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  1. i just finished my first Whole 30, and I thought I'd share my experience. If you've already drunk the Kool-Aid, then you can probably skip right over this story, but if you're generally skeptical of fad diets, miracle cures, and the like, then read on for an entirely credible story about an experience I can wholeheartedly recommend. First, the back story. In short, my wife wanted to try the Whole 30, but we've learned from experience that when only one of us embarks on something like this, we rarely succeed. We need to both be committed for it to work. So I said, "sure." After all, the guidelines that I read looked like they were at least based on logic and I was unlikely to do any damage to myself by following them for 30 days. The week before we started, I read a lot more about prep. This was really important, as having the right stuff in the pantry and fridge is key to being able to pull this off. I also read the Whole 30 Timeline. Wow! Horrible headaches, apathy, lethargy, followed by rage, maybe some doubts, and then finally Tiger Blood! I wasn't really sure what Tiger Blood felt like, but it looked like I was in for quite a journey. My timeline was quite different: Day 1: This is totally easy, and that pork belly, roasted potatoes, and fried eggs I had for breakfast was amazing! Days 2-3: Hmm. Still pretty easy. No lethargy, no headaches. I think I feel pretty decent. Days 7-10: Ok, where's my rage and Tiger Blood? I was promised Tiger Blood, wasn't I? I just feel "pretty good." Oh actually, I guess I haven't had heartburn since I started. Wow, I hadn't even really thought of that till now. So yeah, that's great. And come to think of it, I don't feel like I get super hungry any more. Or rather, I don't get SUDDENLY STARVING like I used to. I just slowly start to get hungry and then I eat. And then I feel fine until I slowly start to get hungry again a couple hours later. Huh...not bad. Days 10 - 20: Same old, same old. I have eaten a crap-ton of eggs, though. But I still feel pretty good. And wow, we have built up some amazing habits around cooking and healthy snacks. In fact, that's something I really want to keep up. I was never good at meal planning before, but now I feel like a pro and we always have good healthy options to eat. We also sit down to eat together as a family way more. Ok, so that's a pretty awesome side effect. People have also told me I look thinner...I see it too. Alright, Whole 30, I'm digging this. Except when I see people eating something delicious like doughnuts. Mmmm...they do look tasty. But I don't need them, and I don't feel horribly deprived when I see and smell them. Days 20-30: Still feeling good. For the past 20 days, I've been wondering what I'll eat on day 31. Pizza? Cake? Ice cream? Beer? All of the above times three? Suddenly I realize I'm not really all that excited about day 31. Sure it'll be nice to be able to have a cookie or something if I really want one. And THANK GOD I won't have to stress, wondering if those cashews were roasted with rice bran oil. But I realize I don't really want to eat crap unless there's a good reason for it. In fact, on normal days, I think I'll keep most of the habits I've built up during the Whole 30. And I'll splurge a bit when we go out to dinner with friends, or when we're celebrating a special occasion. Day 31: I pretty much stayed on plan today. In fact, I might have still been compliant. But I did eat that delicious salad at work with the grilled steak and chimichurri dressing. Could the steak have been grilled with a non-compliant oil? Maybe. Did the dressing have any added sugar? Maybe. But who the hell cares? Maybe I'll even have a cookie tomorrow. So as you can see, my Whole30 did not cure cancer, give me a tan, or bestow upon me any other miracles. What it did was get rid of my heartburn, make me feel pretty good, and helped me lose 12 lbs (I started at 180 and finished at 168...and I'm 5'11''). Perhaps even better, though, is that it seems to have changed my food habits in terms of what I want, how often and severely I get hungry, and how I prep and eat food. In my mind, those alone would justify giving Whole30 a shot. Oh, and one final note. I should mention that I did not cheat at all on the Whole30. I stayed 100% compliant for the entire 30 days. No cheats, no exceptions. For me, this was important as once I deviate from something, I'm MUCH more likely to keep making small deviations. Good luck if you wind up giving it a try! Rob
  2. Disclaimer: This is a message to myself. I put it in Success Stories because these are both a huge blessing... and a curse when we acquire 'comparitis' and expectation creep* Reality Check on ISWF and whole9life Book Title: It Starts With Food Not the Book Title: 30 days to a perfect you! Reverse the effects of decades of bad habits in 4 weeks! Drop those last 10 pounds the photoshopped media images say you should in one month! Tag Line: Change Your Life in 30 Days Not the Tag Line: We will fix you even if deep down you really want to keep your current life and have no intention whatsoever of ever giving up [fill in your favorite food here] Life Change is Easy and Quick! Anyone can do this! Day 31 - Poof! - You're gorgeous, thin, healthy, rich, and happy! That body part you hate? Those last 10 pounds? We will come pick them up for you and exchange them for the body you love on Day 31. Program Title: Whole30 Not the Program Title: Whole4 Whole15 Whole28 Site / company name: Whole9life Not the site / company name: Whole30 Nutrition: It's only about what you put in your mouth Whole30 Medicine: Cancer to Canker Sores: Fix 'em all with diet. Whole30 Therapy: Stop eating dairy, grains and legumes and you will never be unhappy, stressed, lonely, sick, mean, depressed, envious, sad, lazy, cranky or farty again! A Whole30 Rule: Ditch the Scale Not a Whole 30 Rule: Try not to weigh yourself Food rules are black and white, but this one - meh, whatever you want, it's a 'guideline' It's not acceptable to eat a dozen donuts in one sitting and expect to feel good / be on the program. But weighing yourself and taking some sort of meaning out of that... that's okay. On Day 31 weigh yourself! Yippee! This number equals your success! **Expectation Creep: In project management we call that 'scope creep'... you start out with goals and then as you get closer to reaching them you keep adding additonal ones or tweaking the current ones... making reaching the goals impossible - particularly in the time you allowed with the resources at hand.
  3. Ok, first off let me say that I LOVE THE WHOLE30. This is a way of life for me, I am glad I found it and it will always be my go-to way of eating. I started the w30 because I have been greatly discouraged by the metabolic damage I sustained by doing wacky yo-yo carb-cycling and severe calorie restriction last year getting ready for (bodybuilding) competition season. Prior to that, I have always been so acutely sensitive and unrealistic about my weight and overall body composition, that, upon reflection and looking back, I chronically underate and poorly timed my nutrients during long-distance endurance training, just because I was 'afraid of getting bigger'. Well, so that's me in a nutshell. I am on day29 and I got on the scale and had my body fat measured. 100% execution on the regimen and the results are IN: I am up 7 pounds and gained 1% of body fat. I feel much much more stable and healthy but just so you know, folks: your clothes don't always fit looser, and the birds don't always chirp through the sun quenched air full of rainbows. Sometimes it just takes longer. *sigh* Trying to stay the course.