Whole30 Finish Line & Full Recap

October 1, 2014

Hi friends, guess what? It’s day 31 of my Whole30! I made it the whole way, 30 days strictly following the plan, absolutely no cheating. I’m going to give the Whole30 plan an overall A+ rating, here’s why.

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My Results:

We’ll start with how I’ve changed in 30 days and how I’m feeling on day 31.  My total weight loss on the program is a whopping 9.5 pounds! I am extremely pleased with this number, I’m only 5’2 and I think that amount of weight is significant for someone my size. I’ve tried losing a few pounds in the past and it has been what felt like impossible. I typically count calories and try to limit myself, leading me to be grumpy, starving and lethargic. All of those feelings lead me to cheat, keeping me at the exact same weight. Losing 9.5 pounds is a really big deal for me and I’m at a weight now where I feel really happy and content.

You might be thinking, well she works out all the time so of course she lost weight, but no, that is not right. Yes, I work out all the time, about 6-7 times per week, however, during these 30 days that has been a constant. I didn’t changed my workout intensity during these 30 days so it is only my eating habits that can explain the weight loss. My workouts have been more or less the same intensity for years and years, unless I’m training for a big race, which I was not doing during these 30 days.

Weight loss aside, I feel amazing. My energy levels are solid, my sleep is pretty good, I don’t feel bloated and I feel really strong. Oh also I took some before and after pictures and I definitely see a difference. I’m not one for sharing sports bra pictures on the internet so I’ll keep those private but believe me when I saw my body and face have changed in 30 days (I think I clearly show weight gain in my cheeks which is really awesome).

The Plan Overall:

The plan may have taken a bit of time to get into it, but once I found my rhythm, following the guidelines and making healthy choices, it kept me feeling good. Really good. I found what food I liked, what I could eat when in a hurry or dining out (although very difficult at 99% of places). I am very conscious of what I eat and have been for as long as I can remember. It hasn’t always been great, being overly aware and focused on what I’m eating, how many calories it will be, will it make me fat, will it make me bloated, etc etc, but it’s just the way I am.

So on this plan, that was all removed. I didn’t count calories, I didn’t worry about if the food would make me feel fat, I just ate what the plan called for. I was nervous to see my end weight after 30 days (you can’t weigh yourself during the 30 days) but I didn’t let it affect what and how I was eating. I ate my three meals a day with some snacks included and didn’t count a SINGLE CALORIE. That is really huge for me. I ate meals that felt decadent, and left me full and satisfied.

I did my best not to skip meals and not to overeat or snack too much. Sometimes that didn’t happen but 90% of the time I was on top of it. I cooked really delicious meals, checked labels to eat the best and cleanest foods and also included foods that in the past scared me because I thought they’d make me fat (white potatoes! full eggs!).

Broken Rules:

There were a few rules that I did not follow. I think the main one is that you are supposed to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. I teach cycling classes at 6:30am and getting up early enough to eat something and get to class just wasn’t happening for me. I did my best on days that I wasn’t teaching to eat within an hour of waking up, otherwise I ate within 30-60 mins of completing my workout. For my lifestyle, that’s just the way it’s going to be. However, I never skipped breakfast! 

Cheating:

I never consciously cheated on this plan and I did my very best to stick to compliant foods. There were a couple of times when I ate out that it’s possible a non-compliant oil was used and once I ate wasabi which may or may not have had added ingredients. I’ll never know. In my mind, I never cheated and yes, it’s possible the grilled chicken I ordered out had a non-compliant ingredient but I did my very best and don’t think I cheated along the way.

Day 31 and Beyond:

Now the 30 days are over and what happens next? The book has a chapter on reintroduction of the foods you cut out, week by week adding in something you had taken out. I’m not going that route. I’m continuing with this eating plan because I’ve realized it really works for me. I feel great, I feel energized and I’m at a weight I’m really happy with. 

There are a few changes I’ll be making moving forward. One is cheat meals, which will be allowed. Not often, but when I’m out to a nice dinner or at a wedding or traveling, I will indulge. I’m going on two trips that will include MANY indulgences (New Orleans and Ann Arbor) and on those trips, I’m going to eat what i want to eat. I won’t go crazy but let’s be real, I’m going to eat a beignet and I’m going to eat a chipati (if you haven’t been to Ann Arbor, go visit Pizza House and get back to me). 

Another thing that is forbidden on Whole30 are compliant food combos that mimic non-compliant foods. For example, paleo pancakes and paleo muffins. I’m going to allow these bad boys back in my diet because the ingredients are totally compliant and I like making these clean and healthy versions of indulgent foods. In fact, I have a shipment of Capellos headed my way and I cannot wait to try the paleo pasta and cookies! I won’t feel bad about these foods because at the heart of it, they are compliant in their ingredients.

Friends on Whole30

I have been singing the praises of Whole30 and got a few friends on board. Five friends started around the same time as me. Along the way, two people dropped the plan as it wasn’t working for them (it’s not for everyone) but three are still chugging along, almost done. I’ll let you know how their experiences compared once they finish up.

Interested?

For those that have followed along, I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey. I will keep you posted as I try to meld Whole30 with a more normal lifestyle. If you are interested in Whole30, check out the site, read the book and also check out the mini blog I dedicated to all-things Whole30, read it HERE. I think I’ll continue to post meals and workouts to that blog to keep me honest.

Any questions, just ask! 

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