Well, would you look at that. I finished the Whole30 (Whole60, in my case) Although my official 60 days ended on August 31st, I have been still eating Whole30/paleo for a few personal reasons. I do have every intention, though, to reintroduce a few “non-compliant” foods back into my diet soon and fingers crossed my body reacts well to them.
In the spirit of my weekly Whole30 posts (and yes, I know I slacked towards the end) I am going to keep the post format the same and let you know my thoughts on completing the program, both the sweet, the sour, and my thoughts on moving forward.
I lost weight and inches! 5 inches on my waist, to be exact. Not too shabby. Would I have loved to see more drastic results? Of course! But this goes back to something I realized around week three; this journey isn’t all about weight loss. With that said, I noticed major improvements with my skin, my digestion, my energy levels, and way less brain fog. I will gladly accept all those things over a few more inches, any day! I also did notice some positive changes in my mood stability. The “down” days were less often, and I felt less “on edge” than I did prior to starting this program (which can be associated with the processed sugar intake)
Along the journey I also found some foods/products that I absolutely love and probably would have never tried before (hello cashew butter!) I really enjoyed learning to eat more simplistically.
The food aside, I also did a handful of mental health work during my 60 days (and am currently continuing that) I started to learn that I am the main person who holds me back from doing things I may enjoy, or that I have wanted to do for years. Also that a lot of my reasoning for turning to junk food in the first place, was derived from wanting to protect myself from the pain of my past, and to comfort me in times on need. Working with Holly also pushed me to dig a little deeper within myself, not just with her but also going back to therapy, that I had blown off for a few months. I am feeling a little more confident and a little more at peace as I completed my “Whole60” and as I continue to do the work.
Although the simplicity of Whole30 was enjoyable most of the time, there were plenty of days that I was bored, or even frustrated, at the lack of variety. One would think that the combinations of meat(s), eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds would be endless; nope! And for a ex-vegetarian, it was really hard to come to terms with a very, animal protein heavy, way of eating.
I recall a few mornings I’d rather be punched in the face before having to eat another egg! There were also nights I would almost feel nauseous thinking about the chicken and roasted vegetables that were for dinner…AGAIN.
An obvious sour was social settings. I know many who have done a Whole30 have voiced that getting together with friends, or attending parties, is difficult when trying to follow this program, and it is true. Over the 60 days, I went to two family gatherings, both of which the hostesses were very accommodating to the way I was eating and it ended up not being as stressful as I had anticipated. I was, and still am, very thankful for that! However, the anxiety leading up to these events was still very high. There were also a few invites for things I declined due to the fact that I didn’t want to deal with the fuss of figuring out what I could eat.
Am I glad I am done with Whole30? Sure! But is moving forward just as stressful? Heck yes! I constantly think about where I am going from here; What will I end up doing for an overall diet? Will I ever go vegetarian again? What if the foods I have been “missing” really screw with my stomach (or mindset)? Will I try one bite of pizza and go off the deep end? Or do I have to avoid all that stuff for the rest of my life?!?
Stressful, right? Thankfully, I have Holly to help guide me through what comes next, and to remind me not to let my mind run out of control. Whole30 was easy compared to finding my “food freedom”. I think this is because I had such a habit of binge eating, and over indulging that I fear that I will jump right back into my old habits if I am not on a strict plan. However, living so strictly isn’t too healthy either. I am reminding myself that this is all a process and that I wasn’t going to wake up on day 60 and magically have it all figured out (wouldn’t that be awesome?!) As the saying goes, “progress, not perfection”.
There you have it; My Whole30 recap. I am still unsure if I want to continue creating “update” posts as I continue my work with Holly, and find my “food freedom”. Is this something you, as my readers, would be interested in? Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts…