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I have successfully completed my first Whole30.  I had been spending the majority of the past 12 months doing an low carb, high fat lifestyle and for the first few months I did lose about 25 pounds.  I continued to eat the same way and for another 4 months I lost and gained back the same couple of pounds.  Regardless of how much I tried to tweak my meals I seemed to be stuck and was not able to go any lower.  Just to clarify, I still had significant weight to lose and while I was feeling better, I was frustrated with no progress in losing weight.  I had already eliminated grains, sugar, bad fats, etc. and I knew I was on the right track so when I saw the challenge for whole30 I thought okay, I will give up diary, it is only for 30 days.  I basically was living on cheese and butter to keep my fats high so I really didn't think I could give up dairy even for 30 days.


The next challenge was to stay off the scale.  Deep in my heart I knew this was really the most important rule for me because the number on the scale had become my barometer of progress, or lack of.  The point about focusing on healthy food to heal my body rather than the scale made so much sense I decided that I would commit to trusting the process.  That was a giant leap of faith because I was beginning to think I was incapable of losing weight no matter what I did.


So now for my results, and what I have learned in the process.  I lost 10 pounds which is amazing considering I am 57, have a sedentary job, and only walked for exercise. I have arthritis pain in my knee which has gone away after nearly a year of dealing with it. I have energy and little hunger in addition to being emotionally upbeat consistently through out the day. But for me the biggest revelation was within a few days I noticed my rings, and shoes were loose and my face was much thinner.  My skin is also flawless and the dark circles under my eyes which I had accepted as hereditary are gone.  I also notice the whites of my eyes are whiter and clearer.


For me the biggest surprise was learning how inflammatory dairy is for me.  I didn't think eliminating dairy was going to make any difference whatsoever since I never had issues with lactose intolerance or some of the other obvious problems associated with dairy.  In truth, I really didn't miss it either.  


The lesson I learned is that until you actually do go through the process of elimination you don't even realize what may or may not be affecting you.  I would have bet big money and lost if I had to suspect dairy as a problem for me.


I spent a week reintroducing some of the eliminated foods in order to find out what have been my triggers for inflammation.  A few days ago I started round two.  I now have added confidence knowing I did gain valuable insights and have the experience now to know it is doable and worth the effort.  I found that even when I was reintroducing foods I am so adapted now to eating this way it has become my new normal.  If you are reading this and considering if you want or need to explore this process it really is a positive experience in so many ways.  


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I am now on day 17 of my second challenge.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have so much to feel grateful for.  I discovered after years of struggle to lose weight and keep it off that I was focusing on the wrong things. It is no wonder so many try and fail when it simply becomes about eating less and exercising more.  I once heard a doctor say, "You can lose weight eating nothing but M&M's all day as long as you keep under your caloric requirement."  I thought at the time, yes, so why is it so hard to control my appetite.  Why can't I just eat one cookie and not half the package like "normal" people. Why do I succeed in every other area of life except this one?  


I am so grateful that I have learned what I had been doing wrong all along.  I am so grateful that I can be a walking, talking example of health and energy where before it was all about will power and deprivation.  I know that there will be someone that comes to this forum and like myself a few months ago wonder, is this just another empty promise.  Are these people just 3 days into a new "diet" and hoping beyond hope they are on the right track?  If that person is you, do 30 days of following the rules 100%.  It matters, and you matter.  It makes sense, it works.  It takes faith and patience but in the end you will be grateful.  Happy, Healthy!

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