Today isn’t the last day of my Whole 30. Technically, I’m on Day 30, but even though the challenge is over, there’s no going back to the way things were before, not after everything I’ve experienced over the past month.
I’ve lost 10 lbs. As has my sister. My husband lost nearly 20.
The weight loss is a nice side effect – but let’s take a look at what I’ve gained.
I’ve gained a better understanding of how the convenient foods I eat impact my body and my health. My acid reflux is gone. My husband doesn’t wake up hacking and coughing every morning. My sister’s hormones have become more regulated.
I’ve gained better sleeping habits and energy levels. My mood has improved as well.
I’ve gained a better relationship with food. Before Whole 30, I thought about food all the time – what will I eat next, why I deserve a treat, why I’m a total and utter failure for having said treat. It was much the same on other eating programs, where I’d count calories or blocks of food or eagerly anticipate gorging on my cheat meal. Now, I just eat when I’m hungry, and I eat what I’m craving at the moment. That might be roasted nuts. Or a sliced-up peach. Or a chocolate Whole 30-compliant Naked bar. I never feel deprived, so I never have to worry about what I’m going to eat next.
I’ve gained an appreciation for flavors – real flavors. Have you ever noticed how sickly sweet a gala apple can be? Or how salty just three olives really are? Or how truly delicious bacon is? (You probably knew that about the bacon.) I spent so long eating fake foods that I didn’t know real foods could taste so good.
I’ve gained a much-needed wake-up call. Eating this way is effortless. It really is. Eat what’s on the list; don’t eat what’s not on the list. I have to eat anyway, so I might as well eat in a way that makes me feel good and that helps me lose weight.
More importantly, I’ve gained hope. Hope that a healthy relationship with food is possible. Hope that weight loss isn’t just for an elite few who have more willpower or time in the day than I do. Hope that I can easily live a healthier life, without any gimmicks.
Hope that I can achieve just about anything if I set my mind to it.