+Whole30 Challenge

How Whole30 Changed My Life

First off, I am the worst person at staying on track as far as blog posts. I’m sorry to anyone that has been reading and asking where the heck I was. There were some big shifts in my personal life that threw me off-balance and my time was better spent in other places. Now that I’ve had time to clear my head, I’m back! I’m thinking about posting on a schedule, so I have to hold myself accountable now ha! How about Tuesdays and Fridays? Really random days of course, but that’s just how I roll. Anyway on the to the actually purpose of this post…

For those of you that have read my posts before, you know that I just completed my first round of Whole30 during June 2017. As cliché as it sounds, the plan changed my life. It gave me a better perspective on life, health, fitness, motivation, food and myself. If I’m being completely honest, there has only been one other time in my whole 24 years of existence where a health plan has been successful for me. Seeing and feeling the results of the change I made for myself in those 30 days has given me a confidence boost like no other. The best part about this whole experience was that not only did I do this for myself, but also I wish to continue it! This lifestyle for once doesn’t feel like a chore to me; it gives me a sense of power control over my life. Here are the elements of the Whole30 program that have changed me in a positive light.

Energy

My energy levels have skyrocketed! And it wasn’t with any assistance from coffee or sugar (though maybe coffee helped on some level). In the past, all of my energy highs and lows were from the amount of sugar that I consumed on a daily basis. The sugar wasn’t even necessarily from the form of sweets and goodies, but regular food items like the added substitute sugar in my coffee or the bagel sandwiches I enjoyed on Sundays.smoothie I quickly realized that while I was low energy and grumpy in the first week, I was basing my energy and mood all off of the added sugar that used to be in my diet. Once all of that was cut from my life, my energy levels improved dramatically. I could complete tasks at the end of the day and wasn’t taking “breaks” or lounging on the sofa as much with “sugar-induced” headaches. Once I started walking again (mostly in the mornings), my boost in energy helped me cross more things off my never-ending to-do list each day.

Food

I have achieved food freedom!! In essence, I quickly realized the amount of processed foods I was eating was no good for me. Whole30 food really has you get down to the bare necessities. I began to rediscover some old favorites like plums and white potatoes, while introducing new items like avocado pesto and sugar-free bacon. I quickly realized that not everything for a side dish had to be covered in butter and fried, that the substitutes I was making like using olive oil and baking with new seasonings were equally as tasty. lanai mealI was able to stray away from all my sugar and carb cravings, which was a big help in my greater health process. In the fall, I had been screened for pre-diabetes and have a family history of diabetes itself. So the fact that I was able to not only reduce my sugar intake, but also realize how it was effecting my energy and overall health was a major pro! I began to eat out less and less (only reserving for social time or special occasions) mostly because I couldn’t eat anything, but it really helped me manage my money better as well. A greater portion of my budget was always spent on food such as fast food for quick dinners or buying a half-gallon of ice cream 3x a week and eating one in a sitting. I instead choose to focus expanding my budget to buy healthier, organic items for myself at a variety of locations including local farmers markets. Essentially, I began to eat ‘clean’ and realized how my health, mood, energy and attitude benefited from this change. I no longer used food as a time to cure my sadness, anxieties or stress; I began to see it as a way to eat food that made me feel and look happy.

Appearance

Slowly over the course of the 30 days, I started to notice changes in my appearance. It was mostly in ways in which clothes were fitting me better and I was able to revisit some outfit pieces I wasn’t able to wear for a while. Before I started this process, I stepped on the scale and used a costume measuring tape to take notes on my weight and the width of some of my features. Whole30 has stated that they’re program is not projected as a weight-loss program; it’s more of a program to change your lifestyle. If you happen to lose weight in the process, it’s a win-for-win deal. I wrote down my measurements the day before starting more so as a time capsule ordeal. If I lost weight during this month that would be awesome, but ultimately I was just trying to see if I could eat clean for a month and see the positive changes of my diet. My track record was also horrible since I had only been successful once before in a program process like this. Often it was me trying my best at this new program only to make cheat days and be let down by the number I saw on the scale. outfit purplePer Whole30 rules you’re not allowed to step on the scale until your 30 days are up. Stepping on the scale has always been a depressing move for me, so in truth I avoided doing so until about 4 days after completing Whole30. I cannot even tell you the amount of strength it took me to walk into the bathroom the day I finally decided to step on the scale. Again was I expecting any change? Not really. I mean I felt the change in the way clothes were fitting me, but my weight was always a negative thing in my life and I would hate to feel down over a stupid number flashing at me after having a positive go at a program I loved for once. With a final calming breath I stepped on the scale. And you know what? I LOST weight. For the first time in what seemed like forever, I finally accomplished it. When I went back over my notes and did the math I was shocked at the numbers. I LOST 15 POUNDS. In truth the number doesn’t matter, I would have been happy to lose 5 lbs. I was just so ecstatic that I lost that much weight in a month that I did a happy dance and squealed. I also learned that I lost 6 inches from my waist and hips! WHAT?! For the first time in a while, I felt successful and happy. Overjoyed I texted my mom, who told me how proud she was of me and that she could definitely see in my face (from pictures on Instagram) just how much healthier I looked. Here is a side-by-side picture: left is my birthday in Feb, right is on July 4th.change

Attitude

I’ve always been a positive person, but I can say without a doubt after these initial 30 days I am a whole different positive person. The success and even the downfalls of this program have changed me forever. It’s given me a more upbeat approach in life and has allowed me to see that I can be in control of my future. As far as my future plans go, I will be continuing to eat on an abbreviated Whole30 plan. If I find myself going off track, I will probably insert another full-blown round of Whole30 in my life. The best part? It’s not a scary idea anymore. I know it works and I know that I will succeed 🙂

Peace & Love,

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