I have completed the Whole30.
All in all, it wasn’t a bad month. It was actually a really, really good month. I’ve talked about weeks one, two, and three, so now I’ll sum up the entire experience and share my before-and-after pictures so you can see how it worked for me (not just read about it!).
At the beginning, I was hesitant that this wouldn’t work for me. After throwing a pity party for myself about post-pregnancy weight and the stress that comes with trying to work from home and wrangle a toddler and an infant, I knew that anything I could do for myself would be worth trying.
In the last month, I’ve seen my energy levels increase, my clothes fit better, my disposition improve, and my focus become precise. I don’t know if I credit it all to Whole30, but I know that eating real food made a real difference every single day I stuck to the plan.
There is nothing hard about Whole30 in and of itself—it’s just food. The difficulty (for me) lies in being disciplined to stay away from the things I shouldn’t eat, avoiding versions of things I normally snack on (even the compliant ones), and staying mentally tough. That’s what this was mostly about—looking beyond the “gimmes” and the cravings to a better version of myself. (OK, I’m starting to roll my eyes at myself). But it’s true.
Can you nurse on the Whole30?
That’s been the biggest question I’ve heard, and for me, the answer was absolutely. The point of Whole30 isn’t to count calories or limit your food—it’s to eliminate certain foods that may have a negative affect on you. As such, you don’t eat less of anything; in fact, most days, I was eating more than normal but in a different way. I may have craved a slice of pizza or a bowl of ice cream, but I was never hungry, and my milk supply didn’t diminish. I did have smoothies (even though it’s not encouraged) in between meals for this reason; I didn’t want to risk having a dip in my supply.
Will you do it again?
Yes, I will. I haven’t set a start date, but I want to try it again sometime. Even though I’m not following the Whole30 plan right now, I came away with a stronger awareness of how what I eat affects me and what I need to eat as well as avoid.
You can do the Whole30 if you don’t love cooking.
Often, I didn’t have the time to cook gourmet, Whole30 compliant meals for myself (and occasionally the boys). So I didn’t. You don’t have to follow complex recipes, buy lots of weird food, or spend a huge amount of money to do the Whole30. I did what worked for me and my family, and it was simple and straight forward.
The prep-work sucks (at first).
But it gets quicker as you go. I spent the most money my first week because I bought a lot of stuff to make and prepare food that I ate for the rest of the month. I made big batches of 2-minute mayo, salad dressing, and bbq sauce, which took a while, but then I was done.
What happens next?
I plan to continue to eat clean but not feel guilty about indulging. In my mind, that will work well if I keep to paleo/clean-eating during the week days and allow myself bread and sugar during the weekend (in moderation). I am also super excited to eat cheese again.
And now, the before-and-afters.
I measured myself (and took these pictures) on the first and last day of the Whole30. From day one to day 30, I lost 10.2 pounds, 2 inches each from my waist and hips, and 1 inch from each leg by just eating real food. I still have a long way to go, but I am seriously happy with this progress.