Doing The Whole 30 was truly a needed reset button for me. I have always struggled with my weight and eating issues. I battled bulimia and anorexia all throughout high school, and had another eating disorder flare up when I was 19. Unfortunately, eating issues will probably always be a demon that I have to battle from time to time, but I feel like The Whole 30 gave me new tools and knowledge to help stay in control and make wiser decisions.
After I met Jordan at age 20, and settled into a happy and healthy relationship and marriage with him, I started gaining a lot of weight. To be exact, when I met Jordan I was wearing a size 2 and coming off of relapsing back into anorexia and I had become obsessed with running and working out. I ended up gaining over 40 pounds after we got together and at my heaviest I was wearing a size 10. By the way, if you don’t know me in real life, I am 5’2″ so I don’t carry extra weight well.
I had traded letting not eating enough control me, for having no control over making wise food choices at all. I thought that by just letting myself eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and how much I wanted meant that I was winning over the constant battle in my mind over my body.
I thought that I had finally won until I stopped recognizing myself in photos, found myself not able to be active at all without growing tired immediately, and found myself completely unhappy with the person that I did not even recognize staring back at me in the mirror.
Since Jordan and I were married and had the same eating habits, he had gained 50 pounds since we got together. We both decided it was time to get healthy and joined the gym and actually went and started changing how we ate.
I ended up getting pregnant with Harper and was on bed rest for most of my pregnancy, so I wasn’t able to continue working out, but Jordan biked to work. I stopped buying processed foods, we started eating in, and drinking water not soda. So, while I was pregnant Jordan lost almost 30 pounds and I ended up weighing less after Harper was born than before I got pregnant.
Since Harper was born, we have tried to live a more active lifestyle, and have continued to eat fairly healthy, but we still weren’t where we wanted to be. We kept reading people’s success stories about The Whole 30 and how it helps change your cravings for bad foods into good foods, speeds up your metabolism, and makes you have more energy.
The Whole 30 is basically an extreme paleo 30 day challenge where you cut out all dairy, processed foods, carbs, and sugar. You mainly eat meat, veggies, most fruits, and certain nuts.
We decided that this was doable and that it was the reset that we needed and committed to doing The Whole 30 together over the month of July without cheating.
I seriously cannot say enough good things about The Whole 30. Yes, it was a little challenging at first, but once you start knowing what to buy without having to read every new label, and what you can eat if you have to grab something while you are out, and once you learn how to plan and prep meals a few days in advance, it became second nature.
For breakfast, we ate eggs. Sometimes with spinach or avocado or pico de gallo. I hated eggs before starting The Whole 30, but now I can actually stomach them. If I was in a huge hurry, I would grab a banana and almonds for breakfast. These were also some of my go to snacks. Before we had cereal almost every morning, or I would skip breakfast completely.
For lunch, I would usually eat leftovers from the night before or steam some veggies, or make a burger, or bake a sweet potato.
Dinner was some type of protein with veggies. I made a lot of carne asada topped with pico and avocado with grilled peppers. I always made extra so that we could have leftovers. We would eat burgers topped with avocado. I would grill chicken marinated in approved sauces that I found at Wholefoods. My favorites were the coconut aminos teriyaki and soy sauces. I also found an approved lemon garlic sauce at Ralph’s. If we were on the go, I would bake sweet potatoes topped with cinnamon and pack them up to eat out. I made chicken salad with avocado instead of mayo with dried cranberries, celery, bacon, salt and pepper, garlic, and cumin. I also hand cut and baked a lot of sweet potato fries.
For dessert I would slice gala apples and bake them in coconut oil topped with cinnamon, and they were almost as good as apple pie.
I would drink lots of water, black or green tea, or black coffee.
Cumin is my new favorite spice. I put that and garlic on everything now.
Avocados, eggs, spinach, bananas, approved flavors of Larabars, raw almonds, black coffee, and pico de gallo were my everyday staples and still are.
Chipotle and In N’ Out have Whole 30 approved options.
Jordan ended up losing 16 pounds during the 30 days and I lost 8 pounds. We have continued to lose weight since ending the challenge, and Jordan has lost 21 pounds total, and I have lost 12 pounds total. Jordan went down 2 pants sizes and I now wear a 6/8 instead of an 8/10.
We are still drinking our coffee black, and probably eating 70% paleo now that The Whole 30 is over. I still try to cook Whole 30 at home for the most part and try to choose healthier options while out.
We are trying be more active and sometimes it is as simple as parking in the back of the Target parking lot to walk more, or taking the steps when an elevator is available, or taking Luna on an extra lap or two around the neighborhood.
I feel better than ever. I have way more energy than before. I am anemic, so I almost always feel fatigued, but I feel like it has been so much easier to get out of bed and to get things done. I don’t feel completely exhausted all day everyday anymore.
I crave healthy foods now and I am grossed out by the thought of fried anything. This has made it easier to make wise choices while dining out. We are now eating smaller portions because we know when we are full.
I titled this post “Feeling Flirty With Whole 30,” because I finally feel confident again. Not feeling comfortable in my body had definitely taken its toll on our personal life, but I finally feel like myself again and I feel like our emotional and physical relationship is better than ever.
I am excited about our new lifestyle and working towards being healthier everyday. It has been almost 7 weeks since completing The Whole 30, and I truly feel like it has given me a balance I have never known before and the control I needed over food, and it helps to have my husband choosing health and wholeness along side of me.
Below are some photos of my favorite Whole 30 meals that I made and some of my favorite approved sauces and snacks:
I wish we had taken real before and after photos, but we didn’t so I tried to find some photos for comparison. Here is the before:
And here is the after:
I would love to hear about your experience doing The Whole 30 or answer any questions you may have, so comment below.