October 14, 2015

on finishing Whole30

And the culprit of the stench was...a head of rotten broccoli. 

^^ That totally caught your eye and made you overly excited to read more, right? Oh, it didn't? Weird.

You see, I used to have the worst eating habits. Super picky plus stubborn plus unwilling to try new things--that all equaled me. As a joke, one year I was given a head of broccoli as a present. Hardy har har har and all that, but I kind of forgot about the broccoli in the bag. Not too long afterwards our entire den started to smell terrible. Horrible. We couldn't figure out what in the world was creating such a horrible stank. Spoiler alert: it wasn't dog farts (or human farts), it was the old, nasty broccoli.

Promise this was many, many moons ago and not 24, 25, or 26-year old Emily.
yippeemlebaby
Many moons ago Emily also lurved some peanut butter. 26-year old Emily still does. 

Fast forward to the present--I eat broccoli. I eat cauliflower mash. I eat sweet potatoes, peas, eggplant, and mushrooms. I eat fruit. I eat meats. I do not eat green beans. How I got to this place of eating such strange foods as eggplant (sorry, it's weird) is a story for another day. Today we are going to talk about...


The pilates studio (where I now work!) (check it out! Pure Body Studio! Represent and all that) recently did a challenge called Pure30. It was 30 days of living, breathing, eating Whole30 in addition to working out at the pilates studio 5 days a week, and working out at home 1 day a week. Phew. Wore me out just typing that all out again. 

I did it! I actually factually completed the entire challenge. No dairy, no alcohol, no added sugars, no grains, no exercise excuses, and no fuss (okay...maybe I did fuss juuuuust a little somewhere around days 8-20ish...but then you realize you're eating delicious food and it's all good). It's taken me some time off of it to decide what my true feelings were/are, but today felt like a good day to finally word vom out all my Whole30 thinkings. Lucky. You. 

Pure30
Apparently I didn't take any pictures of my real meals for the past thirty day...

Sidebar: Just some background, people rave about this program. R-a-v-e. The testimonials are pretty inspiring if you ever have hours to waste on medical and physical victories of Whole30-ers. They call these NSV or, for you noobs, non-scale victories (I literally Googled NSV when I started this program because what?). Things like clearer skin, better sleep, no bloat, healed injuries, vanishing allergies, no chronic pain, and better overall control of cravings just to name a few. 

Drumroll please...

...

I did not get any of that from this program.
Wanh wanh. 
I, Emily, am immune to Whole30. Do not tell me I cut out my wine and bread and cheese for 30 days for NOTHING?!
^^that's a joke, but literally what was going through my head some of the time. 

At first, this was all a pretty big bummer for me. Where was my angelic, baby butt's soft skin?! (I literally had a new zit every few days). Where was my lean, mean, bloat-be-gone-cuz-I-eat-clean stomach?! Why did I sometimes still really think chocolate just sounded like the bomb.com?!

However, now that I've had some time to let everything sink in (and let a glass of wine sink down my belly), I am finally able really to recognize and acknowledge the main thing I gained from these 30 days.

Whole30 was a vacation for my brain. 
Biggest and greatest, first and foremost, forever and always pro. I was afraid that denying myself foods would turn up a side of my brain that did not need to be around, but that did not happen. For years I have gone through extremely disordered eating. I have gone from not thinking twice about how I eat, to overanalyzing and big time controlling my eating, to losing way too much weight, to binge eating, to just in general not taking great care of my body. While I am much healthier now, it's something that never really goes away. There's always the voice in my head telling me I shouldn't have eaten that, or did you really not read the calories?!, and so-on and so-forth with the no good thoughts. Thirty straight days of knowing I was only putting in wholesome and good-for-you food in my body was huge. I could go to bed without extreme guilt. I could go out with friends without dreading all the bad choices I just knew I would make. It was literally a vacation for my disordered eating brain and I really enjoyed that vaca. 

I also am thoroughly enjoying my handful of chocolate and my glass of wine on this side of the challenge, so life is funny and chocolate is yummy. 

