It’s really hard to write this because I am a big-time perfectionist. I wanted to complete all 30 days of Whole30 perfectly. I only made it through day 22. While I HATE admitting defeat, I promised I’d be truthful about my Whole30 experience.
There were a few reasons for my early demise:
- Lack of preparedness while away from home
- The struggle of social outings
- The feeling of getting what I needed from it early
I was SO proud of myself for how I handled the family reunion we were at… until the last day. I missed every meal while everyone else ate. I left for at least an hour daily to get meals from Whole Foods and I avoided HOMEMADE ice cream (this was almost impossible). Ultimately, on the last day, I couldn’t keep up. I had completely lost my appetite and there wasn’t food that I was able to eat where we were. I waited too long to get food elsewhere and got extremely nauseous. I ate something there just to keep myself from getting sick.
Whole 30 was a frustrating 3 weeks for me. While I was proud of most of my food decisions and I lost some weight, I struggled often with the social aspect of food. I didn’t want to leave my house. I found myself getting angry when I was with people who were actually enjoying eating. I struggled to enjoy anything. On top of that, we had had one of the most stressful months of my life. We were in the middle of a scary and unsettled decision and I found myself distraught most days and frustrated with how limited my freedom was in various parts of my life. While I was unable to make a huge life decision because of some roadblocks, my very limited diet made me even more upset.
What’s next? I moved from Whole 30 right into calorie counting. I’ve had really good results from this before and I feel my overall outlook on food stays more positive when I’m still able to indulge sometimes, as long as I’ve prepared for my day. I plan on incorporating a lot of what I was eating into my current diet as well. I’m not craving sweet drinks very much which has been great. I’m still drinking La Croix a majority of the time and eating at least 1 salad a day. We found a few healthy recipes that we loved that we will continue to make (shoutout to the buffalo chicken dip recipe from heaven). I feel more confident in my food choices while eating out and I don’t feel the same FOMO that I used to when making smarter choices.
What did I learn from Whole 30? This is pretty specific to my own body. I learned that I have some problems with dairy, mainly focused around large amounts only. Throwing some feta on a salad or having a handful of cheese puffs don’t seem to affect me. A bowl of ice cream, a cup of milk, and any large amount of cheese do seem to cause an upset stomach. Thankfully, I really enjoy almond milk, so that will be staying in our fridge! I haven’t noticed a significant impact on my body from gluten or sugar, though I will continue to monitor this. The foot problem that I noticed a few weeks ago seems to be tied to dairy! My foot pain acted up after having frozen yogurt and lasted about 2 days before going back to normal shortly after. I’m thankful to be aware of this!
Ultimately, Whole 30 did fulfill the few needs I had for it. I lost 5-6 pounds in 3 weeks. I kickstarted my healthy lifestyle again and I’m continuing on even after Whole 30 was over for me. And, most importantly, I was able to gain a better understanding of how certain foods impact my body. I’m thankful for this experience, even if it wasn’t the best time for me to give it a try. I feel confident that if I were to give this a try again in a more stable part of life that I would last the remaining 8 days.
Have you done Whole 30? Did you make it until the end?