My Whole30 Journey
Hello! My name is Madie, I’m one of the owners at Grit. I’d like to tell you about my journey with Whole30 and how my life was completely changed after just 30 days.
I have two kiddos and with each pregnancy gained over 50lbs, and that was hard my 5'2 body. I have tried almost everything to try and drop weight, and it took me about a year after each to get back to my pre-baby weight. Still, I never felt "good" even once I got to that magic number on the scale. I hated weighing myself, I struggled looking in the mirror, I didn't know why I still felt terrible when I felt like I was working so hard. My weightloss journey can be summarized as a yoyo battle, always big highs and lows, never consistent. But through my journey of Whole30, my whole mind shifted from focusing on a number on a scale to focusing on Non-Scale Victories (NSV). Suddenly the pressure was off, and awesome things started happening, and I felt like I learned a consistent way to approach living healthy, then I started meeting my goals and keeping them.
My mom was my inspiration to start Whole30. I had heard of Whole30, but I really didn’t know anything about it other than the name. She had done the research and asked me to start with her on October 1, 2017. She handed me the Whole30 book on September 30, and we started the next day! I quickly read though half the book and got the basics down, but I wasn’t hooked on the idea of “no cheating” until I read page 16:
“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Fighting cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black is.not.that.hard. You’ve done harder than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written.” - Melissa Hartwig
These words were all I needed to hear. I was motivated, determined, and EXCITED to complete this challenge and just see what could happen to me.
Within the first 5 days I already noticed my stomach felt less bloated, like a balloon deflating inside of me. By day 10, I was waking up so alert, and usually 10-15 minutes before my alarm went off (I'm no morning person at all). This was an amazing feeling waking up so refreshed, and getting so many things accomplished before the rest of the family woke up needing me. I really already felt like the Tiger Blood was kicking in for me at this point.
The next two weeks - I found I only struggled when I didn't plan and prepare ahead of time. The newness of the program wore off, and there were a couple times I did feel like caving in and cheating, but I was not about to give up then. I had already made it this far, giving up was not an option! Luckily because me and my mom started at the same time, we we were able to share our temptations, struggles, new recipes, and Non-Scale Victories. We even brought each other left over meals, when one of us was needing some motivation, and helped push each other through the highs and lows! (A SUPPORT BUDDY OR SUPPORT GROUP WAS ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL FOR ME IN BEING SUCCESSFUL)! At the end of Round 1, I had lost 10 lbs, down 2 pant sizes, sleeping better, way more energy (this is amazing for a mom of two littles) more alert, no headaches, less bloated, less anxiety, skin looked clearer, and I didn’t feel tied to the scale.
Prior to Whole30, I would count calories, count points, track macros, weigh myself daily and it was a constant yoyo feeling of being let down, and not knowing what I was doing wrong. I had a secret addiction to sugar and I didn’t even know it. I had a heavy weight on my shoulder’s each day of looking at the number on the scale and let that number determine my worth. Then would look at more numbers to see how much I could eat. After Whole30 - that weight lifted. No more looking at the scale (We don’t even have one at home anymore). No more counting calories.
November and December I took a break for the holidays. I felt “meh” once I came off Whole30, Slowly more and more things crept back into my diet, and I started to feel tired and bloated. So when January 1 came around, I was so motivated to get the ‘Tiger Blood’ back pumping. We hosted a Grit Whole30 Support group, and had 130 PARTICIPANTS JOIN! The support and results were amazing! By the end of Round 2, my biggest NSV, was even less cravings than at the end of Round 1. At the end of Round 1, I couldn’t wait to have cheese, pizza, and a nice cold beer! At the end of Round 2, cheese didn’t bother me at all, I could live without it actually, but a nice cold beer still sounded nice, ha!
At the end of Round 2, I had 2 drinks with my supper, and woke up with a terrible headache. I didn’t like that feeling. Starting Round 3 by myself sounded fun to me, and I also started researching how to become a certified Whole30 Coach. After a 1-day break, I started Round 3 on February 1. Round 3 was easier than Round 2. Now this way of eating is a habit. I thoroughly enjoy it and love it. It does not feel like a diet at all. Finding my Food Freedom and realizing how to live after Whole30 is my biggest NSV this round. I didn’t lose any weight on Round 3 I actually gained 2 lbs, but I have also been lifting more and working out harder, so I believe this is muscle. My smaller pants still fit and I feel great. I totally believe in Whole30, and beyond passionate about it. I've never felt so healthy in my entire life, and I just can't wait for more to join this journey! At the end of Round 3, I applied to the Whole30 Coaching certification program, and I got accepted and still going through the program.
I completed Round 4 in April 2018 along with the Grit Fit Spring Training group of about 40 participants, I coordinated the Whole30 Round, and together with Grit Fitness coach Taylor Linebach planned the Couch to 5K training together. We then organized our first 5K, and raised $1,200 to donate to the Derek Gillilan Scholarship!
This round was really meaningful to me in a lot of ways. My dad joined us on this round. Seeing his quality of life sky rocket through the roof, made me so happy that I just could cry. He even did his first Whole30 on his BIRTHDAY month, WITHOUT cheating. My husband also joined me, which meant the WORLD to me! Couples who Whole30 together, stay together, right?! :)
Round 5 was in August 2018. Over the summer in June, I experienced vertigo for the first time. It was a really scary experience, with a trip to the ER, and then follow ups with an ENT and Physical Therapy. While I still haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact reason behind this, I was eager to start another Whole30, so that I could pay even more attention to how food affected my body during the reintroduction period. After Round 5 my findings are that gluten really makes me feel bloated and gives me a headache. Sugar gives me a headache. Preservatives really make me feel tired and not well. After this round, I felt really great again, and still managing some small lingering vertigo symptoms. I’m convinced Whole30 has helped me heal my body, and with each round I am dedicated to inspire others to have the same experience.
In October, I saw on Melissa Hartwig’s Instagram story (go follow her, she’s crazy inspirational) that she was coming to KC for her book tour. I immediately looked into buying a ticket to this event, and was soooooo pumped to go hear her speak. I was then blown away that I would get to get a picture with her and get a signed book! Day MADE! Year MADE! Dream come true! I just felt even more excited to keep following this Whole30 dream.
I want to keep being a part of the change. The movement for clean living, healthy living, and freedom living. We are not tied to the scale, not counting numbers, not battling diseases that are easily curable/treatable. We are just listening to our bodies, and reaping the benefits of living the best life we can because now we have knowledge that is SO powerful, after Whole30.
Is Whole 30 for you? How can you join in on the fun?
If you are ready for change in your health, ready to feel better, ready to do something for YOURSELF, then Whole30 is the perfect place to start! For a successful Whole30 I recommend:
(1) Purchasing the Whole30 book: https://www.amazon.com/Whole30-30-Day-Guide-Health-Freedom/dp/0544609719/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1543933289&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=whole30&psc=1
(2) Joining a support group or find a buddy to do it with you!
I will be hosting several Whole30 support groups throughout the year. You can follow our Grit Fitness Gym FB page for date announcements, and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for individual coaching!
The first Whole30 of 2019 will start January 1. Once you join, you’ll be added to the private FB group, receive coaching on preparing for the Whole30 to start, daily accountability Days-1-30, recipes, shopping lists, meal templates, and coaching on the reintroduction period and how to live life after Whole30.
Start living your best life today! I can’t wait to meet you and help you along the way!