While I was excited to dive into this Whole30 venture, never did I imagine that it would change my life the way it did.
Prior to this life-changing thirty days, I liked to consider myself a healthy eater. I didn't eat red meat, rarely consumed dairy (aside from Greek yogurt and the occasional ice cream treat), shied away from bread and fried things never found their way onto my plate. I thought I was better off than most. Boy was I wrong.
Despite my "healthy" diet, I was still plagued by stomachaches at least three to four times a week. Eating anything outside of my normal routine almost guaranteed an upset stomach. But, that's how it's always been for me. I've grown up with a sensitive stomach however I always attributed it to my worry wart nature.
From the moment I started Whole30 my stomachache ridden life felt like a distant memory. I stopped fearing food for the after affects it had on me and started appreciating it for the energy and sustenance it provided me. In itself that small change changed my life in a way I never imagined possible.
And the positive changes only continued from there.
Within the first two days my energy levels skyrocketed. I woke up every morning feeling wide eyed and ready to conquer the day. I slept soundly every night, not stirring nor waking up once. I honestly hadn't even realized that I wasn't sleeping through the night until I actually slept through the night and woke up reaping the benefits.
My 5am Pilates classes were a breeze to jump out of bed for and I came back to my apartment feeling accomplished and energized after a hard core 50 minute workout.
Caffeine was no longer a morning necessity but something I enjoyed having every so often. Most mornings though I found myself driving passed Starbucks realizing I didn't feel like consuming a cup of Joe that morning.
Within the first few days, grocery store shopping was no longer a scary activity I put off for the weekend. I used to wander up and down the aisles riddled with anxiety trying to figure out what I could and could not eat (based on my previous healthy lifestyle) and what would be a good choice for lunch that week. On Whole30 I knew exactly what I needed for the week and was in and out without second guessing anything. While my trips were more frequent than before, they were infinitely easier so I no longer dreaded them.
Within the first week my skin was glowing. Looking back on photos prior to doing Whole30 I notice the bags and dark circles under my eyes. My God how long had those been there?! My face didn't break out throughout the entirety of the program and my skin was looking more even and refreshed than it had in YEARS!
Within the first week, my workouts improved. Since I woke up each morning feeling well-rested, my AM workouts were easier and had more of an impact than normal. I wasn't plagued by the afternoon crash anymore so if I needed to get a workout in after work, I didn't depend on pre-workout to wake me up and get my butt off the couch.
Within the first two weeks, I noticed an immediate change in my body. My stomach felt tighter, more toned and in general just better (on the inside as well as outside). The afternoon bloat was long gone and I finished meals feeling satisfied but not full or stuffed. My legs slimmed down immediately (shoutout to The Studio for that one) and dare I say I could start to see a thigh gap forming - GASP!
After thirty days I had experienced a complete life makeover. I was absolutely shocked by the changes a seemingly healthy person experienced in their life after really cracking down on their eating habits for just 30 days! One month! That was nothing! Imagine the effects of 60 days, a year, 5 years!
As a result of doing Whole30, I've decided to make this program my lifestyle. Granted I allow myself the occasional drink now (had some amazing mimosas this past weekend as a matter of fact), and have indulged in sweets as an end of week treat (ice cream will always be a weakness of mine), but I've accepted this program as my lifestyle choice.
I find myself getting frustrated that it can be difficult to eat out. I'm grateful that I live in a city where it's "cool" to be healthy but I do travel and not every other city shares those same beliefs. I read ALL my labels and am appalled every time I see sugar in one of it's hideous forms (it has more than one name FYI). Please explain to me why it's necessary to have Maple Syrup in bottled Matcha? Or better yet, High Fructose Corn Syrup in Ketchup?? Bet you didn't know that did you?
PSA: If you're interested in learning more about the SERIOUS sugar problem plaguing our country, please watch Fed Up on Netflix. Scary, but a must see.
While Whole30 continues to challenge me especially since I still love trying new restaurants and traveling as I mentioned earlier, it's a challenge I welcome.
Maybe not everyone understands my choice or judges me for it or simply finds me annoying when I say I can't join them at a particular restaurant because there's nothing I can eat, but I wouldn't change my ways for that.
Whole30 came into my life at a time I was feeling not only physically unhappy with my frequent stomachaches, but emotionally unhappy as well. My workouts had plateaued, I wasn't seeing any results at the gym, and I was depressed at the obvious amount of weight I had gained since college. I knew my stress and fixation on my weight gain was making losing weight difficult but that didn't change my unhappiness or make it any better. I didn't know the person I saw in the mirror anymore.
With each passing day I find myself becoming happier and happier looking in the mirror. I love the way I feel waking up every morning. I thank God after every meal that my stomach doesn't hurt but feels satisfied and happy.
I'm becoming a better version of myself every single day and I thank Whole30 for that.
For more information regarding Whole30, check out the official website here:
Also, check out this article I wrote for Elite Daily regarding my experience:
(Originally Published April 10, 2017)