If you read my last post, you know that it was written on my last day of The Whole30. And if you didn’t read it, now you know that August 4 (plus a few days) was my last day of The Whole 30. I wanted to share my experience because there were two things that surprised me this go around, and though I may be wrong, I’d assume that others who have ventured into this level of insanity have felt the same, wondered if it was normal, and maybe even got frustrated or discouraged by it. Overall, it was a completely different experience than the first time I had done it and ,what I expected it to be, based on the timeline on the Whole30 site.
First, I felt like crap. I mean, like straight crap, up through Day 11.
Every day seemed to be a daily reminder of the fact I had been severely abusing my body with food and booze for several months prior to starting, and the result was a full-on, in-body war. My head hurt, I was exhausted, lethargic, then I would get huge surges of energy when I should be going to bed. So it took me forever to fall asleep. Once asleep, I couldn’t wake up, or couldn’t concentrate. I was irritable, achy. It was honestly terrible. People would say “I bet you’re feeling SO GOOD!”, and I would try not to cry as I responded, “OMG! No, not really!”!
It was disappointing and discouraging to say the least, but I stayed strong, waiting for the day that I would wake up feeling that euphoria. This day finally arrived on Day 12 – the Tiger Blood I had been waiting for… HOORAY! From that point on, I started feeling good. Really good! I was in the groove. As a friend described it, you just finally get to a point when you’re far enough along, and you feel like you can do anything, and I truly did.
Second, I didn’t see the results as much as I felt them.
I certainly did not see the physical changes that I had expected. I would Google before and after pics and had envisioned that I would have the same results. I did not. Yes, I lost weight (a total of around 15 lbs.), but they really fell off in entirely – meaning, as a whole I got smaller, but the rule of “last place it went on is the first to come off” did not apply. I found this to be probably the most discouraging. I would put on clothes anticipating they would fit significantly different, and they really didn’t. They fit “better”, but I didn’t find that I was going down in sizes. What I could see was that I was carrying my weight differently – if there is such a thing. I think it’s the hardest thing for me to remember, when working to lose as much weight as I am. When you lose 15 lbs, you still have another 85 to lose. And 85 lbs is a lot of weight to drop and carry. So patience, right? I have zero patience.
Where I DID see the most difference was in my skin and the way I slept. The color and tone of my skin improved drastically! It looks more hydrated and fresh, and I found that I looked less worn at the end of the day and less puffy in the morning. This is something that people would immediately comment on when they would see me. Even my husband noticed, and we all know, men don’t typically notice these things!
I also slept REALLY well . I monitor my sleep through my Fitbit and found that I would have little to no restlessness or awake time once asleep. It felt amazing! Before The Whole30, I would average around 15-20 times restless and 38-45 minutes throughout any given night. This excellent sleep resulted in better concentration and focus. I felt refreshed, happy, and more alert throughout the day. Overall my mind was sharper.
Throughout my time doing The Whole30 and since completing it, I’ve had so many people ask me for advice or tips to success, so I thought I would share:
- Tell everyone you know that you’re doing it. Sometimes even if you don’t know them… just tell them! People are incredibly supportive about these kinds of things, and if they’re not, they’re (pardon my French) assholes, and you don’t need them in your life anyway. Telling everyone also keeps you accountable. You’re less likely to cheat if you know that there are watchful eyes around you judging, judging… “look at the baby, look at the baby”. I thought social life would end for 30 days, but friends would pick restaurants that had Whole30-friendly options or offer activities to keep my mind off of what I may or may not have felt I was missing.
- If possible, do it with a friend or loved one. My husband and I did it together, and he was so supportive throughout the process. He would look up and prepare delicious recipes for us. Gave me more pep talks than I can count on Days 1-11, and when I’d be tempted to have “a little glass of wine”, he kept me honest. In return, I did the same for him. I also have two friends that were at the end of or past their 30 days, and it was always fun to send pics of our recipes and tips to one another. Teamwork always makes the dream work, people!
- Plan your meals. Always know what you’re going to eat in a given day. Don’t ever put yourself in a situation where you don’t know what you’re going to eat or where your next meal is coming from, because inevitably you’ll end up being non-compliant, and you will immediately hate yourself for it. While I do recommend that you prepare as many of your meals as possible, it IS possible to go out to eat and get a compliant meal, just do your research and know what you’re getting yourself into ahead of time!
- LARA bars and kombucha are life! They’re good to make you feel like you’re indulging when you need a little something to curb your cravings.
- For LARA bars, make sure you’re eating the right ones. Not all of them are approved (namely anything with chocolate or peanut butter), so do your research, or reach out to me, and I’m happy to share what’s good and what’s not. I also suggest putting them in the fridge. Something about what it does to the consistency makes my heart sing.
- And for kombucha, if you love wine like I do, it was fun for me to pour some in a wine glass and pretend it was my favorite Cab. Another warning here – a lot of kombucha brands have evaporated cane sugar in the ingredients, and that’s a no-no, so read your labels carefully. GT is the man.
- La Croix. That is all.
- Buy a spiralizer! I don’t know why I waited so long to purchase this bad boy. It adds so much variety to your meals, and it’s so much fun to use. Zoodles. Enough said.
- Focus on one day at a time. Thirty days is daunting even when you hit the half-way point. So really focus on each day and what you hope to get out of that day. Even if it’s during your hangover stage, and you just want to make it through your workday without falling asleep at your desk. One day at a time.
- At the end of your 30 days, you think you’ll be excited, but be prepared to be afraid of the end of your 30 days. After seeing and feeling all the great you feel, the idea of integrating yourself back into normal life is scary. Honestly, I almost felt like I wanted to hide. I wanted to stay in the bubble of being this pure version of me. Obviously, you get over it, but for me, it was such a crazy feeling.
It probably took you 30 days to read all of the above, so I apologize for all of the energy I have around this topic! Pre- or Post-Whole30 me are by no means experts on the topic, but I am a real person who can share a real experience, and you’ll never see me sugar coat anything. Now that I’m back into “normal” life. I’m still carrying my learnings and benefits with me as a constant reminder. I’m slowly finding the balance between enjoying myself without overindulging. I think about everything that goes into my mouth, and I’m finding that my willpower is so much stronger. Have I had a day or two that I’ve splurged a bit too much in the short few weeks since the end of Whole30? You bet I have, but the difference now is that I can recognize that, and immediately course correct and chalk it up to another learning. And hey, I may even take a little joy in the indulgence. 🙂
Rounding out our weekend at home in NYC in preparation for a vuuuuury early-morning flight out of Laguardia tomorrow. More YOLO today and rounding it out with a little @otheoryfitness tomorrow afternoon back in Dally. Feeling lucky, happy, and so loved after this last past week! My heart is so full! 💪🏻❤️🍊🍾
I’d love to hear about your Whole30 experiences and any thoughts you might have on the above. Please reach out, comment… share away!
Whatever day you’re on. I hope it’s a great one!