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My very first Whole30 is done!  Like a few other pivotal events in my life, this will have a long-lasting impact.  I rediscovered parts of myself that have been dormant for a long time, and some new worlds opened up.  I feel younger and stronger and leaner and more confident than I have in at least a decade.  In short, Whole30 is a Good Thing. 

What Went Well? 

Ground Rules:  I did not once, intentionally, go off-plan.  There was the Sriracha fiasco of the first three days, and a minor vanilla extract incursion with a Lara Bar, but otherwise I followed the rules. 
Cooking:  I rediscovered a love of cooking.  My pre-W30 80/20 ratio of restaurant or packaged food to things I cooked was completely turned around.  I prepared everything I ate from scratch with only a handful of ventures out to dine.  I really enjoy and take great pride in preparing healthy food now.  Seriously, the fact that I can take individual spices, mix them with ground pork, add some hard-boiled eggs and end up with Scotch Eggs still baffles and delights me!  It makes me wonder what other things in my life I might want to try making. 
Planning:  I am learning the importance of planning and preparing meals ahead of time, so I don't get caught in the "I'm starving and there's nothing to eat so I'm going to Taco Bell" trap. 
Support:  I had great support for the process.  It's helpful to know there are other people sharing the same struggle, so this forum and the friends and colleagues I recruited along the way kept me from going astray.  Most importantly, the constant support and mentoring from my dear friend susiek helped to guide me when the path was rocky or unclear.  Thank you! 

What Could I Have Done Better? 

Exercise:  I should have kept up my daily exercise routine through W30.  The energy fluctuations early in the process threw me off schedule and I didn't sort it out.  This is easily fixed.  Also, it's time to get back to resistance training. 
- Sleep:  The same energy fluctuations that messed up my exercise took a toll on my sleep patterns.  Now that things have settled down (and work is more under control), I can get back on plan. 
Whole30 Templates:  I mostly followed the meal planning template, but could do better the next time. 
Triggers:  Maybe this belongs in the What Went Well category, but  I was very aware of what triggered cravings in me:  Specific locations, some smells (fresh baked cookies), those damned pizza ads on TV, and emotions like loneliness.  Awareness of these decreased their power. 


- I lost 16.4 pounds 
- I lost inches on every body measurement 
- I have an endless supply of "slow burn" energy 
- I have confidence in my ability to effect change in my life 
- I now view food as a partner in health, not as an enemy to be vanquished or, worse, a malevolent master


The Road Ahead….


- Continue my reintroductions to what does and does not work for me

- Continue to build on the good habits I started during W30

- Return to a strict W30 soon…definitely in May, but perhaps sooner if I want

- Enjoy the ride!


Thank you for sharing this journey with me. 



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