Here I am checking in on day 31 of our Whole 30 and yes, that means that we have completed the Whole 30 challenge. We made it!! I mean this was a pretty drastic and strict change but we stuck to it and plowed through any cravings we had along the way…can I just say CHOCOLATE!
I’ve tried to be pretty intentional in thinking about our challenge and the things that helped us, the health benefits we’ve seen, what I would change next time, a glimpse at our meals and our before and after pics. So, hopefully it helps you out if you’re thinking about doing the Whole 30 or are in the midst of your own challenge. So, here we go…
What Helped Us Succeed
- Accountability: Originally I planned to do this on my own but then I decided to ask Aaron to join me and I’m so glad I did. I’m pretty sure I would have given in to gum, chocolate, diet coke or all three along the way if it wasn’t for us keeping each other in check. So, have someone do it with you. It can be your husband, friend, family member or co-worker. Just find someone who is excited about it and will help you stay excited when you are not because that’ll happen.
My accountability team. 🙂
- Preparation: Having plenty of the right foods stocked up is essential because we can all do crazy things when hangriness kicks in. We would grocery shop on the weekends and then prep food for the week. Meaning cut up veggies and boil eggs. EGGS…so many eggs! But seriously, they were a good on the go protein to have. So, have plenty of veggies, fruit, protein and good fats stocked up in your house.
- Celebrate: We made an adjective board (the teacher in me kicking in) and each of us would write down a word that described each day. It was a way to celebrate the day. It didn’t matter if it was a positive or negative adjective. We celebrated that we made it another day. We stuck to the promise we made to ourselves and each other and ya know…that feels good! Plus it served as a kind of count down of our 30 days as well.
- Non-scale Victories: One of the Whole 30 rules is no weighing yourself until day 30. You wouldn’t think this would be hard because who wants to weigh themselves?! But about day fourteen it got really hard. I actually wanted to jump on the scale for the first time in my life. Instead I tried to focus on the non-scale victories (cuz Lord knows if I stepped on the scale and it didn’t show any difference I would have gone spiraling). Like clearer skin, lower blood pressure, looser fitting rings and jeans. I had to remind myself that I was not doing this to loose weight.
- This challenge helped me break bad habits, such as, chewing gum all of my days and drinking diet coke like it was H2O. As soon as we started day one of Whole 30 I gave up my two biggest vices. It was VERY hard at the beginning. In the past I would always drive around McDonalds to get a 99 cent Diet Coke when I was out running errands. It was kind of like my “treat” or pop a few pieces of gum in my mouth when I felt like it(which was all of the time). So, to completely stop was a bit of a jolt to my system. But, a good jolt. I knew in the back of my mind that neither of these things were great for me. After all, have you read all those studies about diet drinks? They’ll scare the beejezuz out of you.
- My bloated feelings went away. After about day seven or eight my stomach felt so good. I think by that point my body was adjusting a little more and appreciated what was going on. Before I always felt a little bloated (probably from all the gum and diet coke) but now my stomach felt a little more flat.
- Aaron’s blood pressure went drastically down. When we started it was 150/95 and after the second week it had gone down to 118/80. This was my favorite health benefit!! My blood pressure was normal before but it also dropped as well.
- It gave us more a healthy view of food. It forced us out of our comfort eating and caused us to instead listen to our bodies to see what we were really needing. This is a benefit I hope to continue to incorporate.
- It’s the first time in my life that I have lost weight while not even trying. My goal on the Whole 30 was not to lose weight. I mean I wouldn’t hate it if that happened (who would?!) but it was not my main goal. I wanted a challenge that Aaron and I could do together and it sounded like it would be a good kind of restart for our bodies and it was. But in the mean time I lost weight without even trying. Somewhere around day ten or twelve I noticed my jeans were looser and that’s always a welcome feeling…am I right?! That trend continued the rest of the thirty days. To me this was the first time in my life (and I’m not being dramatic) that I lost weight a healthy way. In the past, if I wanted to loose weight I would eat less (like not healthy less…more like drink diet coke and gum instead of eat food…you see where the addiction started?!). I know that is totally unhealthy but to me it was logical at the time. So, to be able to eat more and change my body was a very good thing for me to witness first hand. Being good to yourself is a good thing.
What I Will Change Next Time Around:
- I feel like I relied heavily on nuts and fruit to get me through the day. Probably too much so. They were just quick, easy and delicious, but too much can hurt your progress.
- Eat three full meals a day(including protein, fat and carbs in each) and only snacks if necessary. I ended up snacking on little meals throughout the day since that was the most convenient thing to do when you have a little one interested in everything you put in your mouth.
A Glimpse At Daily Meals:
Breakfast- The first meal usually consisted of some type of fruit, since it’s my favorite, eggs, and avocado. Oh, and ALWAYS coffee with Coconut Milk. Confession this meal was often broken up into part depending when Foster woke up for the day. I may have some fruit and then go get him. Then later have my eggs and so on and on. That’s what I meant about snacking too much.
Lunch: This meal usually looked something like this I didn’t try to get fancy with lunch. I focused more on what was handy and easy but it worked. Oh, and that’s Justin’s Almond Butter on the sweet potato. Don’t knock it till you try it..that’s all I’m saying.
Dinner: I would usually try to get more creative for this meal or at least creative for me since I’m not that big of a cook. This was shell-less tacos and Cauliflower Rice. Pretty good if I do say so myself.
Snacks: Like I mentioned my favorite snacks were fruit and nuts…probably too much. Oh well, I’m not going to beat myself up over it.
Before and After: Okay, now it’s time for the biggest and most vulnerable reveal, so please be nice. I debated on posting my before and after pics. But then I thought those sort of pics are the ones I look for, so I thought it only fair to share. Here is my day 1 and day 30 photo side by side. I lost 6lbs which isn’t huge but that’s a big deal for me (especially doing it a healthy way).
Aaron lost 13 lbs which is awesome, but isn’t that the way it goes?! Guys loose weight so much quicker than girls. I’m not jealous at all. Well, maybe a little but mostly so happy for him!
All in all it was a very good experience for Aaron and I! It really changed the way we look at food and what we put in our bodies. We do plan on doing it again in a couple months but honestly I’m really excited about eating some chocolate!!! I don’t plan on reintroducing gum or diet coke into my daily routine. Those are habits that just needed to be broken.
Thanks for reading about our Whole 30 journey!!
Have you done the Whole 30 before or do you want to?