Well that’s it. I finished my third round of Whole 30 on Tuesday. It’s been quite different from my previous experiences, and I think I made some good decisions after learning the hard way in my previous two rounds.
What did I want to get out of Round 3, and did I achieve it?
I really wanted to give this Whole 30 my all. As I mentioned in my first post about this round, I wanted to curb some of the bad habits that had snuck in since we moved house at the end of summer last year. While Matt and I had already done a lot of cleaning up of our diet, we were beginning to get lazy and buying ping meals.
The thing is, with a Whole 30, you just can’t do that. It won’t work. I had to get back to cooking, and actually I’ve really enjoyed it. I don’t really know why I hadn’t started cooking again sooner. I can only put it down to the nightmare that was my old oven, which had a mind (and temperature gauge) all of its own. Hurrah for my new oven!
My main aim was to kick start my weight loss this year. Melissa Hartwig recently posted on the Whole 30 blog that the scale shouldn’t be the only measure of success on a Whole 30, and that you shouldn’t rush to find out that number, lest it take away from the other good stuff (the many, many other non-scale victories). To a point, I completely agree. I have definitely achieved more than just succeeding with a weight loss (clothes fitting better, slightly better skin, healing of my scalp which had been really sore before Whole 30, less windy, less PMT – for the most part!). But at the same time, when you have more than 100lbs to lose, finding out that number is such a good step in the right direction, which I find really motivating. It’ll come as no surprise then that I achieved a weight loss. While my loss wasn’t as staggering as Matt’s whopping 25lb loss, mine was a 15lb loss, which I am happy with.
Generally speaking, how did it go?
I think this has been my easiest Whole 30 in some ways. Despite struggling at a few points, I really do feel ten times better than I did when I started. I’d made some decisions, such as not eating Nakd bars (which I really do love – rhubarb and custard all day, every day!), and not using My Fitness Pal to check my calorie intake. These were good decisions. I haven’t binged once in the last 32 days, and more importantly, I don’t have the craving to right now. I think that I have been able to control that by not eating foods (healthy or otherwise) that I need to develop a better psychological relationship with. Also, by not using My Fitness Pal (or any other tracker), I really tuned in to whether I felt hungry, and found myself not just eating because “it’s lunch/tea time”. I kept on top of my water intake quite well, which I definitely think helped.
I think the hardest point for me in this round came at Days 16 to 18, when the moodiness, grumpiness and issues with concentration hit. I seemed to be a few days behind the Whole 30 timeline anyway, but where they reckon most people give up at Day 11, it could have been Day 17 or 18 for me. I think the hardest part for Matt to put up with was Day 8 or 9, where I did seem to have a real PMS style moodswing akin to a gremlin who had been fed after midnight.
The best part? By far, for the last week and a bit, I’ve felt really good. My energy is nice and consistent, and things just don’t feel so difficult and hard to start. I definitely think I have procrastinated less, and I think my ability to handle stress and recover from any incident has been easier. All that being said, I think I am fighting off a bit of a cold at the moment. I know it was too good to last after having been lurgy free for a significant amount of time, while those around me have coughed and snotted their way through December and January.
It’s also been nice as people have commented that I look like I have lost weight, which has been great to hear. It’s all very well losing weight and knowing that the number of the scales is going down, but having people notice is definitely motivating for me.
One thing I really wish I had done at the start of this Whole 30 was take a “before” photo to be able to compare it to a “now” photo. I didn’t take my measurements either. I’ll definitely make sure that I take a before and after photo at my next Whole 30. It’s not the end of the world though, as I know my clothes are beginning to either fit better, or have too much room in them and I’ll need to move down to the next dress size (specifically my work trousers and my jeans).
I’ve been giving this some real thought. In my previous two Whole 30s, I have found the post-Day 30 really difficult. I have literally gone from eating a full blown paleo way, to going back to old habits very quickly. I want to do it differently this time. So what I have decided is that I’ll keep eating paleo for the majority of the time. It’s working for me right now, and as the saying goes “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”. However, from my previous weight loss attempts, I know that as soon as I deny myself [insert any food], then that thought becomes all consuming, and I give in, and I give in big style. I don’t want that. What I have decided is that I will have a non-paleo meal (and pudding) each week, and that meal can be whatever I want, but should (ideally) be made from scratch. If I want the amazing Hairy Biker’s super indulgent cauliflower cheese, then that is what I will have. If I fancy something from one of my paleo recipe books, then I’ll have that. I’ll also be having proper tea at the weekends. It also means that I won’t be that one awkward person who can’t or won’t eat out at certain places. I enjoy food. I don’t want to stop that, but I do want to put a framework in place where I can exercise more discipline to achieve my weight loss goals.
In July, I will also be having another clean up in the form of a Whole 30. July is a pretty quite month for me usually, and hopefully we’ll be able to have a few BBQs for a bit of variety!
My first non-paleo meal? It’ll be tomorrow, and it will be pizza as I’m out with friends. I’ll stop when I’m full, and drink plenty.