Whole30. Day30. The Benefits and...What Now??
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Whole30. Day 30. As I get ready for my weigh-in tomorrow morning, I am taking stock of all of the things that have improved in my life over the last 30 days:
1. I saved money on groceries by planning ahead in spite of eating more expensive food overall. In fact, this week by planning to empty out my fridge and freezer, I am avoiding grocery store spending altogether!
2. LESS BLOATED. This I cannot stress enough. At the beginning of August, I was looking down at my belly doing calculations trying to figure out if there was any possible way that I could be 6 months pregnant. My stomach was PROTRUDING in a way that it had NEVER done before and NONE of my pants fit correctly. Now, I am back to my normal shape and my pants are loose not only in the waist, but also in the thighs.
3. MORE ENERGY. I had been beating myself up for not feeling like exercising or cleaning or doing well... anything! I realize today that I was physically depleted. Now that I am eating more fuel-efficient foods, my energy has gone way up, and so has my motivation for exercise and everything else that I am doing in my life.
4. BETTER SLEEP. The night comes and I am EXHAUSTED. I stay asleep almost without incident until a few minutes before my alarm goes off. This is my normal M.O., but over the last year sleep has escaped me many, many nights. I even wrote an ode to sleep once hoping that if I romanced it, it would come back to me... No dice.
(This could be a chicken vs. egg thing: Am I sleepier because my energy has gone up and therefore I am USING more energy so I am more tired by the end of the night? OR do I have more energy because I am sleeping better? Either way, Whole30 has definitely improved both areas.)
5. LESS INFLAMMATION. I have written about this before and it remains true. I am simply less swollen and I have less joint and muscle pain than pre-Paleo. This is making a HUGE difference in my overall quality of life and has gone a long way to renew my joix de vivre! Auditioning in heels when your knees want to give out is NOT FUN! This weekend I bought myself a new pair of little black kitten heel pumps with pointy toes. I can't WAIT to rock them on Monday when I have 2 auditions back to back! Hollering in heels... that's me!! Little heels, but heels nonetheless.
6. More positive; less depressed; stable moods overall. This is particularly important as the loss of my grandmother was the straw that broke the camel's back in a series of events that were pulling me into a downward spiral. Starting Paleo in August almost immediately pushed me in the other direction. Whole30 has solidified for me that this way of eating is the right way for stabilizing MY body and MY mind.
7. LESS INTERNET-ING, and especially less internet games. This has been a rather unexpected and unintended byproduct of my Whole30. I spend a lot less time online these days. I am spending more time planning and preparing my meals, socializing with my family and friends, pursuing my singing career, and yes lately -- exercising. I no longer have time for hourly log ins to collect my tree food or move rubies around.
8. More at peace with food overall. I used to feel weak in the face of cookies, donuts, brownies, and all of that “good” stuff. Right now, after 8 weeks of not eating any of it, and 30 days of avoiding all added sugar I understand that it does not have to control me. I am making the choice about what I eat, when I eat it, how much of it I eat. I am letting my body instead of my mind dictate what good food is. That feels good.
I could go on, but I will stop there because these are the MAJOR areas that I have seen improvement. Regardless of what the scale says, I’d say that I am winning!
So, what if tomorrow (Thursday) the scale tells me that in spite of all of these things, I have not lost any weight? What then? Do I throw in the towel and go back to 1500 calories and 30 grams of fat?... Nah… This feels too good. The overall goal of my lifestyle changes is not about weight loss, but about feeling good and living well. I am starting to do both right now with Whole30. At the same time, there are areas that still need improvement. For example, my digestion while improved, still isn't at the level of ease that I think would make me comfortable. Also, I have only just begun to really embrace exercise in the last 10 days, and I KNOW that combining Whole30 and exercise would take me to another level altogether.
Whole30 has a reintroduction program where you can gradually bring eliminated foods back into your diet to see how your body reacts. I don't think I'm ready for that... I like Paleo eating and I don't miss grains! I do miss dairy, so maybe... but I want to stabilize my belly before I bring back the cheese. So, methinks I shall continue, but not in the same strict-strict capacity as the last 30 days. I will instead take a short pause from Whole30 and go back to regular Paleo -- mostly because I want to make fun brunches on the weekends with almond muffins and tapioca crepes. So, for the next 3 weeks (regardless of what the scale says), I am planning to do regular Paleo and then at the end of October, I will do another Whole30 until Thanksgiving. I wanted to set this plan out today -- regardless of my weight loss results -- because as I said before, the main goal is to FEEL GOOD.
Who knows what the results will be, but I am looking forward to tomorrow's weigh- and measure-in. I know that I have changed my body. More importantly, I am changing my mind!