Well, I made it 28 days out of 30. I was well on my way to completing the program, but then I started my new job on the 29th. And apparently, my new coworkers have a tradition of ordering breakfast pizza in honor of a new employee’s first day at the office. I didn’t have the guts to tell my new co-workers that I was on this “crazy diet” (trying to explain Whole30 to people I know is already hard enough) and I didn’t want to eat the pizza that they ordered in honor of me in fear of looking like an ungrateful food snob. So I ate a couple slices of pizza, and it tasted damn good. But it probably would have tasted even better had I earned it by completing the Whole30…
I’m definitely bummed that I was so close to finishing the Whole30, but I’m not going to beat myself up over it. One big lesson I learned this year is to focus on what you did accomplish, not what you didn’t. Sure, I didn’t make it the full 30 days, but I still ate the healthiest I could possibly eat for four weeks straight, and that’s something. And we all know that somethin’ is better than nothin’!
Now, onto all the benefits I’ve gained over the last month:
- I lost 10 pounds! I went from 171 to 161 IN A MONTH. I didn’t even exercise all that much (3-4x a week). Crazy how in March, April, and May, I exercised way more but ate unhealthy most of the time and only lost 2-5 pounds during that time. Then in June, I ate super healthy with minimal exercise and lost 10 pounds. It really is true what they say: weight loss is 80% healthy eating and 20% exercise. In other good news, I am now only 11 more pounds away from my goal weight.
- My skin is clearer. Into my late 20’s, I was still experiencing acne breakouts which I thought was ridiculous considering I’m not in high school anymore. Now my face is all cleared up and glowing!
- I have more energy throughout the day. I wake up easier (no more need to hit snooze 3x) and I don’t experience that 3pm slump.
- I’m thinking clearer. I’ve started blogging and reading books again these last few weeks and have noticed that I’m able to finish blog posts and books faster. Last week, I finished a 200 page book in 4 days. I haven’t done that in forever! Before when I would try to read books, it would take me months to finish them, if at all.
- Little to no bloating. My stomach is flatter and it doesn’t hurt anymore from holding in gas. (Sorry if that’s TMI.)
- My cravings have reduced and I have better control over them. Don’t get me wrong, I still want Starbucks and french fries now that Whole30 is officially over, but I don’t feel the need to have them RIGHT NOW. I’d rather save them for a special occasion
- I’m taking less medications. Before Whole30, I ibuprofen for headaches and Zyrtec for seasonal allergies almost every day. During this last month, I took my headache and allergy meds 2-3 times each! It feels good to not need to rely on meds so much!
- I’m a better cook. I got a lot of cooking practice this month and now I feel more confident in the kitchen because of it. My biggest cooking accomplishment: pan frying steak in my cast iron skillet!
- I feel happier and less stressed. Life is good!
Here’s a little before and after. I know these are not the best pictures to compare because I’m not in the same position and I’m wearing different outfits, but it’s all I got. Next time I do Whole30, I’ll be sure to take better before/after pics!
So now what?
One of the rules of Whole30 is if you eat a non-compliant food, you have to start the 30 days over. Am I going to start over even though I ate pizza on Day 29? No, I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I would totally attempt Whole30 again, and I will in the future, but not during the rest of my summer. There are things I want to do, places I want to go, and people I want to see these next couple months, and I don’t want Whole30 and all of its strict rules to hold me back from all that. If you were to ask me what the hardest part about doing Whole30 was, I’d say the social aspect because most socializing revolves around food. During my Whole30 month, I had to request friends and I eat at special restaurants, I had to obsess over every ingredient in my meals, I had to turn down invitations to grab drinks after work, and I had to bring my own food to social gatherings. I wasn’t a fan of being so high maintenence, and it got old quick. Another reason why I’m not starting over is because I need a break from cooking, meal prep, and dishes. It’s a lot of work cooking multiple times a day for two people! It’s also expensive. Chris and I spent almost $700 in groceries last month. Luckily we saved some money by not eating out very much!
So for now, I’m going to slowly reintroduce legumes, dairy, sugar, and grains back into my diet to see what I can and can’t handle. When I ate the pizza on Monday, I didn’t feel as sick as I thought I would after eating both dairy and gluten, but I definitely didn’t feel good. After the breakfast pizza, I continued to eat Whole30 the rest of Monday, Tuesday, and today. My plan is to continue to eat paleo 80% of the time, and only enjoy treats during social gatherings (the other 20%). Overall, I’m really glad I attempted Whole30 and I definitely plan to complete the program in the future because it really is life changing! Not only did I gain a ton of benefits from changing my eating habits, but I feel like I finally have a better understanding of what it means to eat healthy, and more importantly, a better relationship with food.