Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Whole30 Experience

I've written about going grain and dairy-free before and spoken about how much better I feel without them.  I've also talked about how I discovered dairy breaks out my face and gluten makes my stomach hurt.  I was slowly stripping away the inflammatory foods but had never done a full Whole30 before July.

The Whole30 is not about fat loss, although you probably will experience fat loss if you do a Whole30.  It's about healing your gut, getting your hormones in balance and making yourself healthier by fueling yourself with the right foods.  The biggest change for me was the best sleep I have had since high school when I played two sports and more energy than I knew what to do with (seriously, I was ANNOYED at how much energy I had.)  The combination of energy and good sleep caused me to have better weight training sessions than I've had in a long time which led to muscle growth.  Over the course of my Whole30 I went from 16.3% body fat to 13.8% and I only exercised 9 times in those 30 days.

When I started the Whole30, I was already grain, legume and dairy-free.  I would indulge in dark chocolate almond sea salt bars and occasionally gluten-free cupcakes on the weekends but I thought I was in a good position.  All I had left to give up was added sugars, seed oils, and alcohol.  And wow, what a difference that made.

Let me back track a second and say I also like coffee.  I like coffee but I have the personality type where coffee doesn't really affect me.  I like the taste of coffee. You might say that is BS - and I thought it was too - until I did was Dallas and Melissa suggest and self-experimented.  I gave up my beloved coffee for 30 days.  What sparked this coffee quitting was the fact that I was having serious sleep problems.  I would fall asleep easily but would wake up around 3AM and not be able to fall back asleep before I was up at 530AM.  It was awful.  An interesting thing happened when I gave up coffee.  I had ZERO withdrawal symptoms, the same sleep issues, and 30 days later when I added coffee back in, I couldn't tell any difference.  It wasn't the coffee.  I think it was denial that kept me from experimenting with giving up wine, but after the Whole30, I KNOW that wine was the culprit.

When Condition Kettlebell Gym decided to do this as a group, I decided that I wanted to participate instead of just moderate.  I knew it was time that I got out of the habit of going to the pub next door and doing my accounting with a glass or two of wine... that would into a glass or two at a networking event later.  I knew I needed this challenge to break myself of the wine.

The transition was not too difficult - again, it was just a matter of preparing my own food and not drinking. But the energy was insane.  That may sound like a good thing, but it was extremely annoying to me.  All I wanted was a glass of wine to calm myself down.  It made me revisit hobbies, it forced me try new ones, I got back on track with things that are important to me like getting to Bible Study and organizing my apartment.  And by Day 29 - I was waking up after 8 hours of sleep without and alarm clock... just like I heard was possible.

The Whole30 has seriously changed my life.  The only things I have added in in the last 3 weeks are local, pastured bacon/sausage that has a small amount of sugar in the curing process and wine.  And I realize exactly what the wine is doing.  I'm not talking a lot of wine! I had ONE GLASS on Monday night and woke up at 3AM... ONE GLASS.  Now, instead of casually drinking it throughout the week and being sluggish and not sleeping - which affects EVERYTHING, I only drink it on the weekend... because I LIKE it and poor sleep on a Friday when I can sleep late on a Saturday is not the end of the world. At least I know it's side effects and can make a decision as to whether it's worth it.

The rest of the "stuff"?? I don't care if I ever eat grains or dairy again, and I haven't had a "dessert" in almost 2 months. I'm too afraid that I will get addicted to sugar again, that the dessert - even if it's "compliant" isn't psychologically worth it.

I highly recommend doing a Whole30 to learn how the foods you eat affect you - not just for fat loss...

3 comments:

  1. Good for you, Delaine!

    There's a Ghirardelli chocolate flavor that's exactly what you described. If that's your brand, I'm right there with you. Got a bag of them at home.

    I undertook a ketogenic diet for about 6wks recently. I discovered my tolerance level for grains. 1 slice hi-fiber toast with PB for dessert, 1 actual "serving" of corn chips, etc. The only dairy problem I've ever had was milk at night, but no trouble with organic yogurt.

    I got lean. I dropped 6lbs off a 148lb frame leading up to a meet. I'm lifting heavy now on a steady diet of meats, leaves, and squats and milk. I can allow myself carbs because I can afford the weight, but it sits like I swallowed a pillow. Funny what we put up with for years of our lives in the name of convenience. I'm glad you found your tolerance for wine, and for coffee. Good to hear your story.

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