History with Whole30?
I am done with the Whole30. THANK GOODNESS. That was….how you say….not fun. AT ALL.
For 30 days I didn’t have any sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, or alcohol. My diet was completely filled with whole foods that I could name and that had as little ingredients as possible.
I had tried whole 30 before but was only able to make it until Day 17 before quitting.
I heard about Whole30 from my doctor who told me that it might help my PCOS. Upon hearing this, I knew I had to try it. I will try almost anything to help my PCOS and if this meant giving up all these things listed above for 30 days, I was willing to do it. After trying and failing the first time, I had even more incentive to try again and prove to myself that I could do it.
I decided I was going to try again when I moved back to California for the school year and so on September 8th, 2018, I decided to give it another go.
I know that I divided this into weeks and not days even though it’s 30 days, but it was just easier for me to keep track of this way! I still did it for 30 days.
Whole30- Week 1
The first week was rough. As y’all know, a lot of women with PCOS have insulin resistance which makes us not take up as much glucose into our cells. This inadequate uptake makes us crave sugar and carbs because our cells want more glucose! They don’t recognize that we have a ton, it’s just floating around in our blood because of inadequate insulin secretion.
Cutting these things out with the Whole30 was very difficult. I felt myself craving them all the time. Honestly, I think I was able to be vegan for two years because I was still able to eat carbs. Giving up meat and cheese was easy compared to how I felt this first week on the whole30. I also noticed that my mood is highly affected by how many carbs or how much sugar I have. I would get so angry out of nowhere. Even worse, when I was angry I wanted to have a cookie to make me feel better. It was and has been very hard not to treat myself at the end of a long week.
The Whole30 non-scale victories sees not using food as comfort as a victory, but honestly, I do not. Food can be used to comfort us. It gives us pleasure so it makes sense that we would turn to it when we feel down. I think this is fine. It’s when we take this too far and have food every time we feel down or binge when we’re down that it becomes a problem. Food can make us feel better, so let it. Feeling bad that this made you feel better will only make you feel worse and could reinforce the problem. However, it is also good to realize that you don’t need food to make you feel better and I’m glad that Whole30 helped me to realize that.
I wasn’t super tired during the first week, but what I think is worse is that my energy hasn’t picked up since then. To be fair, my diet was not poor before this. I followed a lot of what Whole30 said even before starting it. I didn’t eat a lot of bread or dairy before, but I had never completely eliminated them. This may be the reason why my energy didn’t skyrocket, but I wish it had.
Week 1 was an adjustment for me, but I don’t think it was as bad as it could have been because I didn’t get sick.
Whole30- Weeks 2 and 3
I would like to say that these cravings completely subsided by the end of the 30 days, but they honestly only subsided a little bit. As I write this, I am craving carbs and sugar. Part of me wants to try the Whole100 to see if I still crave them after 100 days, but I think that’s a little ambitious for me right now.
The next two weeks were pretty good. I was able to meal prep so staying on track at work wasn’t too hard. Currently, I’m in my foodservice rotation and am surrounded by food ALL DAY LONG. Meal prepping was essential to keeping on track. It was nice making super simple meals and having smaller grocery lists.
I didn’t blog the whole time because I didn’t want the pressure of having to create while also trying to shove down cravings and figure out what would last a week. It was nice to have a break, but I’m glad I’m back and in full throttle! Throughout this whole thing, I also tried to eat as organic as possible. Honestly, I think this made a huge difference and I will probably continue to do this. I think that eating as organic as possible eliminated brain fog more than the Whole30.
I realized I hadn’t worked out during week 1, so I made sure to work out on weeks 2 and 3. I’m not sure what it was, but I just felt different. Not a better different, just different. Like uncomfortable almost. I didn’t feel like I was sweating hard and powering through my workouts. I just felt like I wasn’t able to try my best. Do you ever have that feeling where you feel like you can try harder and you try to, but you feel like it’s going nowhere? Previous to the Whole30, when I tried harder, I felt like I was trying harder. During the Whole30, I felt like I worked out as hard as I could, but I didn’t feel like I was achieving everything I wanted to. It’s hard to explain, but I did not like it.
You guys, I just consulted with my friend who did the Whole30 a couple of months ago, and we both agree that week 4 is the hardest by far! It’s the last stretch which makes it so much harder to resist.
Every time I walked past a coffee shop I thought about all of the treats I’ll be able to have when this is over. I spent so much time planning my celebration meal. I also started to break out a little at this stage. I’m not sure if it was connected to the diet or not, but my skin did not look as good as it used too.
I also started to get a little sick. This happened to my friend’s sister who did Whole30. She also has hypothyroidism and some hormone issues so it might be connected to that. Overall, it was good that this week was hard because I was able to practice fortitude and push through.
I can now say I successfully completed the Whole30! WOOHOO!
Overall, I am glad that I did the Whole30, but it didn’t pan out to be everything that I wanted. I thought that I would have “tiger blood”, not feel bloated at all, and just, in general, feel great. I do feel better, but I am nowhere near having tiger blood and my bloating really hasn’t gone down that much. However, I do think that my skin has gotten a little bit clearer and brighter and I do think my energy level has improved a little bit. Also, I know this is a very uncommon outcome, but I gained weight during it. I’m not sure why and it was very negligible, but I gained weight. I tried to eat very nutrient dense foods and tons of protein, but I did. It was weird and I’m still trying to figure out why that happened.
I’m also glad I did it as just a reality check with food. A lot of times I feel like my cravings drive what I eat and this was a good reminder that food is just food and you are in control of what and how much you eat.
Would you recommend?
I don’t think I would recommend this diet to anyone, PCOS or not, because it’s too unsustainable. I don’t think anyone can eat like this for too long without burning out. Eating out has been WAY too much of a challenge for me and I feel bad just watching my friends eat and not eating with them.
All in all, I think the Whole30 is okay. Not great. Not terrible. Will I do it again? Maybe in the future as a good “getting back to the basics” reminder.
Have you done Whole30? Let me know in the comments below!
Want awesome recipes and faith posts! I recommend the spaghetti squash with pesto and prosciutto, the best chia seed pudding, sweet potato pasta with a garlic cream sauce, the one question I always ask myself before I eat, 3 things food reminds me of every day, 3 reasons why I fasted yesterday and why you should too!
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