Why Whole 30?

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“You can’t have cheese? Or milk? Wait. No bread?”

Those are good examples of the responses I’ve gotten after people have heard I’ve been following the Whole 30 plan. These questions are usually followed with a “you’re crazy” or “I couldn’t live without cheese!”

Well, yes, you really can. You just have to decide that you WANT to.

I posted this picture on Instagram last week, and had so many people comment or text me telling me I looked good and asking what I’d been doing. First of all, how kind! I was so shocked because I didn’t even notice myself in the picture; I’m just obsessed with my kid and think he’s so cute when we stand in front of a mirror. I also feel like I’ve looked the same for a few months now, so it was surprising to me that other people saw me differently. I was so thankful for all of the positive responses, and thankful again for The Whole 30.

The back story

I  had my gallbladder removed in 2012. That’s when I started to realize that some fatty foods and dairy just really didn’t agree with my body, and I tried to be aware of that.

I had my first baby on June 22, 2017. I gained about 30 pounds with him, and didn’t really struggle to lose that baby weight. I think that was thanks to having him in the summer and being able to go on walks all the time with him. The hard part was getting rid of the weight I’d gained while trying to get pregnant for the two years prior. I’d like to blame it all on fertility meds, but I know I was really just eating poorly. I don’t really regret eating the way I did; my husband and I were in a season of going out to eat when we felt like it because we could (just us two!) and eating whatever we wanted. Fat and happy, one might say.

So, by September, I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, but not at a weight where I felt confident or happy in my skin. In comes The Whole 30.

Enter Whole 30

I’d read the book (It Starts With Food) previously, but needed a refresher. I planned and pinned and read a million blogs and was ready to go. I went to a wedding and tailgating and out to eat during this round, and guess what? I survived! I lost 15 pounds.

I stayed pretty consistently Paleo through November (and continued losing), but struggled to stay on track during December. We had a Christmas celebration every weekend and that always brings pretty unhealthy food along with it. I gained back a few pounds, and started by second Whole 30 on January 2nd.

I just finished this round and I lost 11 more pounds. Since September 2nd, I’ve lost 30 pounds. Besides when I was running daily in college, I’ve never lost weight and kept it off. The Whole 30 works.

What was very different about things since September, for me, was that I was totally committed. My husband told me I was crazy about 100 times and thought I should “live a little” instead of following a plan like this for 30 days. I knew that I couldn’t just “live a little” or I’d get right back to where I was. I think this has been the biggest change for me; once I decided this was what I was going to do, I committed, and I started seeing results. Even without the weight loss, though, my skin is clearer, I have more energy, I sleep well, and I’m overall just a happier person.

What’s it like?

It’s 30 days for a reason and it’s restrictive for a reason. The book (The Whole30) explains everything so well and really gets you thinking about how food is affecting your mood, sleep, and overall health.

We eat a lot of meat, veggies, and potatoes. Like, pretty much every night. It sounds boring, but once you rid your body of the fake stuff, the processed stuff, and the sugar, you’ll see that you start using food as fuel and your body craves the real, good stuff.

I used to hate sweet potatoes. They’re my favorite now. I used to crave candy while at school and would never be able to give the kids candy without eating a piece myself, but Jolly Ranchers truly don’t even sound good anymore. I certainly can’t say that I’ll never have one again, but I don’t feel that I HAVE to have one (or anything else, really). I feel in charge of what I’m eating, I know how it’ll affect my body, and I make choices accordingly. That’s the second phase of The Whole 30 — Food Freedom.

If you’re ready to make a change in your health, I highly, highly recommend The Whole 30. My next post will highlight all my favorite resources, gadgets, and foods for a successful Whole 30!

For now, if you need a good book to start with, try one of these!

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