I did it!


EmilyRae

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So....I finished my first Whole30 yesterday! I have been lurking in the forums for the past month but decided I'd come out of hiding and share my experience.

I first learned about the paleo diet a little over a year ago when my husband heard about it from a friend and wanted to give it a try. So we went "mostly" paleo ... Still having cereal and milk for breakfast sometimes, still allowing a glass of wine or a cookie here and there ... And he lost 40 pounds in 2 months, while I lost about 8 (unfair, isn't it ladies, how easily guys shed the weight?) but then, enter the holidays, and we both went off the rails and gained the weight back over the next several months.

But in the meantime, I had discovered Melissa Joulwan's incredible blog while looking for recipes. I fell in love with her writing, started browsing through her archives, and kept seeing references to the Whole30, which brought me here. "Well, that's nice for the diehards," I thought, "but that'll never be me. I could never go a whole month without (cream in my coffee, yogurt, a glass of wine, a bite of cheese, a granola bar.....)."

But I was intrigued. Beyond the weight loss, I was drawn in by so many reports of better sleep, increased energy, greater mental focus ... All these intangibles could be improved just by changing how I eat?? My curiosity was piqued enough that I decided to give it a try.

I decided on August 15 as my start date ... A strategic choice, since we'd be home from our summer visits to our families and I wouldnt have to run the risk of either sticking to the plan or offending my mother. From mid August to mid september, I had no travel, no out of town guests, no work obligations that included meals... I could easily be in charge of what I put into my body. Two weeks ahead of time, I signed up for the whole30 Daily emails, and started making menu plans.

And wouldn't you know it, the day I chose as my start date ended up being the day my office chose for a staff party. So on Day One I faced off against Rice Krispie treats, cheese and crackers, beer and wine, chocolate chip cookies, and RED. VELVET. CUPCAKES. And won.

I was pretty sure at that point that I had the 30 days in the bag!

I have actually really enjoyed eating this way, and I havent missed most of the things I eliminated for the Whole30. I did, however, celebrate by putting cream and a little agave syrup in my coffee this morning.

While I never experienced the manic energy surge some people report, I am very happy that my energy levels are even all through the day. I no longer NEED a snack like clockwork at 10 am and 3 pm. I don't end up ravenous and ready to chew the arm off my chair if a meeting runs late and I don't get to eat lunch until 2. I feel energized during my runs, and I even ran my fastest 5k! And I lost five pounds.

Sure, I was kind of hoping the weight would miraculously melt away during my 30 day challenge, but I'm not going to complain about "only" losing five pounds. I've got 15 to go to get to my goal, and I know that I can do it. And truth be told, I probably snacked on almonds more than I really should have. So, something to work on.

My plan going forward? Eat mostly Whole30 style at home (with the exception of said cream and agave syrup in my coffee) and do the best I can in social situations but don't sweat it if the barbecue sauce happens to have a little molassess in it or a friend invites us over and serves something with cheese. And have a glass of wine once in a while. I'm also hoping that my doing the challenge has inspired my hubby to get back on the wagon, but I'm treading carefully there because I know he has to really be ready to make the change for himself. At least I know he's eating Good Food at home.

And if anyone reading this is on the fence about whether to sign up for the Whole30 Daily emails, just do it! They are great. Funny and irreverent, packed full of useful and thought provoking information, and SO worth the money. I really looked forward to reading them every day and I'm kinda going to miss them!

Emily

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I'm going to miss the emails, too! I'm planning to do another Whole30 right away, so my thought is to simply re-read the whole series, day by day. We'll see how it goes.

And congratulations on your success! I think "small" changes like no longer chewing up the office furniture if meals are delayed by meetings are really "big" changes in disguise, and you are certainly entitled to celebrate them.

In my own case (my own science experiment), I have the feeling that sort of change is the foundation for a whole new relationship with food, and especially all the "food ands": food and social situations; food and love; food and anxiety; food and body image, etc etc. (But truthiness compels me to confess that I have not slain the snack monster entirely yet.)

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