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I just finished my last official Whole30 meal; yay me! I feel really good. For one thing, I DID this. I had my "I must not be doing this right because I don't feel terrible" stage, and then I had the "OMG I freaking hate this dumb program" stage, and the "No food sounds good, ever" stage, and I made it through all of them. I had a friend doing this with me (and I also had two friends just start last week!), so that helped a LOT. We are two very different people with two very different approaches to the Whole30, but we both adhered to the rules strictly. Her approach to reintroduction is going to be completely different than mine, and that is one of the things I love about this program-it is very well suited to anyone.

So. Reintroduction starts tomorrow. I had in my mind a list of things I couldn't wait to eat. but as many others have said in these forums, now the desire is just not there. As in, right this minute I can't think of a single "forbidden" food that I am eagerly waiting to add back to my life. Therefore, I am going to stick with the Conservative Reintroduction where I relax the no added sugar rule and then wait until a particular food really sounds good. I plan to follow it like the rest of the reintro protocal calls for-if one day rice sounds really good, I will eat some rice and then go fully Whole30 (including no added sugar) for a few days to see how it feels. I thought I would be more of the fast track type, but now that I am done I really just don't see it happening.

Now let me talk about my NSV's: I have no idea if I have lost any weight, and am not sure I will even weigh myself in the morning. I do have a significant amount of weight to lose, at least 50 pounds, but I feel so much better that I kind of don't care right now. I haven't used the program as a weight loss tool, although as time goes on I can see how would lose weight if I haven't already. I don't really know if my clothes fit better (I work at home so spend a lot of time in yoga pants or sweat pants), and I did not take any before or after pics. *shrug* I just wanted to feel better and have less pain. And that has been a resounding success. My joint/fibromyalgia pain has decreased considerably, and while I wouldn't call it "tiger blood" by the accepted definition, I do have more energy overall. My fingernails haven't grown like this in years, and I have zero temptation to snack. Some of these are small, others are big, but they all add up to the fact that doing the Whole30 has definitely changed my life.

I am also aware after this 30 days that there is so much more work to be done. While I ate generally ok prior to this (mostly whole foods, home cooked), I have struggled with weight and food issues as long as I can remember. My traumatic abusive childhood still had a hold on me no matter how much therapy I did, especially when it came/comes to food. My mom was constantly dieting and bingeing, and we kids had to go along for the ride. So there were weeks of deprivation (anyone remember the Scarsdale Diet? My mom had us all on that when I was in 1st grade!) followed by a short time of Godfather's Pizza and fried chicken and lots of desserts...so I grew up thinking this was normal. And then once I knew it was far from normal, I didn't know how to get out of that cycle. So while this Whole30 has opened my eyes to SO many things, I know I am not done. Not even close. *Full Disclosure Here: The ONLY rule I did NOT follow on the Whole30 was the one about cleaning out the cupboards and such of forbidden foods. Because of my food issues, I do not want to burden my children with similar issues. I totally get and support why the authors made that rule, but that was the only one that wouldn't work for me-not because it is an inherently bad rule but because I don't want my kids getting the mistaken that the food they eat is BAD. I followed all other rules completely.*

My physical health has always been remarkably good other than being formally diagnosed several years ago with fibromyalgia as well as suffering from depression. Despite being very overweight, my blood work has always been that of someone much younger. One time my "bad" cholesterol levels were slightly elevated, but my doctor was not concerned and the yearly tests the last two years have been fine. For some, that would be an almost free pass to continue eating things that don't contribute to optimal health, but for me, well, I am almost 45 years old. We have a 5 year old child. I babysit my grandkids (age 6 and 18 months), and I want to prevent any of the problems that are inevitable if I continue to make poor (for my body and health) food choices. I am also considered "crunchy" where I live;  I grow our own foods organically, we raise chickens for meat and eggs, I try to treat illness by preventing first, treating with oils and herbs second, and consulting a doctor last...so feeding the body more efficiently and seeing improved health is kind of the next logical step. I want to live my best, fullest, healthiest life so I can be around my kids and grandkids for a long time.

One disappointing thing: my sleep has not improved as much as I had hoped. I still sleep restlessly and suffer from either not being able to fall asleep or waking up early and not going back to sleep. I have spoken with my doctor at great length about this issue, and ultimately we may make the decision to implement an actual sleeping pill. As it is, I already take both Benadryl and melatonin and STILL struggle. Some days I cannot get through the day without taking nap, and no, it doesn't have any impact on my sleep at night whether I do or don't nap. It has improved some-my " Oh my gosh I HAVE to get some sleep!" days have been fewer, with naps only occurring maybe four days out of seven (tiger blood right there baby!)-but again, not as much as I had hoped. I do have carpal tunnel in both wrists so I think that might have something to do with it, but sleep has been an issue my whole life. I am hopeful that by continuing eating mostly whole30 will help that improve even more. Sleep is so important that I know that my physical/mental health will continue improve as my sleep does

So-I move forward to Day 31. Tomorrow will be another normal Whole30 day except I might live it up and have some bacon with breakfast. I might weigh myself, I might now. I AM going to implement exercise starting tomorrow (because I totally didn't the whole 30 days, other than shoveling snow), because now that the food part is in an easier place it seems (again) the next logical step. Otherwise, it's business as usual over here. 

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