It really starts with food


encho

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I am on 8th day after my first Whole30, and just trying to wrap my mind around it and write few things while it's still fresh. First of all, I am writing this post as a reminder to myself, in case I ever have any doubts in the future I can revisit and get my facts right. But it could also be useful for someone else as well as a small nudge in case he/she is not yet sure whether to do it or not.

I will try to be as brief as possible, which might be a challenge. I am a male, just turned 40 and struggled with my weight for most of my life. I really do not have any major medical issues to begin with, or at least I thought so, but I am seriously overweight and am aware that years that pass by do not work in my favor. Tried many diets, and most of the time I was on Weight Watchers regime. But every time I finished the program, I would go back to my old ways and regain everything back and then some extra. But, you see, there was the problem right there. That thing was only 'dieting' for me, not something I can maintain through the rest of my life. Battle was lost before it even started. 2 years ago I have managed to lose quite a lot on one of my WW sessions, but when I went on holiday and back to 'normal' food, I regained more than a half of it in just few weeks. I became desperate as months of dieting were wasted and I left the idea of being healthy and lean as something that is not destined for me.

However, at the beginning of 2013 I have made 'new year resolution' to give it one more try, this time extra serious try. So started eating low-fat whole-grain mumbo-jumbo food and counting every single calorie that I took. Because after all it is all about input/output, right? Wrong! By all standards, calculations, scientific evidence, I was supposed to lose at least 1kg/2lbs per week. To my surprise on some weeks I even gained weight. I was obsessed with food, and very very puzzled. So started reading and reading until I found about this new 'paleo' buzz word. I have easily dismissed it and kept searching. But longer I searched, more references to same thing. So decided, why not - what do I have to lose? I started eating paleo/primal sometimes in March this year and reading a lot about the whole 'movement'. I immediately felt some changes in my body. Bloating was gone, skin cleared, no more headaches. Wow, this thing really works, I thought to myself, but there was something missing. And eventually stumbled upon the Whole9 website and learned about 'leaky gut', 'metabolic syndrome' etc. and started connecting the dots. I was easily convinced to order the book, and started my Whole30 even before I got it thanks to all the information on the website and forums.

So I started doing it without any hesitation, really excited. It was an easy ride for me, as I have completely changed my diet few months prior to it.

Plus
No more bloating, at all; and I thought it was something I have to live with. No more headaches; I used to take paracetamol/nurofen on almost daily basis, and now none of them, for months. Skin is clear; no more acnes or rough skin on elbows and feet. More energy; no 'brain fog' at the end of working day. No sugar crashes; I can go without eating for hours. My seasonal allergies are almost gone; I used to take medicine every single day, used pumps, steroids, etc., now I have only taken it 2-3 times in a month, after long outdoor sessions (but might have succeeded without it). No more gum bleeding; it is almost gone, while they used to be inflamed most of the time. Weight loss was the best part; it comes as a nice reward to know that I CAN lose weight after all: 10cm/4inches off my belly and 4.5kg/10lbs down on my scale.

Minus
My skin rash is still there, I might need to look into some of the 'approved food' to find the reason. Occasionally I might feel less inspired to cook, especially in the beginning of the journey. I would think 'oh no another coconut-tasting meal'. But later I have discovered few tricks, learned how to make quick stir-fry: I would get frozen, additive-free stir-fry mix and put it on a pan with some oil/butter ghee, add some meat (cubes or minced/ground) and different spices. So I would have tasty and quick meal which would be slightly different every time due to variations in spices. Look at me, I am writing about tasty food in my 'Minus' section :-)

What I have learned about myself
I do not need chocolate to get my sweet tooth pleased. I have started eating fruit and learned to love it! I also get few dates or dried figs and pecans instead (I have them with coffee as well). I do not need to eat dairy to survive, I am feeling fine without it. I have reintroduced it this first week post whole30, and didn't have any bad symptoms at first (like bloating etc.), but at the end of the week seen some subtle signs, like acnes started appearing again, my allergy symptoms worsened, had small headache. Nothing major, but decided to stay away from it during the season at least.

What else to say? I really don't know how I didn't see it before. Idea is so simple that it is genius. Eliminate all food that might make you sick for a month and start introducing them after that to distinguish between good and bad. Makes perfect sense. I will stick to eating this way and won't obsess about food anymore (I might include occasional potatoes though). But will come back for another 'strict' round of Whole30 every May (ahead of the allergy season) and reset my metabolism. And every time I am in doubt I will come back to this post and read it. Yay to me and good luck to everyone else :-)

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I loved reading this.  Good for you, I'm so happy you've found something that really works for you.

 

I didn't get much in the way of tangible results from my Whole 30, but I did come out of it with the belief that this is the right way to eat.  Hearing results like yours inspires me to keep trying, keep tweaking, do it better so I can have measurable results too!

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Thanks, I have tried to make my post as short as possible so probably omitted few things in the process. Like how incredibly overwhelming it feels to have my health back on track. I feel really optimistic about the whole thing. But probably need to include more exercise next time (I had few intense short sessions, but might have done better).

 

And as you said, I also believe this is THE way to eat and never had that feeling with any ‘diet' before. Now I know where I'm coming from and where I'm supposed to go.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know what you mean about wanting to have a record of the changes. Nine months ago when I eliminated wheat and sugar from my diet I made a list of all the ailments and issues I had, and documented as they went away. I'm glad I did that because many changes were very subtle and I never want to forget or take for granted how miraculous my restoration has been, or how critical the changes were and are.

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