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  1. I started my first every Whole30 on January 13, and successfully completed it as of the end of the day yesterday. About me: I have been moving closer to Paleo eating for about a year and half, but it has definitely been a long, slow, drawn out process! I've also been - like many - trying to lose weight... well, for much longer than that. Things were slowing starting to come off, but I knew, deep down inside, that I needed to clean up my eating habits if I was going to get where I wanted to be. I also started attending Kettlebell classes, which I LOVE, so I had further motivation to fuel those workouts properly, because I loved the feeling of getting stronger. I've been hanging out on the NerdFitness forums for about a year now, and at the start of the year, one of my buddies was really struggling with motivation and a lack of success. Somehow Whole30 came up in the conversation (I had heard of it, but always thought it would be too hard... but another friend on the forums had done one before) and it came about that the three of us agreed to do a Whole30 together. "Ahh!" I thought. "What have I gotten myself into?" I knew I had to cut out the nachos and gummy candies and what-the-heck-when-did-sandwiches-sneak-back-in?, but could I give up cheese? Wine? And oh-my-goodness, I never realized how many things had added sugar and sulphites! Well, we gave ourselves a week to prepare: to clean out the cupboards, and re-fill the fridge; to read up on the rules; to prepare our significant others for what was in store. And then we did it. Things I learned: - I like my coffee better black. - Contrary to popular opinion, not eating cheese daily will not actually kill you. - When you're properly fed and nourished, that de-stressing glass of wine is not really needed. - I freaking LOVE braised cabbage! It's my new candy! - There is a difference between being hungry and wanting to snack. This is kind of a big one, because I thought I already knew this. But I realized, when I went to play a video game, and immediately wondered what I could nosh on, that that was a habit, not hunger. But I made huge progress here! Just this past Sunday, I went to a friend's house for dinner (well, I brought my own) and board games. I brought some salty/chili powdered cashews to snack on for when they started to snack on their stuff... and when everyone else started eating ice cream sandwiches and skittles, I didn't even have my cashews, because I was full from dinner! Crazy, I tell ya. The Benefits: - Finally being able to read my body's hunger cues. - Stable energy throughout the day: I never felt like I experienced any "tiger blood", but I also didn't have my mid-afternoon crash. And it took until just this week for getting out of bed to become much easier... so, stick with it, people! It's coming! - I haven't taken final measurements, but I fit into a pair of pants I haven't worn in a while. - I lost 6.2lbs. Which I am more than happy with, since I only lost 5 lbs in the 6 months prior to this! I'm just about out of the "overweight" BMI. I know it's not the best measure, but still. Satisfying. Going forward: One of the biggest surprises for me, is that I have no desire to reintro wine. Not to say I'm not going to - I plan to have a few drinks socially, once in a while. But the wine-with-dinner, or after a frustrating day, is just unnecessary.. and I really, really didn't think I would feel that way! Today, I'm doing the dairy re-intro, as cheese is probably still the biggest thing I missed. Although I know going forward that it needs to be in much smaller quantities! I so far have just tried cream in my coffee... and I wasn't a fan. And I used to put at least a couple TBSPs in each of my two daily coffees. Legumes, I'm sure I will have again, but I don't care enough about them to plan for a reintro right now. I would have some at a good Mexican restaurant, or every once in a while I crave a bean-y chili, but that's about it. I plan to reintro non-gluten grains on Saturday - I love sushi, and occasionally eat rice and quinoa, and would like to continue to do so, again with moderation being the key word. I will do gluten reintro on Tuesday then. I know I should probably avoid it anyways, but I'm really curious to know exactly how my body responds to it, and if it should be an avoid-at-all-costs sort of thing, or allowable for the rare occasion. To Conclude: This has been a great experience, and I'm so glad I did it. Yes, it was tough at times, but the things I've learned about both my physical and mental self were so worth it. And I'm not nearly as eager to dive face-first into a pizza as I thought I was going to be at the beginning! Thanks to Dallas and Melissa for making this available for free! (I did this without reading the book, for those interested... I had hoped to get it from my local library, but it was checked out the whole time, sadly) For anyone thinking about trying this, do it! Plan ahead first, but do it, you have nothing to lose. For anyone in the midst, keep it up! It will be worth it, if you commit fully - maybe the pounds won't drop off, maybe you won't fix all of your issues, but you will learn something. And to anyone who actually waded through that whole wall of text, thanks for reading Cheers!