Monday, March 4, 2013

Guest Post: Sarah’s Whole30 Results!

When my friend Sarah told me she was thinking about doing the Whole30, I was so excited for her!  I knew how hard it was going to be and also how rewarding and I wanted to be her support system!  I went on amazon and ordered her some books, sent her tons of links and googled her every question.  There were numerous texts and calls back and forth.  Well, yesterday was day 30 and I am so proud of her!  Congratulations Sarah!

It’s official. I completed my first Whole30, and what a journey it’s been (yes – I did say first, which means there are more to come in my future). Pre-Whole30, I was a two-a-day bagel, fast-food-when-I-don’t-feel-like-cooking, snacking queen who felt controlled by food cravings and addictions. My life revolved around my 10-month-old son and my husband’s crazy residency schedule, leaving little time to care for myself, and boy did it show.

When I started the Whole30, I was 2lbs heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight, and just couldn’t get that weight off. I am proud to say that I blew those 2lbs out of the water, and lost a total of 16.5lbs; a whole 14.5lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight. BOOYAH. Not only did I lose weight, but I lost a total of 13 inches off my body – 1 in off my neck, 1 in off each arm, 2 in off my bust, 2.5 in off my muffin top, and the rest off various other places of my body. In addition to all the weight loss, there were a number of other benefits I got out of this cleanse –
(1) Skin improvement – I never struggled with acne, per se, but I never had clear, radiant skin. And now I do! Of course an occasional spot comes up here and there, but guess who doesn’t need foundation anymore? THIS GIRL!
(2) Sleep improvement – at one point in my life I had clinical insomnia, and I swear to God, there is nothing worse than that. I had been doing much better, and then all of a sudden I started having trouble with it again over the past few months. Whole30 started… I Almost immediately. No medication needed. Some of the best sleep I’ve had in my life.
(3) Medical reasons – being overweight comes with other issues. I recently found out that my fasting insulin level was TRIPLE what it should be. What does that mean you ask? That means I’m heading down the road to diabetes. Uhh, at 26 years old? You bet. That was the kick in the pants I needed to get my eating straight. I was hoping for follow up blood work to share with you, but unfortunately my doc didn’t pull through on that one. Once I have it though, I will share! I can’t imagine that my insulin level has done anything BUT improve.

There are a few other things that I’ve learned in addition to those mentioned above.
(1) Craving vs. hunger – Pre Whole30, 75% of my eating was driven by cravings. I can only say that with hindsight now. Had you asked me before, I would have said 25%. This journey has forced me to recognize the difference between those cravings and TRUE hunger, essentially by cutting out ALL the foods I was craving before – sugar, carbs and fast food. Sure, do I still want those foods? Absolutely. Will I still eat those foods? Sometimes. Do I still need those foods? No. Do you still need those foods? No.
(2) I eat a lot of what I feed my child. What do you call this? Mindless eating. Oh, I mushed a graham cracker too much; I’ll eat it instead of throwing it out. Whoops, put too many goldfish on your tray; I’ll eat some so you don’t put too many in your mouth. Honest to God, I had NO sense of how much I was eating when I fed my child until I intentionally stopped.
(3) Cooking shows did more for me than teach me how to cook – they made me CRAVE what I was seeing. As a new mom, I knew there were a lot of adult shows that I used to watch that I didn’t want to have on in front of my baby. So what other adult TV shows could I watch that would be fine to have on when Caleb was around? COOKING. OF COURSE. Sure, they’re fine for Caleb, but little did I know, they weren’t fine for me. I look back now and realize that a good portion of my snacking was mindless (ohh there’s that term again) eating that was catalyzed by looking at all the delicious food on the TV. OH! And just a little rant. Next time you watch TV, pay attention to HOW MANY food related commercials there are. SO MANY. No wonder this nation is obese…
(4) You can cook outside your comfort zone. I am as guilty as anyone else in the department of cooking the same crap night after night, week after week. It was what I was comfortable with. And clearly it wasn’t working for me. As evidenced by my weight, my inability to even run a mile, or still wearing some pregnancy clothes NINE MONTHS after being pregnant (wow that’s embarrassing to admit out loud) – take your pick. Clearly what I was doing wasn’t working, even though it was comfortable. The Whole30 forced me to embrace new fats, new proteins, new vegetables, new spices and seasonings – a WHOLE new thought process behind how to prepare a meal. I ALWAYS prepared your typical “protein, starch, vegetable” for dinner. And why not? I’ve been eating that my whole life. The Whole30 challenged me by saying “Why not skip the starch, and add another veggie?” “Why not make the protein or the vegetable the star of your meal?” So I did. And it was awesome. And I wasn’t hungry. WHAT!?! I wasn’t hungry??? Nope.
(5) You don’t need carbs to stay full. Or processed carbs at all for that matter. Take it from the carb queen of ALL carb queens, I was PISSED to give up carbs. Believe me, I fought it. I was cranky about it. I thought Amber was insane for even suggesting it. But you know what? and I wasn’t hungry. Sure, I dreamt about cupcakes and pizza, but I didn’t eat them, and my body feels AMAZING. If I can go 30 days without processed carbs, ANYONE can. Trust me on this one.
(6) You can eat bacon every day and lose weight. A lot of weight. You think I’m crazy, right? I am living, breathing testimony to this. I ate bacon EVERY DAY of the Whole30. I ate between 2 and 6 eggs EVERY DAY of the Whole30. And I lost 16.5lbs. It happened. Believe it. Oh, and did I mention that I BARELY exercised (maybe 1x/week) during this whole thing? Imagine the possibilities if I had!

All-in-all, the Whole30 was a good experience and definitely worth doing again when I’m feeling lethargic and crummy from what I’ve been eating. Or when I’m wanting to lose weight. Or when I want my skin to improve. Or my sleep to improve. Or hosts of other awesome benefits from the Whole30. Was it hard? Yes. Was it really hard? YES. Was it worth it? Absolutely. There are a lot of things I would suggest in order to succeed during the Whole30, but we’ll save that for another post.

‘Til next time, folks!

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  1. Great guest post. Got me laughing, too! :) So very interesting to hear how Whole30 has worked for you!

  2. Great job Sarah!

  3. You did a great job! I am on day 1 of my Whol30. Thanks for the encouragement :)


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