Today is day 30 of our Whole30! Hard to believe we’re already here.
The past 30 days have been interesting for many reasons, number one is simply what I learned about myself by doing the Whole30. I struggled a lot during the first week with cravings and sadness over things I “couldn’t” have, but I didn’t really doubt my ability to stick with it. There were times it definitely would have been easier to just throw in the towel and give up but part of this post kept coming back and reminding me that I was worth it:
The answer is a loud and resounding NO. 28 days is NOT as good as 30, and we’ll tell you why: You owe yourself 30 days. You made a commitment to give yourself 30 full days of Good Food and improved habits. When you make a commitment to self-improvement, it’s a big deal! If you cop out now, you’re telling yourself that the commitments you make to yourself are open to compromise. You’re telling yourself that you are not important enough to honor your commitment to you. But that’s not true, is it? You ARE important. You ARE worth a full commitment. Require that of yourself and celebrate with a renewed sense of integrity, not a cupcake.
I’ve learned how to bring vegetables more into focus and how we like to prepare them. I got crazy good at roasting potatoes and grilling asparagus. I also learned that if I fail to meal-plan and prep I feel super burnt out and am unmotivated to cook. A key part of that is making sure I’m stocked up on back-up meal ingredients but also actively planning meals for each day with ingredients at the ready. It’s not fun to be scouring the internet at 5 p.m. for a paleo recipe and find that you need something you don’t have or had prep something in advanced.
The Whole30 was also particularly challenging because it caused a dramatic change in grocery spending. We spent about twice our normal grocery budget which was really stressful during a time of broken down cars and malfunctioning air conditioning units. If I had thought to, I would have loved to do an analysis of what each category actually cost to see how to better plan and shop. The majority of that cost definitely came from meat. We really didn’t eat that much meat prior to the Whole30, so we weren’t accustomed to the cost. Especially when it comes to sourcing approved bacon, which is twice, if not more than twice, as expensive as “normal” bacon with added sugar and other unapproved additives. What this did help me see was that it is worth it to buy the good bacon but just less often.
With anything, though, it takes time to figure out and I think the longer I shop exclusively Whole30, the easier it will be to spend less and get more out of what we do buy.
Lunch has always been the most difficult meal for me and that didn’t just go away on the Whole30. I am 90% more likely to sit down and eat a real lunch if it is prepared ahead of time and I am 120% more likely to if I’m excited about what it is. The chicken meatballs from The Whole30 book definitely fell into this category [they are SO good].
Because it has caused me so much stress and anxiety in the past, and because we don’t own a scale, I didn’t weigh and measure myself before starting the W30 and don’t have anything to compare my “results” to. However, even if I didn’t lose any weight, I know that doing the Whole30 and eating Paleo makes me feel more confident about myself and the choices I’m making for my body. I feel healthy, not just like I’m dieting.
As far as nonscale victories go, I probably have more than I even realize. I feel happier and lighter all-around and doing the Whole30 has motivated me to take action in other areas of my life too. I spent an entire Saturday going though all of my clothes, getting rid of and re-organizing them using the KonMarie method. I LOVE that I can open my drawers and see all of my options, neatly waiting for me to choose from. Getting my eating in order has kicked me into overdrive in regard to getting my home in order. I have always loved organizing and getting rid of things, but I am more motivated than ever to get my house in order and keep it that way.
So now for the quick scoop:
- Yes, doing the Whole30 was absolutely worth it
- Yes, I would consider doing another
- Yes, I do think we relied a little too heavily on bacon and potatoes this time around
- Yes, I had to get up earlier because making breakfast took longer
- Yes, I “cheated” and used vanilla extract because I don’t believe in the stupid rule of it not being complaint because of the alcohol [and I’m not going to spend the money for vanilla powder]
- No, I don’t think I suffered any adverse effects because of this
- Yes, I accidentally ate some edamame because I forgot it was soy [facepalm]
- Yes, The Hangover phase the first few days is real and it sucks, but
- Yes, it absolutely gets easier
- No, I’m not sure what we’re going to do from here yet
- Yes, we plan on doing the fast track reintroduction
- Yes, I missed snacking and after-dinner treats, but
- Yes, I think it’s healthier to cut out or at least cut back on those
- Yes, I’m excited to eat a piece of homemade bread again
- Yes, I missed both chocolate and peanut butter the most
- Yes, I had horrible food nightmares that I was eating Oreos against my will and couldn’t stop
- Yes, I feel happier, healthier, and more even-tempered
- Yes, I learned how to better control cravings and experience fewer of them
- Yes, I’m a little nervous about reintroduction
- Yes, there are many Whole30 recipes I’m excited to add to my normal rotation
- Yes, I’m looking forward to eating some pizza again
- No, I don’t think I will ever go back to exactly how I was eating before
- Yes, challenging myself to the Whole30 was good for me and helped me gain a healthier relationship with food
Hey y’all, Matthew here.
For me, the Whole30 was something I went into a bit blindly. Marcy had been telling me about it and expressed interest in doing it, so I said I’d join her. I figured it would help with motivation to have both of us doing it, plus we wouldn’t have to buy regular food for me and special food for her. However, I hadn’t done the research like she did, so I ended up getting surprised by a lot of the side effects.
The first week hangover period hit me hard. I’ve come to see how much my diet relied on unnecessary carbs and sugar, and when you take that away, the body definitely reacts. A few days in I felt more tired than I had in years. I got home from work, had dinner, and was immediately ready for bed. I felt completely exhausted! It was then that I realized how drastic the Whole30 can be, however simple it may seem.
One of the main areas in which I struggled was just feeling hungry. My body was used to always feeling full, so it was a big adjustment for me. A few hours after dinner I’d end up just eating another banana or drinking water to feel full, which I guess is better than sugary desserts or carb-loaded snacks I used to eat. I’ve learned that if you just eat enough kale, eventually you will feel full! I’ve also come to understand that it can be good to not feel full. You don’t always need to reach that point where you say “ok, I’ve eaten too much.” You’ve just got to deal with what you’ve got to eat and move along, full or not.