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A Different Kind of Success


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I posted this in my blog and thought I'd share it here as well. Here is my first experience with the Whole30.

It's totally possible for anyone to do.



On January 1 I started the Whole30 and on February 1, I ended it. So technically I did a Whole31, and if you count the flu that I got on December 31, it was really a Whole32. So here I am doing a Whole32 for the month of January. 32 days of eating only veggies, fruit, meat and nuts. Drinking only water (regular and sparkling), tea (herbal), and decaf coffee (straight and with a little coconut milk to avoid having to drink it straight all the time). And to avoid the possibility of growing hair on my chest as I try to toughen up.

To be fair, I was avoiding dairy and grains prior to starting the Whole30 due to sensitivities/ allergies to gluten, dairy, eggs, and soy. Avoiding the other carbs (potatoes, rice, etc.), alcohol and sugar/sweeteners was the goal. Getting more sleep, eating more veggies, reducing my stress were also my goals. Learning to ignore my bathroom scale with its siren song, begging me to step on it each morning to see how much weight I've lost. Trying new recipes and spending extreme amounts of quality time in my kitchen. Thanks to all of the recipes available online and in Well Fed andNom Nom Paleo that saved my month and gave me great building blocks to start with and use throughout the year.


At the end of the month, I felt great. Especially knowing there were things I can continue to improve on - getting more sleep, trying to eat within an hour of waking up, eating more veggies, exercising more. But I still had energy to work, enjoy my favorite activities and hang out with friends. Instead of thinking about caving to temptation, I held out until the morning of February 1, even though I ended up on a first date the night of the 31st. It would have been so easy, it was 10pm on the 31st, no one would know if I had a glass of wine or a gin and soda water (avoiding the carbs in the tonic). My willpower was made of steel and nothing was going to deter me from my goal - and my reward (workout clothes from Athleta (in tall!) without flinching if they weren't on sale).

On February 1 I woke up and hesitantly pulled out the scale. After avoiding it's pull for the past month, what would 31 days of abstaining from anything processed and eating only healthy whole foods get me. I looked better, felt better, it had to be positive. When I looked down at the scale, my brain froze. It was 0.2 lbs lower than before I started. 0.2 lbs less than when I began the month, working so hard in the kitchen, increasing my workouts mid-month.

0.2 lbs. I could have done that in my sleep. That could have been the extra water I drink the night before. The weight of air in my lungs. 0.2 lbs is nothing, a rounding error, if that. Losing weight has never been easy for me. It has always been a monumental challenge as I went to doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist, several of them telling me that "some people are just born to be fat". Fat is one thing, healthy is another. Nearly 10 years of frustration about being overweight and unable to change that no matter how many calories/combinations of food I ate and no matter how little or much I worked out slammed back to me as I gazed down at the 0.2 lbs on the scale. It tormented me as I showered and went to work. As I ate my breakfast (sautéed veggies with organic chicken sausage). I've never been a calories in, calories burned kind of person. I've never been a weight watchers kind of person, especially not when the accused me of lying about the food I ate when I gained weight on the program because it was too much food for me and I could never eat all my points. I've never been a skinny person. But I have been a healthy person, a college athlete, a fearlessly, tirelessly active person and that's all I want again.

Which brings be back to my experience on my Whole32. By lunchtime I found myself at my chiropractor who has been helping me with my pulled hamstring. As she worked on me I told her about my experience, saying it aloud for the first time. 0.2 lbs. I hadn't had set weight goals per se but I had hoped. She pointed out differences she saw in my body as she worked on me: reduced inflammation, weight shifting, and looking slimmer even if it was in small increments. She reminded me of the other reasons why I had done the Whole30, of my goals beyond the number on the scale.

As I drove away, I remembered what my other goals were, how they aligned with what I had accomplished. I did it. For an entire month, from start to finish and it wasn't actually that hard. I feel better, healthier, stronger, and perhaps most importantly, I believe that I can become - am becoming healthy again, and that is more than a number on a scale. Packed tightly in those 0.2 lbs is a world of possibilities, workouts, amazing food and crazy adventures that I can't wait to expand upon. As for my experience on the Whole30, I'll never be a success story with before and after pictures, I don't work like that. Instead, I'm slow and steady and strong to my core. And I am embracing who I am, who I want to be and, most importantly, I feel positive and strong, and believe in myself that it can happen.

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Thank you for your comments and encouragement! It helps a lot. I used the daily emails to stay on target, especially in the beginning but it quickly became something I needed to do and prove to myself. Focusing on the changes I feel are more important in the long run anyways. I'm just happy that I'm no longer thinking of things as "my body" and "me" like we're two separate entities because "my body" refuses to do what I'm trying to get it to do.

I truly believe anyone can do it as long as they are coming from a place of wanting to make healthy changes in their life.

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Loved your story and love your attitude. Yes success comes to us all in different ways. For me, I'm getting over cancer and have had M.E. for 7 years, I haven't seen all the results I'd like ( I dream big :) ) but I have seen small incremental improvements and I know I'm doing the best thing I possibly can for my health. Good luck with the rest of your life.

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Some of us take longer than a month to start losing weight, too. That is something to consider. Another thing, and I know this goes against W30 rules, but some people honestly still need to calorie count to lose weight even eating paleo. Most don't, but some just don't lose the pounds until they start watching calories again. However, I still don't think that means being hungry all the time.

But, if your weight is shifting, that is a sign that your body is changing. You might give this a longer go and see if after a month or two you do start to lose weight.

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