I did it! I did it! I did it!
I wasn’t really sure how this little experiment was going to go. Would I be able to make it the whole 30 days? Would I have crazy insane cravings? How would I feel? Would everyday life get in the way? Well, let me tell you.
I did in fact make it the whole 30 days. I didn’t slip up, not even once. Did everyday life get in the way? Well, sorta. Eating out was next to impossible. Going to a theme park, which I did with about 10 other people, was hard and there wasn’t much I could eat or drink. But I made it work. I ate before I went places, I reviewed the menu with a fine tooth comb if I knew I would be eating at a restaurant, and I took food with me if at all possible. Being prepared is what made this whole thing possible.
I felt kinda weird and crappy for about the first 10 days, but after that I felt pretty amazing. The timeline that Whole30 has in their book and online is pretty darn accurate. Most everything they said would happen did happen. Cravings? Well, the only really bad craving I had was for Diet Dr Pepper. I didn’t start drinking coffee until about 2 years ago and before that Diet Dr Pepper was my morning drink of choice. Even after I started drinking coffee I’d have DDP at least once a day, so it wasn’t surprising that I wanted it all the darn time. Even on day 30 I was still thinking about having one.
But other than that I was pretty good. Yes there were times when I’d think “Man, I’d like a cookie” but it usually was just a fleeting thought and then I’d move on. I never really had any of those “If I don’t have right now I’m going to strangle someone!” moments. Did I miss the things I wasn’t eating? Of course I was, but there was never I time when I thought that having that certain food was worth giving up.
So what did I learn from this little experiment? Let me tell you!
- You can give up ANYTHING for 30 days! I love soda, I love all things dairy, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE sweets. If I can give up all of those things for 30 days and live to tell about it then so can you.
- Whole30 makes eating out close to impossible! Yup, if you decide to go this route you should be aware that going out to dinner or on dates just isn’t going to happen. Or if it does, its not going to be fun. Every once in awhile you can make it work, but it takes a bit of effort for sure.
- Planning is key! The main thing that you need to do during Whole30 is plan. Make a meal plan, buy what you need for that meal plan, and stick to it. Of course there were days when I switched things around or ate something different, but my meal plan is what kept me from failing. Having the right things on hand to cook and eat give you fewer reasons to seek out non-complaint foods and fail. Make sure to at least have one or two “easy” items in your fridge freezer for those days when you just don’t want to cook.
- I hated cooking breakfast every morning! I didn’t get sick of eating eggs every day, I got sick of getting up everyday and COOKING eggs. I like my sleep and really don’t like getting up any earlier than I have to during the week. After the first week I started making an egg casserole or frittata on Sunday that would last me most of the week. This way I could just reheat the casserole and throw some fruit on the plate and I’d have breakfast all ready.
- I actually like cooking AND I’m pretty good at it. I will be the first, well second right after my mother, to tell you that before this month I didn’t cook. I could bake and I enjoyed baking, but cooking was never my thing. I never really learned how to cook and living alone makes cooking even less appealing. But when you have to cook for three meals a day EVERY DAY you either have to suck it up and make it happen or you are going to fail. Failure wasn’t an option so I cooked. A lot. And I enjoyed it. I even found that on days when I came home from work in a bad mood and didn’t want to do anything, cooking actually relaxed me.
I’m sure you are all thinking “Meghan, did you lose any weight?” Well let’s focus on the non-scale victories first. Just about 2 weeks into the month I was able to wear my favorite pair of jeans that hadn’t been fitting so well for awhile. I really didn’t feel like I lost weight, but obviously something was going on since those pants fit. Score! About 3 weeks in my co-worker said that I looked thinner, that it was obvious that I’d lost some weight. A few days later I finally noticed that I looked slimmer. This past weekend I went to my mom’s for a couple of days and my mom, grandpa, his girlfriend, and one of my mom’s friends all mentioned that I looked great and obviously had lost weight. I had bought a vintage style bathing suit (not the flamingo one) a few days before and felt amazing when I finally tried it on at my mom’s. Regardless of whether or not I, or anyone else, thought that I needed to loose weight I am currently WAY happier with how I look and feel.
Now for the numbers….
I lost just over 8 pounds. Not a ton, but definitely enough to make a difference in how I looked, felt, and how my pants fit. The kicker is I lost THREE inches off my waist, 1.5″ off my hips, and an inch off my thighs. Crazy huh? I feel pretty great about the whole thing. I’m not going to share my before and after photos with you, but let me tell you that you can DEFINITELY see a difference.
So what is the plan now that I’m done? I am hoping to stick with Whole30 compliant meals for breakfast and lunch every day. Those two meals are the easiest for me since breakfast I can prep ahead of time and lunch takes place while I’m at work. Eating lunch at work also keeps me from leaving the office on my lunch break and doing shopping that I really don’t need to be doing. I plan on adding some things back into my diet, but I’m not entirely sure which things yet. I want to keep out as much of it as I can since obviously I can live with out it.
Yesterday was my first day after Whole30 and I think it was a fair mix of compliant and non-compliant foods. I had Whole 30 meals for breakfast and lunch, then celebrated my successful 30 days with tacos and margaritas with a friend for dinner. Since I made a frittata on Sunday I have breakfast for most of this week and I have some leftover tex-mex chicken salad that I brought for lunch today. It should be a good week for sure!
Would I suggest Whole30 to my friends and family? Yes and no. It is definitely a hard 30 days. You have to give up a lot, social outings are difficult, and you will feel like all you do at home is cook and wash dishes. But I feel so amazing and impressed with this accomplishment that I’d say if you think you can do it then you should. At the very least it will get you back on track with a healthy eating lifestyle and help you with your cooking skills. And maybe you’ll have a couple of your own non-scale victories.
And now we return you to our regularly scheduled programming.