Something was wrong…
We have always had a somewhat “healthy” lifestyle. Since the beginning of our marriage (8 years ago), we have always chosen whole grains for our breads and pastas, not much sugar (compared to how much people around us were consuming), mostly lean meat, very little fast food, and sometimes fruits and veggies. We have also been pretty consistent in our exercise. But regardless of all these seemingly healthy choices, we have still had many frustrating battles with a few physical aspects of ourselves. I’ll explain more on that later.
About three months ago, Dustin and I realized that both of us were heavier than we’d ever been, and that we felt worse than we’d ever felt. I wouldn’t say that we were “fat,” but we were definitely carrying around some extra weight- mainly in the form of fat-intertubes around our waists. We had purchased new shorts for Dustin to accomodate his new waistline (that I wasn’t particularly fond of), and, though I was determined not to go up in pant size, I started choosing shirts that were baggy in the waist to cover the “muffin-top” that hung over my pants. And there were definitely a few pairs of jeans that just wouldn’t zip anymore. Almost every time we got dressed to leave the house, I would have a depressing little pity-party over how I hated the way I was looking in my clothes. This was extremely frustrating for Dustin, and made us late for occasions numerous times.
Before deciding that something had to give, we were just attributing our changing bodies to the fact that we were getting older and not exercising quite as much. Dustin had been trying to lost some stubborn belly-weight for months, and I was just trying to find more time for workouts. And because life had become so busy, we were grabbing quick bites on the road more often, buying more convenience items at the grocery store (boxed pastas, etc.), and not cooking at home as often as we should. Upon realizing how our eating habits had devolved, we decided that it was time to do something drastic.
A Solution? Maybe. But at least a step in the right direction.
A couple of our friends, TJ and Erienne Jones, told us about this cool challenge called Whole30. Erienne was in the midst of her 30-day challenge, and TJ would start his soon. When she originally told me about it, I honestly thought it sounded crazy! I mean seriously… No grains? No legumes? No sugar? No dairy? Didn’t this fly in the face of all the whole grains/beans-and-rice/healthy-eating mantra that I’d heard all my life? And no processed foods? Wasn’t that basically impossible in today’s fast-paced world? But I was still intrigued, and I wanted to hear more about it. Erienne sent me the following website, and I was sold. I would at least give it a try. Click here for Whole30 Basics.
Erienne had just finished her 30 days, and she had experienced great results in how she felt. She already looked great, but she said she could tell a difference in how her clothes were fitting too. I could hardly wait to get started.
We started on July 21st, and I will admit that the first few days were TOUGH. We missed our cereal, nachos, and pasta! And we were not as prepared as we should have been, so rather than focusing on all the things we could eat, we just concentrated on what not to eat, and were, therefore, very hungry!
Once we got the hang of the program, things became easier. And not only that! We were actually enjoying it! It was nice to be cooking at home more. We were trying meats, fruits, and veggies that we’d never tried before. We were really starting to feel better each day! And, best of all, we were starting to feel better in our clothes (we weren’t “allowed” to weigh ourselves during this time)! I was ecstatic.
During this time, I did a load of research. Thankfully, Erienne was there to answer lots of questions, give me tons of tips, and keep me inspired. I appreciate that SO much! I also discovered a few great books on the Paleo way of eating, and started listening to some super-practical podcasts as well. I loved all the things I was learning. This just made sense!
I’ll provide more details of our personal Whole30 in a later post.
After 30 days (that flew by!), we pulled out the scale to see if we’d lost any weight. I really didn’t care- my clothes were fitting again, and I felt great. Dustin had lost 12 pounds! His new shorts are way too big now, so we need to get another pair. He looks pretty amazing!! I lost 8 pounds. I was actually shocked because I wasn’t necessarily trying to lose weight. I just wanted to get rid of the bloating and firm up a little. Mission accomplished!
Aside from weight, we both noticed that our skin really cleared up. We had no more blemishes. We also noticed that we were sleeping better. I wasn’t even having headaches in the afternoons! Dustin wasn’t having any digestion issues anymore, and I no longer felt “gross” after eating a big meal. We were getting better, quicker results from our workouts too. And our energy levels were way up. It just felt good to know that we were on the right track, and that we were really making healthy choices.
What about now?
Well, it’s been several weeks since our 30-day challenge ended, but not much has changed. We are loving the way we’re eating, and we’re loving these results, so why give them up? I know, I know… some of you are asking “what if you lose more weight?” or “how will you be able to stick to it long-term?” Well, I’ll answer those questions in later posts. But for now, I just wanted to give you a taste of where we’ve been and where we are. More to come!
Get your Whole30 Guidebook, and GET STARTED!