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Beyond W30.


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On December 31st my husband and I were flying back to Arkansas from California, having spent the holidays with my parents, when we found and decided to commit to Whole30 (bought the book and the emails). I had been in control of my weight and my eating, I thought, for a few years. I hadn't put on any weight since we were married two years ago, so that's good right? In 2007 and 2008, I dropped maybe 20-25 pounds and in the years since have dropped about forty total. Since moving to Arkansas I had been having some gut issues, but I just figured that was just normal. I was fine. Everyone gets the tummy rubles and nausea, right? I ate whole wheat, and sure I ate a lot of sugar, but my eating habits were fine.

Let's reverse a bit, shall we?

I spent those years in 2007 and 2007 full of guilt and hate. I would agonize over what to eat every day and I went through a phase during which I ate nothing than toast and grapefruit for breakfast and an apple and a Special K bar for lunch every day. By the time I got to dinner, I was starving and, more often then not, piled food on my plate and guzzled away the guilt I felt about eating big dinners.

I started a pretty ok exercise routine until it became unhealthy in that I was forcing myself to workout harder and hating myself when I didn't do 'enough'. I actually cried once through a workout because I knew I wasn't doing 'enough'. Most of that came to an end when my doctor (BLESS HER) told me I had a depression and anxiety problem and prescribed me medication. She told me I was no longer allowed to 'work out to be skinny'. Instead, I should just take a walk when it was nice out, or go for a bike ride, or do some yoga. For fun.

I've kept that up since 2009 and added some more weights to get stronger (I found I liked seeing muscles). My medication helped me say no to foods, but my bad food habits still hadn't been broken, so I continued to make impulse food decisions and comfort myself with chocolate and ice cream when I felt down or homesick. I figured it was fine-- I wasn't gaining weight, I still exercised sometimes, I'm at my 'happy' weight, right? Wrong.

It wasn't until Whole 30 that I understood what a happy BODY was (not weight). Whole30 taught me pay attention to what I was eating, not just to the mindless snacking, but the ingredients. Whole30 helped me slay my sugar demon! I made sure to eat any fruit BEFORE a meal, rather than after. I stopped craving dessert at night. I slept better (though I will admit, those first couple weeks, I dreamed of bagles, chips, and fried things--- none of which I have ever really liked!). I walk taller, I smile more. I'm happier. I know I have the tools to make good decisions and if I don't? Whole30 is always there to catch me and whip me back into shape. The learning aspect never ends.

One of the hardest parts of Whole30 was recognizing personal habits I hadn't even realized had become habits. Reaching into a cookie box in the break room, grabbing a muffin 'treat' on the way to school, stealing candy from my students' grab box (I know, right?). I didn't even realize I was doing any of these! But I know now and I can stop them. I'm a big girl! I can say no!

One of the best parts of Whole30 has been getting closer to my husband. We committed to this together, like another marriage. No cheating, no negativity, lots of working together. Without him, I'm not sure I could have accomplished everything I have in 30 days. We cook together, plan together, vent together, take walks together and next week we're starting CROSSFIT together!! We've opened up more about the issues we have with our bodies and self-esteem. We started a conversation and it's brought us so much closer together. Seeing his confidence grow with every work out, with every meal, has been an incredible experience. Watching your partner get healthier and HAPPIER (and you along with them) is so amazing, I don't even know if I can explain it, so I'll stop trying.

When we shared our plans and goals with friends and family, they thought we were a bit nuts. (I think most chalked it up to me being from California) When we told them, halfway through, about pants being loose, high and steady energy, improved mood, they didn't show much interest in joining in. On Thursday, when we posted how much weight we'd lost, suddenly there was a rush to find out more. (For the record, I lost ten pounds and my husband lost TWENTY!) Most of these people care only about the weight, but it's SO much more. You have to try it to get it.

I wasn't sure I believed the '30 days to change your life' slogan when I first decided to join, but it's true. In 30 different ways in 30 days, you will learn from Whole30 to change your life. And you'll never look back.

Thank you, Whole30 team!

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