Woo Hoo! Day 30 is Here!


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I can't believe we're already on day 30 of our family's first Whole30.  These past 30 days have been an experience that I'll never forget.  I've learned so much about my body and the foods I eat.  Just a quick (Ok, not so quick) recap of the past 30 days and why I started the Whole30 in the first place.  I'm a 40 something husband and father to 4.  For the past 4 years I've suffered with chronic back pain and have been taking medications that are very addictive and at times don't work as I've built up a tolerance to them.  Due to my back pain and my job, I've been very inactive for the last 7 years.  Due to my poor eating habits and constantly giving in to cravings, my weight has skyrocketed.  I was not in a good place physically, mentally or emotionally.  I felt as if there was no hope for me, that I'd spend the rest of my life in pain and eventually in a wheelchair.

Well, that was all before I learned about Whole30.  After hearing about it from friends and doing some research online, I enlisted the help of my family.  I knew I couldn't do it without their support.  So, my wife and kids (some reluctantly), said they'd also participate in the Whole30 with me.  We cleaned house and threw out everything that had any ingredients not allowed on Whole30.  Fortunately, a lot of it had been sitting in the fridge or pantry for so long it was expired or it was nearly empty so there was little actual waste.  I was amazed to learn how many foods contain sugar in its various forms or other ingredients that can cause inflammation or digestive problems.  The cleaning of the pantry and fridge was very therapeutic as it marked a new beginning for me and my family.

At first the meal planning and prep was a chore but, we stuck with it.  My wife was waking earlier than normal to help with breakfasts and start prepping for lunch.  The kids even got involved and helped with the cooking from time to time.  We made sure there was a lot of variety in our meal plan. Every week we were trying new foods that we'd never had before.  We discovered certain foods that we don't ever want to eat again.  We also found new foods that we loved and plan to eat on a regular basis.

Our first couple of days on our Whole30 were a struggle.  I was hungry and had low energy levels.  I wanted so badly to have just one snack between meals or after dinner.  It was by willpower alone that I made it to day 4 without giving in to cravings.  Then on either day 4 or 5 something strange happened.  For the first time in years I woke up and got out of bed with no back pain at all.  I couldn't believe it.  I was afraid it was a fluke so I didn't say anything, expecting the pain to return later that day or the next.  Another 4 or 5 days past and still no pain.  I decided to tapper off my pain meds to see what happened.  The only negative effect from doing so was withdrawal symptoms.  I can honestly say there was no better motivation for me to stay true to our Whole30 than to not be in pain anymore.  It's now day 30 and I'm still pain free.  I can't put in to words what a relief this is.  For the first time in years I have hope for my future.  I can finally see me reaching a healthy weight and living life as I once knew it as an active dad going on bike rides with my kids and walks with my wife.

I have to admit, there is a bit of fear when in ending the Whole30.  A part of me doesn't trust myself to maintain the healthy eating habits I've learned over the past 30 days.  A small part of me wants to just keep going with the program and not change a thing.  Another part of me wants to be able to go out to eat and enjoy a meal or prepare a meal at home without looking for alternative ingredients that are compliant.  So, now I'll have to learn about moderation and when to say "no" to certain foods that can be a trigger for me.

All in all, I've have a great 30 days and will be doing more Whole30s or longer to reinforce what I've learned and to continue to learn with experience.

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I kept going on the strict Whole30 program until I achieved a few more health goals. I stopped counting but it was somewhere around 80 days. I'm now on my second Whole30, a year later. If I had to do the first one over again, this is what I would have done:

Go ahead and do the reintroductions. Do them slowly and really feel how things affect you. Your back pain could be triggered again, so pay close attention! Once you've gone through all those reintroductions, go back to Whole30 for a week or more. Really think about which of those foods you truly missed. Then you can stick to Whole30 except on the occasions when something is really worth it.

My symptoms (mainly arthritis) didn't come back for months after reintroducing foods. So I'm stuck still not knowing. I'm going to go through them more systematically this time and pay extra attention. I stuck to 80/20 Whole30 for most of the last year and it worked well. I didn't gain any weight back and the arthritis pain very slowly crept back up. That's what prompted me (plus the motivation to lose more!) to reboot and do a strict Whole30 again. You can always go back to strict Whole30 if you get too off track!

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Thank you for the advise.  We will be doing the reintroduction as outlined in the program.  I take comfort in knowing that it'll be a slow process.  I guess my fear comes from the years of yo-yo dieting, counting calories or starving myself only to end in failure and relapse.  This just seems to good to be true.  I never thought the food I eat or not eat would affect my body as much as it has.  You're right I can always go back to strict Whole30 if I feel the urges for certain foods is still strong or I get off track.  I'll definitely be coming back to the forums to help check me in check. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I am so glad to see that I am not alone when I fear the reintroduction.  My attitude toward food has definitely changed but after 57 years od poor eating and diets that didn't work I am afraid.  I love the clarity of mind that I have gained on the Whole30 which is something that is new to me.  Good luck in the future on your health and progress.

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