Moderators, this one's for you!


ladyhoward

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I would not have succeeded in my Whole30 to the extent that I did if it wasn't for you great Whole9 moderators. I would love to hear YOUR success stories though. What brought you to the Whole30/Paleo lifestyle? What was your first Whole30 like? What does your life look like now in terms of your typical day of eating? What ailments were you relieved of by eating this way?

I think you guys give so much great advice, but I think it's even nicer when we know where you came from and how far you yourselves have come. I look forward to reading your stories!!

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My story on the Whole9 site is a bit out of date, but you can find an early description at http://whole9life.com/tom-denham/. After 2.5 years, I still think the Whole30 was one of the best things I've ever done.

I never planned to learn anything about food. I literally told Dallas and Melissa that I chose them as my food experts and would keep my focus on other areas, but I've since gotten interested and learned a thing or two.

I eat what you see posted on my Wholelifeeating website. I have my favorites, but pretty much eat whatever my local farmer is growing and then supplement from Whole Foods when he can't keep up with my appetite.

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You can read my brief story in my profile. After my huge success earlier in the year, I strayed a bit from the whole30 eating concepts in the summer and as soon as I realized I was gaining weight and feeling crappy I got right back to it. I'm now at a place in my life where I have a very manageable balance. I'm not living by strict whole30 rules but my diet is at least 90% compliant. The 10% that is not, is not just about rewards or treats but also to allow me to function easily in my day to day. For instance, if I can only find a meal out where something might have been dusted in flour or have some sugar in a sauce or was fried in a nasty seed oil, well that's a cheat for me. It allows me to not be 100% perfect but still feel happy and like I'm living a healthy life. I finally broke the mindset that I DESERVE to eat crap food. I realized I'm an adult and I can eat whatever the hell I want but those crap foods make me feel like crap. My indulgences are things like coconut milk ice cream or paleo pumpkin muffins and of course a cocktail here or there. I still make sure my meals only have real whole food ingredients mostly and no chemicals or things I can't pronounce.

Growing up italian, food was never just about nutrition, it was how you related to friends and to family. The dinner table was where you resolved fights or solved problems, and sharing a meal with someone, or a recipe, or some leftovers, was the best way to let them know you cared. As someone who's struggled with weight my whole life, those experiences have been taken from me and replaced with guilt and self-loathing, feelings of failure and embarrassment over what I eat. The whole30 changed all of that. In general the biggest ailment I've cured is the depression that comes with a lifetime of disordered eating. I finally have a healthy relationship with food and truly get to eat satisfying meals without feeling gluttonous and without hurting my body. That's best gift the whole30 has given me.

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Johnny, as an Italian from the tri-state area, how has your family taken your change in diet? Especially when it comes to not accepting some of their offered foods?

As for me, my journey's been pretty convoluted and, I feel atypical, since i met M&D and basically did my first w30 before whole9 and the Whole30 were even a thing.

In short: I had been 240# my senior year of high school. I had already lost a sig amt of weight (55lbs) by the time I had found CF and Paleo in 2008, but I had let 20# sneak back on. I did Paleo plus dairy for a while because "I don't have problems with it" and just carried on for a while. I dropped 15 of that 20lbs quickly, but then I plateaued. I finally was convinced to do what was essentially a whole30 at the time, pulled out the dairy and lost 10lbs in a month out of nowhere.

As for results, things had already changed so dramatically for me before I really did 100% squeaky clean, that I can't honestly say it was [what would eventually become] the Whole30 that changed my life; CrossFit and Robb Wolf did. Whole30 was an additional step that continued to make me aware of how important nutrition is and what a huge role food plays, but it really was CrossFit for making the resources I need widely available.

I'm 80-90% compliant on a regular basis. I've added rice back in as a safe starch. Multiple days of gluten messes up my digestion, dairy stuffs me up and makes me break out, but homemade nutmeg maple butter cookies with cream cheese frosting is WORTH IT at thanksgiving.

I'm also not perfect. While I had never been a candy binger when I was heavier, stress and lack of sleep totally impact my rational sense and willpower even today. A couple of months ago I emotionally ate like 15 mini twix bars in a row while I was venting at a coworker's desk. Food with no brakes, anyone?

The difference is that even though that totally messed with my sleep and continued my mood swings for a few days, I have the tools to remove myself from situations that could make that more than just an isolated incident.

Sorry...that was way longer of a tale than I anticipated!!

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Renee - my family isn't on board but they've come to respect what works for me so they no longer try to enable bad food decisions. I'm in san francisco now which makes eating this way SUPER easy (we have an awesome growing primal community). I was home for easter this year and to stay on track I simply told my family I wanted to make a few dishes for dinner too. They made a couple things with main courses of ham and manicotti. I made a few sides like mashed sweet potatoes and spaghetti squash (topped with the manicotti sauce). We ate together and they were able to eat what I made as well and they loved it!

And congrats on your journey :)

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