Before the graduation whirlwind that was last weekend, we finished up our Whole30. I know everyone's been hanging on the edge of their seats waiting for a recap, so I won't delay any longer. (Ha.)
If you're just now joining, Whole30 is an eating program designed to reset your body and mind, while you eat only "whole" foods, and avoid grains of all kinds, dairy, wheat, sugar (real and artificial), legumes, and alcohol.
Overall? I felt great at the end of the 30 days. No food sat heavy in my stomach, made me sleepy after eating it, or had trouble digesting. I was sleeping really hard...like waking up in the mornings from really vivid dreams (aka deep REM). There was never any remorse or guilt associated with eating. Meals were hard work (more so at first), but it always felt "worth" the effort. All of this is, of course, awesome. My energy level was good but didn't seem miraculous. My skin doesn't seem iridescent or anything (from what some people say, you'd think your skin would turn into diamonds or something).
Day 30 was Thursday, and Friday was graduation. We'd had a catered taco dinner planned for family on Friday night following graduation, from one of our favorite local Mexican restaurants. The menu was pretty light—corn tortillas with different types of meat, cilantro/onions/salsa or guacamole for the toppings, and rice and beans on the side, with chips/cheese dip of course ("queso," I know, TX people). I was so busy trying to set everything out and be hostess that I just ate a few tacos and a couple of chips and salsa. I felt fine and was telling people, yada yada yada, I feel great but not overly-great-amazing great, blah blah blah. I even had a sliver of cake from Muddy's (my favorite!) and felt totally fine (it sat a little heavy, but didn't make me feel sick).
That was my story until the next day.
Saturday we were at my in-laws' with my brother/sister-in-law eating some of the leftovers for lunch. There was a whole container of the liquid-gold cheese dip, just sitting there. I'd not really had any the night before, so I thought, what the heck. I may have had 7-8 chips with cheese dip. And it tore me up. I'm so serious—I got legit sick to my stomach! Isn't that crazy?! Maybe it's one of those things where I couldn't realize how great I was feeling/how awesome things were until they weren't?
If you don't hear anything else I'm saying, know this: the food that you eat on this plan is amazing. Whole, real foods—fruits, vegetables, meats—will never be fads. And that's awesome. There are no gimmicks here. This is the food, arguably, your body was made to eat. You're allowing yourself to fire on all cylinders.
Making you aware of what you put in your body is a really great side effect of doing Whole30. It really feels so freeing not to need snacks! Not that we feed the girls junk, but doing this also made me realize how many of their scraps I mindlessly pick up and toss in my mouth. Eeesh! Another habit broken was my gum habit. Oh boy was that one tough. But now, on the other side, it's nice to not "need" it anymore.
Final stats: 6 lb down and 2" off my waist. I forgot to take other measurements, but those are pretty respectable I suppose.
Since the weekend, we've been eating mostly "paleo," plus half-and-half in my coffee (there is no substitute!) and maybe one whole grain/day. I'm not worrying so much about every little dressing or whatever being 100% "compliant" at this point. Still feeling really good! The plan is to continue on until we go on vacation (and even there, I'd like to keep things under control), and maybe do another Whole30 when we get back. I still have about 10 lb I'd like to lose, and obviously I need to now work on fitting a regular exercise regimen into my life (duh). Oh, and Jonathan must have liked it too, because he's been very encouraging and willing to keep up our new lifestyle. I think he lost a few pounds himself.
If you're thinking about doing this...DON'T WAIT! I wish we'd done it sooner! With some planning, the prep can be really manageable.
Having children really gave me this whole new version of my body, one that I've been really mentally down on and discouraged about ever since. During this process, one word keeps popping into my mind: "reconstruction." I sort of feel like I'm reconstructing how I want my body to feel and function, and along the way, cement really good habits for me and my family. Of course, one's relationship with food is ever-changing, but this here's the status as of June 4, 2014.
Note: I'm not brave enough to post any sort of before-and-after photos, nor may I ever be. Facts.