I just finished my last whole30 approved meal. 90 sit down’s with myself that were consciously pre-meditated and assembled from food items not found buried in preservatives or additives. I bet you’re all wondering why? How? Most importantly, did I lose anything but money and time? You’d be surprised.

Let me start by saying that this journey was far from what I thought it would be. A month ago I looked in the mirror and I thought “If life isn’t getting any easier, I might as well get stronger-not just physically but mentally too”. So I made a promise with myself and a pact with my grocery list that I would follow a structure that was WHOLE30 approved. I did my research. Do I need a coach? How hard have other people had it? What happens if I slip up? Is the gym going to be more or less difficult? What do I need to prepare for when 30 days are up? Everything eventually answered by simply following one important rule: Only put into your body whole food items within the categories of Meat, Vegetables, Fruit and Nuts for 30 days WITHOUT cheating. This simple dietary restriction changed my perception of eating in just four short weeks.

The internet is your coach. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know (and not know) about Whole 30 has been tested and re-tested since 2009 by bazillions of people across the world. They’ve been researching this idea for so long it even has it’s own website and forum threads about how pissed your partner is gonna be when you try to pass ghee off as a butter substitute. Enjoy. Whole30 Program Rules

I have a new relationship with food. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been hungry. Enough to even make the comment that it was likely I was a poor peasant in a previous life the way I am constantly afraid the meal I am eating feels like my last. I’d finish a meal only to find myself thinking about the next. It was a vicious cycle gorging myself inappropriately and being so starved it hurt. After 30 days of consuming appropriately nutrient-sufficient foods I have experienced satiety and I know where it exists. Right in my own refrigerator. Side note: I’ve been looking for it in the bread box and peanut butter jars for far too long.

Fast food is satan’s night ride. After a long day at work, the last thing I ever want to do is come home and cut up broccoli florets like Bobby Flay’s handicap sister. I want fast, but fast isn’t favorable….and often times, far from savorable. Food prep is and will always be the only way to ensure that when my body’s alarm clock for a meal sounds, and I’m not home, I would instinctively make that decision to NOT fall off of the plan. Because, Pizza Hut.

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My palette was reawakened. Sounds cheesy (mmmm…cheese). BUT, by week two of the eliminations, foods that I would have never found satisfying we’re literally blowing my mind with flavor. Like, why is this date rolled in coconut making my panties wet? Oh right, I’ve had ground turkey and tomatoes for the past 14 days, touch me harder you sexy flowering plant seed! No but seriously, I used to snicker at Lara Bars before they were the only true delectable I could nibble on in moderation. Fruit is natures dessert and I found a way to make it my bitch when ever applicable.

Speaking of fruit, detoxing from sugar is a real life nightmare. If we’re being honest with each other, my BIGGEST reason for starting whole 30 is because I had an unparalleled love affair with chocolate and cake, and chocolate cake. Some people do cocaine, I went ahead and got myself addicted to the other cocoa. I swear I would come down from these sugar highs and be feigning for my next hit of dextrose. It made me tired, and cranky, and bloated beyond belief. I rode a wave of sugar from the gym, to work, and then uncomfortably slept until I could get to my frosted flakes in the morning. The first six days of this new lifestyle were sickening. Low carb- low sugar punch to the gut equaled a volatile fatigue and severe stomach upset. I imagine this was just my body’s way of getting back at me for the seven apple fritters I’d had in April alone.

Sometimes when you get into a habit of something you often forget where you were before you started becoming that other person. So I wanted to document a little piece of the old me during this process. Every time I was offered a piece of candy, I took it. To the shock of my co workers, the baby showers I attended, my friends, my family, EVEN MY GYM, I accepted the sweet treat and instead of eating it, I put it in a pile to visually see the problem. And visually be proud of my solution.

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27 pieces of candy in 30 days. If your kids don’t want me to host their next trick-or-treat run, what am I even good for really? I scored so much of my greatest obsession that I not only get to say I kept it out of my own body, but I saved it from someone else’s. So there you have it, I came…I saw, I still took it…but I conquered. SCREW YOU SUGAR DRAGON. #Slayed

So, 30 days.  I detoxed, I significantly de-bloated but here’s the hardest pill I had to swallow on this entire journey. I lost 1 pound. One. I’ve lost more water weight crying during This is Us, but I eat like a god damn saint for four weeks and my body is like NOPE, we’re keeping this. There are so many good reasons for this lack of weight loss, but I refuse to chalk any of those up to failure. It could be a muscle gained over fat lost differential. Or my body going into starvation mode from a sudden change in caloric intake. I am even slightly convinced for the first time in my life that maybe the number didn’t move because there’s a chance i’m not actually as fat as the devil on my shoulder tells me and this is and will always be the number on the scale (SHOCKER). I wanted to be sad (because, water weight…duh). No, but really. It bummed me out. And then I looked at my body in the mirror again today, and for once I felt in control. Not of the number on the scale, or the amount of macro’s I was hitting, but of my opinion and self love of the only body I’ll ever know.

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I never dreamed of a squash replacement for spaghetti or sparkling water flavored with a lemon instead of sugar cane. But I always dreamed that I would be able to sit next to another woman and not compare my imperfections to her lack thereof. When I began to understand that food is fuel and my body should be getting premium not conventional maintenance I felt better about the vehicle I was driving around. I mean, if the first car we were ever given was given to us under the assumption it would be the only one we get for the rest of our lives, we’d probably put our oil changes on our calendars more often right? At least that’s how I see it. I may not have the coolest car. Or the sexiest body. But I have one that’s gonna make it to see many more years to come, because I take care of it damn it. (I’ll leave the wash and wax metaphors out of this one, guys). I was getting carried away.

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There you have it. I successfully completed 30 days of saying no to every temptation. Spent time in bars drinking water’s with a lemon. Ate fruit salad’s in place of cake at parties. Pretty sure I lost more friends than I did pounds when refusing to get fro-yo at midnight. Did I mention I haven’t had a date in a month because nobody like’s a ‘diet-er’ but who needs men when you’ve got your health honestly? If you’re thinking about a way to start over, then Whole30 is perfect for a restart, stripping yourself of all inflammatory foods, followed by another jump start into a whole new way of eating not just now, but forever. Now, excuse me while I run to the store and stare aimlessly at the 60 foot isle of yogurt that I’m going to re-introduce tomorrow. You know what they say, you don’t know what you have til you’ve lost it. Here’s looking at you dairy.

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