Success Story Update: After 71 Days


Recommended Posts

I wrote this glowing success story after 30 days on the Whole30 plan, raving about my weight loss, mood improvement, and cured migraines, pledging to continue for 90 days: 

I made it 71 days and am now about 90-95% compliant and considering going back to 100%. Here is my update!

That first month I lost 9.6 pounds and over 7 inches in 30 days and was ecstatic. I did that WITHOUT counting calories after a 2.5 month weight loss stall (I'd lost about 60 pounds in the year-ish prior). Unfortunately, in the next 41 days I only lost an additional 1-2 pounds and lost no inches. In the first 30 days my migraines went away almost 100% and my depression and anxiety lifted in a way they hadn't in years. In the next 41 days, both came back (though my migraines do seem less severe than they used to be). I saw no improvement of my keratosis pilaris.

I was feeling pretty discouraged, so when holiday temptations came around my willpower eventually crumbled and I reintroduced all eliminated foods within a span of about 48 hours. Boo.

The good news: nothing dramatic happened after eating all those things so I don't think I have any intense food allergies/intolerances except for one thing - after eating a bunch of sugar, I became catatonically lethargic on two separate occasions. So tired that I could barely move my mouth to talk! That was very interesting to observe because I realized that I used to feel that way all the freaking time.

I also noticed that immediately upon reintroducing sugar I became obsessed with sugar. My sugar dragon never went into full slumber mode because I ate fruit every day but it was definitely dramatically subdued, but once I reintroduced candy, baked goods, and ice cream, I was reminded how my next sugar hit becomes paramount in my mind at all times. It's to the point that I sometimes have trouble concentrating on conversations I'm having with someone because all I can think about is the plate of cookies in the next room and whether I should go get one. Not good!

The weight loss stall (even while 100% compliant for those 41 days) was frustrating because I technically have an obese BMI (trust me, it's not muscle) and would like to lose 50-60 lbs to get back to my college weight. But this week I realized something - I have gotten really into cooking on the Whole 30, which is great, but it means that I eat a lot of recipes. The problem with recipes is that it can be tricky to ensure you're eating the recommended Whole30 portion sizes: a thumb of oil, a palm of protein, etc. I realized that I had taken "fat is good" a little too much to heart and was piling on the high fat foods at every meal, not paying attention to portion control.

So starting yesterday I'm back to paying attention to portions - a thumb of oil, a palm of protein, a plate of veggies - and I'm shocked how much smaller my plates are than what I was eating before! I was probably eating two servings at most meals, which might be ok for some people but I'm a short woman who spends about 17 hours a day at a computer. I don't need the extra fuel!

I like the flexibility of not being officially "on" the Whole30 but I'm realizing that I do need to be on it 90-95% and there are certain foods I have to avoid entirely because they trigger cravings and binges. Though I was discouraged by how much less successful my second 41 days were compared to my first 30, getting off Whole30 entirely has made me realize how much better I really did feel when I was on it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also learned an important lesson: diet is important but it isn't everything. Whenever my migraines would come back it was always during a time when I wasn't sleeping well, was working too much / under too much stress, not drinking enough water, etc. I need to take a holistic approach to my wellness and not think it's as simple as just cutting out a bunch of foods and then being "cured." But nutrition is part of it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations!  I hope to carry this out for as long as I can.  I did my first whole30 in May of last year with great success and then my weight loss stalled for 3 months.  Just like you, when I drank my first come my sugar demon roared with a vengeance.  I saw my Endocrinologist in Dec and she encouraged me to start back and stick with it.  She said that even tho I wasn't seeing weight loss didn't mean my body wasn't making changes for the good and I would eventually start losing again.  She said even losing 1/2 a pound a month was acceptable.  I was encouraged when I left her office. I weighed on Jan 31 and I'm not going to get on a scale again until my 3 month appointment with her.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a really good point about positive changes even without dramatic weight loss. And that's a great point about 1/2 lb per month still being progress!

I'm back on Whole30 95% but am using my 5% for things that I know don't bother me like a sprinkle of feta over eggs as opposed to Hershey's kisses or takeout pizza. Added sugar is out and any kind of takeout/delivery food is out.

Now that I'm focusing on portion control again the weight seems to be starting to come back off. After a 75 lb weight loss, even just maintaining my weight is a success obviously, but I would still like to lose another 30-60 lbs to get back to my 20s weight range. We'll see. I'm not willing to starve myself or do anything unsustainable/unhealthy to make that happen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


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