Recommended Posts

Day 31 - It's over! Wow... I didn't think I'd make it, but I did!


 


Typing this as I eat my usual omelet, but with feta  ;). Interesting... while I'm excited to have the cheese, now that I'm eating the thing I've eaten for breakfast most of the last 30 days, I don't feel like the feta is really necessary. The first several days I was eating this for breakfast, all I could think about was how it needed cheese.


 


Posting this in Success Stories because I really hope this inspires some of you! Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.


 


So... recap. I'm copying this from my "home" thread, where I had borrowed Kate's format. Starting with the things I wish I had done better:


 


  1. Eaten out less. I got lazy some nights or on weekends mostly and ended up eating my "safe" meal at Chipotle. I still ate food I cooked most of the time, but I wish I'd been more prepared for that to happen.
  2. Paid attention more to my eating. I still tend to multitask - as I'm doing now - and don't even leave my desk for lunch. Since I'm in a support role, that means lots of distractions while I'm eating. I intend to start leaving my desk to eat more often.
  3. Slept more. Though I'm getting more sleep than I was before, I'm still short of the ideal amount, and I feel it.
  4. Drank more water. I definitely increased my intake, but this is still a work in progress. The days I hit my water goal, I felt great. I have to make a conscious effort to stop and drink some water more regularly, especially while I'm working.
  5. Given myself more time for prep at the beginning. I was very miserable at the beginning, in part because prep took so much longer than I thought it would, so I lost sleep over it.

For the benefit of those reading this who haven't finished (or maybe even started) yet... things that really helped me:


  1. The forums! I was part of a really fantastic thread - read there for more tips (Strength in Numbers) - and everyone's encouragement and advice helped me make my way through the 30 days. I also loved reading some of the moderators' posts and encouraging others.
  2. Clarified butter.
  3. I wrote down my NSVs as they happened.
  4. I told everyone I know about the plan and how excited I was about it.
  5. I marked my work calendar with the days in permanent marker.
  6. I acknowledged my struggles as they happened, documented them in the thread, and talked my way through them.
  7. I tossed my (cheap, $5) scale and everything I couldn't eat.
  8. I made a display out of spices and produce that doesn't need refrigeration in my kitchen (making it all very visible and accessible meant more of both went into all of my cooking).
  9. I took meal planning and grocery shopping seriously and wrote it all out. I'm putting up a chalkboard strip on the wall in my kitchen so the week's menu is always visible, even though I've finished my Whole30.
  10. I rewarded myself with non-food items during the plan - new books at the midpoint, flowers at the beginning of the fourth week, and a new, fancy scale and fitness tracking wristband for finishing.

Benefits


 


Aesthetic


  • Roughly 8-10 lbs lost (hard to say because there was so much fluctuation up to my start date)
  • Definite loss of fat around the midsection, front and back
  • Face seems thinner (to me)
  • Softer, smoother skin and hair
  • Stronger nails that grow like crazy
  • Less tired-looking
  • Less acne/less oil on face
  • Down a shirt size and a pants size, my ring comes off much more easily, and I have to use a tighter hook on my bra

Cooking & Eating


  • Reintroduced to my kitchen - woohoo! Loads more confidence in the kitchen
  • Much easier to make good choices now (also don't feel like I'm missing out)
  • Weirded out now by things that companies position as food that really aren't food
  • Heightened awareness to what's in everything
  • Comfortable eating without worrying about calories (this is so huge)
  • CLARIFIED BUTTER!!!
  • Lots of cool new tools and techniques in the kitchen
  • No negative reaction to eating cooked spinach (always upset my stomach before)

Emotional


  • Cut the cord with sugar - no longer feel like something is really wrong if I can't have it (bahahahaha my sugar dragon is DEAD)
  • Able to work through tough moments more, rather than avoiding them by eating something compulsively in the moment or later on
  • Significantly reduced anxiety and depression (though this is a process, and I'm only beginning it as of about three weeks ago)
  • Don't feel limited by the scale
  • Proud of myself for completing the challenge, proved to myself that I have much more discipline than I give myself credit for (just have to stop being so darn lazy, and tiger blood helps with that)
  • Smiling a lot more
  • More confidence socially
  • Don't feel the need to have alcohol to have a good time (proved this to myself last night, when I didn't break the guidelines to have a drink at a company happy hour - hung out with my club soda with lime and had a great time)
  • Don't feel impacted by advertisements for food anymore (they seem so bizarre now!)

Health


  • Minimal/no heartburn (no Tums needed for over a month now!)
  • Improved vision? (leaving a question mark there because this seems absolutely crazy but I can't ignore the fact that I can read small print signs with my bad eye that I for sure couldn't have read before, though my vision isn't perfect; will confirm when I see the eye doctor soon)
  • Lower resting heart rate (have to confirm this, but I just did a few runs through it using the stopwatch on my phone and counting myself, and all were lower than the last several measurements)
  • Better recovery time on injuries, sunburn, and illness
  • Improved dental health (no change in toothpaste or routines, but less gum and tooth pain)
  • More regular digestive activity
  • Easier to get out of bed every day

All in all, I'm totally thrilled that I did this, and even if I hadn't lost weight, I'd be thrilled with every other benefit. I will continue to eat with intention and try to stay away from take-out. I was actually REALLY hungry for breakfast this morning, despite a good dinner last night, which is so different from my life pre-Whole30. Again... please let me know if I can help you!


