LauraC

Whole 30 Set Me Free

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I wrote this in mid Feb 2012 a little more than a week after finishing my 1st Whole30.

It has taken more than a week being “off†the Whole30 to fully and clearly appreciate what I got from being “on†the Whole30.  Food wise nothing is different and for a whole 36 hours on day 33/34 I thought I couldn't cope without the rules of the Whole30 but right now I have clarity of thought and full knowledge of my intention without the outer framework of the rules.

Whole30 has set me free of so many things.  I no longer obsess about what my next meal is.  I am in no way bothered about having yesterday's dinner for lunch today.  I am not focused on whether my jeans are looser or tighter this morning than they were yesterday, my only real concern is “are they clean enough to wear to work?â€. I know what weight I have lost but it is not invading my every thought.  I used my kitchen scale last week to bake with my kids but other than that it has only been used to follow a recipe as opposed to the near constant use to weigh and measure portions for each and every meal ofthe day.

In my professional capacity I have for 15 years trusted my eyes to tell me the truth about what I see before me but I have never trusted them to tell me that the amount of food on my plate was sufficient to meet the sensation of hunger I was experiencing.  Until now.  Now I can look at my plate as I am creating my dinner and know when enough is enough and so 20 minutes after my meal I am neither hungry nor uncomfortably full.  But it doesn't involve putting my cutlery down

between bites or lingering and taking 20 minutes to eat my meal (which, with 2 small children, I simply don't have) just so that my body would get the signal that it was full and tell me to stop eating. Rather than waiting until the end of the meal I have, for the first time in my life, learned how to listen to my body and also to trust that my eyes are a valuable tool in the eating process, not just that they can appreciate the appearance of a nice meal.

4.5 months ago I separated from my husband and as bad as my nutrition had been before he moved out, and it was bad, it got worse, way way worse.  The children and I rarely ate vegetables and had fruit even less often.  Too often the vegetables were frozen peas or tinned beans, neither of which are actually vegetables and the fruit came

from a can.  Cakes were baked and consumed in one day and the cycle was repeated the next day.  Last week I did some paleo baking and when I had eaten half of the product of the exercise in too short a time I threw the rest in the bin and decided not to bake for another 2 weeks.

I can list all of the “classic†bonuses of Whole30 with an emphatic yes.  I am sleeping better.  I am feeling better.  My intestines are behaving the way they should for the first time, probably ever (I was convinced last year that I had IBS-C).  My skin is clear.  I have lost weight and my clothes fit better.  I have just finished the most symptom free period of my life.  I have kicked the sugar demon to the curb and am coping with stress without eating the entire kitchen, packaging & all.

But even with that entire list, if I could only tell someone one benefit of my Whole30 experience, my answer would be a single word.

Freedom.

So thank you guys, for the key.  I don't you didn't set me free but you put yourselves out there, and continue to do so, and without you I wouldn't be sat here trying to remember what I decided 3 days ago would be for dinner on tonight (and the only reason I have to remember right now is that I have to go and buy the ingredients).

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It is 2 months later now & I'm on day 10 of my second Whole 30. I had reintroduced diet coke & it was affecting my sleep so I dropped it 2 weeks ago. My sleep has returned, I'm working on my basic exercise tolerance so that start lifting heavy things & I'm exploring the idea of dating!

14 weeks after starting my first Whole30 I remain free & can't imagine life any other way. As ever I am thankful to Derval for clicking that Like button at that moment. I owe you more than one :-)

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Incredible success, Elsie! Way to kick the thread off in style! We are so proud to have a community of members who, like you, have made immeasurable growth in their personal lives (Even aside from the nutritional changes). You are setting an example for your children by changing your relationship with food. Congratulations!

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