Okay, so enough with the info-mercial title - but seriously - it's true!
I started the Whole30 a month ago because I wanted to feel healthy again. I was tired of feeling rundown and crappy all of the time, and also tired of the guilt I felt after nearly every single meal that I ate. Those were my primary motivations for starting this new way of eating. . . but over the course of the last 30 days, I've noticed a few other unexpected bonuses!!
- CLEAR SKIN!!! - I had acne as a teenager, but always assumed that it would go away when I "grew up". Unfortunately, I'm in my early 30's, and was devastated at the fact that I still had regular breakouts! Rarely a day went by that I didn't have at least one blemish on my face, and most of the time, I had several around my chin and nose. I just assumed that it was my genetics, and did the best I could to minimize them with skin care and prescription topical acne meds. Even with the prescription meds, I broke out regularly though. About half-way through the Whole30, I noticed that my skin had cleared up - I was skeptical, and braced myself for another round of breakouts, but they never happened! I've been 100% acne free now for about 15 days. . . not long enough to prove anything really, but I'm confident that my new way of eating is responsible for my clear skin. It's the ONLY thing that I've changed :) Reference the pic above - I took this pic last week after a haircut - but notice that there are NO blemishes on my face - this is absolutely the first time I've been blemish free for as long as I can remember - and I'm LOVING it! Not only am I blemish free, but my skin looks much healthier in general - it's no longer dull, and has a little bit of a "glow" to it!
- Weight Loss - My primary goal was not weight loss, but I knew I had a few inches to lose from my hips and legs that had crept on as a result of my crappy diet. I didn't take measurements before hand, and didn't weigh myself throughout the month because i didn't want to be a slave to the scale or the measuring tape. I DID weigh myself the day that I started though (July 29th). I was 154.4 lbs. I weighed myself again this morning, and was SHOCKED to see 140.4 pop up on the scale! I've somehow lost 14 lbs in the last month. I haven't gone hungry one single time - I'm eating a much larger volume of food than I was before - it's just healthy, clean food! My jeans are falling off of me (Darn - guess I'll have to go shopping!!), and my workout pants nearly landed around my ankles when doing double unders this morning! And I can say with confidence that I haven't lost an ounce of muscle. My strength gains over the last month have been great!
- Improved Performance in the Gym - All of my WOD times are steadily improving. I can do more pullups in a row than I could 30 days ago (23 vs. 6 - really). I can lift more weight, and do it faster. I don't get winded as easily (more stamina). Really, what more could I want?
- No More Energy Dips - I'm no longer experiencing a roller coaster of energy levels throughout the day! I'm not a slave to the coffee pot (although I still enjoy a cup of black coffee in the morning), and I don't find myself nodding off mid-afternoon! I sleep better at night, and have more energy throughout the day - it's great!
- Emotional Stability / HEALTHY attitude toward food! - I'm an emotional person - always have been. I cry at chic flicks, and I'll get weepy at the drop of a hat. But aside from that, I was on an emotional roller coaster that I couldn't seem to get off of over the last several months, and most of it was driven by food, and guilt associated with food, or frustration over trying to refrain from eating foods that I was craving like crazy - and then ultimately guilt again when I caved into the craving. It was a vicious cycle that I couldn't seem to break. I was constantly fighting myself. I couldn't ever be happy because I was obsessed with food. I was always either fighting a craving, or feeling guilty for giving into a craving - there was never any "peace". I know this sounds crazy to a lot of people, but I love food - I had an emotional attachment to food. I used it as a reward and as consolement when I was feeling bad. I snacked constantly when I was bored, and every achievement was "rewarded" with food, most of the time bad food, which killed the feeling of accomplishment that I got from whatever the achievement was. When I was extremely happy - I ate to celebrate. When I was extremely sad - I ate to comfort myself. I can now HONESTLY say that I have finally broken this cycle!! This for me is the BIGGEST accomplishment of the month. I don't crave crap anymore, which means I'm not fighting myself constantly - which results in me being less grumpy, crotchety, and irritable ALL THE TIME! I am able to view food as nothing more than a fuel source. I eat when I'm hungry, and don't eat when I'm not. It's that simple. I never thought I'd get to this point, and am absolutely awestruck that I managed to get here in such a short period of time. Don't get me wrong - I still LOVE food! But it doesn't rule my world and my emotions any more :)
There are probably a ton of other subtle improvements to my overall well-being, but these are the ones that I've most appreciated. I am a new woman. I am a happy woman. I am a healthy woman. I am an energetic woman. I am NEVER going back. Not ever. No amount of sugar or chocolate is worth it!