Thursday, June 01, 2017

MY WHOLE 30 EXPERIENCE

I just completed my first Whole 30 experience.  Am I glad I did it?  Yes.  Do I want to do it again next month?  No.  Can I imagine a world where I would do another round of it?  Yes - I can say that now that I am totally done with it and got to happily munch on some popcorn and drink Diet Dr. Pepper today.

So, I'm gonna give a brief rundown on what and how I ate this past month and why, just in case you are curious and want to try something different.

WHY: I don't have any major health concerns at present (which is such a gift that I do not take for granted!), but my eating was a bit out of hand.  I needed a reset, and I wanted strict rules, because I am not great when discretion is involved.  I was also curious to see how I felt if I really did eliminate so many different things all at once in a disciplined way.  And, I wanted to lose a few pounds, because due to my eating being out of hand, my waistline felt a bit fluffier than I would like.

WHAT:  You should probably just go to the Whole 30 website if you are really curious for the details.    It is an elimination diet that is meant to help you discover what foods aggravate your system.  You cut out all sugar, all gluten/grains, all rice/beans and all dairy.  What a delight!  🤣 I did completely adhere to this at home.  When I ate out, I did my best to get as close to this as possible, though I never drilled a waiter about what oils my meat was cooked in, so I'm sure I got some soy/sugar/something-else-not-compliant in there in very small quantities.

HOW:  Whole 30 is a lot of prep work.  If you are already prepping fairly healthy meals, then it isn't too much of a step up.  If you aren't, then it is probably a massive step-up in chopping and prepping.  I already used (and still use) Prep Dish - a meal-planning service that I love.  I subscribed at the beginning of the year when the premium package was half-off, and it included an entire "Reset" meal plan that is Whole 30 compliant.  This was really helpful, because I didn't go hunting for recipes (mostly).

FEELINGS:  I feel like I had a lot of feelings about Whole 30.  I wanted to do it right and all the way, partly just to show myself that I could do something hard.  I am not great at discipline, but completing this 30 days showed me that I CAN be a real adult.  I do completely understand that changing my eating habits for 30 days is not at all hard in the grand scheme of things.  This was by choice, and I tried very hard to not complain during it, because I understand that very real, very hard things are out there.  My "diet" does not qualify.  That said, it is hard to say "NO" in all of the places that I wanted to say "YES."

Give me the dessert.  Let me have the chips.  I'll finish your extra cereal.  So many yeses in so many places that all of the sudden turned into "NOs."  It was a shocker, especially at first.  My friends were visibly alarmed when I turned down dessert during the first week.

RESULTS:  Well, I lost six pounds, which feels great.  My skin cleared up completely in a way that I never imagined.  I am not bloated in any way.  I don't feel dramatically better, but it is hard to deny that eating well correlates to feeling well, and I have felt quite well physically this month.  Also, I have found that I can actually acquire tastes - I found some LaCroix that is fairly tolerable (still not my favorite, but we don't get everything in life), and I am developing a taste for actual coffee.

NOW WHAT:  We were already mostly eating paleo (mostly meats and veggies) at home, and I will continue to do that.  For me, this served as a fantastic reset and a reminder that I do not need to eat everything put in front of me.  I always have a choice, and I can choose to make better long-term choices that will keep me fitting into my clothing.  I wish managing weight was easier than it is, but it just isn't.  I always have to watch and pay attention to it, and unfortunately, that only increases the older that I get.  I will continue to limit dairy, sugar, gluten and grains, because I do feel better for it overall.  And I will occasionally indulge in those things, because having things in moderation really is okay for me.  I just need to keep it occasional and not all the time.

So - that pretty much sums it up!  Let me know if you have any questions.

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