I concluded my first Whole30 on August 5th. Since then, I’ve been maintaining a Whole30-esque diet if and when I can, making exceptions on occasion, especially when I’m out socializing (read: eating and drinking) with friends or family.
My reasoning behind this (and not following the reintroduction plan as laid out by It Starts With Food) is that none of my pre-Whole30 “ailments” were bad enough that I’d permanently eliminate any given food group from my diet.
That being said, I do value the way I feel right now enough to try and keep it up when it’s possible and convenient. If you’re at all familiar with my pre-Whole30 style of eating, then you’re probably as shocked as I am that I’ll by and large be shunning grains, dairy, and legumes, but I just feel so good, that it’d be silly not to keep it up.
And here, my friends, is what I mean by “so good”:
- I’m learning to listen to and obey my hunger cues. I’m pretty much a Type A person and, for the most part, my schedule rotates around my three meals, which rotate around the clock. Noon is always lunch time, and dinner is always between 6 and 7 pm. As I’m writing this, though, it’s 12:06, I have my lunch beside me, and not only am I not hungry, but I’m also not eating. This may sound like a “duh” thing to most of y’all, but pre-W30, I probably would’ve eaten anyway. Lunch time is lunch time, right? Well, no. It’s time to eat when I’m hungry, and it’s time to stop when I’m not anymore.
- I’m no longer counting calories or macros. Like I said before, I’m listening to my body and my body is totally into it.
- I’ve completely distanced myself away from my fat-phobic days. Removing dairy, grains, soy, legumes, and alcohol from my diet has left the door wide open for me to experiment with meats, veggies, fruit, and fat.
- I felt satiated by my meals. My pre-Whole30 meals would not usually keep me full for longer than an hour or two, which meant I was almost constantly hungry, which meant I was pretty much always thinking about when and what I’d eat next. This feels much, much better.
- My knee and back pain are (mostly) a distant memory. For the last year or so, I’ve struggled with these pains that are exacerbated by some of my favorite moves/workouts– squats, deadlifts, classes at Cyc. I began physical therapy a few months ago but, as any dietetic intern knows, our schedules are often out of our control. But as I began W30, I started to notice that, by the end of the first week, I was able to squat with the best of ’em with little to no pain afterward. If I get nothing else out of this than being pain-free, I’ll consider it a win.
- I’m sleeping better than I have in a long time. I’m the type of person whose best ideas and worst anxiety hits when I’m trying to fall asleep, which usually means I spend a good hour or two in bed before sleep finally hits me. Since Whole30, though, I’ve been falling asleep faster and feeling more energized throughout the day with far less coffee than I was drinking before.
- My body feels and looks slimmer. I followed The Whole30’s no scale rule and didn’t step on it for the entirety of the 30 days… And I still haven’t. This scale sabbatical was partially due to the fact that I didn’t actually have one around when I was supposed to do my final weigh in (I was moving out of my house in Austin/living in a hotel/moving to Houston at that time). But once I finally settled back in and regained scale access, I was feeling so good that I just didn’t really feel the need to know. As long as I maintain my current level of confidence (and my pants still fit), I think I’ll stowaway the scale in my bathroom cabinet.