Today marks the day I finished to Whole30 Challenge!
If I’m being honest, that sentence should have read:
“Today marks the day I would have finished the Whole30.”
Why? Great question and I’ll get to that. I started the Whole30 and loved (almost) every second of it. There were a lot of things I learned through this whole experience (<—oh, that could be a pun…nice one, Victoria). Here are my thoughts:
1. I really love cooking. I enjoy how the Whole30 program supplies you with a structure and information, but then allows you to create your meal plan. With other programs I’ve tried, I get anxious when I don’t have all the ingredients needed for a certain meal, and then am tempted to give up. With Whole30, they give you the tools, but you get to craft the meals. Excellent.
2. Sugar is EVERYWHERE. Which, I knew, but didn’t really know until I had to check the labels of everything I was putting in my meals. It’s crazy.
3. My skin loves the Paleo lifestyle. I have had pretty bad acne my whole life. I’ve been on literally every medication a dermatologist can prescribe (at least that’s what she told me) and never could seem to get rid of it completely. While on Whole30, I didn’t get a single pimple. Not only that, but my skin GLOWED. I also have trouble with a skin problem called keratosis pilaris, which is a blotchy, ugly, red rash-looking thing on the back of my arms. At least, I am pretty sure that’s how medical journals define it. While on the Whole30, the redness went down and the bumps were smaller.
4. SLEEP! I am a good sleeper. If it were a sport, I could probably win, or so I thought. I am very protective over my sleep and will be sure to always be in bed between 9:30-10:30pm as much as possible. (Please, don’t make comments about my social life now :P). While on the Whole30, I realized I must be sleeping much deeper because I was waking up feeling more refreshed than ever before. I also own a FitBit, and on my sleep diagram, it showed a tremendous drop in my tossing and turning.
5. Stress and emotions drive my eating more than I thought. The second I was feeling overwhelmed or sad, I instantly wanted Doritos or chocolate. Once I actually thought about it, I realized I wasn’t hungry at all. These are just responses that have just become a habit– one I wanted to break.
So the reason why I say “would have” been is because I did not make it the entire thirty days. My Whole30 was truly a Whole15. Now, the strict guidelines of the Whole30 say that you should probably start over, but overall, we make that decision. I decided to keep going with it as best I could. The reason for most of my trouble was due to traveling for my job, not being prepared and getting hungry, and going out to dinner with friends. But the key here is to not flag this as a failure: I learned so much about myself and my eating habits.
So now what? Well, I am going to try again. And if I make it to a Whole20, I will try again. I believe this program works (seriously, you wouldn’t believe it.. after eating dairy and gluten I felt nauseous almost 10 minutes later, was sick for 2 days, and my skin broke out over night). I want to complete the Whole30 and I want these habits to stick. I’ve always been a relatively healthy eater, but now I don’t want to settle for average… I want to THRIVE! And I am convinced through my self-experimentation that the Paleo lifestyle is the way to go for me. Which is why I started this site, it’s a learning and growing process and I hope you join me!
Have you done the Whole30? Are you in it now? What are your thoughts/experiences?