From "no thanks, that would suck" to "never going back again"


MaryellenB

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When I started my Whole30, I depended on two things: the morning inspirational daily email, and the success stories in this section of the forum. I could not imagine, during that first week, that I would make it all the way through 30 days. I don't know where my resolve came from - but it showed up in a big way and I gritted my teeth and held on through the de-snacking phase, and the so-hungry-I-want-to-punch-someone phase, and the want-to-crawl-under-my-desk-and-sleep-for-a-couple-of-hours phase. And then somewhere around the middle of the month, it clicked and started making sense, feeling effortless and right, and I realized I'd found what I needed. Thank goodness.

 

So, I'll skip right to the results, as I know that's what I wanted to see when I came here for inspiration through the hardest parts:

 

  • Weight: down 8 lbs
  • Clothing: my clothes are loose. It makes sense, given that I've lost 8 pounds, but I think my body has changed in a way that's not reflected in my weight loss. According to my clothes, I'm smaller than the 8 lbs loss would suggest.
  • Skin: eczema no longer makes me miserable and constantly itchy (my husband is relieved that I'm not scratching all the time or asking him to scratch me) - this is probably the greatest relief for me
  • Energy: I don't know how it works, but even when I've been up late writing a paper, I'm not dragging myself around the next day. I have energy in reserve tanks or something. 
  • Mood: so stable, so happy - this is another biggie for me. I have a long history of mood imbalance and depression (though I did have it treated properly 8 years ago and haven't really struggled in the same way, I still found myself wading in and out of bouts of self-doubt and self-hatred, especially during PMS but this has subsided and I'm level. I don't feel mean-spirited and low-grade angry all the time either. I could weep with relief.)

I read in someone else's post that one of the successes they enjoyed was never feeling guilty about what they ate anymore. This this this! I eat and feel right. It used to be, before I went to bed, I'd power-stuff myself with candy - almost like I had this irrational fear that this was my last opportunity to eat for 8 hours and I had to take advantage of it or I'd lose out on something (how embarrassing to admit this). Then I'd wake in the morning wracked with guilt, resolving to change, and hating myself for such a lack of self-control. I'd repeat the exact same thing come bed time though - every single night. 

 

The other bad habit was sitting in front of the tv eating the snacks that my husband enjoys with impunity. Before we got married, I never, never ate chips or salty snacks. I kept minimal chocolate and candy in the house. But he enjoys all those things and has the self-control to just eat a bit to satisfy his craving and then put it away. I have no off-switch. Once I start, I have no indication that it's time to stop, except that the bag is eventually empty. Getting rid of his awful habit has been so entirely freeing, too. But it had to come from a physiological place, I think. My body had to stop craving it in order for my mind to agree that I didn't want it. I couldn't conquer it through willpower alone, no matter how much I tried.

 

I am also amazed at how satisfied I am to eat my morning meal, my lunch, and my dinner - and be done eating for the day. I am not trolling the office at 3 pm looking for snacks. I am not craving a sugary dessert after supper. I have stopped looking at food as company or saviour for when I'm bored or stressed. I could write a dissertation on this revelation alone.

 

Anyway, all that to say, I am not going back. When my friend told me about the Whole30 she was doing, I thought she was nuts. I couldn't imagine what was the point in living if you never got to enjoy any of the delicious things. And having been a vegetarian for so many years, I could not stomach the idea of eating meat several times a day, or giving up chickpeas and rice, etc. It took a while to get over that, but once I did, I really, really did. I am not returning now. I will have wine on occasion, which I enjoy so much, but that's about it. Feeling this way is better than anything else that used to tempt me.

 

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I totally have had the same experience re weight/clothes! I lost "just" 5 pounds, but I FEEL about 15 pounds lighter/smaller. All my pants come straight off without being unbuttoned now and none of my dresses really fits quite right -- a great "problem" to have, I think!

(Also, that was me that said the thing about not feeling guilty for eating anymore! :D )

Congratulations!

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Thanks Malie! It's interesting to hear I'm not the only one who had a change in shape. I didn't exercise much more than I normally do so it was bizarre to see things shifting around so much.

 

And thanks also for your astute awareness that has let me see myself differently too - not feeling guilty about eating is HUGE. And important!

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