Usually the best part of results posts are the before and after pictures. I love looking at other peoples’ before and after pictures and I was looking forward to taking mine all. month. long. I’m sorry to disappoint, but it was very anticlimactic. They’re identical. Seriously. No difference at all, except a slight posture shift and somehow my face looks even rounder in the after pictures! I almost didn’t even post them.
Disappointing before and after pictures aside, here is the breakdown of results for each goal I set from the beginning :
Goal #1 – Improve my sleep.
Result – It helped a little bit, but I never experienced the “energy through the roof” and restful sleep that they described. The number of times I wake up throughout the night is a little lower than it used to be, but I’m still not getting restful sleep. Back to the drawing board on that one, but I’m not giving up! I’m trying a new suggestion from a friend next. Fingers crossed!
Goal #2 – My IT band issues.
Result – After 4 months of battling this frustrating energy, it completely disappeared immediately after I started the Whole 30! Now, was it entirely the Whole 30? Probably not. I had tried a myriad of other things and it had been slowly improving, but do I believe the Whole 30 contributed to the healing process? Heck yes, I do! If this had been the only benefit I’d gained in these 30 days, it would have been worth it. I ran 6.5 miles last weekend, my farthest distance to date. I call that an anti-inflammatory diet success!
Goal #3 – Curb my sugar addiction.
Result – Before the Whole 30, I was eating sweets multiple times a day and living off of water with Mio. After a painful detox period in the first few days (water tasted so gross to me after being so used to the artificial Mio sweetness), I have no desire at all to drink Mio anymore. That’s a huge victory to me! And I can’t say that my sugar addiction is completely broken, but that was never the goal. I just wanted to get it back under control and it absolutely is. I still eat sweets, but I’m prioritizing like I want to be. When they brought donuts for the staff the other day, I had one doughnut hole and that was enough. I haven’t even had a Nutty Bar in the entire week that I’ve been back on regular eating! I ate 3 gummy bunnies and stop instead of a handful. I skipped the cookies at church and when I was given a bag of Hershey’s hugs & kisses, I gave away all of the kisses, because the hugs taste so much better to me (and I still have most of the hugs leftover!). I’m happy with the progress.
Goal #4 – Weight loss.
Result – I was a little disappointed, but I did lose 3 pounds and about an inch off of my waist. This wasn’t a top priority for me, so I wasn’t being particularly mindful of portion sizes. I actually think I was eating more than normal for the majority of the 30 days, because I was trying to stick to the meals without snacks thing, so I ate more at meals in an attempt to stay full. That piece was not successful for me. Even if I felt stuffed after a meal (not a good feeling), I would still get hungry a couple hours later, especially on the days that I ran. Mid-morning apples make me very happy.
How will it affect my eating now that the 30 days are over?
I can’t really explain why, but I really liked having vegetables in my breakfast and I’m not really referring to the taste. I was super sick of eggs by the end of the 30 days, but the eggs made a fantastic medium for spinach. Maybe I’m just crazy, but I think eating spinach first thing in the morning set me on the right track for the rest of the day. I’ve started playing around with green smoothies, trying to keep the sugar content very low, so that I can still have spinach for breakfast in a way that is palatable.
And the vegetable thing doesn’t just apply to breakfast. I am much more conscientious about trying to add vegetables to every meal now, so I’ve been stirring things like bell peppers, kale, tomato, and carrots into my quinoa and making sure I always have ready to grab vegetables like baby carrots and sugar snap peas to add into lunches. I used to pick a meat or main dish and plan the rest of the meal around it, but now I’m picking my vegetables and planning the rest of the meals around them. I’m thrilled with that particular change!
It also started my apple love affair. I’ve always liked apples, but I would only eat them occasionally. Now apples are a staple in my house and have become my favorite snack, which is a very good thing since I’ve been known to seek salty, crispy things instead, which don’t tend to be the most nutritious snacks. I don’t do mushy, grainy apples, so crispy Jonagolds, especially the big ones, are my favorite. And, you know, an apple a day keeps the doctor away and all that good stuff!
It showed me I’m not as dependent on certain foods as I thought I was. I didn’t miss cheese, bread, tortillas, chips, or crackers nearly as much as I thought I would. I’m still going to eat them, just not nearly as often as I used to, because I just don’t need to. When I made breakfast tacos the other night, I made them cheese-less (partially because I haven’t had a reason to buy cheese since ending the Whole 30 and partially because it tasted great without it) and I just used one tortilla for a mini taco and ate the rest of the filling tortilla-less. It was perfectly satiating. Little changes add up fast.
In conclusion :
I’m glad I did it! I’m not sure that I’ll do it again for the full 30 days (some people continue to do it 45 days, 90 days, or indefinitely!), but I think it is a very useful “reset” tool to get me refocused on fruits and veggies if I find myself slipping into old habits. I think this is a much healthier, more balanced plan than a lot of other diets floating around (like that one time my best friend and I went on a juicing diet…) and it really taught me to pay attention to what I was eating – nutritional mindfulness.