This Girl Did
Who completed her first 30 days of her Whole30 with no cheats?! That would be little ole’ me! 🙂 Through the headaches and cravings, the countless grocery store trips and meal prep sessions (including hours and hours of chopping veggies), the avoidance of fun parties where I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay compliant if I went and the food boredom, I did it. And while my experience wasn’t void of complaining by any means, it wasn’t all bad. I promise!
Like many people who complete the program, I learned many things about myself. The #1 thing I learned was stress management is extremely important for me to feel good. It taught me if I’m not managing my stress, EVERYTHING derails. It would start with me worrying about something which then caused insomnia, which led to increased cravings, lack of motivation and a “blah” mood all day. Basically, if I’d been feeling any tiger blood before the worry and insomnia began, it would take me a couple days of better sleep to start feeling good again.
When my stress was under control, I felt happier, more motivated, experienced less cravings and acid reflux and less fatigue. I was motivated and energetic for productive days, evenings and weekends. This is significant because before the Whole30, I often had a hard time peeling myself off the coach in the evenings and weekends after a full week at work. Many projects just sat causing me more and more anxiety. And while I don’t know if I lost any weight, my pants fit better – without having to count calories or macros or feeling hungry. (At the recommendation of the Whole30, I’m not weighing myself right now as I don’t want a number on the scale to trump my feeling of achievement if it’s not what I want to see.)
Starting today and for the next 14 days, reintroduction
That would be reintroduction of inflammation-causing foods to help me determine what my body likes and what it doesn’t. According to the Whole30 rules for reintroduction, you start with the least inflammation-causing foods. I have decided to start with sugar and natural sweeteners. This morning, I added my monk fruit sweetener to my morning decaf coffee and was immediately overwhelmed with sweetness. It was a strange, almost chemical, taste. After drinking my coffee, I had severe acid reflux, nausea and a headache – a similar reaction I’ve experienced with sugar alcohols. After I started feeling better, I had a protein ball with coconut sugar in it and a few squares of a dark chocolate bar. I’ve not felt any negative feelings from those yet.
In a few days, I will introduce legumes (hello, peanut butter). A few days after that I will have gluten-free baked goods, then dairy and finally gluten. In between reintroduction days I will eat 100% Whole30 foods again to let my body rest and also observe any negative reactions to those new foods to my system. it can take days for symptoms to appear.
All this work will feed (no pun intended) into my long-term Food Freedom plan to fuel my body in the way it needs to be fueled. I will also take forward with me a rejuvenated drive to focus on my self-care so I can continue to feel good and not lose the progress I’ve made. Keep on keeping on.