I lost 11.4 pounds on the Whole30. My friends, my coworkers, and my family who watched me go through this are impressed by the weight loss. They could see that I was losing weight and that I was eating good food every day for every meal, and I ate plenty of it. My family witnessed me coming home from work and cooking dinner. But not grazing from the minute I walked in the door until bedtime.
But it wasn’t about the weight loss, although that was a nice bonus. It was about changing my relationship with food, becoming better nourished. I learned a lot about added sugar in processed convenience foods. I had to add salt to my food because whole foods have a lot less salt. I cooked with good oils. It was not a low fat diet. I had to eat a teaspoon of oil with every meal. I was rarely hungry, free from cravings, well fed.
I learned by reading labels how much sugar, industrial seed oils, and soy are in the processed foods I ate every day.
I learned that eating fruits, vegetables, animal protein (including eggs), and good oils was satisfying.
I learned some new recipes.
I learned to roast vegetables. Yum.
I learned I enjoyed cooking once I got started. And after a week on the plan, I found that I had the energy to cook. Before Whole30, I would come home from work too tired to cook. So I would eat something, and throw some chicken strips and tater tots in the oven. Or I would eat something and my husband would cook dinner.
I experienced only very mild cravings at most. My friends said, “I wish I had your willpower.” My daughter said, “It didn’t take much willpower, did it?” She was right. For me, this was easy compared to Weight Watchers, Tops, or any other diet I have tried. I have been overweight for 20 years. (I am 56 now.) This plan did not require counting calories, writing in a food journal, or weighing myself in front of other people (even though only the person weighing me at Weight Watchers or TOPS knew how much I weighed, I felt humiliated when I failed) The only important thing here is eating good food and eating enough of it.
I learned it is a lot easier to say no when I was well fed and nourished.
I learned that I don’t deserve a cookie, a muffin, a candy bar. I also found that the cookies, muffins, and candy bars never satisfied me. I always wanted more. Then I would chastise myself for being “bad.” Not good.
I learned that most fast food and restaurant food isn’t good for me. The money I would spend on McDonald’s could go toward buying better food. Why did I eat a breakfast burrito? It only cost a dollar? Because I was starving and had not taken the time to make breakfast. A dollar could buy a half dozen regular eggs.
The next step is reintroducing some of the foods I have eliminated from my diet. Yesterday I ate what I thought would be good food as a reward (that is messed up thinking.) – Bob Evans “natural” sausage. It had pork, salt, and a little sugar. Ugh. It was way too salty and hard to get the bad taste out of my mouth. I had natural Koeze peanut butter with my apple at lunch – along with a sweet potato, chicken, and roasted broccoli. At supper time, I ate my husband’s chili which has kidney beans in it. This morning I have a headache for the first time in weeks. Maybe it’s the kidney beans or peanut butter. Or maybe that awful sausage. Anyway, back on the Whole30 for two days. This morning I am making chicken for breakfast.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the other foods I have eliminated affect me. I’ll try legumes again without the awful sausage patties in a few weeks. Peanut butter is one of my favorite foods. I can give up beans easily. I’ll have to see if Peanut butter is okay. I might switch to one of the other butters.
The Whole30 book has an alcohol reintroduction on the first day. The website doesn’t include it at all. But that’s okay for me. I already know what alcohol does to me. Diarrhea every time. That’s one of the reasons I gave it up after college.
I noticed there is no reintroduction for sugar filled treats. 🙂
My last meal on the Whole30 – turmeric baked chicken, roasted broccoli, and a sweet potato.