The end. Officially dropping the mic, and having a Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Honey Mint:
Now that we got that out of the way, I should probably share the lessons I’ve learned from this whole thing:
1) Food matters. It affects my mood (i.e., HORMONES) more than you would think. Mood regulation was the #1 thing I experienced the most improvement in throughout this experience, and the thing I noticed was affected the most when I “went off.”
2) I need God’s help to do EVERYTHING. The moments where I really struggled was when I was “too busy” i.e., to preoccupied with the stress of life to remember to pray and journal and ask God for help and strength.
3) I’m passionate about this real food way of eating, but I’m sooooooo far from perfect. This thing was HARD for me. Did I mention that? Did I mention that the whole no cheats or slips thing is incredibly difficult, particularly for one who admittedly has struggled with self-control her whole life? However, though against the guidelines, I am actually kind of glad that I did go “off the whole 30” the times that I did, because it was through those experiences that I learned a lot about my body and the foods that I am more sensitive to than I thought. The Whole 30 wasn’t a one-time diet for me; it was a nutrition challenge to change the way I think about how I eat and how I want to approach my own health beyond just what’s on my plate.
4. I never want to count calories again. Seriously, forget that!! There is such freedom in simply eating good nutritious food, and not fretting about a calorie goal. And weight loss IS possible without it. Score.
5. The most important thing when reading a label isn’t necessarily the calorie count. It’s the INGREDIENTS. Eating 100% whole and unprocessed food isn’t always realistic, but a good simple rule to follow when buying packaged food is: Are the ingredients ones that you can pronounce and recognize as actual food? Food dyes and sodium biphosphorate phenolfloride (I just made those words up, I think) aren’t doing you any good nutritionally, even if they have zero calories. Better yet, choose things with no label, as this means there is only one ingredient – the whole food itself!
So though I’m technically done with the Whole 30 now, I know I’m really not done. Instead, I feel like this is just the beginning. I’m excited to keep on delving into this real food/paleo approach to life, because I feel really good in so many ways! Of course I am excited that I’ve lost some weight and am closer than I’ve been in 5 years to my “ideal” weight. But no, it’s NOT all about weight; I’ll always be curvy and don’t even want to be super thin anymore. But, it feels great to be comfortable and confident with where I am at, and, have great energy in the gym because of fueling my body with good nutrients!
That’s it! I’m excited about what I have planned for my next blog post. I think it’ll be a funny one, if executed properly…which means probably only I will think it’s funny. Good enough :).