Whole 30 Success and Beyond


almcc

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Hi All,

I finished my Whole30 20 days ago and I thought I better get my success story posted before it's time to write another one!! I am 20 days into my 2nd Whole30 but I kept notes – so I could write this post. It's a long one!

First of all let me tell you where I started. I was 52 when I started and feeling pretty bad most of the time. I developed really bad eating habits as a child, where I learned to use food when I was stressed or angry or sad. I also started to have symptoms of IBS as a teen. Off and on I would clean up my diet but it never lasted more than a year or so. At 41, I was diagnosed with colon cancer- after surgery and treatment, I cleaned up my eating again - but in the last few years I had reverted back to most of my old ways.

I have suspected a gluten sensitivity and so had been playing with paleo eating for several years - nothing sustained though. I came to Whole30 through a few blogs that I have been subscribing to for 2-3 years.

3 things made me start:

My IBS symptoms were getting worse and starting to impact my daily living (beyond what I had been dealing with for 36 years)

I was at the end of my rope – 30 more years of living like this was unimaginable

I thought there might be something seriously wrong with me and I wanted to clear up any food-related symptoms before I headed off to the doctor.

What went well:

Soreness and stiffness: I started with joints that were sore and stiff – especially when I woke up. I would hobble around for a long time till everything started moving again. I truly thought this was because I was overweight and old. I was also having issues with my lower back. All this made it unpleasant to move and to work out. By day 3 -DAY 3!- I was waking up with no soreness or stiffness. I have had no problems with my back. And the symptoms of my plantar fasciitis are gone!!!

Moodiness: When I started I was a cranky, moody woman, especially when I felt overwhelmed or stressed. And if I was hungry – watch out!!! Now, my moods throughout the day have leveled out. I find that I am much better at dealing with stressful situations with a clear mind and open heart. Also because I am not using food to numb myself during difficult situations – I am more aware in the moment and more able to choose my reaction.

Energy: When I started I was not sleeping well. I thought it was due to the dog getting me up every night and being peri-menopausal. Also, I have always been a napper – but I was napping 1-2 times per day. Now, I still have to get up in the middle of the night to let the dog out – but I am sleeping a good 7-8 hours with a 10 minute break!! I know this is restorative because on the days that I would love to sleep in – it is impossible. My energy level has also leveled off during the day. I am able to be busy thought the day. Somedays I still take a nap, especially if I have worked out.

Allergies: My allergies, which are not seasonal, have always been horrible. I also have polyps and am sensitive to odors (perfume, newsprint). I was always congested!! Sometimes medicine worked and sometimes it didn't. On day 3 -DAY 3!- I was not congested at all. In 30 days, I took 4 allergy pills and this was during peak tree pollen season!!!

Urinary Issues (TMI alert!): I used to have to get up and pee in the night several times. Also, about 10 years ago I started having symptoms of an over active bladder . I thought all of this was part of the whole peri-menopausal thing. Wrong! I am now peeing normally. I still pee when I get up to let the dog out, but sometimes we both sleep through the night!!!

Women's Issues (TMI alert!): I have been peri-menopausal for many years. Mostly night sweats and some days of hot flashes. Now, I do not remember the last time I had night sweats and I think I have only had 4 hot flashes in 30 days. Wooohoo!!

Workouts: I was seeing a trainer 2 times a week but was really out of shape. And I did not have the energy to get in shape. Now, I am still seeing the trainer 2 times a week, but I have not missed a session because I don't feel well since starting Whole30. Also and this is huge – I did pull-ups – assisted pull-ups – but pull-ups nonetheless. I have never been able to do them. Before the end of my 1
st
W30 I did 1 set!!!(You'll have to read my 2
nd
W30 recap to see how many I can do now!) I am still working on incorporating more activity – but it's about time management not feel pookey.

Weight: I lost 13.2 lbs. My DH – who is no doing a Whole30, but eating what I am eating when he is home – lost 10 lbs.

Willpower and empowerment: My cravings were gone almost immediately. I have been able to walk through the grocery store without even a thought of sweet things. I have ice cream in my freezer and I don't care. Now, I only eat three meals a day – with an occasional snack. I used the word willpower – but I think it's more complicated than that. It has to do with the biochemistry of cravings and eating. Empowerment is my big take away from this process. I did not think I could do a Whole30. With guidance (the Forum and the book), with preparation, with accountability (I logged here and with my trainer and a friend), and with support (Family, friends, my trainer, and Forum buddies) – I think I can do anything!

What did not go so well:

Digestion issues: My IBS symptoms were really bad when I started. I had a fair amount of rough days during my Whole30. With constipation for the last 3 weeks. This is one of the reasons I continued. It is a work in progress and I started to see results in the 1
st
week of my 2
nd
Whole30.

Skin issues: Still have some skin issues (contact dermatitis, eczema???). Not sure what they are and I am headed to the dermatologist in the next few weeks.

Eating out: I do what I am supposed to do (Eat at known restaurants, ask questions, order properly) and I still feel pookey the next day. I am going to continue to test those waters.

Meal Template: I did pretty well for breakfast and dinner. Still working on the template for lunch. And the Pre-WO and Post-WO snacks did not happen. I cannot eat before I work out and since I normally work out at 7:30am, I usually wait to have breakfast, instead of a Post-WO snack. Again, this is a work in progress. I am going to test them out in the next few weeks and see if they impact my tiredness on WO days.

Expectations: I continue to struggle with wanting everything to be perfect. My results especially!! In the first few days Post W30 - I was upset that everything was not fixed. I can now wrap my head around how successful I was and how this is a process. I think - for me - continuing past 30 days was essential.

I am now on Day 50 and have just started a mini AIP. I intend to go to at least day 66 before I start reintroductions. I am still figuring out what I want to reintroduce. My plan after I have that information is to eat following Whole30 principles 90% of the time. I don't know quite what that will look like yet.

Thanks for all the support along the way. From the daily emails to the book to the moderators to the funny typos to my log buddies, I am grateful for all.

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Your post just put a big smile on my face. Congratulations on all of your successes. As for the rest of the stuff, we are all a work in progress and I wish you continued improvements on your road to wellness. I too am working on that whole "perfectionist" thing. I'm starting to think it's overrated. :P

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