Last month Isaac and I were driving home from the beach and because road trips = junk food binges without guilt or consequences (right? Isn’t that a rule?), we loaded up on snacks at a gas station. I don’t do anything in moderation, so I giddily stuffed a sack full of salt and vinegar chips (2 bags), sour patch kids, pretzels, and a soda, all of which were consumed within 30 minutes of purchase. The girl can binge eat with the best of them.
Naturally I was still starving when we got home that night, so we ordered a pizza and I ate half of it, per usual. Had we had any chocolate in the house, I would have scarfed that down as an after dinner treat, but I had already demolished what was left of the baker’s chocolate in the pantry. Tragic.
See a problem here?
I did at about 10:30 that night when I realized what I was doing to my body, and my psyche. In bed, the guilt that washed over me was heavy and suffocating. It felt like I was trapped under a lead blanket, slowly pushing deeper and deeper into my lungs and stomach– or maybe it was the indigestion. I normally rationalize my junk food binges by telling myself “this one time isn’t going to kill me or affect my body”–and that is true. One binge isn’t going to kill you. But when that “one time” becomes a twice-a-week or an every weekend kind of thing, your body and mind start to suffer. Even if you eat ‘pretty healthy’ the other 4 or 5 days of the week.
I woke up the next morning, Monday, May 5th, and decided enough was enough. I needed to quit the vicious eating cycle that was affecting my mood, self-esteem, sleep, and the way my clothes were starting to fit, errr not fit. My moodiness was one of the biggest problems as far as I was concerned. It’s not like I was lashing out at people and making those around me miserable (I hope), but I just felt unstable on the inside. I’d be feeling great one moment, and then a few minutes later would be grumpy and annoyed for no reason at all, or so I thought. Spoiler alert: It has to do with what you’re eating. I did a few minutes of research online and came across a 30 day challenge called Whole30, go figure, and in my true “all or nothing” fashion, decided this was the diet/lifestyle change for me. In a nutshell, here is the Whole 30 diet:
Fast forward 30 days (today), and here I am amazed that 30 days has already gone by, and I completed the program successfully!
In 30 days I have cooked more than I have in the entire past year. I haven’t had a morsel of sugar, a sprig of grain, a sip of alcohol, a slice of cheese, one lab-created chemical or preservative. I haven’t counted a calorie, stepped on a scale, and haven’t worried about how much I’m eating. On Day 1, I was anxiously plotting my end of Whole30 meal– one that was sure to be filled with sugar and pasta and smothered in cheese. But sitting here now, I want nothing to do with that because I feel so good.
If a doctor handed you a little magic pill and said “take this every day”, and that magic pill made you feel AMAZING and operate at your full potential, would you stop taking it? Of course not!
That’s what eating clean and eating “whole30” has done for me. Why would I stop something that has drastically improved my quality of life, in a way that no diet, exercise, or other regime ever has?So without further adieu, here are my Whole 30 Results (sans the before/after body pictures because I don’t need photos of me in a bra and underwear circulating the internet):
RESULTS OF WHOLE30:
- I’m sleeping so much better and not waking up during the night like I always have before. What a difference that makes!
- About 3 weeks into Whole30, I started waking up without an alarm and feeling refreshed and ready to go. This is a complete change for me. Normally I lay in bed until the last possible second, and then rush to get ready for work, grumbling all the way. I’d skip breakfast (no time for that) and be starving by 11am, so I’d eat a frozen meal at work. Now, I wake up, make my bed, get ready, clean my bathroom, make a delicious breakfast, take care of the dog, get our lunches ready to go (they have already been prepped for the week so it’s quick), get online for a few minutes, catch up on some of my TV shows, and head to work by 8am. WHO IS THIS GIRL!?
- No more sleepwalking!! Along with the better sleep, I haven’t had one sleepwalking incident since eating W30!
- Mood is more stabilized, no 3:00 pm crashes or mid-day exhaustion. I feel great all day long.
- For the first 2 weeks my anxiety was actually worse than normal, which I chalk up to detoxing. But now? It is great! I catch myself randomly thinking to myself throughout the day, ‘why do I feel so good? Why am I so happy? Nothing is even happening right now!”
- Don’t have the bloated, uncomfortable feeling anymore
- Asthma has improved, haven’t used my inhaler for weeks. That’s especially amazing considering the allergy season going on now
- Weight loss– One of the Whole 30 Rules is that you aren’t allowed to weigh during the 30 days. The challenge is about reestablishing a healthy relationship with food, and the scale is not part of that. I get it now. For the first 2 weeks I wanted to weigh SO BAD. I could feel my clothes getting looser and just wanted to know what that number would be, I was begging for some validation! It’s a detrimental habit that many of us are in, and a number does not indicate how healthy a person is. That being said, it did feel good to get on the scale today to see that I’ve lost 9 pounds! Exercising was not a part of the past 30 days for me because I’ve been dealing with some achilles tendon injuries, so that’s even more impressive in my opinion. Also, 10 days into the diet, I had to have my bridesmaid dress for my sister’s wedding emergency altered the day before the wedding because it was falling off!! It was too tight just 10 days earlier. Here is a face comparison, after only 10 days of Whole30 eating:
- Energy– did I mention energy?! All day long. From 6am-10pm going at full steam.
- Here’s one of the weirdest ones for me: I quit caffeine. I wasn’t trying to, actually, it just happened. About halfway through the challenge, I noticed that every time I drank my daily unsweetened iced tea, I would get extremely nauseated, shaky, and uncomfortable feeling. I asked some other Whole30’ers if that had happened to them, and they said they experienced something very similar. So I stopped drinking it, and haven’t had caffeine in 2 weeks, and I don’t need it! I actually feel better without it!
- Improved digestion. Not going to go too far into this one, but trust me, it’s good 🙂
- I don’t have any sugar or carbohydrate cravings anymore– they are just completely non-existent
- I am not hungry all the time like I was before. I used to eat a snack every 2 hours to keep me going. Now I eat 3 meals a day and am completely satisfied. I don’t even want an after dinner snack or dessert– WEIRD.
- My tastebuds have changed. One of my favorite “treats” now is just steamed zucchini with nothing on it, the sweetness of the vegetable that I never noticed before is so satisfying and I eat it for every meal!
- I feel a lot more relaxed and easy-going, especially with spontaneous plans. I think it’s because when you feel good, you are up for anything. My normal feelings of being too tired, too cranky, or too stomach achey to do last minute plans are not an issue anymore.
I honestly feel like I could keep going and going, but I’ll leave it at that. I’m a believer in the Whole30, and cant wait to see what a Whole60 and Whole 90 (with cheat days for special occasions) will do for me if Whole30 made me feel this good. My sister and cousin are doing it with me, and they are experiencing the same results. We love Whole30!!
Some Links for More Info:
Read the book that the creators of W30 wrote, it will totally change the way you view food and the standard American diet!
PS this post was not sponsored, I just can’t stop gushing about how this book/diet has changed the way I eat…hopefully forever!