I’ve hesitated to write this post. For many reasons, but the primary being that I have felt like my results would be a “let down” for most people to read about. Because my “before and after” doesn’t show 10+ pounds lost, or a sudden tan gained. Also because it feels really embarrassing to post, photos that depict a person “before” (who looks just fine.) and an “after” as though it was something that “had” to happen. And because I know that many of my close friends and family find the whole thing so ridiculous that I can almost feel the snickers behind my back about how crazy this whole endeavor was. And, I will fully admit, doing a Whole30 is a VERY privileged thing to do. Being able to spend much more on food than typical (we saved up to do it, but had shocking results financially that I’ll get to later) on groceries, CHOOSING to omit food groups, and having the luxury of time to shop/prep/cook everything at home. Not to mention just being able to pick up a diet change on a whim because I had been thinking about it? That alone highlights how small my (sometimes big feeling) problems are relative to many other people.
BUT… I also feel like a monumentally different and changed person. And all shook up. And ridiculous as it all may be, dumb as this all is, it was important to me. Did great big things in me. And in the end (though, I am no where near the end, actually) left me feeling so much better. So, as this is my own tiny personal space, I’m sharing. So, warning, gratuitous amounts of selfies/photos/and rambling. If it’s not your gig, just click out.
Our Whole30 Results:
I lost three pounds, and 14inches (all over, but mainly my hips and thighs).
Obviously, my stomach is the number one change. Because… guys, this is an amazing result. My diastasis recti is GONE. I had a “four finger tip” one prior to starting and after? Gone. And also a TON of inflammation and bloat from gluten and dairy, also gone. The exciting thing about that is that even if I were to “go back” I know that a lot of my frustration with my body was just inflammation, and that “easy enough” to get rid of with the elimination of gluten and dairy (my triggers). I also grew a butt! That is not thanks to the diet (I mean, maybe? thanks protein and all the avocado!) but more thanks to endless squats. I have been lifting weights and doing at home workouts pretty solidly for the past couple months. And thanks to SQUAT SQUAT SQUAT AGAIN, I am finally getting a bootay.
The biggest physical change I experienced was the total loss of my eczema. I’ve had it since I was 2 years old, and it was really bad and completely plagued me during my super young years. I began to “grow out of it” around age 17 but then in college (stress? terrible eating (and drinking) habits?) it came back on my hands in an aggressive way. It had gotten pretty terrible again these past 8mo or so with no real obvious triggers and was to the point that I couldn’t wear my wedding rings at all without them becoming glued together (with blood) and my fingers swelling terribly. It wasn’t immediate but around day 25-28 of my whole30 I realized that my hands had stopped itching and swelling, and my rings slipped on with ease and now I am comfortably wearing them! hurray!
Another huge physical change is my exhaustion level. It is no secret that I am severely sleep deprived (something that has always felt like a huge barrier to health and weight loss because I am chronically exhausted), neither of my kids sleep through the night regularly (Ever, hardly at all. And Nolie does but with a hiccup to come and join me in our bed. So not the best sleep for me. We need a king size!), and both of my girls are night-owls and don’t go to sleep till around 9/10 most nights, and that means I usually stat up till 11 or 12am just to have a break. ANYWAY, suffice it to say, I am usually pretty tired. But by about day 20 (and now, still!) I realized that when I woke up I was in a good mood, and wasn’t clawing for coffee. I still drink coffee, because the ritual of it is really important to me at this point.
FOOD: the biggest change I experienced is in my relationship to food. You see, it’s amazing, when the food you are choosing to eat is ALL healthy, there is ZERO food guilt. For me, I had always let food be a guilt motivator. For example, if I ate something “bad” then I needed to workout more/harder/faster, or I needed to eat less/better, or I couldn’t feel good about myself. No matter where the scale/jeans/whatever fell, I would make myself feel horrible if I made “bad” choices a few times in a row. Or, I would just let myself fall into this big spiral of “it doesn’t even matter” and just eat worse and worse, feel worse and worse, and just let it keep going. During the Whole30 (and mostly after too!) I have had zero guilt. And I feel really amazing about my self control and ability to pick awesome foods because I know how great they make me feel. I have found new ways to comfort myself (cozy up with my husband and an old Office ep? YUP. It’s still good. Even without ice-cream) and have yet to go to sleep feeling bad about my food choices at all in over a month. And that might be minor for some people, but for me it’s enormous.
Next week I’m going to share about Charlie and the girls and their results!
Here are answers to a few other W30 questions I have gotten:
Quality time… Are you finding the meal/snack/food prep being an overwhelming or large time consumption? I worry that it would be so much in an already busy day: You know, the first week it seemed like a gargantuan task. But as it’s gone on I’ve found what things work/don’t work for our family and am just sure to keep those easy foods on hand. I also prep stuff ahead of time, portion things out and keep them in the fridge, and buy a LOT of pre-washed veggies/greens so that I can just toss together a salad or a big mix of veggies to roast. Spending a couple hours one day a week is a great way to get ahead. And if your partner is on board it can actually be kind of fun!
favorite meats/meat sources?: This one is hard. The best deal on organic/humane meat we can find is Costco (other than splitting an animal from a farm, but we don’t have enough freezer space). But I am ALWAYS on the lookout for more! We mainly eat chicken, and bacon 😉 And chose to use “non compliant” bacon in favor of having no nitrates/junk that was in the compliant stuff. We buy hemplers.
Which days (if any) were the hardest, why, and how did you cope? For me day 10-15 were REALLY hard and I wanted to quit. I felt bigger, more bloated, and sick of my food options. And then again on days 27-30, we were renovating in our home, wanting quick/easy/cheesy stuff and it was hard. But I am SO glad I made it though.
Are you having any cravings? Sugar. Just sugar. Sugar. And more sugar 😉
Effects on breastfeeding? Have you adapted W30 for your kids? If so, how? I’ll be answering this one on my post next week about the girls!
Also, please, be kind. These pictures are really hard for me to share. <3