I MADE IT TO DAY 30!!!!!
You guys. Not to get all negative-debbie-downer, but I honestly had NO IDEA whether or not Jay and I would be able to survive 30 days without bread, grains, beans, dairy, processed foods, sugar and alcohol*…. BUT WE DID IT!!!! And without getting too sappy-sap, I need to say: I honestly don’t think I would have made it to Day 30 without Jay’s support and encouragement. He held me accountable, helped me push through really difficult situations/feelings/emotions, and motivated me to keep going. I’m so thankful we could do this Whole30 Challenge together!
*Planned alcohol and a bite of dessert at a friend’s wedding. But no other drinks within the 30-day challenge.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are some of the lessons I’ve learned or successes I’ve seen in the past 30 days:
1. I’ve lost 17.8 pounds. That alone is pretty cool, right?
2. I came to the realization that I don’t need to plan workouts I don’t enjoy. If I don’t love doing something, I can try something else. If I’m not crazy about running races right now, I can do yoga or spin class or walks with friends instead.
3. I’ve changed the way my body processes foods. Even when I lost 50+ lb in 2010/2011, it was eating “low-calorie” processed foods – it was a huge disservice to my body and what it needs to be healthy and successful. After a horrible week of the “carb-flu”, I regulated my insulin and leptin levels, started working through my glucose stores and replenishing them in a healthy and natural way, listened to my hunger cues, and fed my body the nutrients, vitamins, carbs, fat and protein it needs.
4. I’ve learned about “food with no brakes” – those danger foods that never give our bodies the “I’m full”-sign until it’s too late and we’ve over-eaten to the point of sickness.
Last night, Jay and I were talking about how we have NEVER once had the “Oh my gosh, I’ve eaten too much! I can’t eat another bite!” – feeling. Not once the entire 30 days. And we realized it was because our bodies were sending the “I’m satisfied” – cues after we had eaten food with significant nutrient value. Our bodies have been getting the nutrients, vitamins, carbs, fat and protein they need and after an appropriate portion, our bodies recognize they have gotten exactly what they needed. We never once stuffed ourselves to the point of physical fullness – only eaten until we were satisfied.
I also haven’t measured a single portion the entire 30 days. And I still lost 17.8 pounds. No calorie-counting, no measuring, no points. Just me, eating healthy foods and listening to my body. What an amazing feeling!!
5. I’ve been feeling my feelings. And it sucks. Sometimes I sulk around, angry and frustrated. Sometimes I cry out of sadness or worry. Sometimes I can’t even recognize what I’m feeling and after a walk or some quiet-time, I can articulate how I’m feeling and what I need. It’s much easier to simply EAT the feelings away. But not only does it negatively affect my physical well-being, it doesn’t solve the problem. Those problems continue to fester and build; they need to be felt, processed, addressed, and put behind me. And I know much better coping skills now – 30 days later – than I had before this challenge.
6. I learned to believe in myself. Every single day, I looked down at my wrist and saw this beautiful bracelet I ordered from Thought Blossoms before the challenge started.
Every day, I reminded myself that I am worth it. That I deserve to be healthy and happy. That I deserve to make choices out of respect for my body. That I deserve to feel great. And learning to love and respect myself is a really difficult lesson to learn. I haven’t mastered it – I am still plagued with negative thoughts, feelings and remarks. But I am making progress through believing in myself.
7. Focusing on the foods you can eat is much easier than focusing on the foods you can’t eat. No, seriously. I had amazing, delicious meals through the entire 30 days – chili, salmon, fish, salads, soup, beef, turkey, chicken, bacon, steamed veggies, roasted veggies, fresh veggies, egg bake, eggs over easy/hard, eggs scrambled, fruit! SO MUCH FRUIT – apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, grapefruit, peaches, figs, dates, nuts, avocado, butter, oil. There were so many things we could eat. And honestly? The food was delicious. After the 1st week of the “carb-flu”, I didn’t find myself missing that many things. Coffee creamer? Sure. Treats when I’m stressed? Yes. But day-to-day, the quality food we had for breakfast, lunch and dinner was wonderful-tasting, great for my body, and helped me lose weight and feel better.
8. The 30-days went by quickly. No, seriously. I met a friend for a walk last night, and she was saying, “I can’t believe you are already done! It seems like you JUST got started!” and it’s SO TRUE. Both Jay and I feel like the time went by SO QUICKLY and after a few bumps in the road, it really was an easy and natural transition to eating whole, unprocessed, natural foods. 30 days? You can do anything for 30 days. You really, honestly can.
9. Reading It Starts With Food has, without a doubt, changed my life. And I thought it was the most cheesy thing to say… but it’s absolutely true. The information in the book – learning about how foods affect my body (both short-term and long-term) – has opened my eyes to so many things. I’ve learned more about myself and my health and wellness in the past 30 days then I have in my entire life. If you take away ANY piece of advice from my Whole30 challenge… it’s this: READ THE BOOK.
10. I couldn’t have made it 30 days without the support of everyone: Jay, my family, and my friends. I was open, honest and public about what I was doing – from Day 1. And knowing I had the accountability and support of people around me made all the difference in the world. I can’t say “thank you“ enough for all the encouragement – the messages, the conversations, the comments and the texts.
Thank you, Ash for recommending the book that changed my life.
Thank you, Kat for our daily emails about food, emotions, and many, many rants.
Thank you, Jay for being by my side through the entire challenge – and beyond!
Thank you, twelve-in-twelve readers for your support.
So what happens on Day 31? Nothing different. I keep living life – same as I have been the past 30 days! I FEEL GREAT, and there’s no way I’m stopping now. I’ll be back in the next few days to talk about my plan. For now, no binges, no “treats” or “cheats” – just continuing to eat whole, natural, healthy foods and continue losing weight and gaining my life back.