My WHOLE30 Experience.
I chose to do WHOLE30 because I have always had terrible eating habits, feeling tired most of the time, and was a touch overweight. I was also in a stage in my life where I was lacking general discipline and was hoping this 30 day journey would lead me not just into healthy eating habits, but rather eventually a healthy lifestyle.
Outlined below is my day to day journey physically and mentally.
Day 1―Feeling confident that this wouldn’t be that difficult and optimistic about the outcome. But very quickly I began to notice the moments in my day when I would traditionally reach for a snack to keep my energy levels high.
Day 2-7―This is hard. I lived with constant low level nausea. The only thing that would help some was eating. And in these days portions were large in an effort to feel full and to keep the nausea at bay. It was never at high levels, but just enough to be noticeable. This is when my body was detoxing from my high sugar and other toxins. During this time my body also became physically weak, it literally felt like it was eating itself. I was hungry all the time, no matter the portions. But I stuck to 3 meals and light snacking on nuts, raisins, or fruit. All I wanted was pizza.
Day 8-10―I got hit super hard on day 8 with a bad cold. It stopped me in my tracks. I had to leave work and go home straight to bed. I wondered if this would be the end of the WHOLE30 journey for me. But I kept to it. I stayed home on day 9, and on day 10something amazing happened. I was no longer sick. Which, those who know me know that when I get hit with a bug that knocks me out for a day, it normally lasts 3-4 days. And here in less than 48hr I was back in action. Day 10-11 were also the most difficult, and I do not think it was because I was sick, WHOLE30 even tell it’s readers that most people flake out here. I did break one of the WHOLE30 rules on day 10; I weighed myself because the person in the mirror already looked drastically different, and clothes were already fitting better―I just had to know. 10lbs. I had lost 10b in 10 days. Now most of this had to have been water weight as my body began healing from all of the inflammation it was fighting due to my poor eating habits. I would eventually end up losing a total of 18lbs in the course of the 30 days.
Day 11-20―The hardest and most boring days. Have you ever been on a long road trip and you leave excited and a full tank of gas, but then hour 6 hits and you still have 6 hours left to go, and you are driving across New Mexico. Yea it feels about like that. I became tired of eating the same types of foods day in and out. I got bored. I needed to get creative. During this time I discovered naturally flavored sparking water which added some flavor to my beverages. Before WHOLE30 I thought these waters tasted terrible, like water tainted with some terrible trace of flavor. But when you forgo sugar for that long the flavor in those waters bring joy back to life. It was also this time where I learned how to become a master of the spice rack. Putting spices on anything and everything. It brought my food back to life. I could have the same meal twice but have it taste different if I changed out some seasonings. Finally I discovered that certain types of LARABARS were acceptable to have. These helped get me between meals on long days.
Day 20-28 Tiger Blood. I felt amazing. I slept well. I woke up without feeling like a truck hit me. I could make it an entire day 5.30a-10.30p on sustained energy without an afternoon crash or need of napping. My strength had returned, and the WHOLE30 lifestyle became very easy to follow.
Day 28-30 I am so close yet so far away. I still really wanted pizza. But at the same time really loved how I was feeling. I began to wonder what life on the other side of WHOLE30 would look like. I finished day 30 with an after picture and celebrated with my friends and family.
Day 31 I had non-breaded chicken-parm for lunch, it tasted amazing, and fruit. I also had small piece of pizza as it was Rebecca’s birthday. And I had a few bites of Ice Cream. Wow that Ice Cream was intense! So moving forward we will be careful with added sugars. I have come to understand the effect sugar has on my body, and by reintroducing it I found even though it tastes like heaven it really left me feeling not myself; not the self I had come to know in the last 30 days. So in the foreseeable future sugar will be strongly limited.
My plan moving forward is to continue to eat as whole as possible, but give myself some lee-way when possibly and assess how I feel afterwards. If I feel poor I will avoid it next time, or limit it further. If things seem fine I will enjoy it for what it is and move on.
If you are considering a WHOLE30 know these things: It is Hard. It is Worth it. You Can do it, but you have to believe you can―it is about conviction. Never allow yourself to run out of food. It will require lots of time to make food. Use spices early and often. Always have a support team. Rebecca would tell me how much I didn’t want pizza when all I wanted was pizza. I exercised regularly through it. I strongly recommend resistance training as you will be consuming lots of protein. If you have any questions or want to talk more about it let me know.
WHOLE30 made me feel better, look better, and feel better than I have in a long long time! It also opened my mind to think more critically about the food I eat and the capacity I have as a person to make conscious decisions about my own life even when the rest of society choses to consume food, or live life in a different manner. This in no way makes me morally superior , I just came to realize that I do have the ability to make critical lifestyle decisions in my life that run counter cultural and even my own desires at times, and that is okay.