Ladies (and gentleman)! I have completed my Whole30! Now that it is over, it feels like it flew by, lol.
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Overall I would say that I am glad I did it. My primary reasons for following the plan was to cut out all the sugar, as I felt I had been overdoing it over the few months prior. I also wanted to become more mindful in my approach to eating. Since becoming a parent I have gradually gotten in the habit of just eating whatever was quick, or eating bites of the kids food, even when I was not hungry.
That was one thing I really enjoyed about Whole30. While my options were much more limited, I really thought about whether or not I was actually hungry, and what I actually felt like eating. Below are what I viewed as the pros and cons of Whole30.
- A focus on fruits and veggies. The majority of my meals and snacks had a fruit or veggie in them, and I felt good eating lots of produce.
- More stable energy. I did not feel that I really had more energy than I normally do, but I did not have any crashes throughout the day.
- Decrease in cravings. Within a few days I really didn’t want sugar all the time, like I had prior. I have this candy dish sitting on my desk at work. I thought I would have to move it out of sight, but I didn’t really feel the urge to eat candy at all. Which is unusual for me, I love myself some candy.
- I felt more mindful and comfortable with my eating. Because I had to think more about what I could eat, I considered whether or not I was actually hungry, or just used to eating at that time. I also really thought about what sounded good, rather than just grabbing something quick. I had gotten in the habit of having a glass of wine or a treat when the babies went to bed each night. Since I couldn’t have either of those things, I thought a lot more about if I actually needed something to eat, or was just used to eating at that time. In the last month, sometimes I had an evening snack, and sometimes I didn’t, but I always was mindful of how I was feeling and if I was actually hungry.
- Limited protein options. I am not really a meat everyday kinda gal. On Whole30 I felt that my options for getting protein in were pretty limited and that I was eating more meat than I like to.
- Options are limited. It is a lot harder to grab something while out and about. I am used to packing my lunch everyday and carrying snacks with me, but it still required quite a bit of planning and prep.
- Time consuming. I am pretty good at meal planning, grocery shopping and prepping for the week, but the Whole30 plan definitely took more time and prep than I am used to.
My take away (trigger warning: some talk of weight and body image).
I enjoyed the focus on produce and really want to continue that. I already knew that I felt best when eating lots of fruits and veggie, and Whole30 really reminded me of that.
Following this plan also made me feel more confident in my ability to nourish myself and maintain my body without counting calories or tracking everything I ate.
Throughout the course of my life, I have been both thinner and heavier than I am now. I feel that I am approaching a place were I just feel good in my body, and am much more focused on how I feel and what I am able to do, rather than my clothing size or weight. During this experience, I did lose a little weight. But I never thought about trying to and I never felt hungry. I ate when I felt hungry, I enjoyed my food, and I didn’t track a single bite.
I do want to take that feeling with me, and focus on listening to my body and eating in a more mindful way. While I did enjoy some components of Whole30, I am super excited to reintroduce some foods. I am celebrating the end of Whole30 with a well-earned glass of wine (cheers)! I am also kind of ridiculously excited to reintroduce legumes and some grains (I missed you oatmeal!).
Have you ever tried Whole30? What did you think?