First, what I feel like everyone wants to know right off the bat: I did lose 10.5 pounds. Whole 30 says that you shouldn’t step on a scale for the entire 30 days, but I totally don’t have that much self control, so I can say this: the first 8 pounds came off in the first week. Another 2 came off in the following week, and then I held steady until the last few days of the month, when I dipped again to 10.5. Just in case you’re curious. My clothes fit better (or don’t fit anymore…) and I just feel- lighter? Yes. Lighter. In all the ways.
However, it’s really the non scale victories (NSVs) that I am most grateful for- especially because I didn’t really set out to lose weight (though I’m not complaining). The biggest reason I wanted to do Whole 30 was to feel better- to have less bloating and more energy. And I got it!
The bloat was gone almost immediately. Though, I will say, I found the published Whole 30 timeline to be very accurate: around day 10-11, you have a period of indigestion and discomfort as your gut rebalances. That was REAL. I felt so gross. But it didn’t take long at all to recover and then feel good again in my gut 😉
The energy though- that took much longer. I think I was Day 18 or so before I started realizing that I was waking up easily in the morning, with energy (even with getting up multiple times at night with my son) and I wasn’t dying for a nap in the middle of the day. I was able to use my mornings productively- cooking myself breakfast and doing yoga before my daughter would wake, and sometimes even having time for a shower and meditation. I also found that I had the energy to use the kids’ naptimes well- and I even felt like I WANTED to work out. Like I had the energy to burn and my body was craving it! This culminated with me going for my first run in about a year on Day 30- a celebration of sorts. This was really the only legit workout I did during the 30 days save for some morning sun salutations, so the results are really from the diet change.
I also got into a habit of cooking all of my meals- which I mostly did anyway, by now really is like second nature. Example: I used a bit of coconut milk for dinner last night, and I instinctively threw the leftovers into a Tupperware and made chia pudding for a meal for today. Even though technically, today, I could revert back to toast and peanut butter. But I don’t want to!
I also have gotten in the habit of keeping already prepped food in my fridge- pre-chopped vegetables, already made sauces, a container of caramelized onions. Jen Hatmaker said recently that whole 30 is really about “keeping containers of food in your fridge” and she’s right. I tried to always have 2-3 vegetables ready to roast or throw in a stir fry, and it saved me many times when I was hungry but short on time. I’m now in the habit of chopping up one veggie a day. I always have things ready!
Perhaps the most surprising thing to me is that I don’t feel a burning desire to add foods back in. Sure, I had hard moments of saying no to freshly baked focaccia or a friends birthday cake, and I had a few days when I really really wanted a beer, but honestly? I have eaten so well in the past 30 days. I don’t miss the food, save for the occasional treat of gelato or a drink to end the day. I think I will mostly continue to eat this way, moving forward. I plan on doing the “slow burn” reintroduction plan, in which you really just reintroduce foods as they become appealing or “worth it” to you. Dairy and legumes I don’t really miss, so I’m going to wait on those….
So what are my thoughts about the Whole 30? You should do it! Seriously. If you have ever had an unhealthy relationship with food, or any bad eating habits, or you want to know what’s making you feel tired/sick all day, you should do Whole 30. If you follow the guidelines, you’ll learn how to eat to fuel your body and build good habits for your life!
*note: I did some specific things because I am breastfeeding to help me be successful, namely doubling the recommended allowance for plated fats and allowing myself snacks as my hunger cues dictated. More in a post next week!