Today is a great day!
It’s the 30th day of our Whole30 adventure!
Does this mean our journey is over? NO – in fact, it’s just beginning. Tomorrow, on day 31, we begin the reintroduction program of all the foods we’ve removed from our diet over the last month. We’ll slowly add legumes, dairy, gluten, grains, and other food groups back into our eating plan and discover any adverse reactions that our bodies experience. Here’s to listening to our bodies and learning why we feel so much better now.
It’s been an informative, challenging and highly rewarding month of an intense eating plan. I will share my weight loss with you, but to remind myself – and all of you – that this is about more than a number on a scale, let’s first cover some of the other benefits we’ve noticed.
What are the Non-Scale Wins?
Page 43 of the Whole30® book begins a multi-page list of non-scale victories. Instead of sharing what could happen if you engage in Whole30®, I’d rather share some of the victories we’ve personally achieved:
- Fewer blemishes
- Glowing skin (with many compliments, by the way)
- Lightened under-eye circles
- Stronger, thicker hair (I struggle with alopecia so this is HUGE! AND, my eyelashes are actually growing back!)
- Brighter eyes
- Less bloating
- Less joint swelling
- Higher confidence (I’ve noticed that Mike carries himself differently. It’s fun to see.)
- Fewer seasonal allergies (another HUGE victory in our house.)
- Less heartburn
- Less chronic pain in shoulder/back/knees/ankles and other joints
- Improved blood pressure
- Fewer sugar and carb cravings
- FEELING IN CONTROL OF FOOD. I can’t overstate this. Wow.
- Improved attention span
- Clearer thinking
- Falling asleep more easily (not Mike – he could already fall asleep in under 3 seconds and it’s hard to improve on that!)
- Sleeping more soundly
- Wake to feel fully rested – the snooze button? What’s that for again?
- Fewer night sweats
- More even energy levels
Are you shouting, “Enough already!”?
There are more victories to list, but I wonder how many bullet points you’ll actually read. 🙂
Here’s the thing:
These last 30 days have been some of the most stressful I’ve experienced in a long while (NOT because of Whole30®). There are parts of my life that literally seem to be imploding and there’s nothing I can do to help or fix it. On top of that, my mom who lives with us experienced a stroke. Mike’s dad had a bout with some chest pains (everything is ok with both Mom and Dad, thank God). We even had to say goodbye to the world’s best dog – the one I’ve told you about that used to lie beside me and encourage me with tail wagging as I wrote Finding Joy in the Journey and Victorious. I miss him a lot.
We’ve enjoyed house guests and road trips. And somehow during this time, I haven’t stress-eaten. I haven’t grabbed a cookie for comfort. I haven’t even felt strongly tempted to do so, and yes, there have been cookies and ice cream and cake and French fries in my house, even right in front of my face. This is a profound victory, whether I lost a pound or not.
My ultimate goal is to break the bondage that food has over me and to walk in freedom and victory. For the last 30 days, I’ve achieved this. To God be the glory.
One truly amazing thing we’ve learned about is hidden sugars. We’ve learned to recognize it along with a plethora of terrible additives that are in our food. Even if there is no sugar shown in the nutritional value of a product, ingredients often list a type of sugar (primarily dextrose) as an additive. The amounts are small enough to sneak under the radar of nutritional values, but those little buggers are in there.
If nearly everything we eat has a trace of added sugar and we add in more refined sugar with sweets and sugary beverages, how much sugar are we ingesting? A lot more than we think. A. Lot. More.
When we purchase low-fat alternatives, the labels indicate that extra sugar is added. This helps to make the food taste more like the higher-fat option. I’m no longer afraid of dietary fat and have lost weight eating plenty of it. I do, however, have a new mindset to avoid sugar except on rare occasions.
Hidden sugars explain a lot, like why we struggle with weight in our country. And sugar feeds much more than fat cells in our body. Cancer, I’ve learned, thrives on sugar. Those two are besties. It’s time to break up their relationship.
If you’re curious to learn more, I highly recommend that you read up on nutritional issues. They’re not as complicated and hard to understand as I expected. I’m no expert, so you need to gather your wisdom from those who are.
The reintroduction phase has me slightly terrified, but we’re planning to march right through it. I don’t want to trigger cravings. I don’t want to add pounds. Thankfully the book teaches us how to navigate those things.
Before I started the program, I was afraid that I might learn I am gluten intolerant – news I didn’t wish to discover. Now, I truly want to know. I’d love to have eyes wide open to something that is making me sick or causing inflammation, or moodiness, or hormone swings. I’m not afraid to go without my beloved bread or cheese. I still love it, but it no longer calls to me as loudly from the kitchen. I can save such things for special occasions and infrequent treats.
Because I’m in control.
Get to the Weight Loss Already!
There it is. I lost 17 pounds on the 30-day program. Mike lost 21 pounds. He worked out a few times while I didn’t work out once.
Most of the weight loss happened during the first 14 days, so I’m slightly disappointed with the total pounds lost. I was mentally prepared to report a much higher number to you. Still, 17 pounds is nothing to sneeze at. And as I said, the journey is just beginning. I expect the number on the scale to eventually become a friend and not a foe. Even if it doesn’t, I like how I feel and am more confident with how I look.
The number on the scale doesn’t define me. Jesus Christ defines me. This I know.
Thanks again for walking this journey with me. I’ve appreciated your support, encouragement, and most of all your prayers. If you decide to take the Whole30® adventure, please let me know. I’d love the honor of praying for you!
Be strengthened today, by His Word,