The Whole 30 Review by a regular person 😉
Amber Riordan of AMpower Fitness, guest blogger
Truthfully, I have known about Whole 30 for a long time now. Obviously, it is not a new program. Many of people have successfully completed it before I did. I read the book “It Starts With Food” a couple of years ago. I understood the reasoning behind it, and all the benefits, but honestly I felt it was too restrictive, and just told myself I was not at all interested in ever doing it.
Along my health and fitness journey I have learned a lot and come a long ways. Through my own diet and exercise changes I lost 45 pounds and was able to successfully keep it off for 9 months. Then I made a bunch of changes in my life. I quit my full time job, to move to a new town with only the promise of part time at first.It was a leap of faith, and one I am so very glad I took. It gave me my happiness back. However, with that happiness and with everything going on in my life, the weight started to creep back in.
I told myself it was ok at first. There was a lot of stress in trauma in my life August-November. Then we had the holidays, birthdays, etc. I also experience a betrayal in that time that set me even more off track. I was still working out, and doing my best with my eating. I did let soda back into my life though (which is something I had gotten rid of for months before). We also started eating out a little more. I sat more at work due to the nature of the beast that is my job (which I love by the way). Alas, I also became a little more lazy. Sitting was more an option in my life then it was before.
THE WHOLE 30 REVIEW Continues…
I don’t even remember how it got brought up. I had been miserable for days. I wanted this to be my year. I wanted to make myself proud this year and have my fittest year yet. Here the year was coming up and I was no where near where I wanted to be. I was feeling miserable and had decided that food was what was not clicking for me. I was lifting heavy 5-6 days a week and getting my cardio in. My food was the only answer. It was not terrible, but it was not great either. I was eating way more junk then I needed. I miserable every day, I had no energy. I had packed on 20 pounds and nothing was moving that scale back down. I had severe gas and bloating every day. I literally would wake up “skinny” and by the end of the day look “6 months pregnant”. Seriously, I have pictures to prove it!
I had cut dairy on my own thinking that was a trigger and didn’t notice a change. I had also tried the doctor who told me it was either a bad IBS flare up or just my age. UM HOLD ON A SECOND doctor, I am on 29! I don’t think so!
In pops the idea of Whole 30. I have seen it over and over, but never thought I could. I was desperate for a change. I had looked into cleanses, but I wanted answers. I also did not want to fill my body full of even more junk. I wanted to know why I was feeling (and looking) the way that I was. I discussed Whole 30 with a co-worker and she said she would do it with me. Just like that, I was committed! Accountability goes a long ways in most cases! I then went about getting ready to pick a start date. It was late June at this point and we had a vacation planned for July. A 10 DAY VACATION. After first I said I wanted to wait till after, but then I told myself after that it will be this, and then another thing, and on and on and there would always be some big life event coming up. So after telling her I wanted to wait till I got back, I thought on it and changed my mind. That is when I said Monday is it!!! Monday July 6th….we are starting this! And we did.
My first week for The Whole 30 Review
I bought the The Whole 30 book on my kindle and started reading it, but did not do a tons of preparation or getting ready for that first week. I made it through the first few days at work, which wasn’t that bad. I filled up on lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits. I also had some almonds already bought, so I relied some on those. Day 5 of my whole 30 was the day we were leaving on vacation. We were headed to the Black Hills and Yellowstone on a real road trip, with the camper and everything. Before vacation I stocked up on everything that I could. I bought nuts, tons of fresh fruit (especially items that don’t have to be refrigerated), veggies galore, as much produce as I could pack into the fridge, and we also packed the freezer full of as much meat from home as we could. I did buy some @Larabar as well, and raisins, dried fruit, and anything else I could think of that was within my list of approved items. I made little baggies of things that we could take along in the car rides, or on hikes. I got myself as prepared as I could. The 3 other people going with me on the trip knew what was going on, and they were prepared as well.
Day 1 of our trip (Day 5 of my whole 30) was a travel day in the car. Overall we spent 12+ hours in the car that day. I had stuff packed so that I was safe, but remember those with me were not joining me on my whole food journey. We stopped for fuel at a Casey’s and that was big test number 1 for me. They all got pizza and ate it inside the enclosed care with me. That was difficult. I was a little whiny. According to the whole 30 timeline days 4-5 is the kill ALL the things! stage. I was ready to kill for some pizza, sort of! After all was said and done though, I did not give in and I felt good with my food choices. I didn’t have any guilt, and I didn’t have any stomach problems. That sense of accomplishment from saying no and getting through a tough experience like that without feeling like I was missing out on something was huge for me. It was my first “I can do this!” moment. Day 6-7 I had trouble multiple times. We ate out a couple of times and finding something that I could eat, or changing an item menu in as many ways as possible seemed like a daunting task, and I just did not want to do it. This resulted in me being an unpleasant companion on the trip. Finally my mom said to me “You just have to make the decision to do it. Just say that is the way it is going to be and stick with it.” That clicked with me and for the most part I sailed through the rest of the vacation with little problems. My go to for breakfast was eggs and my go to for lunch/dinner was pretty much a bun-less burger with either side salad or veggies. It worked and since bison meat was popular (and delicious) up there, I actually enjoyed my meals a great deal. Every time I made those good decisions I felt a little stronger, and better. I was already noticing an increase in my energy. We did make quite a few meals in the camper as well, which made a huge difference in my success. Like the famous saying goes, “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.” Good thing I was ready.
When we got home from vacation I was already on day 15. Halfway through. Which on the Whole 30 timeline is the “Boundless energy” phase. I didn’t experience my boundless energy quite that quickly, but that is also partially from being exhausted from travel and a very active vacation. After all, we averaged 12-15 miles per day of walking each day. I jumped right into doing some prepping though and getting ready for the upcoming week of going back to work. I sailed through days 15-27. Day 27 though we were at a wedding party and I had some sugar. Cream cheese mints. I regretted it almost instantly. I was feeling terrible physically. My stomach was not happy and I had the start of a headache. Day 28 was a full on migraine. Was that little bit of sugar worth it? Heck no it was note. There is a reason I had cut those things out, and adding them back in, in such a haphazard way was the worst idea. I understand why they say go 30 days. I was so close, and I ate something off plan. I let myself down. However, I decided to continue on with the rest of the plan. I didn’t go the entire 30 days without eating anything off plan, but I committed to it and did the very best I could. I survived a vacation! That in and of itself is a huge success in my book. I should explain that after the whole 30, there is a 2 week re-introduction period that you follow to learn what your own body triggers are.
Day 31 I actually forgot to weigh myself, I was so focused on all of my non scale victories (and there were tons and tons and tons….over 46 of them!) that I totally forgot to weigh and measure. Some of my favorite #nonscalevictories were as follows: I was sleeping better, I had more muscle definition, I was no longer tied to food and all my cravings and felt in control of my eating habits, and finally my migraines were under control, among all the others!! Day 32 I remembered to weigh myself and I lost 7.5 pounds total. I probably lost more, because this was in the middle of my time of the month, but 7.5 in 30 days is a huge success. I also lost 11.5 inches!! Most of that was just in my mid section, however all my measurements had decreased some.
I am feeling great and finishing up my 2 week re-introduction period and then I am going to be starting another whole 30 experience on August 24th. I am so excited, and thinking about making it a whole45 or whole60 this time. This program has literally changed my life and helped me finally get back on track. I feel like my eating is under control and I am happier then I have been in a while. If you have been thinking about doing this program, I am telling you…the time is now! Go for it!! Just do it!!! There is plenty of support out there, and if all else fails, I am here to help too! ~ Amber