I completed the Whole 30 by the beginning of February. It changed my life for the better. It also made me gain weight.
Yeah…. after 30 days of no sugar, dairy, WINE, and a list of other stuff- 30 days of no weighing myself- 30 days of feeling like I was changing and making healthier choices than I ever had before- I stepped on the scale on day 31 and saw I gained half a pound.
I felt completely defeated and like a total failure, WHICH WAS DUMB because I didn’t even do it to lose weight.
In fact, I didn’t even take measurements or before pictures before because that wasn’t the goal. It was to reboot my relationship with food. And I did that!
I totally kicked my sugar addiction. I realized I CAN live without dairy. I learned how to feed my body what it needs, not just what it craves.
But still, to not even lose a pound? What had I done wrong? Did I eat too much fruit? Did I snack too much? 30 days of followthrough on my part is a RARE thing for me. I was so proud of my choices up until the moment I stepped on that scale.
Every other person I’ve known to complete a Whole 30 reports they lose 5-15 lbs by the end of it. Honestly, for a few weeks I had to stop following the hashtag and checking in at my FB support group because their weight loss was making me feel totally inadequate.
I didn’t measure myself right before the challenge, but I had measured my bust, waist, and hips a month prior for something else. I measured myself on day 31 thinking maybe I just gained muscle mass, but lost inches. Wrong. No change.
The whole time I was doing it, though, I thought for sure I was losing weight and inches. I felt slimmer, I thought I looked slimmer. I don’t know.
The first half of February was a mind fuck in terms of diet and body image after that. It really threw me for a loop. I didn’t update here immediately because I knew I needed to sort through some emotions before I wrote about it.
Let me stop here and say that, for me, if I lost 10 lbs that would really be all the weight I’d want to lose. So it’s not like I was looking for big numbers. And I am mostly okay with the weight I am now. 10 lbs would help me tone up, not be scary thin.
Now, almost 30 days after I completed my Whole 30, I’m able to say with a clear mind that I am SO glad I did it.
And I probably won’t do it again.
Not because it was bad for me! I think it taught me so much about food, and how I respond to it.
For example, I know without a doubt that sugar was the reason I was dead tired and crashing at 3 p.m. every day. Now I won’t touch sugar of any kind before 4 p.m. and my energy levels thank me for it.
I enjoy vegetables far more now, and no longer feel like I need to cover anything in cheese.
I haven’t had a sip of soda since I started, and I honestly don’t miss it or crave it. The thought of it actually makes me a little sick.
I’m drinking coffee without sugar like it’s no big deal now. Occasionally I can rock a black coffee, and sometimes I’ll have a latte (with no sweeteners), but mostly it’s coffee with full fat coconut milk.
And since I was forced to cook nearly every meal for 30 days, I have a lot more ideas when it comes to coming up with dinner now, and am far less likely to run out to a drive through.
I hate to say that the not losing weight part was somewhere I went “wrong,” but I did think quite a bit about what happened to keep me from seeing the kind of results all my friends did.
I’m guessing it’s a combination of a few things.
First, I’m still breastfeeding Lowell. So I wasn’t about to completely cut out snacking, and I ate a lot of full-fat foods because of it.
Second, I actually FED myself. Prior to the Whole 30, my day would go something like this: coffee, coffee, coffee, random processed food in the pantry, water, iced coffee, dinner, wine, cookies.
I was feeding myself 3 full meals a day for the first time in… I really don’t know when EVER in my life I’ve eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 30 days.
I also didn’t workout the entire 30 days, though I hadn’t been working out for a couple months prior to it.
Now I’m finding balance between life before and after Whole 30. Like I said, sugar is a NO before 4, but after? Sure. I’ll treat myself. Wine is back because of course, but not as much or as frequent. Dairy is really scaled back. Processed foods have no appeal to me anymore. I drink more water, and try to have something small for breakfast- like a Larabar or a hardboiled egg. Veggies take up much more of my plate, and I rarely eat bread.
I’m also working out again, and most days I don’t eat 3 full meals if I’m not hungry for it. I still keep good fats in my diet, though, like coconut, avocados and almonds.
I don’t think I’ll do it again because I think I got what I needed out of it. None of the food groups were real triggers for me in a life-changing way beyond how I react to sugar and dairy, and I am adjusting accordingly. My cravings are minimal.
Instead, I’ll focus on moving forward, adopting what the Whole 30 taught me about myself and incorporating it into a healthier lifestyle.
I’m still a big cheerleader for Whole 30, and think anyone could do it. It’s just for 30 days, and you will learn so much about your relationship with food.
That awkward moment after you upload what you thought was the perfect pic for a post, only to realize you look like a toddler holding your pee in.
If you want to learn more about it start with the Whole 30 website, read the book It Starts With Food for even more info, and follow TeamWhole on Instagram for tons of inspiration (also the #Whole30 hashtag, of course, and check out #JillsWhole30Journal for all my #whole30 related IG posts).
You can read more about my Whole 30 experience here.