The Whole30 Answer
Last year, the Whole30 plan seemed like the answer to my weight problems. In fact, as I cracked open the book, the following lines truly had me sold: “It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.” (Hartwig, vii). I was sold. I told myself, “My goodness, Melanie, if you can’t drink your darn coffee black while people are suffering from fatal diseases, then you have a serious problem.” That is what I told myself. It was just the hook I needed to get started.
Why I decided on the Whole30
I have been active all my life and I have always loved being in the outdoors and love to exercise. However, the past six years have been particularly hard for me and I have gone from running 5-8 miles a day to having hip surgery and not being able to even walk one lap because I have become so out of shape. When I was injured, I told myself that if I couldn’t run, which was my passion, then why even bother exercising at all. As it turns out, that mentality was not the route to take. It has led me down a bad path of weight gain and inactivity. I have gained about 80 pounds.
For the past several years, I had been suffering from stomach issues and hypothyroidism. I needed to find out what was leading me down this path of chronic stomach pain. I was tired of rushing home to the restroom because my stomach was cramping so bad. On top of that, I had tennis elbow on both elbows! Yikes! I was falling apart. Now, I am not someone who loves cooking and finding awesome recipes, so this was a concern for me, as I thought about starting this Whole30 program. I decided, however, that I needed to do this. I needed to kick start a change. And, so…off I went last summer in July as we arrived in Texas from our eight-year stint in Wisconsin. Yep, I decided to start not too long after I landed in central Texas! What? Barbecue, Breakfast tacos, were all waiting for the taking and I said NO for 30 days! As a teacher, our summer meetings entailed donuts, tacos, candy, etc… and I said No to all of that!
So… What Were My Whole3o Diet Results?
Are you ready? Well, let me tell you that when the WHOLE30 book tells you that you will be building a whole new relationship with food, it is most certainly correct. I did just that. I found myself saying no to food that I would never have said no to. I made myself proud and I lost 22 pounds in 30 days. That is insane! I ate good filling foods and I lost over 20 pounds in a month. Do you want to know what is even better? I didn’t have one stomach cramp and I went from barely being able to lift my purse because my elbow hurt so bad to no pain at all. It was a true miracle. I felt good. I had energy through the roof and there was no stopping me. Or, was there?
So, if things went so well for me then why am I back to the weight I started at? Why didn’t I keep going? I keep asking myself that to this day. However, I think I know the answer. It is two-fold. One, the school year started right as I was finishing up my 30 days, and the stress of being a new teacher at a brand new school with brand new expectations and all the learning I had to do got the best of me. I became stressed and I caved. It was simply too much for me to handle and I turned to my sweet addiction.
The next reason is that I didn’t have the family support I needed. I have a husband and three children to feed and if your family is not on board, it makes it harder to succeed. Well, I say that for me at least because I am just not interested in cooking and don’t really have creative ideas when it comes to meals. I will wash dishes all day, but cooking? Ugh! It just isn’t something I take pleasure in. My kids will tell you that my husband is a way better cook than I am. They sure love to let me know.
I had a good thing going and I let it go and now I am back to my aches and pains. How many of you have tried a plan like WHOLE30 and failed? It sure is a hard pill to swallow. Anyhow, I urge you to find people to talk to. Come to this page and vent or let off steam. Everyone needs an outlet. We can do this.
Will I try WHOLE30 Again?
I will absolutely try it again. In fact, I started day 1 today. Wish me luck. This time, I have my ducks in a row. I have my eldest daughter on board and I am taking charge of the cooking so my husband has no reason to make excuses about not wanting to come on board with me. He needs the help too as he has high blood pressure and is overweight. Sometimes, you just know it is up to you to make things right. Well, this is one of those times for me. I have to make things right for my family and for me.
What is my Advice to You?
One bit of advice before starting WHOLE30 I’d share with those considering this endeavor is to read up on the plan ahead of time. Once you have done so, prepare your food needs ahead of time!! Go shopping and learn how to meal prep, if you don’t already. This is something that I plan on doing this time around. It will be extremely hard to start this journey without setting yourself up for success. If you are big on snacking, make sure you have enough approved foods with you. Don’t find yourself without any healthy snacks. This will lead to temptation. Drink a lot of water. Also, you can eat leftovers for breakfast. Don’t tire yourselves of eggs. Be creative and satisfy yourself. Once you feel good and up to it, include some exercise as your doctor sees fit. You can do this! I recommend reading the book, The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom. I also recommend the cookbook The Whole30 Cookbook: 150 Delicious and Totally Compliant Recipes to Help You Succeed with the Whole30 and Beyond.
I wish you all the best! Here is to 30 Days!