My Whole30 Journey: The Finish Line
GOOD GOLLY GRACIOUS, I MADE IT 30 WHOLE DAYS ON WHOLE FOODS!
It's crazy to think how fast that the last 30 days have went by, and how much my body, inside and out, has changed in just those 30 days - ONLY by changing what I put into it. It has been frustrating, hard work and yet soooooo rewarding!
I will say it once again - doing a Whole30 round is so much more mental than physical!
Yes, completing 30 days of whole foods required some planning, frequent shopping, and food prep every day. But it was so much more about overcoming the thoughts, the cravings, the habits and the low self efficacy that plagues my relationship with food. In fact, I'm not even so much excited that I completed the round, as much as I am excited realizing anew that I can do hard things! Period! It's leaving me with feelings of renewed hope in myself and what my body and mind is capable of!
I want to first share some non-scale victories I've had. If you've ever been on any kind of weight loss journey, you've heard about NSVs. It's reflections of how you are positively changing and being impacted by weight loss and healthy habits, above and beyond the weight number reflected on the scale. Because the quality of our lives CANNOT be contained in a number! And only focusing on a number will not provide with any kind of a cheerful life. It may be a good tool to indicate changes are happening - but that is truly all it's good for when it comes to your self worth. [Rant over. lol]
If you recall, I had some hopeful goals during my first Whole30 post that I laid out - and not only did I meet them, I exceeded them!
Here's my list:
As I've said now over and over - I can't express to you how much better that I feel. Both inside and out. And as for my weight.....
Yes, it's true!
Some people would be over the moon about this number, and I totally get it. I'm happy with it too! But it's such a drop in the bucket over what I have left to accomplish. I'm trying not to focus solely on what I've already done, but setting new goals for myself.
I mentioned in last week's recap that I was scared about finishing Whole30, because I didn't know what was going to come next. And here I am, a few days removed, and I still don't know for sure! [#mylife]
What I do know is that I have already strayed a couple of time slightly off the Whole30 track, and....I didn't like it! I felt awful! Sour cream caused me to run to the restroom. I had suspected that I was lactose intolerant to some degree for a long time [also mentioned previously in my first Whole30 post] and I do think it's true. The more the cream content, the worse that my stomach reacts. If that's not lactose intolerant, I'm not sure what is!
I ate four fried chicken planks from Culver's restaurant last Friday night for supper, and I was so nauseous, all the way up into the night! I had dipped them in Culver's honey mustard sauce - and while I used to lap that stuff up, it was sooooooo sweet that I could barely dip my chicken in it! I didn't even use the entire container. And I have no desire for chicken planks or honey mustard sauce for the foreseeable future, after that reaction.
I have ate tortilla chips [like, less than 10 total] and it makes my stomach hurt, every single time.
They were not kidding when Whole30 coaches online and on social media emphasized, you have to decide whether your food is worth the consequences for you. Having an occasional meal with fried chicken planks and honey mustard is NOT to be judged as a bad thing. But now that I know how it affects my body, I'd just rather not feel that again, ya know? Next time I will be aware that there will be consequences. And I have to decide if those consequences are worth it or not.
For right now, I will mostly be following Whole30 and Paleo food "rules". I have already made a couple changes - I bought a nice non-dairy, coconut milk vanilla creamer with organic cane sugar for my coffee. I like it even better than the sugar-free crap I've been using. It's not overly sweet, pretty low in carbs and calories, and I don't feel negatively affected.
I have so many more non-compliant foods to try out. I dread my first pasta choice, because I already know it will not make my body feel well - I've been there, done without and went back in the past. But no doubt, there will come a time when I'm in the moment and I want that pasta more than anything, and I will have it. I just have to know there are consequences, and do what's best for me. This is called food freedom, and it's a huge part of the Whole30 program. I haven't followed this entire program to the dot - I've been transparent about that with the coffee creamer [my only indiscretion, I promise!] - but the concepts of food freedom is, well, freeing. And well worth reading about! You can do that on the Whole30 website, and there's also a book.
Lastly, I want so share some of the great resources that I've found during the last month. They really helped push me along. It takes at least a little support to be able to make it through, and when you have recipes, advice and examples at your fingertips it's easier to cope!
Whole30 Websites & Peeps I Have Found and Love:
- Whole30 Official Website - it has so many resources and will tell you everything you need to know for free. You don't need to buy any of their books if you don't want to. For example, there's this handy flow chart to help you make smarter choices when you are off the Whole30 rules! Also follow the official Instagram, they have very informative and encouraging insta-stories!
- The Defined Dish - I've already mentioned Alex in previous posts, but I love her recipes and she seems like a very down to earth, knowledgeable person, too. I love her instagram, @thedefineddish!
- Paleo Running Mama - lots of great recipes!
- Healthy Little Peach - love her southern accent! She has a beautiful website with lots of great tips & recipes for Whole30.
Whole30 Recipes I Tried and Love:
- Whole30 Chinese Orange Chicken by The Defined Dish
- Egg Roll In A Bowl by Girls' Dishes
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili by The Real Food Dietitians
- Baked French Fries & Chipotle Ranch by Paleo Running Mama
- Greek Chicken Salad by The Pinning Mama
There are just SO MANY recipes and encouraging NSVs and success stories for Whole30 out there! Just a simple web search will you give you so much to use. I highly encourage getting creative with your food, being open to trying new things, and give yourself the time attention that the fuel for your body deserves!
In conclusion - this was a wonderful experience and I am so glad that I did it and stuck to it! It has helped me see just how better my body works removing the junk. I plan to really stick to clean[er] eating, and maintaining this energy level and all the warm fuzzies that come from taking care of myself, like I deserve!