I did it! We did it – my husband, son and I! We finished the Whole30 Challenge!
I bet you want to know my results, right? That is what most people are concerned about – how much weight or inches was lost. First, let me say that I did not expect to lose weight at all. I didn’t set out to lose weight and frankly don’t have much to lose before I look too skinny. Everything is already where I want it to be and well, my thighs and hips aren’t ever going to be slim because that’s how I’m built and my husband likes it like that wink. I was already pretty happy about the way I ate and exercised for health and weight maintenance; I’ve worked very hard over the last couple of years. However, (I know you want to know!) I did in fact lose 4 pounds in 4 weeks. I could have probably lost more if I cut out fruit and nuts completely, but I did not. But again, weight loss was not my goal, so I was surprised. My body fat was measured; I moved from the top of the “Good” category, bypassed “Optimum Health” and settled quite nicely into the “Awesome” category. Insert fist pump here.
My husband lost 6 pounds in 3 weeks (he started a week late and he’s still has a week left for his Whole30) and he looks great – his weight loss is noticeable; people make comments to him all the time. In terms of body fat, he did move from the low end of “Fair” into “Good”, but he’s motivated to keep going until he reaches “Optimum Health.” I’m happy that we are both finally now on the same page in regards to health and fitness. I was dragging him along before, but since this challenge and reading It Starts With Food for himself, he is is 100% on board. And he no longer thinks of exercise as something that he does “when he has the time,” but rather something that he must do to stay healthy and live the best life possible.
My son lost 4 pounds in 4 weeks and he’s in the “Awesome” body fat category like me. He didn’t need to lose an ounce, but the 4 pounds lost along with dedicated kettlebell training has him cut up; his chest and biceps are so well defined now! I got him hooked on kettlebells and he will continue to train as his school schedule allows, on weekends and during holidays. I do not expect him to stick to Whole30 now that it is over, but he will continue to eat Paleo at home and I think this has given him a good foundation for making healthy choices on his own. He read It Starts With Food, we watched Food Inc. as a family and he stayed committed to exercising and eating Whole30 the entire time. I’m proud of him.
Even though the challenge is over, my personal Whole30 will extend another 2 weeks, into a Whole45 – when it will come to an abrupt halt in Paris. I will continue to eat Paleo meals and I’m packing my favorite Paleo snacks, but I will also indulge a bit, for what’s Paris without macarons and champagne?
But besides my indulgences in Paris, honestly I don’t see myself eating too differently on a daily basis. I learned so much about food, health and how to eat for optimum health; I like how I feel right now and want to keep it going. I plan to add in a bit of dairy in the form of pastured cream in my tea and occasionally pastured butter and see how my body feels. If it doesn’t rebel, I will be okay with that much dairy, but I won’t be adding cheese to my burgers. I’m sure that I will eat some natural sugar, like honey, in the occasional Paleo treats that I will make for my daughter, but it will not be often at all because sugar is my slippery slope.
As for grains, especially bread, they will not be in my diet. I do not miss bread, I do not want to eat bread and more importantly, I know how harmful it is the body. I will continue to make meat, vegetables, fruit and some nuts the mainstays of my diet. Contrary to what some people think, I do not feel deprived eating this way; I feel great. This is the story that I turned in to my nutritional coach; she was our guide for the challenge:
I have been eating Paleo now for awhile, but I would say that I was about 80/20 (I know we’re not supposed to say that). I cooked Paleo at home, but I still used store-bought mayo and salad dressing and didn’t really think about how my food was being prepared when I went out to eat. Doing the Food Fight and the Whole30 challenge really made me pay attention more closely.First of all, I loved reading the book It Starts With Food. I have read Rob Wolf’s book and other things on Paleo, but this book really connected the dots for me and gave me the conviction I needed to commit to the Whole30. I was pretty passionate about the book during the challenge and have asked many people in my life or on my blog to read it as well.Since I was committed to the Whole30, I did not buy mayo and threw away the mayo that I had at home. But one day I wanted deviled eggs, so I had no choice but to make my own Paleo mayo. What do you know? – I did it and it wasn’t hard at all. I also made a new salad dressing each week. Also not hard. I really got into cooking during the challenge because the only way to ensure that I wasn’t getting non-Whole30 additives in my food was to cook it myself. I knew that if my family was going to survive this, then I would have to make some great meals. And I did. I read the Paleo cookbooks Well Fed, Everyday Paleo and Paleo Comfort Foods cover to cover and tagged recipes that I wanted to try. Every recipe that I have tried has been Whole30 and delicious. Why would I want to cook any other way? I’m thankful that the Whole30 made me cook so much and I’ll continue to do this.I learned that while eating out, places and meals that I thought were “safe” and “healthy” were not in fact so much. I love Nordstrom Cafe, eat there often and I have a salad. I have never thought to ask about the kind of oil used in the salad dressing before the Whole30. This time I did and was disheartened to learn that they use canola oil. I still had my salad, but left off the dressing and used olive oil and vinegar instead. It was fine.I used to be a candy monster. I love candy, specially gummy candy. About 2 years ago I figured that it can’t be good for me, so I stopped. And eating Paleo convicted me even more. However, I had started to replace candy with dried unsweetened mango. While Paleo-approved, it still kept my sugar addiction alive; I had developed a habit of having a piece (or two or three) every night before bed. With the Whole30 challenge I banished dried mango from my pantry; even though it is Paleo-okay to have dried fruit, I knew that for myself that it had to be a part of my Whole30. I think it has made a difference.I had a few challenges during the Whole30 with social engagements. It was my birthday and it was hard to not eat cake – not that I even wanted cake, but one MUST have cake on their birthday! Well I didn’t and I survived. I also attended an ice cream social and a champagne party (two things I love) during this Food Fight and I did okay. I learned that I can say no, that I don’t have to eat something just because it’s there.I enjoyed this experience because I learned so much and I’m glad that my family did it with me. My ultimate goal is that I hope that I inspired others along my journey.
Did I inspire you? I hope so. If you do decide to take the Whole30 challenge now or anytime in the future, please let me know. I would love to be able to help!
P.S. You may also like these posts about the Paleo and the Whole30 Challenge:
Food Fight! And the Whole30 Challenge
I’m picking up the Paleo books you recommended today and will start reading It Starts With Food this weekend. I also have SERIOUS sugar cravings and haven’t been commiting to my “one cheat day a week” promise…i’ve been “cheating” every day, but reading your blog has encouraged me that I can indeed kick the habit. I know that when i eat to fuel my body, I’m truly valuing myself.
Jasmine, How’s it going with the sugar cravings and trying to kick the habit?
I think you look fab! I’m still trying to convince myself to try the paleo route. I do CrossFit, so it´s all I hear about. I think I´ll struggle to take out all grains/legumes – did you find it hard to be creative when cooking?
Anna, I bet in Crossfit that all you hear about! That’s how I heard about it…through my kettlebell gym (same cult as Crossfit) and then it was verified through many other sources so I tried it. Actually no grains is no problem for me. It was an adjustment cooking, but now I think I found my groove. All the cookbooks I bought helped tremendously. We eat good around here! There is no deprivation…trust me.
Thanks for posting your challenge results! I added this book to my Amazon cart. I did not know that bread was that bad for our bodies. I can’t wait to read it now. Thanks for the inspiration. You look great 🙂
Great Dana! Let me know what you think of the book and how it works for you.