First things first: I need to give a huge shoutout to my support system. Without the following individuals, I don't know that I would have made it through the Whole30.
Nora, my Whole30 partner-in-crime, grocery shopping buddy, and sous chef.
My mom, who sent me uplifting texts throughout the 30 days, who kept up with my blog, and who helped keep my pantry stocked with healthy, compliant snacks.
Katie, a fellow health & fitness enthusiast, for sharing recipes, blogs, and giveaways with me throughout the process (and well before!)
Without the Whole30 book, blog, or emails, this journey would have been a million times harder. Without my friend Nora by my side, doing the Whole30 with me, I likely would have cheated at some point. I learned so many things throughout the past month. I explored new foods, flavors, and grocery stores. I gained cooking skills. I planned better. I challenged my willpower. I sought comfort in things other than food. I lost weight. I gained confidence. I stopped letting food be the boss of me. And, I've changed my tastebuds, which may be what I'm most excited about. Now, I will likely have no desire to top off an entire bag of Dove milk chocolates (like I used to do), because I know they'll taste too sweet. (An apple is plenty sweet for me nowadays.)
The Whole30 timeline became a frequently visited page in my web browser as I reflected on the ways my body was changing over time. Everyone's Whole30 is different (and no Whole30 is "perfect"), but here are the days that stood out to me:
I woke up expecting the worst; I prepared myself for "The Hangover," but actually felt energized, happy, and NOT BLOATED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MONTHS.
DAYS 6 & 7
So. Tired. I had a sore throat and no energy both days. Thank goodness they took place on a weekend. I relied on warm lemon water and a handful of naps to make it through.
DAYS 10 & 11
"The Hardest Days." I touched on this in my Week 2 post, but Days 10 & 11 were much more mentally challenging than physically. The Hardest Days fell on days that were personally hard for me, for factors other than my diet. Day 11 was the first day I didn't eat three square meals; instead, I resorted to an RX bar and two Lärabars for dinner, and it marked a bit of a shift in my energy. From then on, I started snacking a lot more...
All of a sudden, I was SO OVER THE WHOLE30. I didn't want to give up, but I was desperate for anything and everything non-compliant. This was a day of severe cravings (especially given that I truthfully did not experience any sugar cravings throughout the rest of the Whole30). I wanted a burger, a waffle, a Blizzard, Oreos, chocolate, and alcohol. I wanted it all.
DAYS 29 & 30
At the very end, it was so tempting to cheat. We are so good at getting into our own heads and telling ourselves, "It's practically the last day. You basically finished. One piece of chocolate or one drink won't kill you." The last few hours of Day 30 were all but agonizing... I wanted to snack, but I stayed the course, knowing I was only hours away from weighing and measuring myself.
THE LAST 2 DAYS
BREAKFAST: Banana coins topped with sunflower spread, coconut, and pumpkin spice
LUNCH: Red bell pepper topped with salmon salad; apple on the side
SNACK: Cucumber + RX bar
DINNER: Spaghetti squash "spaghetti" w/ ground beef and homemade tomato sauce
BREAKFAST: Apple, 2 clementines, and 2 fried eggs with avocado.
LUNCH: Spaghetti squash, ground beef, and homemade tomato sauce + kombucha
THE LAST SUPPER: Salmon and asparagus drizzled with fresh lemon juice
On Day 24, as I was writing about the food I'd eaten and looking back on some of my meals from Week 4, I began to wonder just how many avocados and eggs I ate during my Whole30 (not counting the number of eggs included in the Whole30 homemade mayonnaise OR the number of egg whites in each RX bar I ate). Without further ado...
EGGS EATEN: 60
AVOCADOS EATEN: 13.5
GROCERY TRIPS TAKEN: 7
HIPS: 2 in.
CHEST: 1.5 in.
WEIGHT LOST: 8.2 lbs.
Before I began the Whole30, the idea of cutting out grains, dairy, alcohol, legumes, sulfites, and added sugars was scary. Now, 30 days later, the idea of adding any of the above back in to my diet is scary. So I have to do it carefully and mindfully.
I plan to continue eating Whole30-compliant foods the majority of the time. Today (Day 31), I am treating myself to a slice of pizza and my first sip of alcohol in over a month.
I also want to dedicate more time to working out. Now that I've shed a bit of weight, it's time to tone up and continue transforming my body into the healthiest its ever been.
Cover Photo Courtesy of Two Raspberries