This past Tuesday was Day 30 of my first ever Whole 30. For those who don’t know, Whole 30 is a 30 day program in which you eat whole foods, including vegetables, meat, nuts, healthy fats, and fruits. No legumes, grains, dairy, or alcohol. 100% clean eating for 30 days.
I decided to do Whole 30 for a multitude of reasons, but the main reason was my struggle with body image and my unhealthy relationship with food. For the last few years I’ve been obsessed with weight loss. I gained some weight after my first semester of college and ever since I’ve been determined to lose it all and then some. Unfortunately, a lot of my methods were unhealthy, physically and mentally.
For years it feels like I’ve been fighting against my body, from constricting calories, buying into weight loss programs, fad diets and drinks, and even, at a low point, purchasing a waist trainer. Finally, I grew sick of it all. I grew worried that I was damaging both my body (undereating, pushing it too hard, etc) and also my mental health when it came to body image.
Why Whole 30 is Different
- One of the things that really intrigued (and scared) me was that on Whole 30 you don’t count calories. It is all about eating good food and learning what is enough for your body. After feeling chained to calorie-counting apps for so long, it felt like a relief to be able to put them away.
- Whole 30 isn’t selling you anything. Yes, you can purhcase cookbooks and get a personal coach, but I did neither. It wasn’t a subscription to workout videos or buying a meal plan template. It was all me, all for me. I decided what I ate and my reason for doing it was me. There are no tricks or gimicks, no waivers or money-back guarentees. It is simply a decision to follow the rules and going from there.
- A huge focus is on NSV (non-scale victories). During the program there is no measuring, weighing-in, or transformation photos. For 30 days it is focused on how you feel. It is more than just a diet plan that promises 5 inches off your waist or 15 pounds lost. It is about being in control, feeling better overall, and listening to what your body wants/needs.
(Day 1 vs Day 31)
Absolutely no bloating. We all hate bloat. Whether it is after a meal or you just wake up feeling like that, it is so uncomfortable and feels gross. Before the program, I would sometimes wake up and feel terrible before my day even began. I did not experience that bloating on Whole 30 at all. I felt good throughout the whole day, some days even maintaining that feeling of “morning skinny” until I was going to bed at night.
Clear skin. I didn’t have much problem with acne before, but I noticed some of my problems areas with red splotchiness cleared up.
Craving control. I really didn’t crave that much on Whole 30. There were only a few times when I wanted to be able to eat things not on the program, and they were usually tied with social occasions like desserts at an event or wine at dinner. The only things I really craved throughout was regular coffee creamer, wine, and the occasional dessert. I really didn’t mind eating differently than those around me and I definitley did not feel like I missed out on anything during the program.
Energy. Before the program I was having a lot of mid-day crashes, around 1-2pm. Throuhgout Whole 30 my energy has been up and consistent, carrying me throught the entire day.
Sleep. I’ve slept really well the past month. I normally don’t have much trouble with sleep, but I have noticed that I wake up feeling energized rather than having to drag myself out of bed and it doesn’t take me as long to fall alseep.
Healthier relationship with food. Over the past few weeks I’ve viewed food as nutrition and energy for my body. I’ve paid more attention to what I am consuming, what it offers me nutritionally, and how to incorporate different healthy foods into my diet. My emotional eating has gone down drastically, no longer turning to food to relieve stress or even as something to do when I’m bored.
I lost ten pounds. The number on the scale was a weight I haven’t seen since high school. It felt so good to know my hard work actually resulted in something tangible.
Body composition. I feel more muscular (I’ve also been working out), and noticed a lot of my “problem areas” shrink from Day 1 to Day 30.
Overall, I feel so much more confident in my own skin. This program allowed me to make changes for my body, not against it. I am sure that there are many other improvements that I haven’t even noticed yet, but I love the way I feel. It seems as if I am finally ending the war between my body and my mind. I am meeting myself where I am at and moving forward from there.