The first 10 days are behind me! Woohoo! And ya know what? I feel fantastic! I was a tad nervous before starting Whole 30. I was scared that it was going to be harder than I thought or that black coffee was going to be too unbearable. But I am pleased to say that I am loving so much about this!
The first few days started out a little rough for me. Day 1 was fine. I was pleased with the surprisingly delicious taste of black coffee and decided that it wasn’t going to be so bad.
Then came day 2.
I felt absolutely miserable. My legs were weak, I had intense headaches, and I was exhausted. It was a real eye-opener as I read this quote from The Whole 30: “The amount of suck you experience in this phase is directly proportional to the amount of junk you consumed before you began the program.” Ouch. Apparently I wasn’t eating has healthy as I thought! I felt like I had the flu and realized that the food I had loved and enjoyed was causing these feelings. Hmm…something to think about.
Thankfully, day three brought much relief. I woke up feeling 100% better! The aches and pains were gone. I felt clear, rested, and ready for the day! The biggest boost for me was that I was still enjoying the foods we were making! I wasn’t sick of veggies and meat! I enjoyed trying new recipes and preparing and cooking delicious, whole foods. I loved all the colors on my plate and knowing that I was doing my body good.
Finishing out the week was a breeze. I continued trying recipes and finally found some confidence to create my own! I made this absolutely delicious vinaigrette! I was surprised that it tasted so good without a recipe or measuring cups! I felt proud that I took a chance and succeeded in making something healthy that my whole family could enjoy.
I want to be completely honest about my experience so I can help others going through their own Whole 30. So, the truth is, the past 2 days have been hard. The high of the new experience has worn off and I am starting to realize all of the foods I can’t have. I feel angry at the people who make the foods I want and am “not allowed” to eat. Like summer sausage. I read the label and everything looked good…except this strange word “dextrose.” I was getting exciting as I packed the cart with a few packages while Ryan googled this foreign word. Turns out, dextrose is just a sneaky word for sugar. Seriously food companies?!? You have to add sugar to everything?!? All I wanted was a new food to eat and I couldn’t find a single one. I felt defeated.
I can’t stop thinking about chocolate and banana bread. All the things I normally wouldn’t eat are starting to look mighty delicious right now (like pop tarts?!?). I even dreamt that I ate a chocolate chip cookie and didn’t care that I had to start over with Whole 30! I didn’t think I would experience any of these feelings so I am surprised and a just a little discouraged, but throughout these frustrating moments, I am learning so much.
- I have an unhealthy relationship with food – Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed, I immediately start thinking about the foods I would normally run to – Nutella, dark chocolate, cheese and crackers. But I can’t. Instead, I have to deal with the problem in a different manner: cleaning the mess, taking a moment to just breath, or simply bringing it before God.
- Food is fun – In the evening, Ryan and I like to unwind with a movie while we snuggle on the couch. Every night, I am racking my brain to find a snack we can have. I’m not hungry, it’s just what we do! I am finally thinking about whether or not we need the snack rather than just eating it for fun.
- There are plenty of healthy options for feeling “special” – I have noticed that I like “special” food to make us feel like we are having an extra special time. What I am learning is that a hot beverage can do the trick! We make a pot of decaf coffee in the evening to warm us up and feel like we are having a treat. If we feel hungry, we will munch on some almonds or have a Larabar to fill us up.
- Completing the full 30 days is necessary – I have felt discouraged with sneaky ingredients and bored with the food we are eating. Even though I will not quit, I recognize that 30 days are vital in breaking bad food habits, eliminating cravings, and changing my life forever. I am only a third of the way through and have changed and grown so much! I can’t imagine the possibilities of the next 20 days!
To sum up the first 10 days, I’d have to say that Whole 30 makes me feel empowered knowing that I have control of what I put in my body. There are so many sneaky ingredients in the food we eat and I am finally learning how to find out where they are! I have the ability to nourish my body with healthy foods and still enjoy what I eat. I get excited to see my kids eating exactly what Ryan and I are eating! Even though they have grains and dairy once in a while, they are still getting such great nutrition from the food I give to them. They are learning too! Myra has been enjoying picking out the peas of the sugar snap peas, announcing she found a treasure. And we usually end up singing the Veggie Tales Theme song every time we have broccoli. It turns out that healthy meals end up being the most fun!
As for physical changes, the headaches are completely gone and I no longer experience stomach pains after eating. My skin is still breaking out pretty bad but I am wondering if it just my body eliminating all of the junk. I haven’t experienced any crazy boosts of energy yet but going to bed late might be playing a role in that (oops!). I have yet to experience any cravings and I always feel full enough between meals. Snacking has become rare for Ryan and me. Healthy, whole food is filling! I love that I have already gained so much in just 10 days!
My favorite change so far has been my confidence. The other day, I went shopping for a few new fall tops. Normally, I would force myself to try things on and become more and more discouraged with every article of clothing. This time, I couldn’t stop smiling! I felt great in everything I tried on. I got excited when a top looked good and made me look slim. I finally felt confident. Even if that was the only thing I would gain from this experience, I would be thrilled.
As I start the next 10 days, I am looking forward to seeing more physical improvements and mental changes. Even though the last 2 days have been difficult, I am encouraged with knowing that my body is busy making a life-long change for the better. That makes it worth sticking it out for 30 days.
Have you completed Whole 30? How did you feel in the first 10 days? I need some encouragement right about now!