How Whole30 Changed My Life: My Results

finished the whole30My Whole30 journey has been one I would consider not only a success, but also one of transformation. I began my Whole30 journey back in mid-July. In fear I would fail, I didn’t want to tell anyone until I had seen I could actually survive for a few days with these new eating habits. However, my 30 days ended last week, and now I’m back to tell you how I did, what I did, and why I’m not quitting. This is what I loved and learned from being Whole30. Oh, and I didn’t forget to tell you the grand total of my results either! Here’s how Whole30 changed my life!

I’ve said previously that I had read about Whole30 months ago, but I felt like it AND anyone who tried it had to be a special kind of crazy to live on that kind of diet. “It’s SO restrictive”, I would tell myself. No way could I or would I want to go without bread or cheese. Who does that?! Well, that all changed when I noticed my weight creeping up. A pound or two a month. And my pants were starting to cause that horrible and uncomfortable “pinch” look in my waist. I had gone and gotten myself another muffin top. What. The. Heck. Met the man of my dreams, and apparently let myself go.  I wanted so much to be healthy for him and my kids! And Lord knows I have tried every way possible to do that, but I haven’t been running. Like AT ALL. And I know that my body responds well to that. I was making time for raising two littles alone, and making time for a devotion and quiet time every morning, and making time for a nightly skype with my husband. Those are the most important things to me, and I just let being healthy become unimportant. I quit taking care of me.
Whole30 Banner

A friend of mine did Whole30 back in the spring, and raved about how good she felt. I was happy she felt better, but still thought she was crazy. Then in June, my best friend decided to do it. And then right after her, my Zumba instructor decided to do it. It was suddenly surrounding me. And all these women were going on and on and ON about how amazing they felt, and the changes they were seeing. Meanwhile, remember me: The one with the puckered tummy and the zitty skin? The lady with no energy and abysmal eating habits? A few hours of Zumba a week weren’t helping that. I needed to get a handle on myself, and that was going to start in the kitchen.

Quietly, I started Whole30. I weighed and measured myself (which nearly caused me to lose my appetite!) and then went to the grocery store to buy “compliant” foods. Basically, this was much easier than I expected. I don’t hate fruits and veggies, and I rarely ever drink anything but water and black coffee, so the initial struggle was going to be giving up bread and dairy more than anything else. This girl isn’t exactly known for turning down cheesecake, and I can eat a whole loaf of that amazing rosemary bread from Macaroni Grill all by myself. The struggle was going to be real. But so were the measurements I took earlier that day. And those made me determined to do this.

The first week, my only hard day (really hard!) was day 5. I wasn’t hungry, but I was exhausted. And when you’re tired and barely able to hold your head up, eating the right things kind of takes a back seat. But I didn’t give in. Fortunately, I decided to meal prep on day one, so it was actually fix it and forget it for dinner. That saved me. I honestly can’t sing enough praises of meal prep. It has saved me from potential pitfalls, and helped make bad choices less enticing.

Now, I’ve said all of this to say that I would absolutely do the Whole30 again. And in fact, I just started my next 30 on Monday. This time, it’s much easier. I don’t find myself overwhelmed with cravings or fear that “there’s nothing I can eat!” I learned during my Whole30 journey that so much (So.Freaking.Much) of what I ate was out of habit and on autopilot rather than for health reasons. So part of the journey became eating for FUEL instead of for FUN. Those two had been switched in my mind. Now, I’m telling you this because I want you to understand that this wasn’t easy for me. Not even a little bit. It took commitment, awareness, desire, effort, and a huge dash of grit (oh yeah…now I miss grits. Fab. Anyway…!) But the point is it isn’t easy. And just because someone makes it through the 30 and has results does NOT mean they had it easy. In fact, on day 29, one of the girls I’m in choir with came in with a starbucks cup filled with what I am pretty sure is something straight from Heaven, and – bless her heart – I almost crawled in her lap just to snort the amazing fumes coming from her coffee cup. Yep. Not proud of it. But it happened. The point is, even by day 29 I hadn’t gotten it all figured out, but I had gotten to a place where I was good at saying “I don’t eat that”. And saying I “don’t” instead of telling myself I “can’t” made all the difference.

