• shelby

Post-Whole30: Results, Lessons Learned & Life after Whole30


SURVIVING LIFE, POST WHOLE30

Don't mind me, I'm just typing away here, still reaping the benefits of the tiger blood...


GIF compliments of GIPHY.com

If you are completely lost as to what this means, don't worry, I was once in the same place. Just read the short second paragraph in our Whole30 Challenge: Day 1 and you'll quickly get caught up to speed.

As promised, I wanted to provide some of our results and insight at the culmination of our Whole30 Challenge.

WHOLE30 TAKEAWAYS

One of the many takeaways from this program is that I realized the importance, grace, and patience it takes to start a new healthy habit. The KEY is to focus on ONE goal for 30-40 days (the time it takes to establish a new habit/change in your life). I constantly reminded myself to take it one DAY at a time, one CHANGE at a time. In the past, I was guilty of trying to change too many things all at once, expect perfection, and inevitably fail, time after time. Keeping the focus on one major habit or life change and letting the perfection go out the window proved to be instrumental in my success.


GIF compliments of tenor.com

I've surprised myself with how much I've learned and continue to learn about food with this program. It’s definitely flexed my creative muscle in more ways than one as I’ve expanded into new culinary endeavors, attempted to create dishes with ingredients I never knew existed (I'm talking about you "ghee" and "coconut aminos"...) and had to be creative with limited ingredients, all the while, photographing and documenting the journey. Even though it's only been 30+ days, it's already opened my eyes to new possibilities, new perspectives, and renewed belief in myself that I can actually cook and can enjoy eating healthy.

Being more knowledgeable about cooking healthy options will also come in handy, especially during times when I just don't feel I have the energy to eat or cook something healthy because I'll already have a few go-to snacks and recipes up my sleeve that I can call on. It's also been interesting to see that it is possible to cook a healthy meal in less time than it would actually take me to go to a restaurant, order, and eat. Looks like the, "I don't have time to cook excuse," isn't as valid as I thought... Not saying I will stop eating at restaurants after this because I won't, but just that it is possible and much easier to cook a healthy meal in less time than you think.

Lastly, I've also noticed this program has forced me to slow down a little, especially when it comes to eating, to actually savor the flavors. I used to always be in a hurry and would just grab something fast and head out the door, but this Whole30 challenge has forced me to take time to not only eat healthy but ENJOY eating in a different way. It's also helped me to discern the difference between actually being hungry compared to just snacking because the food was within arm's reach. I'd say that's a success in itself!


GIF compliments of tenor.com

WHOLE30 SUCCESSES

Here are just a few more of the many takeaways and successes I achieved from the program.

  • Decreased cravings for sugar and unhealthy foods

  • Learned new ways to reward myself (instead of using food)

  • Became more mindful of eating

  • Practiced being mindful of healthy decisions

  • Discovered and created new recipes

  • Realized a new appreciation for healthy eating

  • Overall, felt healthier

  • Energy level increased

  • Skin is better - clearer and smoother (with less breakouts)

  • Improved mood

  • Less headaches

  • Stress level decreased

  • Less achy pain and inflammation

  • Decreased mood swings (at the end of the program of course)

  • Improved lab/blood results

  • Less bloating

  • Weight loss

  • Improved sleep and ability to fall sleep

  • I could also function better with less sleep than before, and overall was less tired

Overall, I guess could sum it up by saying I felt about as good as this little firecracker...


GIF compliments of tenor.com

Since weight loss wasn't the ultimate goal, I didn't want to focus on this factor as I had many other reasons for committing to this program. We did weigh ourselves at the beginning and then weighed ourselves one more time at the end of the 30 days. To provide a full-circle of results, both my husband and I lost weight with the program. My husband lost a total of 19 lbs and I lost 8 lbs.

It wasn't always easy, but I am so glad we stayed committed and were able to realize so many health benefits and personal achievements too. To give ourselves a much needed pat on the back from accomplishing this program, there are few people that can say it better...


GIF compliments of tenor.com

I also kept a record of different factors and rated each day 1-10 depending on how I was feeling that day (with 10 being the highest). The below results include both the rating for each day of the challenge along with a line chart.



PAINFUL ADMISSION:

It pains me to admit this, but I didn't exactly gracefully exit the whole30 program or make a smooth transition to healthy eating the week after... Long story short, it was hubby's birthday the following weekend after the commencement of our Whole30 Challenge. Being the good wifey I am, I threw him a little birthday get-together. I had mixed feelings about what to serve since we were still doing so well with our healthy lifestyle changes, but after some thought, I decided to go big or go home... After all, "I can't wait to attend a birthday party with ONLY Whole30 compliant food," said no one ever... so I rolled up my sleeves, rummaged through my favorite party recipes, and went to town making one-too-many birthday treats (including "Kappa Kitchen Buster Bars"...) that were FAR from Whole30 compliant...


GIF compliments of tenor.com

In hindsight, I should not have gone hog wild with the desserts and other goodies, but what's done is done... Lesson learned... Let's just say that after that not-so-clean birthday treat eating weekend, I was a "tad" nervous to get my blood work done at my annual checkup that following week... Much to my pleasant surprise though, my lab results all improved from my previous year! From my cholesterol, glucose, triglyceride levels, etc - Everything improved! After eating way more eggs and red meat on Whole30 than I have ever eaten (along with the birthday binge-eating weekend), I was certain my results (especially my cholesterol levels) would not only be elevated but through the roof, but I was ecstatic to see they all improved. My Whole30 work from the past month not only paid off, but I think it even helped to provide some grace and spared me the consequences from my horrible eating weekend! Now it was time to get back on the train!

WHERE WE ARE NOW:

The Whole30 program gives a detailed account of how to transition with Life after Whole30. I wish I could say I followed these guidelines to a T, but I'm human and definitely didn't do as well as I had intended. But I have learned that I have the strength, motivation, and willpower to get back on the train and continue a healthy lifestyle, so that's just what I'll do!

We also plan on committing to a Whole30 month once a year, so I'm sure I'll be adding to our Whole30 Recipes collection from here on out.

If you have finished Whole30, many CONGRATS to you!! If you are contemplating starting, I encourage you to give it a shot and wish you the best of luck and would love to hear about your journey and some of your favorite recipes as well!

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