I did it! I completed the Whole30 plan!!! For those of you that are just reading this for the first time, the Whole30 is a 30 day guide to Total Health and Food Freedom. It is written by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig who also wrote the book, “It Starts with Food”. This is not a diet, it is not a quick fix, its not even a weight loss program. The Whole30 is designed to change your life. It is meant to change the way you think about food, your body, your life, and what you want out of the time you have left on this earth!!! AMEN!!! It’s much bigger than just food.
For me personally I chose to do this program because I was having issues with chronic fatigue for as long as I can remember I have always woken up in the morning to think about when I could take a nap! I have chronic headaches, I have severe IBS, I lacked focus, attention to task, bloating, irritability, an addiction to sugar and I know that my food was most definitely causing some of these issues. I actually bought the books for this program a year ago and they have sat on my shelf all this time until I realized that enough is enough.
- I was lacking motivation to workout
- I was making more unhealthy choices than usual
- I was craving sugar and carbs
- I was needing a nap every single day no matter how much rest I got
- My IBS symptoms were exacerbated
I needed a change! I have always wondered if food was contributing to the way I was feeling. SERIOUSLY I am a health and fitness coach and I was still feeling that something was missing. I just had to find out for myself. So, I partnered up with my two best friends, Katy Ursta and Val Bozzo to do the Whole30. Val did the Whole15 and Katy and I were committed to no cheats, treats and 100% accountability. We created our own closed Facebook group where we could keep each other going through the program. We realized that there would not be a perfect time to do this program, that we just had to commit and take that leap of faith.
I looked at my calendar and literally I was traveling 3 out of the 4 weeks that I would be doing this program. Then, on the 1 weekend that I wasn’t traveling I had a birthday party, a wedding and a trip to the pumpkin patch with our neighborhood. There is never going to be a perfect 30 days to do the program. You just have to take that leap of faith and go for it.
I started day 1 and I was HUNGRY, TIRED, CRANKY, I had a dull headache and I felt like I was in a fog! The first few days
were brutal and I couldn’t believe that food was doing this to me! I traveled in the first week to California for Super Star Diamond Weekend and I didn’t drink, I followed the plan to the T and spoke up and asked for modifications and it worked! I was a little cranky that I couldn’t eat some of those yummy pastries and desserts but for the first time ever I didn’t have to take Advil when I traveled. I ALWAYS took Advil because I always have a headache and I didn’t!! BINGO… that was the first sign I was on to something. That made me even more committed.
I was also working out during this 30 days. Matt and I did Insanity Max30 every single day following the program to the T. I used to always feel like I had lead in my feet when I was working out and suddenly I noticed that I didn’t need that performance line to keep me going! I was naturally rejuvenated, I had energy and it was coming from my food… How about that!!!
In Week 2, I was getting the hang of things! I cut out my evening snack and I was eating 4 meals a day. Breakfast, Lunch, Snack and Dinner. You are eating until you are full, you are not counting calories or macros but focusing on the quality of the foods you are eating. The main goal of Whole30 is cutting out dairy, grains, legumes, and ALL SUGAR. You can have naturally occurring sugar from fruit but no added sugars from sweeteners and no STEVIA.
SERIOUSLY… have you read the INGREDIENTS on your food?? I can’t even begin to tell you how shocked I am at how often I went to reach for something I thought was approved but to realize it had a laundry list of ingredients that I couldn’t read followed by SUGAR! It’s freaking everywhere. Just look at what your kids are eating…. Sugary cereal, nutrigrain bars, peanut butter and jelly for lunch, fruit snacks, and then a treat at night. Just about everything I listed was in my kids diets in 1 day. No wonder we have issues with ADD, ADHD, kids focusing or premature puberty. We are literally feeding crap in our bodies all the time. This Whole30 journey has really opened my eyes to my kids as well and what I thought I was feeding them that was healthy. AND YES… this is a different blog post but they are slowly making the transition as well. Just in the 1 week we changed the boys diet we can DRASTICALLY and I don’t mean subtly at all DRASTICALLY see a difference in their mood and attention.
Next up is the wedding! If you are from Pittsburgh you know that every wedding has a COOKIE TABLE. Its a Pittsburgh tradition and I have always been a cookie monster. I went the wedding and on the way had my Shakeology, I ate the veggies and fruit for appetizers. The dinner was a filet and steamed veggies which I ate with a side of potatoes. I skipped the bread basket, I asked for oil and vinegar vs the creamy dressings on the table and I picked off the cheese and croutons. I am a social drinker and vodka soda water is always my drink of choice. Instead I left out the vodka and had soda water with lime and I was the designated driver and guess what! There was no nasty hangover the next day and I really liked that feeling!!!
See you can go to weddings and controlled food events and survive! I did and so can you!
So now we come to the last week of the program! I’m feeling the TIGER BLOOD which is described as this intense focus and unwavering faithfulness to the program. I was in it and I was more than half way through and I was not going back now! It is game on!!!! At this point there is nothing that will deter me. You could waive all the chips, salsa and margaritas in front of me and I was in the zone. Also, at this point I stopped thinking about what I wanted to eat afterwards and quite frankly it’s day 31 and I’m still eating Whole30 because why the heck would I go back to the way I felt before?!? That makes no sense at all! I breezed through the Leadership Retreat in California and came home with ZERO jet lag and no headaches or bloatedness! I feel awesome and I love it!
So now here we are at the end of this journey and what did I gain from it??
What were my results?
Well for starters lets list out the non scale victories:
- Fewer Blemishes
- Glowing skin
- Flatter stomach
- Leaner appearance
- Clothes fitting better
- Less bloating
- No more IBS symptoms at all
- More patience
- Improved focus and mental clarity
- No headaches
- No more chronic fatigue
- Improved workout performance
- Less anxious
- Less stressed
- Fewer sugar cravings
- Improved self esteem
- Clearer thinking
- Food is not a stress trigger
- No more emotional eating
- I have learned to read labels
- I know which foods make me feel healthy vs not healthy
- I know the difference between hunger and cravings
The Scale Victories which of course you aren’t supposed to base your success on it but I did lose 9 lbs!!!!
So see Katy and I completely recap the past 30 days check it out here!!!!
So now what??? What will I do next? Well I could start the re introduction program but I think for today I am going to stick to the plan!
I had eggs, avocado and bacon with black coffee for breakfast, I had chimicurri chicken, veggies and butternut squash soup for lunch and I’m about to break out my afternoon Shakeology next.
I am sure I will have a vodka soda water at some point but for now I’m just fine eating this way because I truly do feel amazing!!!
If you have any of these symptoms I have talked about I highly encourage you to give this program a try! I am going to run another accountability group for Whole30 in the future!
If you want to read about my travel snacks or why I incorporated Shakeology check out my posts here:
If you have more questions don’t hesitate to reach out and I would be happy to answer anything you would like to know! I really hope this inspires you to take matters into your own hands and see if you really can change your health with Whole30.