The last day of Whole30, I could hardly get myself on the scale. I was so nervous. Actually, I may have neglected to mention that I date my scale. I hate it. But I spend a great deal of time with it. Daily. I’m obsessed with it. Do I really think that number is the “end all” of my health status? No. I even blogged last year about Burn the damn scale, but I am also aware that there is no way my body should have carried the amount it was carrying. And I’m not going to try and lie and say any of it was muscle! Haha Anyway, part of my journey in Whole30 (and admittedly one of the hardest for me) was staying off the scale the whole time. I knew that if I got on that scale in the middle of those 30 days, and it hadn’t moved, I would have potentially thrown in the towel, despite all the progress I had made just in how I felt! I wasn’t bloated anymore, my skin looked amazing, I was sleeping really well, I was awake before my alarm, I didn’t have any energy slumps during the day…I could honestly go on and on about how GOOD I felt. But if I had seen little to no movement on that little glass square, I could have quit. So I genuinely stuck to the rule of staying off it. The only problem was, when it was time to get BACK on the scale, I was afraid. I actually did the “Step on and stare straight up” method, and waited to look down. It was probably completely stupid. But I just wanted that number to change. I felt like I had changed. My opinions of food had changed. My habits of food had changed (I was making my own mayonnaise for crying out loud!). But I needed that number to be a little different. Am I the only one?! When I finally mustered the nerve to glance down, I nearly jumped off the scale for joy! 11 POUNDS! It was down 11 POUNDS! In 30 days of *just* eating clean and healthy, I had managed to get BACK to the weight I was before I hit 30 and my hormones flipped me the bird. My measurements reflected the same progress. EIGHT inches lost! 1 from my chest, 4 from my waist, and 3 from my hips. It was confirmation that everything I was doing was right. I felt AND looked better. Often diets don’t have both of those effects. And I didn’t spend extra money on fad diet supplements or memberships or anything crazy. No pills or powders. Just good old fashioned Stop Eating Crap. BOOM. Now that is powerful!

Whole30 Side by Side

Before I wrap up my excited rant on my new eating lifestyle, I want to make a few points and give a few shout outs. First, I want to say that now that I have made it through Whole30, I do plan on continuing this eating plan with only a few minor (and rare!) modifications. I will have a glass of wine with my meal when I go to a nice dinner (see why I said “rare”???), and I will have fresh baked bread at a restaurant (I am mainly referring to Macaroni Grill’s mouthwatering and sinfully delicious rosemary bread. I mean, I’m not Super Woman). However, other than those few changes, I’m pretty much going to keep on the straight and narrow. Eating clean isn’t that hard once you get the hang of it. And it isn’t awful either! Who knew right?!?!

So my shout outs are going to be to the companies who make products that we eat normally, but that are made so that we can still eat them on Whole30.

I also want to say that I do not spend MORE money on groceries than I did before I started Whole30. I actually spend about the same amount, and the major difference is that there is NO waste in what I buy. We eat what we buy, and nothing goes bad or has to be thrown out. That is really encouraging since I sometimes felt like our trashcan ate just as good as we did.

So to end this rant about what I loved and learned from my Whole30 journey AND my results, I will say that I am thrilled I did it, that I’ve never felt better, that I look better, that I am happy to keep it going, and that I’ll happily answer any questions you might have about giving it a shot. And I mean that: If you’re on the fence about whether this is right for you, or about whether you can do this (and you CAN), I am happy to be your sounding board. I’m always happy to talk about how Whole30 changed my life!

Comments

  1. You look as amazing as you feel! That is awesome! I am raw with envy and ready to start my whole 30 journey. Thanks for being an inspiration to make a life change.

  2. Wow, what a change in your body in just 30 days!

  3. I’m soooo bad about sugar! I know I need to do this! Your results speak a ton!

    And, I know it’s going to end up costing us a little more. I’m already GF and Dairy free!

  4. I’ve been toying with the idea of Whole30. Your results are amazing! Are you allowed coffee?

    • Thank you, Virginia!! I am a coffee addict, so I pretty much ignore any eating or weight loss plan that eliminates coffee. I figure why turn myself into a monster LOL So yes, you can have coffee, but it has to be black. No cream or sugar. You can do it!

  5. Congrats! I’m in awe of your progress. I love that you saw such amazing results by eating, not starving!

  6. Love this, and I agree. There is less waste and you don’t really spend more when you start to make conscious decisions about the food you eat and buy. At least for me.

  7. Whoa! Great results! This is maybe something I could do. I like that you can have coffee, I could not ever give that up!

  8. That’s AWESOME!! I might be tempted to do the Whole30, but I couldn’t give up bread & pasta. Maybe I can start with a modified Whole30!

  9. You look amazing! So glad that this worked so well for you.

  10. Wow, great results! Such a big change in your body in 30 days

    • Thanks Robyn! I was thrilled with the results. I now wish I had actually maintained (or upped!) my cardio. That’s my goal now that I have my eating under control! 🙂

  11. WOW you look fantastic. I don’t know if I could do it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my cheese. I have cheese on everything.

    • Nolie I was the same way! In fact, I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like OR turned down…until Sunday when, on my day off between Whole30 rounds, I went to Macaroni Grill and had that bread and wine, and then told the server I didn’t want any fresh grated cheese on my plate. *tear* It’s worth it though!

