Our Whole30 adventure has finally come to an end. And I feel amazing.
Around Day 20 of the 30-day program, I started to slip in a big way. I was traveling to San Francisco to, of all things, work as a correspondent for Wilton Cakes at Re:Make 2014. It was basically my job to go eat cake. So the occasional pastry, iced mocha, Guinness, or granola bar started cropping up in my diet again. While I spent the first two thirds of the program about 95 percent compliant with "the rules," that number probably dropped to 65 percent compliant in the last ten days of the program.
The interesting thing here is that of all the people I know who have done a Whole30, most are cheaters. It's just damn near impossible to afford, schedule, and maintain 30 days of complete compliance. But if you do your absolute best, you'll find yourself making better choices even when you "cheat" - and that's not out of guilt, but rather a simple change in your taste, preferences, and the way you know your body feels after an apple vs. a fried apple pie.
Completely cutting grains, sugar, and legumes from my diet was a game changer. I didn't deal with cravings past the first three or four days. The only exception is beer…I crave beer and I'm not even a beer drinker. A friend commented that it's probably my body's way of saying "Please, for the love, just give me some carbohydrates."
But let's talk about what you really want to know: how affective is the program in terms of losing weight and changing your body. I've lost 7, 8ish pounds in the last 30 days. I haven't done a single workout, I'm not starving, I'm not grumpy or dealing with any headaches or any of that other crap that typically comes from "dieting." So I lost in 30 days what had taken me five years to put on. At 5'2, a 7-8 lb. drop is dramatic. My face is skinnier, my jeans are way loose, and people notice.
My parents did the program with me - Mom is in her skinny jeans and dad looks like he's been on a crack binge or something….he seriously looks thinner by the day. For him, it hasn't been pounds lost so much as inches - they're just melting off him. Granted, he is working out on a regular basis.
While the official thirty days are up, I think the Paleo habit will be hard to kick - for all of us. I love how I feel eating this type of food and hope to continue eating mostly Paleo - something I never thought I'd do prior to trying the Whole30.
So, should you I do it? I think that kind of depends on your general relationship with food. I think Whole30 is great if you're ready and willing to kick a bad habit - sugar, overeating, mindless snacking, etc. But only do the Whole30 if you are really at that place of willingness. If you d0 it on a whim, chances are you won't be able to stick it out through those first few cravings.
Whole30 was also good for me because I'm not the type to get into fad drinks, cleanses, Cross Fit or posting my "meal prep" on Instagram. I'm just not good with rules around fitness and nutrition in general, but Whole30 didn't feel like a hardcore commitment or depravation. It just felt logical: eat whole food, eat when you're hungry, workout when and if you want to, and lose weight.
It's as simple as that.
P.S. You can read about my thoughts on food, why I started Whole30, and my first half of the journey here.