32 days ago, I started the Whole30 for a variety of reasons but most of them coming back to my physical health.
I was eating pretty unhealthily. In particular, I ate in excess of foods (with added sugars, dairy, grains, legumes, other stuff too) that I ultimately had to give up for 30 days. Dairy and baked goods were my worst offense in general, and I knew this. So I started partly because I wanted to change my relationship with food so that I didn’t rush to eat those foods in particular.
I’m also on a weight-loss journey. I truly think that I am destined to be thick, full-figured even, but I know that I want to be active and physically engaged, and I also want my stomach to ass ratio to improve (come on, tell me you think about this too when you’re working on your body). Some people say that it’s all in what you eat so in addition to doing the Whole30, I also worked on some portion control when it comes to my meals.
So I’m going to further break down my major takeaways from completing the Whole30.
- I had to develop a new mindset. When I started the Whole 30, I was not excited about it, at all. I talked about it like I dreaded going through the experience and was counting down the days when it would be over. I’m also an emotional eater. When I feel anxious or depressed, I go to food. When I feel happy, I go to food. I couldn’t do that this time, food could not serve as a distraction. I really had to make a conscious effort to approach and speak truths to how I feel rather than to let some junk food drown them out.
- I had to re-evaluate how and what I cook and how I usually do breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I hate eggs, I don’t like the look of them, the taste of them, they’re just not good to me but learned that with some poultry, vegetables, or hot sauce, they’re tolerable. I Grilling, baking, and stir-frying are usually my preferred ways of cooking in general so it was good to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I was actually surprised how much variety there was to the foods that I could eat.
- Meal prep is key when it comes to the Whole30. Knowing that I was only allowed to eat certain foods helped me start to consider my food options. However, I came to realize that while meal prepping is all fine and dandy, I do prefer to not eat the same thing everyday. So I would meal prep up to three days and get ready for the next meal. I would have some meat seasoned in the fridge overnight while finishing off the meals that I made a few days ago. Time became a huge factor as well. There were times during the month that I would have to cook as early as six in the AM just so that I can have meals to eat.
- I tend to be a social drinker so doing the Whole30 last month was somewhat difficult, especially because of how social I was during the month. However, it is very possible to socialize without alcohol. It encouraged me to channel some good energy. I think my friends would agree that I was still a fun person to be around. They better! I was the best DD in the world.
- I had to change my “free-gan” (I eat free food) ways. I knew that my relationship with food was going to change but I think this was one of the first realizations I had. During the first half of the Whole 30, I was surrounded around a bunch of free food, which included a lot of free food I could not eat. Had I not been on the Whole 30, I would have been ready with a Tupperware to take some home with me (exaggeration). Just because food is there, waiting for you to eat it, it does not mean that you have to. It was tempting, but I definitely held on all the way.
I can continue to talk about the many things that I learned along the way, but I am glad that I went through the process. I am happy that gave up some of the foods that I loved and learned to love some of the foods that I don’t eat enough of. I am happy to announce that I lost 25 pounds in the process, which I attribute to both food choices and exercise. I am in the process of reintroducing some foods (and alcoholic beverages) back in my life, but I am going to try to slow that process down as much as I can.
Would I do it again? I definitely am open to doing another round in a couple of months. For now, I’m going to see if I can actively practice what I have learned from my Whole30 experience.
Thanks for reading!