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Gunz' Whole 30


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I posted this last night as the last entry in my Whole30 blog, and was flattered to be asked to re-post it here.  I hope people who are just starting out, or in the first week and struggling read it and STICK TO IT.  It is so worth it!!


April 21st, 9 PM:

Wow.  In three hours, I will have completed a Whole30.  I really didn't think I'd get through it when I started.  I have considered doing this before, and every time, I chickened out before I even started.  I'd tell myself "Oh, just journal your food" "Oh, just cut back on carbs" or I'd apply some other diet rules that have worked for a time - and eventually failed - throughout my life.  This time around, I can honestly say I wasn't trying to lose weight (although I'm not against the idea) - What I really wanted this time around was a way to kickstart a habit of preparing my own food.  For the past thirty days, I've cooked every breakfast and every dinner (and put together most lunches from a salad bar) for myself, from scratch.  The only packaged food that has crossed my lips is some coconut milk, ghee, olive oil.  Nothing that had multiple ingredients.  I've learned to cook pork and beef in ways I never have before.  I've gained confidence in the kitchen.  I may not have done a perfect Whole 30 (I did snack occasionally on fruits and nuts, and probably relied a little too heavily on starchy carbs - hello sweet potatoes!) but I followed the plan 100%.  


I sit here now feeling a little too full from dinner - a feeling that really hasn't happened to me in weeks - I kind of forgot how it's uncomfortable to eat too much.  And the funny thing is, it wasn't really a big meal based on my prior habits.  It was delicious citrus carnitas and tomato and cucumber salad.  Our new favorite meal.


Buttars didn't technically finish the Whole 30, as he had some mishaps while travelling - but he's convinced of this lifestyle, and is currently on Day 8 - he just re-started again as soon as he came back.  So we're going to be sticking to a vastly Whole30 lifestyle, but I'm gonna loosen up a little bit in the coming weeks.  We did agree on some household rules, however - no grains or sugar will be kept in the house.  If these things appear in our lives outside the home, we'll evaluate, but as a general rule, we will not cook with these things.  And the most amazing part??  We LOVE eating at home.  It's actually better than eating at restaurants.  I was afraid we'd get bored, but it's actually delightful.  Not every night is necessarily a beautifully plated dinner, but even when it's re-heated leftovers, we sit at the kitchen table and talk to each other.  When we moved in together, Buttars didn't even own a knife, and had never cooked for himself in the entire year I'd known him.  Now, when it's time to make dinner, he's handed the meat, and is in charge of the grill, and I take care of the veggies in the kitchen.  I'm so proud of both of us.


I have realized that my sleep was never as good as I thought it was - I'm amazed that I have awoken before the alarm clock every single day for the past three weeks.  I'm fairly convinced that it was alcohol that had been affecting my sleep prior, and I didn't even know it was happening.  I will be very careful about re-introducing alcohol into my diet, and definitely never more than once a week, nor when I need to get up in the morning for work or fun activity.


Neither of us has had indigestion in a month!  There was some gastro difficulties here and there, but I think I've narrowed those down to times when I snacked on nuts.  Lesson learned.  Should I do another Whole30 in the future, I know that my additional rule book will include no between meal snacking ... although I'm fairly convinced that I do need 4 meals a day (which is why I always wind up snacking upon arriving home from work.)  My usual schedule is 7:30 Am workout, 9:00 breakfast, 12:30 lunch, 5:00 snack, 8:00 dinner ... so I think that snack is actually warranted (although I know the official Whole 30 says three meals only.)  If I just replaced the 5:00 nuts/fruit with a bit of protein and veggie, I think I'd have this down pat.


I mentioned this before - but learning to simply go without food for a time was a side effect of this for me. If I didn't have Whole30 - appropriate food with me (like on a long hike) I would just wait to get home to eat.  It seems simple enough to most people, I'm sure, but my regular self would have panicked at the first hint of hunger, and I'd wind up eating something sub-optimal.  I reminded myself that being a little hungry is not an emergency, and that waiting for better food is not just possible, but better.


I'm almost embarrassed to admit this part, but it was perhaps the best huge side benefit for us ... We still would fall into a bad habit of smoking off and on up until about a month ago.  When we went into the Whole 30, there's the clause "and obviously, no tobacco."  I had never once considered cutting out smoking whenever I would embark on a diet in the past - if anything, i would tell myself, don't worry about the smoking, you'll deal with that after you lose the weight.  But this time - with all the focus on what we're eating, and planning meals, and avoiding alcohol, we almost didn't even notice that we weren't smoking.  And now we're both 30+ days nicotine free - and we never had a single nicotine withdrawal symptom! Suffice it to say, this is a huge benefit ... don't judge!  And if you are considering a Whole30 make sure you do the No Tobacco part!


Pardon the rambling nature of this post, I was originally just writing it as a letter to myself in the future, should I feel tempted to move away from this style of eating, and risking my health again, I want my own voice to remind me how great I feel right now.  And Buttars too - I just told him what I'm working on here and he flexed, and was like yeah - I feel great.  I'm not quitting.


and now: to bed.  When I wake up, buttars will join me for the first time to my favorite workout class. Then we will eat our new standard Whole Life breakfast.  Day 31 = Day 1 of the rest of my life. 

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And just so that this is not incomplete .... I had been avoiding the scale entirely, since I really don't (want to) care anymore.  My belly is flatter, I feel better, my pants look better .... but I was forced onto a scale at the gym yesterday for a health evaluation (which I passed with flying colors, all except the god-forsaken-BMI part.)


Turns out, I've gained about 5 pounds.  This really really should bother me - and it is definitely not going to sway me from eating this way ... but it was a bit of a bummer.  I wanted to put this out there, because I haven't read any other stories of people who were fully compliant who gained weight ... I've read quite a few complaints that people didn't think they were losing *enough* weight, but I wanted to put a voice out there for anyone else who may feel like a failure if they gain a few pounds.  (Because I looked and either I'm the only person in the world who gains weight on a whole30, or folks who do don't speak up.  So I will.)

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We do have people post from time to time that they gained weight.  However, it sounds like you lost inches ... so I'm guessing you lost fat and gained muscle?  Hopefully that, along with all the other benefits you obtained, makes it feel like less of a bummer to you.

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