy and whole without all the restrictions, why shouldn’t one be able to enjoy a little creamer in their coffee, or come home on Friday night after a long week at work and enjoy a glass of wine with a little cheese. There is nothing wrong with that, and enjoying these things is not making you unhealthy, what it is making you is happy, happy with the simple things in life. Learning how to enjoy the foods you love in moderation is the key, and it can be done, I promise you! But whole30 is not the way to do it!
On a final final note, I have decided to completely eliminate the word “compliant” from my vocabulary, quite frankly it makes me angry, and I might spontaneously punch someone when I hear it 😉
To answer some questions I know I will get..
1. How much weight did you lose?- I started on day 1 at 140.4lbs, on day 30 (weight watchers was closed day 31) I weighed in at 133.6lbs, so 6.8lbs. I also lost inches.. I went from (bust, waist, hips) 35,31,39 to 33,29,37.. so 6 inches.. however I emphasize I did NOT do this for weight loss and 100% confident I could of achieved this same loss following WW, it might of taken a week or two longer but I would of been much happier in the process, and mental state plays a huge factor on weight loss and maintaining it as well.
2. What was the hardest thing to give up?- I don’t know if I could narrow it down to 1 thing.. I really missed my breakfast foods, my yogurt,fruit & cereal mixes or my pancake creations. I normally would go to sleep knowing what I was having the next morning and looking forward to it, on whole30 I dreaded waking up and having to eat the same old same old. I also missed being able to snack at night, and as long as you keep within your points and again use moderation then there is nothing wrong with enjoying evening snacks.
3. Would you recommend the whole30?- At this point I would only recommend to someone that may be experiencing health issues that they think are related to certain foods. Of coarse by eliminating them, and then re-introducing them it will give you an idea as to what foods might be causing the health issues you are facing. But if it’s to lose weight, or fix bad habits then no I would not recommend it, I don’t believe in restriction and using the word “No”, whether it be for 5 days, 15 days or 30 days.
4. What about eating out on Whole30, how did you do it? Simple, I didn’t.. I decided I would not eat out on my journey, that was not hard for me because I don’t eat out very often, maybe once every 8-10 weeks, its more of a treat that way, and quite frankly I prefer to cook at home. I could also not imagine having to study a menu for an hour to see what was “approved” and what wasn’t, not too mention pissing the server off in the process 😉
5. Are you taking anything positive away from this experience?- The only things I am taking from this is that one, my will power has amazed me and I will never question it again! And two, I have an even bigger and new found love for all my favorite foods. 🙂
6. Would you ever want to do the Whole30 again?- Hah, yeah right, about as much as I want to stick needles in my eyes!!! 😉
On that note, thanks for reading.. and I am beyond ecstatic to get back to my ww lifestyle… its not for 30 days, it’s for the rest of my life… and it makes me happy 🙂