Whole30 Complete! What I Learned From My Whole 30 Experience
Honestly, it has taken me a week or so to completely process everything that I learned throughout my Whole 30 journey.
I wanted to sit down and write about it in detail as soon as I was finished but I couldn't find the words. When I look back at why I started Whole 30 in the first place and what I actually learned about myself through it, I am pretty blown away. Isn't that how journeys usually turn out though? We start for one reason and at some point our focus shifts and we see the true meaning of why we were taken on the journey.
I started Whole 30 to feel better. Simple as that. I work out regularly and take great supplements but no matter what I did I couldn't outsmart a bad diet. You see, it is all a piece to the puzzle. Eating clean, exercise and natural supplements all work together to get our bodies working as they should.
Before Whole 30 my energy would plummet in the afternoon, my tummy hurt a lot of the time and I would sometimes be afraid to eat because I would be fearful of how my tummy would react. My emotions were also severely controlled by hormone swings and mood swings. I knew that my food choices were playing a huge part but up to this point I was super afraid to try to make a drastic change. That would mean giving up cookies, delicious flavored coffees, pizza, and the flexibility to just eat whatever whenever. But I knew that something had to change and when my friend Tiffany told me about Whole 30 and why she was going to do it I knew this was my answer. I had to just jump in and go for it.
So I read the books, made my grocery list, organized my supplements and other products that I would be using during the Whole30, and went shopping.
I got everything I was hoping to out of my Whole 30 journey and so much more. I have more energy, my body and stomach feel so much healthier, my tummy issues are gone (unless I eat bread or fatty dairy products so there you go), my skin is clearer and plumper, my body feels more in balance and my hormones seem to be much more in control. I am stronger during my runs and workouts and my energy level is consistent throughout the day. I lost 6 pounds and my body composition changed quite a bit. Yay! Check it out!
But the unexpected part is all the things I learned about myself and my surroundings through this experience.
Did you know there are cookies everywhere?
Yep! Everywhere! For the first few days into my 30 days I couldn't get away from cookies. They are right next to the produce section of the grocery store. They are in every single coffee shop where I go to work. They are at my kids school for lunch. They are everywhere. But I learned that the longer I went into the 30 days the less I thought about cookies and the more that I thought about fruit. That my friends is a huge win!
Our culture makes it difficult to eat healthy.
I knew going into the 30 days that I would eat at home most of the time. But each day as a wife, mom, business owner, and friend is different for me. I found myself at times needing and wanting to eat out and let me tell you it is hard. Look around for a second. We are inundated with fast food restaurants, guilty pleasure food, and pretty much just unhealthy options everywhere. When I would sit down at a restaurant I would usually only have one option of what I could eat on the menu. Sad but true. This opened my eyes a lot to what our society says about food. And honestly, it makes me a little sad.
I learned to be confident in my choices.
This was maybe the hardest lesson for me to learn. When I started letting people know what I was planning to do with Whole 30 and what my 30 days would look like without dairy, grains, and sugar the eyes got big and the comments came rolling in. Not necessarily negative but lots of concern for me that I would have to give up those things. It seemed to be a reflection of my own fears of could I really do it. I also saw people start to defend their own food choices and justify it by saying "life is too short not to eat cheese". I learned on day one that I would feel sometimes alone during these 30 days and it would be up to me and me alone to stand confidently in this choice I was making for myself.
My comfort doesn't come from food.
The issue I had with turning to food for comfort was actually a huge reason that I wanted to go through Whole 30. I saw that I would crave lots of cookies when I had a bad day, good day, and everything in between. A full sleeve of Oreos and a tall glass of milk were my comfort when I was stressed, anxious or overwhelmed. Not only was this tanking my energy level and health but as soon as the sleeve of cookies was gone the feelings would come back. We all know that food doesn't give us the true comfort that we are craving but it is much easier said than done to stop that behavior. Through this experience, I turned to God for my comfort instead of cookies. I would take a walk, pray, give Him the time and I would be filled to the brim with comfort from my creator and not some silly black and white cookies.
I am capable.
In 30 short days I gained a new level of confidence that I have never experienced. I am completely capable of setting a goal, taking actions daily towards that goal, standing alone in my convictions and dedication, and getting it done! If I can do this, I can do anything else I put my mind to. And so can you friends. So can you!
**Curious about the supplements that I took during the Whole30 and the wraps I used? I explain a little about them here.