Education,  Life Stories/Lessons

What I learned from my Whole 30

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Unsplash

A month ago, after being frustrated with not feeling well and struggling with daily heartburn and acid reflux that was causing a sore throat, I decided to search for a solution. A co-worker had often talked about doing a whole 30, encouraging me to give it a try. While she had found success in losing weight on this program, they do not promote this as a weight loss plan. It is designed to cut out whole categories of food that are often the culprits of health issues and inflammation in our bodies. It is a reset of sorts and then you slowly add things back in to see what your body fights against.

So, I decided to commit to the 30 day regiment. I jumped in cold turkey, cutting out all of my soda, sugar, processed food, dairy, grains, and peanuts. I expected to have terrible headaches, but I never did. I think being able to drink unsweetened black tea helped to curb that withdrawal. I was very tired over the first week and a half and went to be early each night. But, I didn’t feel unsatisfied with the whole foods I was eating and was actually pretty content most days. I even went on a weekend getaway and had a great time without indulging in junk food.

The hardest part was being prepared and planning to have food ready to cook. It is hard to eat out while doing a whole 30. Simple salads are the go-to, and I learned to take my own dressing and drinks to help me enjoy being social while sticking to the plan.

My husband helped me greatly by grilling chicken and steaks to use on salads and as a pairing with fruits and veggies. My co-worker gave me a cookbook with recipes for the crockpot that were deliciously filling. My husband didn’t strictly abide by the plan, but he did eat the dinners and enjoyed them all. He lost a good 10-15 pounds in the month’s time. I lost 7.5 lbs. A little frustrated at how hard my body fights to hold on to the pounds after cutting so many empty calories and sugary treats from my diet, but I think that is a healthy amount to lose in a month. šŸ™‚ But, men….sigh.

What I learned and experienced on my Whole 30:

  • I hate kombucha. šŸ™‚ You can betcha that I will not be drinking kombucha again. lol
  • I love oranges. I rarely every bought or ate them, but I find myself craving them now!
  • The amount of sugar and unnecessary added junk in my normal diet was staggering once I tried to cut it out.
  • I have slept better and woke up earlier than normal without an alarm, ready to get out of bed.
  • I have not had any heartburn since day 2. I have not taken one Tums before bed which hadn’t happened in months!!
  • I can go much longer without food than I think I can.
  • My clothes fit better, and I am not as bloated as I often was before.
  • I learned that food doesn’t need to control my life to have a good one.
  • I learned that I can deny my cravings and make wise choices.
  • I learned that determination/motivation is the real battle.
  • I have experienced a clearer mind and less time thinking about food.
  • Eating three meals a day and not snacking resets your thinking about food and its purpose to fuel us.
  • There are foods that are clearly causing health issues, and I want to eliminate them to live the healthiest life I can.
  • I learned I can stare down a Reese’s PB cup sitting on my desk and say, “not now, I made a commitment to my health”.
  • Most importantly, I learned to pray through moments of weakness. And I learned to discipline my mind to tell my body who was in charge of what I put in my mouth. It feels so good to not be controlled by sugar spikes, soda cravings, and emotional eating.

What’s next?

I definitely don’t want to have gone through this month just to turn around and undo the good habits I have formed. But, I will definitely be adding some dairy back into my diet in moderate amounts. Oh, cheese and butter, how I have missed you! šŸ™‚ I am praying that they aren’t the cause of my health issues. But, I plan to forever ditch the soda habit and the amount of sugar and processed foods I usually eat. I want to maintain how I feel at this point and be as healthy as I can going forward into my middle of life years!

I am thankful to God for my health, a clear mind, energy to work, and the ability to meet a goal.

I know He is the giver of all good things.

What goals are you hoping to accomplish in your life and how are you setting yourself up to succeed?

If you have met a goal recently, I would love to hear what you learned in the process and celebrate with you!

If you are interested in some of the recipes I used, check out my Pinterest board at pinterest.com/terriprahl/.

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