Have you ever known something in your head – I mean you reeeeally know it – and yet, it doesn’t click into action? You’ve read about it. People have told you. It’s simple. It’s straightforward.
…for some reason, it just doesn’t seem to happen. Something is missing. Probably knowledge that leads to conviction or action would be the missing link. This is not a serious post, btw, but when I thought about doing a recap about the past 30 days of doing the Whole30, this is what first came to mind.
All that to say, for years I have read books, articles, blogs and more allllll about weight loss and health and getting fit. Even though there may have been different theories or philosophies, at the end of the day, your formula needed to include exercise and diet. They are inseparable.
For whatever reason, the diet thing had not sunk in. I have worked out. I have gotten into running at one point, the gym at another time. This more recent joining of the gym last October has been my most successful I think all because of the buddy system. However, I wasn’t really seeing any improvements in my post-baby body. And, to top it all off, my allergies were terrible again.
I decided to do the Whole30, and Robbie joined me. I wrote about our goals and the start of it here.
Now, here we are having finished our 30 days and ready to recap!
My Biggest Takeaways from the Whole30
- Planning is Crucial – I still think I have so much to learn about meal planning, but I’ve made a start. Even making a grocery list is sort of silly without having a plan for the week. I really want to continue growing in this area and get more and more creative as I do.
- Sugar is E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E – Seriously. I don’t understand why as a society there is a need for sugar in beef patties or tomato sauce. I was really surprised with everything that had sugar in it, most notably meat. It sort of blows my mind a little. I feel so motivated to read labels now and to make things from scratch whenever possible or realistic.
- It’s Not That Hard – I would say overall the Whole30 wasn’t as challenging as I expected it to be. I think there were a couple factors in this. One, Robbie did it with me. This was major, as not only did I have such a great support system, but it also meant that we were eating all the same meals. Two, being in YWAM, there are many community needs as far as food and meals go, and we were so grateful to be included in that. We were able to eat with the community pretty regularly. Finally, once you start seeing results, whether physically or mentally or whatever, the more you want to continue fuelling your body well.
- The Gym is Better with Good Food – I have been working out since last October, but I have seen more breakthrough and results with my efforts in the past month than in all the months prior. This is purely because these two are not mutually exclusive components of health, and I have really realised that if I want all my effort in the gym to really count and feel worth it, I have to eat well. Otherwise, I am spending hours in my week for no reason. They are a great pair.
- It’s OK Not To Be Perfect – I know, I know. The book actually says not to cheat. There’s a whole entire section about it. What I realised about a week in is that no matter what, we are changing habits and our lifestyle. We did so well, but we were not perfect at all. We lived in the 95%. It was not realistic or affordable for us to purchase only meat without added sugar. When I could, I made sure it was gluten and dairy free, but there were only a couple times I was able to find gluten, dairy and sugar free meat. I also got a gastro bug that had been going around for 24 hours, and it was awful. I haven’t felt that sick in a long, long time. My Dr. recommended simple carbs, so I had toast for 24 hours. I threw it out after I was better, though. I also probably had more fruit than I should have. This is a sort of grey area to me because fruit is healthy. However, I am totally aware that too much of anything is probably not helpful. In hindsight I needed to get a bit more creative in snacks. So no, we weren’t perfect, but I am proud of us and how well we did overall.
About 2 weeks in, Robbie started to notice a major difference in me. He said he felt like as I was getting smaller that I was also getting shorter, but hopefully I haven’t actually shrunk, too! It was really encouraging to have him and others start to see a difference. More than that, though, I was noticing a difference in myself. I realised that I can do hard things, or at least things that aren’t the “easy way”. I realised that I am really enjoying working out, but I am only going to get about 20% of it unless I add the food part in as well. I realised that weight is just a number.
My hard fact results = I lost 3.9kg (8.7 lbs), and I lost 16.5cm (6.5in) overall. At first, I was slightly bummed, but then I “woke up” and realised that this is SO much better than some quick fix. This was a healthy and realistic weight loss for me. About 95% of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit again (!!!), and I am feeling energetic and healthy. My allergies are massively improved as well. I feel so successful having done this and really jumpstarted a new lifestyle of health!
Here’s a photo post-baby but pre-Whole30 (sorry it’s a little blurry). Eleanor was about 10-12 weeks around the time this photo was taken.
And here are two photos Robbie took of me yesterday after the Whole30.
On Friday, the first day after we finished, Robbie was so excited to have a Ginger Beer. I really don’t like Ginger Beer at all, but knowing how excited he was, I was excited for him. (Ginger Beer is sort of the “Aussie” Root Beer, but it’s a totally different taste. So pretty much it’s a non-alcoholic soft drink is what I am saying haha)
I was a bit too nervous to jump back into anything, though. I feel good, and I want to keep going forward, not backward. I don’t want to reintroduce old habits. So I pretty much stuck with what I had been doing. That night we went out on a date for a dessert. Robbie got a MASSIVE snickers cheesecake, and I was certain he would be sick. He survived, though. I still stuck with a dairy and gluten free dessert, and it was about 1/3 the size of Robbie’s and absolutely delicious.
Moving forward, I am going to slowly reintroduce some things but definitely not all. I have reintroduced rice already in the form of sushi, and that went great. I tried a latte with light milk, and I thought it went great but maybe not so much. I sneezed a bit, so I may be committing to almond milk lattes now ;)
Finally, I really want to cultivate healthy and “aware” eating habits in our family. What I mean by “aware” is that we know what is in our food. We do our best to read labels, make things from scratch when possible and make wise choices. I will probably stick with a 80-90% paleo diet because to be honest, it works for me and I feel so great. I haven’t reached my goal yet, but I feel more equipped than ever to get there and to reach my healthiest self.