WHOLE 30 | Rundown, Results, and Rants

Today I’m going to be brutally honest in the hopes of being more vulnerable and real with the world. I really don’t want to be, because it always feels scarily risky to share intimate details about my personal life on the internet, but I guess if you’re reading this, you’re interested in what I have to say, (and I sincerely thank you for that!), so here goes.

Yesterday was day 30 of my Whole 30 challenge, in which I eliminated entirely  all:

  • Sugar (no added sugars whatsoever, including “healthy sugars” like honey, agave, coconut sugar, and artificial sugars like Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, which I never ate to begin with)
  • Alcohol (not even a drop — this meant turning down delicious cocktails at events and being 100% sober at parties. It was not easy, but it was enlightening)
  • Grains (this includes “healthy whole grains” like wheat, quinoa, brown rice, and processed grains like breads, and their “healthy” gluten free alternatives)
  • Dairy (NO FROZEN YOGURT. Sad face.)
  • Legumes (no beans, edamame, lentils, hummus, etc.)
  • White potatoes (no french fries, no roasted potatoes, no chips, nothing.)
  • Carageenan, MSG, sulfites, etc. (this meant no store-bought almond milk which I LOVE, being really annoying when eating out, and reading the labels on EVERYTHING. PS. Most dried fruit has sulfites, so none of that either.)

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I knew Whole 30 would be hard, but I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into when I impulsively agreed to do it at lunch with my mom and sister on Mother’s Day.

I had cravings constantly and battled daily daydreams of frozen yogurt loaded with toppings and envisioned myself savoring every form of delicious dessert possible when perusing the grocery store aisles.

The first few days, I was (h)angry, frustrated, emotional, irritable, and just pissed that I had agreed to do this stupid Whole 30 thing in the first place. Eventually, my emotions stabilized and I felt lighter, free from compulsive eating, and proud of myself for “sticking with it” no matter how badly I wanted to deviate. 

Thankfully, I had the help and support of a team of people in my life who also decided to challenge their diets, eating habits, and addictions to food. My mom, sister, a couple friends, and my boyfriend all jumped on the Whole 30 bandwagon, and we all woke up this morning having accomplished our mission to complete it without allowing ourselves as much as one cheat.

Victory! Together, we muscled through the ascetic 30 days of Whole 30, somehow not touching any of the off-limits foods, and following the plan to the letter, with the exception of snacks. We all seemed to eat a lot of snacks.

Towards the end, I knew my body composition hadn’t changed as much as I had hoped it would. My clothes felt just as tight and I didn’t see Gisele when I looked at my naked body in the mirror. The notion that I was going to look like Gisele naked was what motivated me to keep going, say no to the drinks and desserts, and eat salad when all I wanted was a burrito.

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So this morning, feeling discouraged and still very much “Katie”, I hopped on the scale for the first time in 30 days. I knew I wasn’t going to like what I saw, but I did it anyway.

…Deep breath. Here goes. I GAINED A QUARTER OF A POUND. What the…

After digesting the fact that I hadn’t lost 10 lbs like my sister had, I decided to compare my measurements to my pre-Whole 30 measurements. I lost about 2.5 inches. OK, that’s cool! But I’m still attached to the number on the scale, and I’m still frustrated and feeling like I did something wrong. Did I eat too many nuts? Go overboard with the fruit? Should I have eliminated egg yolks? Counted calories? Ate less protein style In-n-Out? Worked out more? Starved myself? What did I do wrong?

The frustration of not getting the (impossible) results I so desperately wanted dissipated when I looked at my before and after pictures, and started to focus on the benefits of what I did get.

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What I got from Whole 30: 

  • Freedom from compulsive binge-eating
  • Freedom from emotional eating
  • Freedom from my addictions to sugar, refined carbs, and traditional snack foods
  • The self-esteem that comes from such hardcore self discipline
  • Reduction of bloating and inflammation
  • Metabolism regulation
  • A renewed relationship with food
  • New taste-buds that actually desire clean, simple, healthy foods
  • Lost 2.5 inches

The Whole 30 promised to change my life. It promised to change the way I think about food, my tastes, my habits and cravings, and quite possibly, the emotional relationship I have with food and my body. And it has.

“This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic and lifelong benefits this plan has to offer.”

So today, I’m going to be ok with the frustration of my unmet weight-loss goals and I’m going to focus on all the good that came from the past 30 days. I am going to extend my Whole 30 to 45 or 60 days, in hopes that more “magic” is on the horizon, and with acceptance that my slender-yet-curvy 5’5″ frame will never look like Gisele, but it looks like “Katie” and that’s good enough for me.

If you’re brave enough, check out the Whole 30 program, and try it out for yourself. Just remember, as with everything in life, you might not get what you want, but you’ll get what you need. 

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15 Comments on WHOLE 30 | Rundown, Results, and Rants

  1. angie
    June 11, 2014 at 2:09 pm (5 years ago)

    that is awesome… Wish I had the strength to do this!

