Alright, so I’m done with the Whole 30….or more accurately the Whole 25. There were days I hated it and days I was loving it. I wanted to write out a review, though, of my experience with it because I’m finding that everyone I know, who did it, got something different out of it. I did it mainly for my health and some irritating skin issues I couldn’t seem to shake. But obviously, I did benefit from some of the other improvements that Whole 30 tends to yield.
Things That Didn’t Happen
They actually say you’ll be happier during the Whole 30. Although, I was in good moods I would not say my happiness level was unusually high because I was eating primarily a paleo diet. If anything, I had some crazy mood swings because I couldn’t have sugar or bread. I watched Tom eating peanut butter one night and the word “evil” actually came into my brain. EVIL.
I get the logic though. When you are feeling good you are happy. But hello, I’m a woman too. I may be happy but I’m also prone to being sensitive, emotional, and, at times, very anxious. Comes with the territory.
So this was the area I was most disappointed with. A lot of skin issues are supposed to clear up on the Whole 30. For me specifically, I have a condition called folliculitis. It effects my legs in particular since it targets your hair follicles where hair is growing. So you don’t have to google this (because it’s pretty gross), it looks like I have a ton of pimples on my legs. And not just pimples…whiteheads. Yuck!
Anyway, this did not at all improve while doing the Whole 30. Yes, I did stop on Day 25, but at Day 25 I saw literally no improvement. So back to the drawing board on that one.
When I ask others why they were doing the Whole 30, they typically told me it was to lose weight. This did not happen for me. I went in weighing the same as I came out of it. I wasn’t trying to lose weight so this isn’t exactly a blow to me. But I should mention that I spent a decent amount of time on the Whole 30 bloated AF. That was not exactly ideal. Perhaps if I had more of a weight issue I would have seen an improvement in this area but that just wasn’t the case going in.
Things That DID Happen
My sleep was off the charts. I wear a fitbit that tracks that sort of thing. Although, the amount of sleep I was getting was still around the same, the quality was so much better. The stages of REM and Deep increased and after Day 14ish, I woke up feeling amazing all the time.
Again, this was noticeably different. In the past, it would take me a few hours to really get situated at work and be totally there. My productivity has just been amazing. I wake up feeling great and right when I get to work I’m responding to clients, working on projects and wrapping up any outstanding issues. My planner has been just a series of lists with everything crossed off. My weekends were totally open and it felt awesome. My workouts were also super productive. I would run 5 miles and not even realize it, where before I was counting down the minutes until I was done.
Feeling the difference between emotional hunger vs real hunger
This is true. I will say that I stopped being hungry because I was bored. I’m not sure why that was but the snacking totally stopped. I really enjoyed the schedule I had with this because I wasn’t worried anymore about the quantity of what I was eating. When you switch from worrying about the quantity to worrying about the quality, it is kind of freeing. I was able to plan out all my meals beforehand and I wasn’t constantly worrying about calories anymore.
I learned a lot about ingredients.
You spend the entire month looking at labels. I had a great app that I was able to scan barcodes and look up ingredients and thank god for that. It is very time consuming doing this. I would walk through the store for over an hour scanning everything. Now I can look at something and see right away it has way too much sugar….or butter etc.
Ok, I’m not going to go into detail about this. Let’s just say I had issues….and on the Whole 30 I didn’t. Also, girls don’t poop. BYE!
I’m Lactose Intolerant. Thanks for that tip Whole 30!
Giving up these things uncovered something that never occurred to me. I am lactose intolerant. Giving up dairy was the best thing I did. I feel so much better every day and a lot of my digestive problems went away with giving up lactose alone. This all being said….I really do miss chugging milk when I’m hungover. If you have not done this….you haven’t lived your life to the fullest.
Alright – so all in all, I think the Whole 30 is worth it. I will note that you have to pick a really good month to do it. A month where you don’t want to go outside and no one is making plans to do anything. January was perfect for me. Although, the eating restrictions got so much easier as I went along, the no alcohol part got a lot fucking harder. There was one night, after a terrible day at work, I was lying in bed just staring at the bottles of wine we had on our shelf in the other room. Looking lustfully at bottles of wine could be a rock bottom for some. For me, it was just missing an old friend.
It was also just kind of fun to see if I could do it. Starting a year off already crossing a goal off your list feels pretty good.
So will I keep doing it? No. I mean come on, me likey wine and beer, people. But I will probably keep most of the food dietary rules going. Last weekend, I ate a loaf of breads worth of stuffed pretzels and felt like utter hell. So I need to SLOWLY reintroduce myself to things.