Other big pros:
Cooked more.
Tried so many delicious recipes.
Had more meals sitting together at the real table and not the coffee table.
Realized that cauliflower rice is delicious and zoodles are just as fun as they sound.
Practiced my true housewife skills and washed 1000 dishes a day (oh wait, pro or con?)
Discovered that the world does keep spinning even if you don't get an after-dinner dessert. Shocking.
Spiralized the cuh-rap out of some vegetables and realized how amazing it is. 
Felt stronger from good food, good fuel, and good workouts. 

All in all I am glad I finished it. So what that really means is I'm glad I did it in a group because without the support of the Pure30 community, I probably would have quit. And then been mad at myself for quitting. And then talked about that a lot and pondered about starting over again. And then Freddie would have left me so...yay for finishing! 
Finished Whole30

Special thanks to:
-Pure Body for creating the challenge.
-Pure30-ers for posting delicious recipes on the Facebook group for me to steal.
-Freddie for cooking and experimenting with all sorts of Whole30 recipes.
-and to Ryan and Rachel for bringing back all the delicious wine from Spain and letting me have some on Day 32. Hallelujah. 

I'd be happy to answer (or attempt to answer) any questions you have about Whole30, my experience, or why chocolate is made of crack! Ask away. The blog mic is yours. I'll try to do a post next week with resources and recipes that worked/helped me during the thirty days of rockstar status. 

8 comments:

Carly Messmer said...

Congrats on finishing! I loved (and sometimes hated) doing the Whole 30, but it was definitely a learning experience. And a great way to try new recipes. I didn't experience any amazing side effects either, but I did feel pretty good most of the challenge. I never got my regular stomach aches that I get after eating a burger and fries. Little warning though, I do sometimes feel guilty now when I eat something that isn't Whole 30 approved. It's one of the negative side effects that I've come across.

Meg Taylor said...

Go go girl - regardless of what happened, you finished and that's awesome. You deserve that wine. I definitely need to get a spiralizer. The strength portion is something that really entices me to try it. In other news, do you think we were separated at birth? https://instagram.com/p/tFsM8yJy3z/?taken-by=megd_taylor (I'm the top baby) My mom totally gave me the same bowl haricut and we were (and totally still are) Peter Pan people ;)

Darcy said...

Way to go for completing the challenge! That is awesome, I think it would be soo hard. I would immediately be running to a Mexican restaurant on day 31 haha!
www.amemoryofus.com

Emily said...

I've only been off of it for six days, and I'm definitely feeling the guilt. Not even for bad things, but for things like putting corn in my lettuce wrapped tacos last night! No good.

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

super interesting, thanks for sharing! love your honesty. i think this is great for some people who might need but i don't think it's for me because i don't have any issues that need fixing you know? i don't get bloated, i don't have bad skin.. i do have allergies though. sometimes.

Candace Shiflet said...

This is super interesting and I totally would have expected like a 6 pack and sexy legs after doing the whole 30 haha Def good to eat better but I always assumed whole 30 was some magical meal plan that would make me toned haha I'd love to hear your favorite recopies!
xo, Candace | Lovely Little Rants

Kayla MKOY said...

This is SO interesting to me. I never feel like I'm going to have baby soft skin no matter how hard I try/what I do/what I eat... BUT other NSV's (helloooo new vocab, thank you!) are totally worth it. Like less headaches and less bloating. Woo! SO insanely proud of you for sticking w/ it girl!!! You're amazing!

Anne said...

Way to do this! So cool to have it combined with working out at your studio - that seems like a great whole-body program.

I absolutely love the "vacation for my brain" NSV. I also didn't really experience any of the physical things like energy boosts, etc. that people rave about, but it was definitely about the mental wins for me. I have gone through some of the same not-so-good mental cycles with eating, and even though Whole30 meant being fixated on food all day (takes so much planning, right? And so many dishes!!!), it wasn't the usual kind of "should I? shouldn't I?" anxiety-inducing food thinking that usually goes on all day. Hmmm, contemplating whether I need to do another Whole30 now that I remember that great benefit.

Also yay for spiralized stuff.

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