    Reply
  2. Anja
    June 11, 2014 at 2:10 pm (5 years ago)

    Congratulations on your discipline!
    I think that for me the hardest thing would be ditching honey and whole grains – any kind of carbs (big fan).
    P.S. Your body looks great!

    Reply
  3. Whole30 Soldier
    June 11, 2014 at 3:38 pm (5 years ago)

    This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your honesty. And thank you for beginning to see the beauty in yourself that those who know you see every time you walk into a room.

    Reply
  4. Aunt Karen
    June 11, 2014 at 9:18 pm (5 years ago)

    WAY TO GO! now throw out your scale, and simply go by how you feel. 🙂 Very proud of your accomplishment and you look FANTASTIC. I would like to know what you ate and what all the food photo’s are of. 🙂 hugs and love

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      June 16, 2014 at 4:57 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you for sharing your story. It is so important to go by how you feel and look than to be focused on the scale. When you started eating whole foods and get rid of the C.R.A.P you will lose those inches!!! Keep up the good work! I am starting my journey tomorrow!!

      Reply
  5. ultrarunnergirl
    June 12, 2014 at 8:18 am (5 years ago)

    Congrats on completing the whole 30!!! That is awesome and you should feel damn proud!

    Going 4 hours between meals is often the secret to losing that weight. In the book It Starts With Food, they outline the relationship between insulin, the liver, glucagon and more. Basically, your body will not go to your fat stores to use them as energy if you are snacking. I highly recommend the book, gave me so much in depth info on the Whys.

    Don’t succumb to that number. It means nothing. The minute you stop judging yourself by it, you make it to the next level in life. Just my 2 cents.

    Reply
  6. Rachel
    June 12, 2014 at 11:24 am (5 years ago)

    This was so great and refreshing to read! I’m on day 25 of my first whole30 and feel very similarly. I don’t think I’ve lost any poundage either and it’s easy to feel discouraged by that. I keep reminding myself that I’m gaining a better relationship with food and a sense of control and discipline that I’ve always always struggled with. I feel more in tune with my body and have a much better understanding of how certain foods make me feel. I have a trip planned to wine country shortly after I finish otherwise I’d be joining you on the whole45! I definitely plan to do another 30 days sometime in the near future and want to keep eating this way as much as I possibly can. Good luck on your continued journey, I really enjoyed reading your thoughts!

    Reply
  7. Sophie
    June 15, 2014 at 10:58 am (5 years ago)

    Hi! Congratulations!
    If you want the number on the scale to go down, avoid snacking on fruit ((1-2servings a day max) and limit the amount of nuts you eat.
    Good luck!

    Reply
  8. Cher
    June 15, 2014 at 11:36 am (5 years ago)

    I felt similarly when I did my (first?) Whole30. What you did get was amazing and I hope that you are proud of yourself.
    (FWIW, if the opinion of a random stranger means anything, you do look fabulous.)

    Reply
  9. Julie
    June 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm (5 years ago)

    I too started the whole30 the day after Mother’s Day. I was so proud of myself that I finished and it wasn’t even that hard. I had more energy and was excited to try different recipes. The chopping and cutting was a bit much at times, but was great when I could just grab a bag of fruit or veggies. When I started I thought I would get to day 30 and eat all the things I thought I would miss… But what I realized was that I did not miss anything. I continue to follow this plan and can’t wait to share the results with my doctor. Congrats to you and your family on thier success, it is a great feeling.

    Reply
  10. Naomi
    June 15, 2014 at 12:53 pm (5 years ago)

    You look fabulous regardless of what the scale says. I’m on day 9 and just the fact I feel better is keeping me going.

    Reply
  11. Kara
    June 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm (5 years ago)

    Girlfriend, you look great! If you lost 10 lbs, you’d be scary thin. Way to go on the whole 30! I was feeling frustrated on my lack of weight l

    Reply
    • Kara
      June 15, 2014 at 3:55 pm (5 years ago)

      Loss too, but this post really helped, thx!

      Reply
  12. Amy
    June 16, 2014 at 7:44 am (5 years ago)

    I’m on Day 30 of my first whole30!!! I’m feeling a weird combination of vulnerability and empowerment! It’s a little scary to be ending the strict elimination phase– I fully intend to have a glass of wine tomorrow evening!

    Reply
  13. Roni
    June 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm (5 years ago)

    I did the Whole30 and felt bettr than I’ve felt in a long time. I stayed on it and plan to. The scale showed 0 weight loss after 30 days but after about 35 It showeda 2lb. loss. For me, if I’m not on a specific food plan, I feel undisciplined & always gain weight. 2 lbs. loss after eating a LOT of good food, feelinggenerally better, & not feeling deprived because food cravings are gone, is great news to me. Weight loss doesn’t result from starving (like we used to believe.) Sustained weight loss and maintenance comes from eating really well & making good choices. 2lbs. a month=24 lbs. in a year. Sure better than gaining (which I would have been doing without Whole30), eating junk, making no improvements & feeling crappy in general, right? Go Whole365!

    Reply

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