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved reading this!  In particular: 

 

  • Don't feel impacted by advertisements for food anymore (they seem so bizarre now!)
  • Comfortable eating without worrying about calories (this is so huge)
  • Weirded out now by things that companies position as food that really aren't food

 

Nice job, Staggolee!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved reading this!  In particular: 

 

  • Don't feel impacted by advertisements for food anymore (they seem so bizarre now!)
  • Comfortable eating without worrying about calories (this is so huge)
  • Weirded out now by things that companies position as food that really aren't food

 

Nice job, Staggolee!

 

Thanks, ladyshanny! It's funny how this has changed my perception on the world around me. Someone was talking to me about a dinner composed of a smoothie that was composed of lots of fruit (meh), loads of spinach (awesome), and a lot of protein powder (yuck!). All I could think was, 'Are you flippin' crazy?' I would so much rather eat the spinach in its normal form and a hunk of meat! And protein powder is NOT food!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So glad I came upon this post :)  It helped me realise that I, too, have been able to work through difficult/stressful things that would normally have had me eating instead.  The odd thing is that I hadn't realised this change until I read your post :)  And I am loving not thinking about calories!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Significantly reduced anxiety and depression (though this is a process, and I'm only beginning it as of about three weeks ago)

 

I'd love to hear more about your process with depression/anxiety, if you're willing to go into more detail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to hear more about your process with depression/anxiety, if you're willing to go into more detail.

 

Absolutely, Monica! I'll try to explain it to the best of my ability.

 

Background: I've been struggling with clinical depression (not associated to a particular event) since roughly age 7 (now 30). When I was that age, I didn't really know how to deal with what I was feeling, so I wrote in my journal (this was the 90s, so it was covered in hearts and flowers and had a little lock on it) and ate. And ate. I went from being a slender 2nd grader to a plump 3rd grader. I'm not sure if my parents noticed when an entire box of Gushers would go missing, but I learned to hide it better, sometimes just mixing EVEN MORE sugar into a handful of maple syrup. As I grew older, and became very ashamed of my weight, I dieted and exercised with mixed results, but I always ended up drowning my sorrows in a pint of Ben & Jerry's, an entire bag of chips, or an entire blueberry pie.

 

Sugar (processed sugar, complex carbohydrates) was my crutch. Whenever I felt bad, I'd just push it away into the back of my mind until I could stop at a gas station on the way home and buy ice cream/chips/candy/whatever. Then, Whole30... no more processed sugar. No more chips, ice cream, candy. My food crutch was gone, and I couldn't even substitute alcohol. I was forced to face my depression, really look it in the eye, for the first time in 23 years. Now, rather than pushing negative feelings to the back of my mind so that they can be satiated with sugar later, I look at the feeling and examine why I'm feeling that way and what I can do to fix it. Here are some things I ask myself:

 

  • What exactly am I feeling?
  • What happened to make me feel this way?
  • Did my ego take a hit in some way? What can I do to repair that without insulting others?
  • Is a perceived shortcoming of my own involved?
  • Is that shortcoming real? Can I do something about it?
  • Does worrying or feeling bad about it actually help the situation?
  • Who else is involved?
  • What can I respectfully say to someone else involved to help resolve the situation?
  • Do I need space?
  • Would a hug help? How about a walk, or some music?
  • What is the solution?
  • What time/day will I implement the solution, if not right away?
  • What resources will I need to implement the solution?

This is just a quick list off the top of my head. Not everything here will apply to every situation, but being in the habit of tackling things in the moment helps SO MUCH, and I don't feel compelled to eat. Formulating a plan with specifics reduces anxiety in a big way.

 

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More, because I thought more about it after submitting... Whole30 is designed to help you as a whole person (mind, body) get to the best place possible with all factors outside of your control considered. This in and of itself will present some benefits that you might need to watch for to notice at all:

 

  • You control a part of your life (food/fuel) that you might otherwise relinquish to the control of others (ie, eating out)
  • Your body operates more efficiently, leaving fewer gaps for you to feel tired or undernourished, both of which are good conditions for depression and anxiety to grow
  • You gain respect for your body and the cool things it can do (like repair itself)
  • You gain confidence, leading to a better image of you for yourself and for others
  • You become more accepting of logical ups and downs, rather than letting those contribute to a downward spiral
  • You are able to focus and think more efficiently (your brain gets the nutrients it needs!), leading to a better performance at work and better connections in your personal relationships
  • You are forced to ask others for help (on the forum, loved ones, servers at restaurants, etc)

Just some more thoughts. :) Again, please let me know how I can help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's fabulous! Very informative. It didn't occur to me to look for any benefits other than chemical changes in my brain from the food itself, so I'm going to try to pay attention to those other indirect forces at work that you pointed out. Thank you! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for sharing this - especially the bit on depression/anxiety. I have bipolar disorder, with depression as my main symptom. Thank the gods, I have been stable for a few years now. Anyway, I appreciated your journey and your insight. I start my Whole30 on Monday, 08 August -- I'm sure I'll come back to this thread for inspiration!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for sharing this - especially the bit on depression/anxiety. I have bipolar disorder, with depression as my main symptom. Thank the gods, I have been stable for a few years now. Anyway, I appreciated your journey and your insight. I start my Whole30 on Monday, 08 August -- I'm sure I'll come back to this thread for inspiration!

Good luck! It won't be easy, but it will be worth it. Feel free to send me a message if you need to let something out or need help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now