When it was mentioned that Crossfit was doing a healthy eating competition, I immediately rolled my eyes. I thought, “Great, just another diet”! Being 42 yrs old and always conscious of my weight, I have tried or had friends who have tried Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutri Systems, liquid diet, Atkins, etc.
I tried to stay open minded and thought I would atleast try this Whole 30 thing. For thirty days, I have to give up most of my delicious carbs, my favorite…sugar, and instead eat mainly protein with vegetables and few fruits. Ugh…I’m not a believer this “diet” is going to help me.
Day One in my journal entry: I made it through breakfast and lunch very easily. It’s now mid-afternoon and I would love to have a snack…and I don’t mean a carrot stick. I want a REAL snack that is satisfying to my taste buds. I settle for a hard-boiled egg and a few nuts. It’s bedtime now and I’m already craving a sweet. Instead of ice cream or a cookie, I pick blueberries and walnuts with some chicken. I really have to go 30 days on this “diet”!!! What have I gotten myself into??
It took about 7-10 days before the withdraw symptoms subsided. I was very fatigued, headaches, grouchy, and craving sugar. I knew this was normal but not easy either. I trudged on just focusing on what my meals were going to be for each day. It was such a chore figuring out what I could and couldn’t eat, buying all the new ingredients, and finding the time/energy to cook all the food. All this work just to be “healthier” I would ask? I’m still not a believer!
By the end of the second week, I could notice a substantial difference. Did my clothes fall off me from losing so much weight? No. Was I suddenly transformed into this body builder shape? No. Were my cravings gone? YES!. Did I start to have more energy? YES! YES! Did I start to have an overall better mental feeling about my health and better physical Crossfit workouts? YES! YES! YES! I’m starting to become a believer.
I knew by reading articles and speaking with other Crossfitters that the Whole 30 had been successful. However, I’m the type of person that has to experience it myself. I slowly started to realize that Whole 30 was definitely not a “diet”…. it’s a complete lifestyle change. So much of our lives are transformed by habits and routines. It took almost 3 weeks, but I was finally able to know what foods to purchase, how to prepare them, what menu to create very easily. It also took me this long to realize that it was engrained in me that what my weight said on the scale dictated how I felt. It doesn’t matter what a number says, it’s how you feel inside and out..and I was feeling GOOD on Whole 30.
For most of the challenge I had done so good with not giving into any temptations and staying strictly Whole 30. Then I caved on Halloween candy! The instant the creamy chocolate and peanut butter hit my lips, I thought it was going to taste so good. It was definitely instant satisfaction for about 20 seconds. Because I had cheated, I then thought why not just enjoy some of my favorites like pizza, chips and salsa, and more chocolate. I very quickly realized that the instant satisfaction of these foods were definitely not worth the aftermath! The following day I was already back to feeling bloated, lethargic, and fat. I decided I no longer wanted to feel what my old “normal” felt like and quickly got back on the challenge of Whole 30. I honestly couldn’t believe how in just one day I felt like crap. Realization came to me that I’ve been feeling this way for years, and I don’t want to feel this way the rest of my life!
It took a few days, but my overall feeling of health improved. I had energy again and my WOD’s were better than previously. I was elated at this; however, that wasn’t what I was most excited about. I had been seeing a chiropractor for many months for chronic hip and shoulder pain. The adjustments would temporarily work, but I would be back in pain within a week. In addition, I had been taking medication for hyperthyroidism. After being on the Whole 30 regime for almost four weeks, I realized that my chronic hip/shoulder/join pain had disappeared. All the years of eating foods that tasted good but not necessarily healthy for my body, had resulted in a lot of inflammation. My body was rebelling from my food choices. I couldn’t believe that by just changing my eating habits would result in the pain disappearing! I am not completely off thyroid medication…yet. However, recent test results show that my numbers have improved which has led to a lower dosage. YEAH!! In addition, my pre and post testing showed that in only 4 short weeks, I decreased my body fat by 4.6% and lost 3.25 inches!!! I feel that I’m on the road to longevity! I am stronger, healthier, more confident….both mentally and physically. Because of that, I AM A BELIEVER!!
– Jenni Schuck