Let’s talk about this Whole30 life, shall we? I only have a love, love relationship with this lifestyle choice. And lets be clear, it’s a lifestyle choice, not a diet.
Not A Diet
So, what is the Whole30? It is a 30-day elimination plan. Basically completely stop consuming sugar, alcohol, dairy, legumes, grains, a list of specific preservatives, and “healthier” versions of junk food. I know, there is nothing left to eat, right?! Noooo. You actually are going to eat Real Food. Yup, that stuff that farmers and ranchers help bring to life. The stuff that is actually intended to be eaten, in the form it was intended to be eaten in. I try to look it at it a little differently though. Instead of focusing on what I can’t have, I think about all of the delicious things I can have. It’s a little jedi-mind trick. My husband will be proud of that nerdy expression, so don’t tell him I said that, mk? This post is going to be a two parter because its impossible to share this journey in the amount of words the blogosphere thinks I need to post before you would fall asleep at the computer. Make sense, yo? Okay, let’s go!
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I have done my SHARE of diets in this lifetime, and I am done with them! Weight Watchers has taken my money about a bajillion times, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Hydroxycut (which I blame for my ovarian cysts and possible fertility issues), starving, liquid diets, Advocare, Herbalife, and Slim Fast. Those are the diets I can remember, even though I’m sure I am missing some. I started diets when I was in 7th or 8th grade and continued them until about a year and a half ago. That’s really sad to think about as an adult.
I was in the best shape of my life about 6 years ago. Maybe not my lowest weight, but physically fit because I saw a trainer 3 times a week (ie. single with a large salary for a 25 year old, and no debt, living the life). Ahhhh…I miss those days.
I gained 0 pounds with my first. Yes you read that right, 0, and acutally lost weight in fact. I was pretty sick and had no interest in food at all. Then, I gained 30 pounds AFTER I had him while I was nursing. 30. 30. I craved Big Macs, and Sour Cream and Onion Chips, and Pizza. Like, my own pizza. I just let that 30 hang out. Again, I dabbled in Weight Watchers, and it failed. Struggling in many areas of life, I felt it was too hard to tackle the weight, and myself, so I just let it go and kept burying my head back in the sand.
Then I had my 2nd, and did the exact same thing.
Didn’t gain weight, but this time had a little preemie baby, and gained more while nursing/pumping.
Two months after my 2nd was born though, I was in the grocery store, and in the check out line. You know how they put all of that crap there for you to buy? Magazines, gum, batteries, and candy bars. You know buy 1 get 7 free king size candy bars? Yeah, I bought those. The Candy Bars. All of them. And ate them. Prior to my itty bitty, I never was a huge sweets person (refer back to big macs and pizza). So for me this was a wake up call. Heather! You are eating KING SIZED candy bars!? WTH?
Discovering the Whole30
Enter Facebook. I had seen a few of my friends posting really delicious looking food that I have cooked and eaten before, and tagging them with #Whole30. So I researched just a little and found it was a “free program”. That was weird to me. I didn’t understand what the catch was, there always is, right? Looking further into it, I discovered there really is no catch, and it’s just a lifestyle, based on lots of science, which I love.
So I bought “It Starts With Food”, read it in 3 days, and started my very first Whole30 in March of 2016. You absolutely don’t have to read any of the books to start your first Whole30. All of the information is free online, any social media platform, and even Melissa Hartwig herself, will help you navigate your 30 days (or more if you wish). I am now a proud owner of all of her books so far, and I’m excited about the next she is writing!
Round 1 of Whole30
My first Whole30 I struggled the first week. I had bad headaches, came down with a sinus cold, and was sooo tired. As a matter of fact, I was pretty tired through the whole thing. Never felt different at all. I didn’t feel “Tiger Blood”, my pants felt the same, and my milk supply went down (which doesn’t happen for everyone I have heard).
I also spent money on “things” because I have this messed up mind set, when it comes to weight, that you have to spend money to make it happen. First, I bought the meal planner and the expensive snack bars for fear my milk supply would disappear. Then I bought all of the Whole30 approved sauces and a new immersion blender to make homemade mayo that I messed up twice. So there went an additional wasted $16 of Light Olive Oil. All of those things are helpful and delicious, but you absolutely don’t NEED them to do a successful round of Whole30. And I was just sure on top of all of this; I definitely didn’t lose any weight. Wrong. I lost 12 pounds, and the arthritis I developed after babies, was gone. Each morning I could actually get up and walk right away with out stretching my feet and ankles.
Life After Whole30
I guess that wasn’t good enough for me though. I went straight back to my old eating habits, gained half of it back, and felt even worse. Bottom line is, I didn’t know how to re-introduce well, and that is the most important step people. It really is.
I knew Whole30 worked though, and it wasn’t as hard as everyone seemed to make it, so I wanted to do a 2nd round and was committed to do it correctly this time by fully doing the reintroduction. I drug my old arthritic feet though, I was really nervous I would fail. Like I would half ass it because I knew that 1 cheat wouldn’t throw off the game. My life was going to change a bit come August. I met some amazing people that help me, to this day, put a lot of my life in perspective. That led me to the next step of finally facing my food issues, and really figuring out how to live that Food Freedom Life.