It’s nearing the end of spring, and summer is so close I can feel it. To me, summertime is about full on energy. Camping “Up North” on Lake Michigan (as we ‘Michiganders’ call it), kayaking with friends down the Argo river in Ann Arbor, sprinklers & sparklers, sipping on a Short’s Brew Soft Parade by the campfire. Summer is hands down my favorite season of the year.
It’s during late spring that I usually start checking in with my body and its energy levels gearing up for the summer.
It’s time to slip out of those tired black leggings that have become a second skin during the winter, and début those sexy neon white & stubbly stems. Which reminds me, I should probably think about getting a pack of disposable razors for this momentous ‘stem premier’.
Currently, some friends of mine are getting their Whole30 on right now, which inspired me to tell my own story.
Here is MY Whole30 story. Why I love it, and how it changed the way I eat forever.
After OJ was born, I became obsessed with health and fitness.
He was a gargantuan whale of a newborn and the pregnancy left me gaining about 70lbs. I mean this baby barreled his way out, clocking in at almost 9lbs. And I’m 5’2 with a natural body weight of 115ish soaking wet, so you do the math.
Luckily no major damage was done, but my husband likes to joke that he “kicked my ass on the way out”. This is because during the final push, while in labor, he knocked up against my tailbone making impossible to sit without severe pain, for six months postpartum. I had two options; stand or lay down. You can guess what I chose most of the time.
OJ was maybe one year old when I decided to step up my health game and get the weight off (and really just feel better in general). I was tired and cloudy headed with about 30 pounds to lose.
First, I started running every morning. I fell in love immediately with running. The me time, the runners high, the energy that came with running was, and still is, addictive.
I also dabbled in yoga which has grown into a passion, today. Yoga connects me to my body, it balances my mind, and restores my spirit. I still have SO much to learn about the practice of yoga but I soak it in every chance I get. Love me some yoga.
Getting my diet in order was next on the agenda.
A typical day of eating consisted of morning Kashi cereal and skim milk, granola bar and yogurt lunches, rice cakes with melted cheese or peanut butter, and a dinner of pasta-whatever-whatever. Sounds kind of healthy right? Well that’s what I thought until I started researching the way grains, dairy and sometimes even gluten can effect the body.
I still felt lethargic, sleepy, gurgly, moody. And just always so hungry. I felt like I was a slave to food.
Then, I tried the Whole3o with a friend about two years ago and I am a CHANGED WOMAN.
The official Whole30 website breaks the diet down like this:
Eat moderate portions of meat, seafood, and eggs; lots of vegetables; some fruit; plenty of natural fats; and herbs, spices, and seasonings. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re whole and unprocessed.
More important, here’s what not to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages 100% for 30 days will help you eliminate cravings, restore a healthy metabolism, heal the digestive tract, reduce systemic inflammation, and discover how these foods are truly impacting how you look, how you feel, and your quality of life.
To simplify your life, I put together this little cheatsheet for you!
I’m not gonna lie, it was really really hard. I would get down on myself for sneaking a gummy bear or finishing the boys pizza crusts. I had to exercise patience with myself. Not perfectionism.
The best part? NO SCALE. It’s against the rules to weigh yourself while on the Whole30. That’s because this isn’t about weight loss or a “quick fix”. This about forming a different relationship with food and how your body reacts to it.
By the end of the 30 days I could NOT believe how I felt!
I had finally gotten rid of those extra pounds I’d been trying to shed for years. But more importantly, I could think clearly. I felt awake! I was eating mindfully and enjoyably. It allowed me to tap into how my body felt – NOT MY MIND – when I was eating. I wasn’t trying to quell boredom or self soothe.
Reintroducing foods the right way so that I can truly understand what does and doesn’t work for my body was invaluable knowledge that I use daily.
There’s a lot of science-y stuff behind the why and how the Whole30 works, so I ABSOLUTELY recommend you read the book It Starts With Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig. But besides the science behind it, the book is actually really good. I was entertained by it and read it quickly. Guys, you really gotta read this book first, it’ll help you stick to it.