Sooo…I meant to take before and after photos. And I didn’t. Partly because I’m not very photogenic right now (I average 2 1/2 showers a week and have about 15 minutes to get ready before getting my daughter out the door), and partly because I wasn’t in this for any weight loss or image enhancement. I did have some concerns that a few of my habits were possibly affecting my body composition (read: I wasn’t quite as lean as I’d like), but this was really splitting hairs. I don’t know about youse guys, but when I see a “success” story that involves someone going from 9% body fat to 8% body fat, I’m just not that inspired. So while I have my own personal agenda for my body, I didn’t want to alienate anyone with seeming ungrateful for how much progress I’ve already made. Trust me, I’m thrilled.
That being said, I lost a few pounds. I weighed in at 119 lbs. and I can’t even tell you the last time that number was seen by me on a scale. Maybe 10th grade? I believe that those lost pounds will be promptly regained. I’m 5’4″ and I’m okay being a few pounds over 120. But the lesson I learned is that it is possible for me to attain a body I would’ve thought was impossible just a year ago. That I could buckle down and join a CrossFit gym and kick some serious booty. Which would be great.
But at what cost? There are folks out there willing to go that extra mile, and I think it’s amazing. But for me? Is it worth not having an occasional social drink? An occasional gluten-free, Primalized baked treat? I don’t rightly know. I think that after this experiment, there may very well be something gnawing in the back of my head about it. So who knows? But for now, I’m really enjoying the honey in my tea.
I’d also like to point out that these pounds were lost without trying and while eating plenty of starches. I did not skimp on the sweet potatoes, and I even had some white potatoes fried in duck fat. I also ate more fruit and nuts than I usually do. So for some reason, those things don’t appear to affect me with regards to weight management. Good to know.
So what does? My best guess would be the dairy, the alcohol, and the sugar. As far as the sugar goes, it’s all from natural sources—honey and maple syrup—but I have some nonetheless. It probably amounts to something between 1/4-1/2 cup a week, maybe more if we have the rare plate of Primal pancakes. As much as I missed dairy during the Whole30, it doesn’t taste or make me feel as good as I remember (ain’t that the way with everything?), so I think I can get away with limiting its presence in my life even further. As for the alcohol, I had been on quite the bender since oh…about May, so I was due for a hiatus. I really didn’t miss it and it behooves me to keep it forefront in my consciousness rather than let it become a mindless activity. Drinks with the ladies? Sure. A beer every night at home? Why?
A few other observations. My intestines started to act up after months of humming along nicely on a Primal eating plan. I have no explanation for this except that when we change the way we eat, we change so much more than that, including the vast universe of gut flora inside us all. As of now, two days away from the Whole30, it hasn’t reverted to normal.
I would argue that one of the toughest things to manage during a Whole30 is the social occasion. I’m grateful to be done for this reason. I had a few dinners with friends and they did an excellent job of accommodating me, but I really hate being that person. There’s no doubt this will be a force to reckon with if you undertake your own Whole30, but don’t trick yourself into thinking that there is a perfect time and place for a Whole30 that will be free of conflicting interests.
As far as the program itself, I’ve already discussed some of my thoughts on that. Can I see myself doing it again? I dunno. I can see it being useful for those times when you feel like you’re not eating as well as you’d like or maybe when you return from a vacation with lots of off-plan eating. But in the future, I may just bite off a week instead of a whole month. Do I think other folks may have a lot to learn on a Whole30? Absolutely. If you’re at all interested, that’s probably your cue that you should give it a go.
In general, I learned a lot and I have some lingering questions to answer for myself. But what I want to know is do you have any questions for me? Lemme know in the comments.
P.S. – I did 4 pull-ups in a row today at the park.
P.P.S – Stay tuned tomorrow for a Whole30 Survival Guide.