I am D O N E done with the Whole30, and it feels so good! It's such a rewarding feeling to commit to something tough for your health and see it through. Yes, I am fully aware that I'm one of those people who exercises a lot of discipline and self control, but don't be fooled - my wiring is no different than your own. I was reading the book Woman Code by Alisa Vitti yesterday, and she said, "From a biological standpoint, there is no such thing as willpower." Isn't that interesting? My ability to do the Whole30 or take care of myself is no different than yours! We're all capable of committing and following through.
As I mentioned on my Instagram stories, I have done multiple rounds of Whole30 or something similar during the past 4 years, but I learn new things each time. The mental acuity and peace I get about my own food freedom and lifestyle are so valuable to me. I'd love to share some of those takeaways with you!
I want to start this post with the awareness that everyone is different. I have had clients lose 15+ pounds during the last month and look like completely different people, but I obviously wasn't expecting that for myself! After all, I eat 80% (or more) Whole30 style on a regular basis, and I work out 6 days a week, in addition to teaching Pure Barre classes. I wasn't expecting a massive scale/body transformation, but I'd like to share my results with you anyway!
The scale shows that I've lost 3-4 pounds, which might be a little bit off because it's that time of the month for me right now, so things get a little more bloated around here ha. All of my clothes fit better, my skin is clearer, and I have a lot of energy! Most of these aren't huge changes from my normal lifestyle, but I did begin this round of Whole30 after a vacation season with a lot of eating out and drinking, so I noticed the energy boost much more than I normally would! And again, the first time I did Whole30, the results and the changes were more drastic, which is how it should be! The hope is that your lifestyle will change to take good care of yourself and implement what you've learned, so the physical results will lessen as you find your body's happy and healthy weight.
I actually dread sharing before and after pictures for one reason - I want to be very clear when I say that there was nothing wrong with the before. I hate how our society views the before pictures as the bad body and the after as the good; that is not how I viewed this month in the least. I also changed nothing about my workouts during this month. I did Pure Barre classic 3-4 days per week, Pure Empower 1-2, and either another cardio or yoga on the 6th day. I took one day off every week. PS. I purposely relaxed in these pictures. I'm not trying to wow you by sticking out my stomach out and then magically pulling it in like we see on social media. Sorry about the difference in lighting, it was a different time of day in my room!
Things I Did Differently
In this round of Whole30, I really focused on cooking things that were easy and attainable for me, which often meant not always meal prepping something big but whipping up what I had in the fridge into a new dish. I listened to my hunger signals and only ate 2-3 RX bars the whole time instead of one a day just because I "could". I heard Diane Sanfilippo talking about her 21 Day Sugar Detox, a similar type of program, and she said, "You can white-knuckle your way through a 21 DSD, but then you'll just fall back into your old habits as soon as it is over." I wanted to avoid that.
As I have mentioned on Instagram, I have ended previous Whole30's with the WOOHOO LET'S EAT ALL THE THINGS mindset, and that's left me feeling groggy, achy, and gross. More so, when I have over-eaten compliant foods during the Whole30, I've found myself carrying that mindset into my life after Whole30. I really focused on cooking, enjoying it, and not counting down the days until I could live with freedom from the rules. And you know what? I enjoyed it more than I ever have.
The Cheat Day Mindset
I mentioned this on my Instagram story today, but Melissa Hartwig, the founder of the Whole30, recently talked about how the cheat day mindset is no good for maintaining real food freedom. She said something similar to, "How do you know what you'll want for dinner next Tuesday? You don't. Therefore, you don't know that you'll want dessert just because it's a girl's night, the weekend, etc." I love that because it is so true! We make excuses for our eating habits because anything can be turned into a special occasion if you try hard enough. But, if it's not worth it to you, don't sacrifice. If it is, go for it!
Today is day 31, which means reintroduction begins. This morning, I chose to have my favorite Purely Elizabeth oatmeal, mixed with coconut oil, almond butter, walnuts, cacao nibs, and almond milk, so the only thing I introduced was gluten-free grains. I plan to take things slowly and go back to Whole30 for a day or 2 in between each reintroduction, which is what the plan recommends. I don't feel the need to be meticulous about this, but I am curious to see what my body and my gut bacteria is most reactive to.
If you didn't know, the point of the Whole30 is to reset your system, that's why it needs to be a full 30 days with no cheats. The Whole30 stabilizes your blood sugar, aids in weight loss/muscle gain, balances your hormones (my cycles always change on it), and flushes out your gut so that, when you reintroduce, your body can process the more inflammatory foods with ease. When you use food as fuel, the body wants to heal itself!
If you've recently completed a Whole30 or have questions about the program, congratulations, and I'd love to hear from you! Comment below or direct message me on Instagram (@griffinmckenzie).