Whole30 is officially over, I’ve eaten my last meal stressed out over whether it’s compliant or not, and its time to get back to the real world. I’ve spent the last 30 days avoiding Sugar, Dairy, Grains, Legumes, Soy, and a variety of different additives; while focusing on filling my plate with meats, veggies, fruits, healthy fats, nuts and some seeds. This is Whole30 and this is what my life has been like for the past 30 days. Now it’s time for me to share a little bit about this journey that I’ve been on.
When I started this adventure, I pictured days filled with hunger pains, barely surviving meal to meal, hating the food, wishing for more, and constant cravings. However, this was not how things really played out. The reality of my struggles were a different variety than I could have expected. Within the first 2 weeks, my appetite was almost completely gone and the only thing I could really stomach was fresh fruits and veggies. This was especially problematic when I was supposed to be basing my meals around meats. Thankfully after a while my appetite somewhat returned, but eating meat continued to be a struggle. I am sure that I didn’t eat enough meat in these 30 days, but with so many changes I really couldn’t choke down all the required meat. I did the best with what I could and stuck to the plan.
Drinks were another tough area for me. I was fine with water and I could take unsweetened tea, but I typically just went for some water. After the first week where I was surrounded by people enjoying pop, sweet tea, and coffee I thought I was going to give up because I was SO SICK OF WATER. But then I picked up some sparkling water and juice and I found my simple drink that helped me keep going.
I think at this point you all having a pretty good idea of what my biggest craving has been – PIZZA! But I think that’s more about the fact that it’s my favorite food, so of course I miss it. On a slightly deeper level, here have been a few of my crazy specific cravings – Pizza Hut Pizza w/ Cherry Peppers, Cheese in all forms, Milk & Honey Latte from my favorite coffee shop Moxxee, & Chocolate Chip Cookies. Amazingly enough, other than that I really didn’t miss other foods all that much.
Completing Whole30 is a victory in and of itself, however there were a few individual things that I was so happy to experience.
- I have had a month of the best sleep of my life. Now, I don’t want to say I haven’t been tired because that would be a lie – remember I basically haven’t had caffeine/sugar in a month. However I used to struggle going to sleep as well as waking up multiple times each night. For the past month when I shut my eyes I am out until my alarm goes off the next morning. It’s fantastic.
- I feel clear. I don’t know how else to describe it, because it’s not like a superpower or anything, I just feel good. clear. better.
- I am empowered. At the beginning of this journey I felt defeated and like I couldn’t complete it. I remember curling up on the couch with Husband saying over and over again “I really don’t think I can do this”. Everyone who heard about my decision to do this told me how they could never do it either. But I did it. I finished all 30 days. I feel capable of anything. I can do anything for 30 days and so can you.
You might be asking, what now? If you are, then you aren’t alone. I’ve been asking myself that same question for the last week. I will start this by saying, Whole30 has truly been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’ve shared a handful of the good things, but this has been SO HARD. Despite this hardness – I already have plans to do it again. Following the holidays I will start on round 2. Until then, I imagine I will eat what I want, with a new found knowledge of what I really want/need, as well as how these foods may affect me. For example, Thursday I have every intention of enjoying some pizza. However, I’m not going to order a large greasy pepperoni pizza. I’ve planned to make a homemade honey wheat crust, with fresh toppings, and a salad (instead of my beloved chip & dip). Do you see the difference? I definitely do!
I’m sure I’ll give updates on this as life continues, but until then I challenge you to grab a friend or family member and start this journey of Whole30. Do it for you and so you can see all that you are capable of, because I assure you – You are capable & You are worth it.
Big shout out to my Momma and Husband for going on this journey with me and putting up with the craziness of the last 30 days.