Well, I did it! I made it all 30 days of a strict, clean eating diet. It was HARD. I suffered through some sugar withdrawals, I had to take some extra time to prepare more food than I normally do, I had to think ahead a LOT more when I went to events and bring my own food, and I had to sit and watch other people enjoy foods that I wanted to eat, but had committed to not eating for 30 days. Even on day 29 a few days ago, I thought about throwing in the towel and giving up! Isn’t that crazy with just one day to go??? But I remembered what I had read on the Whole30 Timeline on their website–I committed to all 30 days, and I OWED it to myself to finish all 30 days!
I am so proud of myself. Not only have I stuck to the Whole30 program (plus Shakeology), but I’ve also stuck to my workout plan as well. This past 30 days has really been an exercise in self-discipline; I knew that my relationship with food had gotten really unhealthy and dysfunctional, and I needed something strict and structured to make that better to be the healthiest person I can be. And I did it! There were days that I wasn’t sure I would make it, to be honest, but I was dedicated and committed. I kept reminding myself about why I was doing it in the first place, and the benefits I’d be getting from being disciplined. 2 Timothy 1:7 was my mantra: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and SELF-DISCIPLINE.” I knew that I could do it and that I NEEDED to do it, and I powered through with some prayers!
I have seen some amazing results through these past 30 days.
- my acid reflux has gone from being a daily/nightly issue to virtually disappearing
- my skin is clearer
- my energy levels are up
- I’m more satisfied with smaller amounts of food (because they are so nutrient-dense)
- my cravings for desserts have pretty much disappeared
- I am not using food as a coping mechanism for my stress/emotions
- my midsection is flatter
- I have less digestive issues
- I don’t look pregnant after eating 1 meal
- I have much less bloating in general
- I got a cold and was only sick for a couple of days instead of the 5-7 days I would normally be feeling terrible
- my patience and moodiness is better
- my clothes are fitting so much better
- my confidence is much higher than a month ago
- my anxiety is much much better
- my cravings for carbs have been almost non-existent!
- My body image is better
- My self-esteem overall is better
- I’m not using the scale to measure my success with my health goals–the emotional attachment to whatever number it says is gone
- I don’t wake up in the middle of the night anymore–once I’m asleep I STAY asleep
- I haven’t been getting “hangry” even if I go 4-5 hours between meals
- I’m not constantly hungry all day anymore
- I’m reading the labels on my food and looking up ingredients at restaurants to know exactly what I’m putting into my body
- I’m making mindful, intentional decisions about what foods I’ll eat instead of making mindless, emotional decisions
- I have new, healthy recipes to add to my family’s rotation
- I FEEL BETTER!
Several people have asked me, okay, that’s great you feel are feeling awesome–but what’s next? Whole30 is not intended to be an all-the-time way of eating, but an experience to help you make mindful choices about how different foods affect your body, both positive and negative, so you can decide what will be healthy staples in your diet, what indulgences are worth it for you and how often you want to incorporate them into your life, and which foods just simply aren’t worth it for you.
With all that in mind, I’ve decided that going forward, I’ll be following a mostly Paleo diet. This is similar to Whole30, but I’m relaxing a little with the “no added sugar” ever to make it simpler to get everything I need at my grocery store and to make it simpler to eat out with my family. I will definitely be avoiding gluten and soy, and limiting dairy to just Greek yogurt. I’m still in the reintroduction phase of Whole30, so some of this plan is up in the air as I wait to see how these different food groups affect me. But if I’m feeling this good without all these foods, why would I want to go back to the way I used to eat???? That makes no sense to me. Food is fuel, not comfort or celebration or self-worth, and I want to keep treating it as such.
So, I’m prepping for a Paleo/gluten-free lifestyle and keeping my options open with dairy, legumes, and non-gluten grains to see how my body reacts to them as I reintroduce them. Overall, the main goal for this experience for me was to improve my dysfunctional relationship with food–to stop using food as a coping mechanism and source of comfort–and staying away from sugary sweets and gluten will help me continue this healthier relationship with food. I’m not struggling with cravings, and I want to keep it that way!
I was afraid of Whole30 for a really long time–over a year, in fact. I avoided making this commitment because I was afraid that it would be too hard and that I would fail. But now that I’ve actually done it (!!!), I wish I had started this sooner. God does not intend for us to be a slave to food and our food cravings–He wants to set us free from that! If you are struggling with these issues like I was, take heart that YOU CAN change it. I’d love to be a part of your journey to food freedom! Comment or email me to start chatting about a transformation.