Confession: I have tried the Whole30 before.
I say “tried” and not “completed” because I see now how out of compliance my meals were. I had a breakfast of an RX Bar, a pre workout of prosciutto and walnuts…I also trained for a half marathon at the time and did intense circuit training and it was a rough month. It was a white-knuckling kind of month and I got nothing out of it. Nothing. It triggered disordered eating tendencies (from being starving all the time) and things I had not been doing since high school I started doing again. I ended up gaining weight in the weeks that followed.
That was in 2013. So why did I come back?
I felt out of control. I’m living totally alone for the first time in my adult life and I felt like my food habits were just getting worse and worse. No meal prep was happening, I was skipping lunches all the time and then going crazy at dinner. I was pouring myself a glass (or two) of wine 4 or 5 nights a week. I was bloated, I was lazy, I needed to do something dramatic. Also, my digestion seemed to be getting worse and worse.
I’m an abstainer.
Now, the Whole30 taught me a lot this time around. Some things I knew and it just reinforced and some things were brand new information to me. I wrote this list before I weighed myself this morning.
Things I learned from my Whole30:
I overeat. Especially when I am alone and bored. I’m always wandering into the kitchen wondering what I could pull out just to munch on. I have to be aware of it.
I eat too late at night. Not waking up hungry is the result of my after dinner popcorn/chip/chocolate snack. I justify it because it’s low calorie but I don’t need it by any stretch of the imagination. The Whole 30 was the first time I felt really hungry for breakfast.
I use wine as a transition from work to home. It’s my reward after a long day. (And my days have been LONG this month, trust me.)
I was fat phobic and still am to a degree. I want to go get my cholesterol tested, no matter how many peer-reviewed/meta analyses articles you show me stating dietary cholesterol does not impact serum cholesterol. I’m a (not practicing) registered dietitian. It’s ingrained in me still.
Not weighing myself was hard, but not as hard as I thought it would be. I surprisingly almost broke only twice.
I might be intolerant to garlic (#sadface)
I feel weird asking for what I want at restaurants. I’m a paying customer and none of my requests are unreasonable, but I get anxiety having to order food, no matter how cool or indifferent everyone around me is. I went out for dinner with a work colleague and then friends and both times they had their own specific requests and had to give me a little nudge to ask for substitutions instead of just making do and probably starving myself. I hope I get better at this.
I don’t need sugar in my coffee, coconut milk is delicious and good coffee black is satisfying. The only time I want an almond milk latte is when I’ve had a coffee for the day and just want a mid-day “treat”.
I don’t drink enough water but when I do I feel a lot better
Despite not weighing myself all month, I’m not over the scale. I have been having anxiety for days knowing I have to step on it (Note: I know I don’t have to, but I will. I want to know and I also don’t.)
I still struggle with eating to satiety. I eat what’s on my plate.
Now, for some NSVs:
Glowing skin (according to a coworker)
Less pronounced under eye circles
Feeling more confident in appearance
Fewer PMS symptoms (I have PCOS so this is a big deal)
Less stomach pain
Fewer seasonal allergies (maybe related to the changing time of year, but definitely better now)
Feeling in control of your food
Fewer carb cravings
Fewer sugar cravings
Improved disordered eating habits
More nutrition in my diet
Food no longer has unwanted side effects
Thinking more clearly
Awaken feeling refreshed
Energy levels more even
No more mid day energy slump
Need less caffeine
New cooking skills
Meal prep is organized and efficient
AND NOW, for the weight...
I lost 2.6lbs.
I don’t want to qualify this saying I’m PMS-ing or anything (I am). That doesn’t matter. It’s lower than I expected just seeing how flat my stomach is by comparison. It also explains why none of my clothes really felt looser. I’m on the higher end of a normal BMI and I would like to lose weight.
Am I disappointed?
Yes and no. I was a little surprised it was less weight loss than I had anticipated but also, if I can keep eating good amounts of healthy food and eating enough and feeling satisfied…I’m super happy with 2.6lbs. I’m at peace with that number…and I never thought I would be able to say that.
So what are my plans now?
Well…I don’t know. I had a reintroduction schedule all laid out and I’m on the fence whether to follow it. I have a big licensing exam tomorrow so I will be having a glass of wine with my friend at dinner afterwards, but I’m kind of at a loss for what to do beyond that…In some ways, I want to stay on the Whole30 and do a slow roll.
If you are still reading I’m amazed because I do tend to ramble. I’m very happy I gave the Whole30 another chance. It’s what I needed in so many ways and it’s nice to know I can always come back to it.
Now, to practice practicing food freedom.
Good luck to everyone completing the program/living the post Whole30 life!