Depending on when you read this, I have exactly 4 days left in my Whole30 program. I could not be more ready to leave this behind and never look back.
At this point I ‘m trying to imagine what my life will look like when I come off this plan. I haven’t figured out all the details, but I’m looking forward to the convenience of being able to eat wherever I am without having to make 1000 alterations to my order or just go hungry.
I knew this would be hard when I started it but I really looked forward to experiencing some of the benefits of this way of eating. Unfortunately, I can’t say I’ve really had any physical improvements. My hunger cues are gone – I don’t feel hunger, I just get exhausted and then cranky/emotional. I am tired all the time. In order to keep from feeling so exhausted all the time I felt like I had to overeat and even that just gave me a short boost of energy that quickly ran out. I kept waiting for the energy to come back and it simply hasn’t. My skin has hated this plan as well. I started having period spotting halfway through the month and it never cleared up – then I got my period and I really feel drained all the time.A typical Whole30 lunch
I’ve had a lot of trouble falling and staying asleep. I’ve had a headache from clenching my teeth this whole time – usually I’m able to chew gum to keep my jaw relaxed. My appetite is pretty much gone which makes getting enough to eat even harder for me than it already is on this plan.
I never experienced any sugar cravings and after the first week I stopped craving carbs. All I’ve wanted since day one has been a tall glass of milk.
The biggest challenge for me this whole time has been coping with my lack of energy. I wasn’t able to keep up with my workouts because I was so tired all the time. I worked out twice a week with my personal trainer and it took me much longer to recover than normal.My faux taco salad – a major fail!
But the good news is that this is over soon and I will be able to add back into my life the foods I’ve been struggling without. I can’t wait to have my energy back and stop feeling like such a disaster!
I learned that this way of life is just not an option for me. And that’s okay. Everyone is different and their bodies are bound to respond to different plans in different ways. For me, a more moderate and plant-based approach is not just easier (and thus more sustainable) but also makes me feel better.
So who is this good for?
- If you believe in the “science” of Paleo and want to make the required changes in your diet/life.
- If you believe you may have allergies/sensitivities to one of the restricted food groups
- If you’ve already read and understand the extent of the Whole30 program and are 100% committed to doing it no matter what.
What comes next?
I’m taking two weeks off – one to transition back to foods (and it may not take the whole week), and another for vacation. During this time I won’t have total free rein to go wild and eat everything in sight, but after transition I won’t be restricting any food groups. I fully expect to experience a little weight gain or at least a plateau while I adjust but my main goal is not to gain it all back.I never would have tried Larabars until this challenge. Now I could eat one a day.
When I get back from my brother’s wedding, I’ll be going back to my “eat real food” approach. I’ll be relying on the willpower I’ve now learned I have to keep me clean. It won’t be perfect and there will be road bumps, but I know it’s the best way for me to learn to eat for the rest of my life.
This is my second-to-last Whole30 post. I’ll be back next week with the wrap up, which will include the pictures and measurements and juicy details you really want to know!