I am officially done my Whole30! Yay!!
This month has gone by quicker than I thought it would, to be honest, but I am definitely looking forward to my post Whole30 life. I have been a hermit these past few weeks! I have a phone full of messages that say something like, “Omigod! We need to hang out….after Whole30, obviously”. Obviously? It was a mixed blessing. On one hand it’s a lot easier to be complaint when you aren’t out and around tempting foods and drinks, but on the other hand, it’s not like I had leprosy! One friend (bless her) admitted that she didn’t want to hang out because watching me be ‘good’ would make her feel guilty about her own diet. What’s the word for the opposite of inspiring?
This whole journey has been really eye-opening. I realized just how dependent I am on carbs – English muffin for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, meat, potatoes and veg for dinner. It adds up! I also realized that I am okay with less alcohol in my life. Not that I was a heavy drinker by any stretch, but I definitely felt like I ‘deserved’ a glass of wine after a long day at work, and I would sometimes indulge in a cocktail on the balcony on a Sunday afternoon. I learned how to cope with long days (and sunny afternoons!) without the treat of alcohol or food. I learned that food is fuel and I definitely felt healthier eating clean, but food is also pleasure, and by the end of this journey I was really missing that aspect of my life. It really is all about finding the balance in these two factors. I think that before this experiment I was eating for pleasure way too often and now I want to find a space where I can eat for pleasure occasionally, and eat to fuel myself the rest of the time.
I also learned a few things specific to the Whole30. These were my experiences and of course, you may find something completely different
- Sugar hangovers are real, but you can get past them
- I felt a lot of the stages but not as intensely as I thought I would. I never had the ‘kill all the things’ phase
- my cravings were sometimes intense, but usually pretty specific (cheese pizza!)
- you will have to pee all the time on day 2. Like every 5 minutes. It will get better in a day or two.
- I never reached the Tiger Blood phase. I had more energy and was less foggy, but it was a gradual transition starting from about day 5, so it wasn’t a noticeable change
- I quit all sleeping aids during my Whole30, because I heard that people sleep like babies on this program. That was not true for me. I slept fairly well, especially for someone who struggles with insomnia, but it was probably akin to a restless night for those of you who sleep well
- toasted coconut chips are life
- the first few days you will be RAVENOUS between meals, but hold out, because if you avoid snacking and play with your portion sizes at mealtime you will get to a place where one meal completely sates you to the next.
- My portion sizes dropped substantially around day 10, and stayed pretty low through the rest of the days. There was a point where I was wondering if I was getting enough calories each day.
- I felt so much lighter through this whole experience. Not even in the sense that I lost weight, but even after a meal I didn’t feel bloated or weighed down. I was always satisfied but never stuffed.
So what’s next? Well, I am happy to report that I lost 11 lbs in the course of these 30 days! I would love to keep losing, so I’m going to get back on the wagon with calorie counting and regular work outs. Today however, I am giving myself a pass. I had a latte this morning and just finished my Subway sub for lunch. Tonight I will have a glass of wine and FINALLY have my cheese pizza. I haven’t really noticed any ill effects from being back on ‘regular’ food. I was definitely hyper after my coffee this morning and joked that I felt like how I thought I would feel when I reached the elusive Tiger Blood phase, but otherwise I feel pretty normal. Going forward I plan on keeping my veggie intake pretty high and keeping my carb and sugar intake much lower than it was before this, but I can’t seem myself quitting either of them fully. A life without wine or donuts is no life at all!
I know this is a long post, but before I started this challenged I wanted to read all I could about other people’s experiences. I hope that the past few posts have been enlightening, and have maybe even inspired some of you to give this a try! I can totally see myself doing another Whole30 in the future. Perhaps after the holidays…
My Past Posts on Whole30
- Watch This Space
- Whole 30 – Day 1
- Whole 30 – Day 2
- Whole 30 – Day 3
- A Whole 30 Weekend – Days 4-6
- Whole 30 – Days 7 and 8
- Whole 30 – Oh, The Dishes You Will Do!
- Whole 30 – Halfway
- Whole 30 – Truth Time
If you have done or are thinking about doing a Whole30, I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments!