Jump to content

First Whole30 Complete! My lessons learned...


Recommended Posts

I'm happy to report that yesterday was Day 30 and I completed my first Whole30 fully compliant!  What I've learned / experienced:


- I can cook!  I used to say that I couldn't cook, my ex did all of our cooking so I never had a real reason to learn.  The last couple of years on my own, I've eaten decently but ate out at restaurants or got takeout quite a bit, or relied processed stuff like frozen burritos as home.  These last 30 days I cooked 3 meals a day for myself and really found that I enjoyed it.  I have tried (and will continue trying) new recipes and found that the real food I was eating was nutritious, satisfying, and most importantly yummy!  I've enjoyed adding a few new spices and small kitchen items each week to my arsenal and discovering new vegetables and foods that I've never even heard of before (who knew that cream of tarter was a powder in the spice aisle and not like tarter sauce, or what to do with bok choy or romanesco, not me!).  I even joined a CSA and have had 2 weeks of fresh local veggies so far which is pushing me to expand my normal grocery purchases.


- I don't need Diet Coke to have energy or focus!  I don't drink coffee and wasn't much of a tea person (although I'm trying teas occasionally these days) so Diet Coke was my addiction.  I would drink 1-3 a day and thought I needed it to wake up in the morning and have energy to focus at a busy job all day.  When I went cold turkey on Day 1, I assumed I would have massive cravings and headaches but instead found that it was pretty easy because by cutting out all sugar, my taste buds adjusted and no longer craved the sweetness.  When I've cut out Diet Coke on its own before, it was always very hard and I would fall back into bad habits because of all the other sugar in my diet feeding my sugar dragon.  On that front...


- I can turn down chocolate!  ...and cake, and cookies, and the candy jar that I see every time I get a water refill in my office kitchen, etc....  Amazing how much sugar we're surrounded with at every turn when you actually start to become aware of it.  I have a big old sweet tooth and thought the sugar dragon would be tough, but I'm glad to report that after a few days of no sugar, I really didn't crave it anymore.  Yes it still took thought and willpower to not give in when your CEO brings a box of donuts around to your office, or your colleagues offers homemade chocolate chip cookies, but I really wasn't craving the sugar, thankfully.


- I can go 30 days without an alcoholic beverage!  Sad to say, but I can't remember a time previously when I'd done so. Yes, social situations were different and definitely tested my resolve, but I made it!  Yes, my social life was a little quieter but I was able to use some of that extra time to do other things like submit my taxes early (which means I'll get my refund early too), work on some vacation plans, start volunteering at a local women's shelter, and complete long-overdue paperwork for a financial advisor.  I will see how alcohol makes me feel moving forward, but I definitely know my relationship with it as a reward, as a social crutch, as a habit is definitely changed from this experience.  And the amount of money I've saved between eating out, take-out, and drinks I'm sure is huge (even factoring in many more trips to the grocery store buying higher priced quality items).


- I can sleep!  I had a nasty habit of waking up around 4am many nights, which throws you off for the whole day regardless of whether you get up or go back to sleep (and hence, my rationale for why I NEEDED some caffeine, aka a Diet Coke in the morning). This last month I've enjoyed deeper longer sleep, my energy level and emotions are much more stable throughout the day instead of peaking and crashing, my focus seems better and I feel like I'm getting more done in my work day than before, my face is getting clearer (although still has some more room for improvement), etc....


And on top of it, I lost 7.5 lbs!  That last part I put at the end, because honestly I didn't think I would have any weight loss to report.  I didn't feel like I looked any different, people weren't commenting on looking better (although lots of positive compliments on my cooking efforts, joining a CSA, etc...), my clothes weren't feeling much different, so I thought I wouldn't likely have lost much / any weight.  Turns out that I did, and in comparing before and after pictures, I can now see that there's less padding around my middle which I didn't realize was happening either.  While that's great and admittedly was the original motivation for doing the program, the above items are really important too and so I would have been happy to have learned these things about myself even without the weight loss.  


It's time for me to ride my own bike, as I have a job with a good amount of travel and business social functions that I've been putting off for 30 days, but I'm going to keep Whole30 compliant at home and whenever I can control it, make the best choices when out, and continue to keep a personal log on what I'm doing and how I'm feeling.  I can't do the specific reintroduction program as written due to a few commitments this week / weekend, but will try to work in those reintroduction days in the coming weeks as best I can.


I also have a new Whole30 - this one focused on activity.  Notice I didn't say exercise, no I'm not planning to go to the gym 30 days straight, I know that's not productive.  But some sort of activity every day for 30 days.  On days when I'm not going to the gym, I'll be sure to walk to and from work which is about 2 miles, take a 30 minute walk around town during lunch, take only stairs instead of elevators or escalators, etc....  Just increase my activity level.  So that's my new Whole30, while I remain focused on eating good foods and assessing how some of the things I have cut out make me feel upon reintroduction.


Sorry - long post, longer than intended for sure, but excited about where I am today, feeling good and wanted to share!


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...