November 15, 2012

Whole30: The Results of my Whole45


Wooooooooo! I am not a Woo Girl, but this calls for a woo or two. Wooooooo! (No HIMYM fans? Okay...)

I finished the Whole30® -- well, a Whole45 for me! If you have been following along, you know exactly what the Whole30 involves. You can go back and read from the beginning here.

Besides a minor, unintentional slip up which prompted an extension, I was 100% complaint. Later, because of my issues with sugar, I decided to go for a whole 45 days.

It has now been a week since I completed my Whole45. So far, I've only introduced sugar and corn (in the form of popcorn). For the first few days, I remained mostly Whole30 compliant. I ate a small piece of dark chocolate from an opened bar that sat in the refrigerator, untouched, for over 45 days. A few days in, I decided to add sugar (coconut sugar) to my coffee. Then on the weekend after ending my Whole30, I made pancakes.

These were pancakes made with coconut flour and pumpkin puree, among other Whole30 compliant foods. Besides a tbsp or so of honey, nothing new here. And I thoroughly enjoyed them. But...for my next meal, I went back to my typical Whole30 way of eating.

Enough talk. Let's check out the results from my 45 days on the Whole30 program.

First some stats:
  • Pounds lost: 5.5
  • Total inches lost: 4.5 (about an inch each from waist, hips, thighs, chest)

The positives
  •  I don't need dessert. Let me repeat that -- I don't need dessert.
  • I can get through the day without sugar or coffee.
  • I can drink tea and coffee without sweetener. And, actually prefer to do so.
  • The realization that bloating does not have to be a normal, everyday occurrence.
  • No dairy for 4 months = no eczema; Whole30 = still no eczema 
  • Also, no dairy = improving complexion; Whole30 = continually improving complexion
  • A mysterious rash on the back of knees (possibly eczema) can be cleared without steroids, or any cream for that matter. (Full disclosure: Redmond clay did help with the initial healing.)
  • It's possible to go from chronic under-planner to a not-a-Martha-Stewart-but-getting-there weekly meal planner
  • Although people may think you're strange, having the mood of a giddy child (especially following a normal first week of crankiness) is welcome and enjoyable.
  • Digging out a several years old post-deployment sports bra may not be fun, but it's oh-so-worth-it when it fits.
  • Not consuming sugar for 45 days allows you to truly enjoy the sweetness of a banana. Though it also makes everything else taste extremely sweet. 

Most importantly...
  •  Food does not control me. Sugar does not control me. I can cope with stress, and there has been plenty of it, without food. Without the comfort of food. And...without sugar.

And I'm influencing others:
  • My Lipton-little-noodle-soup-loving Mom now makes her own soup. Her margarine has been replaced with real butter, her sugar is now organic, and she bought real local honey. Her boxes of store-bought cereal are gone and in their place are jars of homemade granola. And alert the press, because this is huge -- she bought coconut oil.
  • My sister is on board for a January 2013 Whole30 (no turning back now, lady -- the world knows about it).  
1) Roasted chicken w/onions and gravy 2)Quick chicken curry w/roasted cauliflower and carrots 3)Big salad w/chicken (I swear I eat more than just chicken) and boiled eggs 4) Zucchini noodles

Now, before you think everything is all unicorns and rainbows in my world...

The negatives:

I still have some digestives issues.

Likely due to my missing gallbladder. (It was removed. So I won't be finding it.) But I'm working on that. And I might just join my sister for her Whole30 in January to eliminate other foods to test other possible causes.

Pounds lost: 5.5lbs

I know, I know, that's in my positive list too. But, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't hoped for more. I read the stories of double digit pounds dropped. I wanted that. I needed that. Months and months of hard core insane workouts didn't lead to weight loss. And even though I didn't do the Whole30 to lose weight, I still want to lose it. But...I'm still going to look at this as a positive. And what I take from this is knowing that I need to stop focusing on the scale. My pants are starting to sag, I need to buy a smaller bra, and above all, I feel better. Sure, I still want to lose more weight. But from here on out, I am getting rid of my scale. Okay, I'm not going to get rid of it. I just won't weigh myself. Okay...I will probably still weigh myself. Just less often. Obviously I still need to work on this issue. Breaking up has never been easy for me, and I'm not ready to let the scale go yet.

I have a long way to go... 

This is not so much about my compliance with Whole30 nutrition, but because of my lack of focus on the Whole9 factors. Nutrition is not the only factor in improving your health. So I'm putting more focus on my workouts (cutting out the extreme cardio and making sure I recover) and my sleep and stress management. I will stop thinking I can get by on 5 hours of sleep. I will focus on positive ways to handle the massive stress piling up in my life. I will stop worrying about things I have no control over. And I will focus on positive changes.

My first taste of sugar, post-Whole30
Overall, the Whole30 has definitely changed my life. When I started, I was already eating real foods. I ate lean meats, vegetables and fruits, whole grains. I ate food that was not highly processed and with the fewest ingredients. I had given up dairy. I was attempting a gluten-free diet. And I was doing what I knew to be healthy. But I was not feeling my best. The Whole30 put my health back in focus and while it wasn't easy, it gave me invaluable insight into my eating habits.

Post-Whole30, I'm more aware. I enjoy my food more. I have more energy. I slayed the sugar dragon. He (or she?) is not gone for good. I'm aware of that. I will probably have to fight him off every day, at least for awhile. But after 45 days without sugar, it's easier. Much easier.

I'm more confident -- not just with food and my improving skin and body, but in my ability to stick with something difficult. I'm more confident in my ability to make choices that force me to push myself past the limits I had placed upon myself -- limits that were holding me back. Though unexpected, completing the Whole30 allowed me to believe in myself again.

So where do I go from here? Well...stay tuned. But I can tell you one thing. I'm planning a mostly paleo Thanksgiving.

(Want to do a Whole30? Get the book HERE.)


  1. Way to go Annie!I may have to try the Whole30 to slay the sugar dragon myself.The pancakes look delicious!

    1. Thank you! I hope that my posts will help if you decide to do it. I linked to a lot of my favorite articles on the Whole9/Whole30 page, so definitely check some of them out for more info.

  2. Awesome determination and strength!! Keep it up and that sugar dragon will be gone for good before you know it:)

  3. Hi - I enjoyed reading your post! Congratulations! I wanted to share a link from Bee Wilder's "Healing Naturally" website with you. She has prepared a very strict program for healing of candidiasis (candida/yeast overgrowth) and it follows pretty much what Whole30 does: no sugar, grains, starches, etc. She also touches on the subject of gall bladder issues. Here is one article which might be of help to you:

    In case I can't post a link, google Healing Naturally by Bee Wilder then put 'gall bladder' in her great search engine.

    Karen L

    1. Thanks for your comment, Karen! The link didn't post, but I will check out that website -- thank you. I'm planning another Whole30 for January, eliminating a few other things, so any additional information about dealing with this no gallbladder issue is welcome. :)


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