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I was in a bad place when I started the Whole 30. It was 8 months after giving birth to my second child. I was still 22 lbs overweight despite working out several times a week and choosing “healthy” foods (not much meat, lots of grains and beans). I ate zero packaged junk food, but I had delicious high quality pastries a couple times a week and thought nothing of it. Oh, and I regularly had 2-3 glasses of wine per night just to “wind down.” My childhood asthma had returned. My skin was on a hormonal rollercoaster; besides breakouts I had eczema and keratosis pilaris (chicken skin bumps on back of my arms). I was always hungry and always eating. I tried calorie counting. I tried Weight Watchers when the calorie counting got demoralizing. I tried weighing all my food when WW didn’t work. All that micromanaging sucked the joy out of living, and I still couldn’t lose the weight. My mantra was that I deserved that pastry/glass of wine/bowl of tortilla chips because I had been “so good” all day. I’d pile on the calories after the kids were in bed. But then I simply turned a corner, and decided that I deserved to feel healthy, to feel like I did before my pregnancy. Heck, why not feel even better than that? So I decided to give W30 a try. What did I have to lose? Which begs the question, 30 days later, what did I lose? As it turns out I lost ZERO pounds. 30 days of total compliance, and I weigh exactly the same. Yep, I’m one of those. (At this moment in time, while nursing, anyway.) I gave myself an hour or so to feel really down about it. But then I took at the NSVs I drafted yesterday before I weighed in. I weigh the same, but I’m not the same. I GAINED: - the ability to breathe freely without asthma. This is truly priceless. I have not touched my inhalers in one month. - a peaceful relationship with food. I’m not battling it any longer. I know what makes me feel good. And once I finish the reintros I’ll know what doesn’t! - knowledge and acceptance. I know my body is holding on to this weight because it needs it for nursing. Sure, I can tweak things here or there, but by and large I’ve proved to myself that it just doesn’t want to let go of it right now. I’m going to have to be patient. I am ready to stop nursing for a variety of reasons, but it may take a while for my hormones to catch up. So, what next? I’m going to do reintroductions to see which food group(s) were exacerbating the asthma. I'll have the occasional glass of wine over the next week or so (we’re traveling). I also had bloodwork done on Day 25. In two weeks I will meet with my chiropractor who has nutritional training to review that. Perhaps there are hormonal factors at play that can be worked on. Once I know the bloodwork results, I’ll decide whether to jump into another Whole30. For now, I will stay compliant while at home, avoid whatever it is that’s causing the asthma even when out, and have the occasional glass of wine. But mostly, I am going to enjoy the calm Whole30 has brought to my life and give my body some grace. Read on for details if you’d like. As always, I’m open to any feedback on how to move forward. These forums were an amazing resource through the whole process. NSVs: - Asthma GONE without the use of steroid inhalers - Skin clearer - Nails growing like crazy - Eczema gone - Keratosis pilaris (chicken skin on arms) drastically reduced - On the rare occasions where my alarm goes off before the kids are up, I only press snooze once instead of three or four times - I can see my waist again! hallelujah! - Clothes fit better and I can get into some I couldn’t a month ago - Even energy all day long - More time between meals means more efficient work - Free from cravings. I no longer struggle with food choices. - Not tempted to eat after dinner - I don’t “need” wine to relax anymore - I don’t need to weigh myself every day as I used to What went well: - I rocked it with the homemade condiments: mayo, ketchup, ranch dip and Nom Nom Paleo’s “magic mushroom” seasoning were my favorites - Egg bakes saved my bacon for breakfast - such a time saver, and great to start the day without having to “think” about the meal - Kombucha was the perfect treat instead of wine/beer/cocktails - I made it through Easter with flying colors - I cooked many compliant meals for my extended family (we’re talking large groups of 12-20 people, and they all loved them) - I did NOT evangelize to my family, which is something I’d done in the past, but tried to set a quiet example What could have gone better: - I ate more frequently and had more fruit and potatoes than necessary in the beginning. I was still breastfeeding heavily then (I’m down to one nursing session a day now), so I was nervous about my supply and likely overdid it. All compliant, so no harm done, but once I got down to 3 (large, by my previous standards) meals per day, which was about two weeks in, I felt much better. - Some days I ate 1/2 an avocado at every meal. Maybe I need to dial that back to 1/3. - Still having some skin breakouts but then again I’m in a transitional place hormonally as I slowly stop breastfeeding - Sleep is not a long or solid as I would like, mostly due to kids waking me up - if fact, SLEEP could be the largest factor in the weight hanging on. - I need to drink more water. 62 oz/day isn’t cutting it. What I’ll do in the future, to keep doing better: - Make fruit and potatoes a once a day thing, not an every meal thing - Aim to be in bed by 8 and asleep by 9 - Read for 1hr before bed instead of watching tv - Dial coffee back to one cup per day, replace second cup with matcha - Aim to drink 3 32-oz bottle of water/day - Keep working with my preschooler on not waking us at night when he goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night. He can do it, but it helps when we prep him by talking about it before bedtime. - Let my husband take over the 5:30 feedings when he is home so I can sleep longer - Take measurements to track inches lost, not just weight - Stay on whole 30 at home. I rarely eat out (maybe once a week) so that would be a pretty complaint lifestyle, and I find it easy to do at home. - I won’t go back to having stevia in my coffee. That was the hardest thing to give up, and I think it was triggering a cycle of sugar cravings. In fact I may even give up my almond milk. I think I’m ready to enjoy coffee black, and I like the simplicity of that.