  12. Great job! This really is the way our bodies are designed to eat and people don’t realize how crappy they feel until they start eating like this and actually feel GOOD.

  13. HOLY CRAP YOU LOOK SMOKIN’!! WOOHOO!! You and Lynsey are seriously making me want to do this. It’s just been so tough trying to enroll the kids, move, shop, etc., but once the kids are in school, I’m thinking maybe it’ll be easier?

  14. Wow, you really speak highly of it and you make the scariness go away. I’m glad you’re not sugarcoating it, and that you admit it’s tough!

  15. Congrats on the weight loss. I need to look into this.

  16. Congrats!!!! That is awesome! You look amazing!

  17. WOW! those before and after photos tell the whole story! You look great!

  18. I really need to make some changes in the way I eat. You have really inspired me. I know it’s not going to be an easy change, but it looks like the results are totally worth it.

    • Angela, I can promise you that it is totally worth it! If you want to keep in touch with me while you’re making those changes, I’m happy to help! We’re all in need of support! 🙂

  19. My daughter has been trying to get me to join her and her husband doing whole 30. They do it about 3 times a years to put their-selves back on track.
    I haven’t done it yet, so Saturday she tried a new tactic. She tells me the whole 30 could be a months worth of blogging, that she read blog after blog before doing it and so does everyone else.
    Lol.
    I’m considering it. 🙂

    • April, I totally agree with your daughter! It makes excellent blog work! And it’s both therapeutic for you (because you’ll need to vent a couple times! Haha), and encouraging for you (because you’ll get to rave about your newfound energy and clear skin and even loose clothes! 🙂 ) It’s also a good way for you to keep yourself accountable. If you know you’re going to be putting it “out there”, you’re going to want to do your best. Let me know how you’re doing! 🙂

  20. I am so encouraged by your post! I’m on day 4 and I’m not obsessed with my scale, but I am wishing that I could step on to see if I’m down at all and if this is working! I definitely feel better, so that’s motivating. But hearing testimonies from others is super encouraging!

  21. Natalie W. says:

    Hey Cayce! – what amazing results! You look fantastic! Super proud 😉 I did While30 a couple years ago and had great results as well (list 15 lbs!! What!) But sadly since then I didn’t stick with it and got a really busy job and gained it back, so I’m gonna do it again starting now!! (I actually started a few days ago, but have cheated everyday – bad me!) but I wanted to thank you for your post because it inspired and motivated me to start afresh (again) and stick with it for hopefully longer than 30 days (maybe 45! Again – What?!) haha so anyways… Thanks so much for your post, and I was hoping you could tell me exactly what foods you ate and your eating schedule – like did you IF at all, when did you/if you stopped eating at a certain time at night, etc. – and did you exercise at all or just eat clean? Thanks so much!! Have a blessed day! 😀

    • Hi there Natalie!!! Thank you for reading, and for your comments!! I’m so excited for you to start your Whole30 journey again! I know you’ll do great! I really stuck with a normal eating schedule (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a small snack between lunch and dinner), but I did let myself eat some watermelon before bed if I needed something sweet (it was a miracle, I can’t lie!). I also did zumba 3 times a week. I wanted to see how well my body performed on the basics without adding in a ton of extra exercise – also, I wasn’t sure how I could handle the lack of carbs while running. My husband and I just did a Whole30 in January, and I loved it (though pregnant, it was MUCH harder!). I’ll be blogging about that soon (the why and the how). Good luck, and I hope you keep me posted on your progress!!! 🙂

  22. Wow, amazing results! I’m currently on Day 20 of my Whole30 and was looking for inspiration and sure found some! You did such a great job. I’m slightly worried about stepping on that scale as well on Day 30. I like the fact that I’m already feeling so much better doing this but I would really like to lose some weight too…

    • First, thank you for reading and taking the time to comment! Second, you are ALREADY winning at this! 20 days is a big deal! You’re in the home stretch, and I have complete faith that you will be as happy as I was when I stepped on that scale! Please come back and share your own personal results! 🙂

  23. When your 30 days were over did you have a cheat day?

    • I did have a cheat MEAL! Haha But I don’t recommend that since you will likely feel pretty yucky the next day. I would say add in some items slowly, and space them out rather than eating chips and queso with a beer like I did! 🙂

  24. I am doing the Whole 30, I am on day 13 right now and really feel I have lost at least 20lb of water. PLEASE come check my blog out and find me on Facebook, I could use some support. 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. […] Inspiration If you feel down and consider quitting, take a look at other people’s Whole30 results. Here are a couple of inspiring blogs about Whole30 results, that I found helpful: Jen plans Brown eyed baker Mom of the South […]

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