Well it’s official. I did it. I finished the Whole30. For real this time. No “I’ll just have one glass of wine,” or “I’ll order sweet potato fries even though I know they’re fried in canola oil.” I seriously did it. I drank water at the Hop Leaf, while everyone else drank beer. I brought a Lara Bar to my friend’s baby shower, to eat when everyone else was eating cake. And when we went out to dinner, I ordered a plain salad, no dressing.

But last night as I was contemplating what I would write about in this post and how I felt about my Whole30 experience, I just wasn’t that excited. The last time I did the Whole30, I had more than a few revelations:

  • I used food as a comfort. If I was having a bad day, was stressed, and/or need a hug, I turned to food. Sometimes it was sugar. But during the Whole30, I replaced it with nuts
  • Soda, it turns out, is gross. I’ve never liked the regular kind (it tastes way too syrupy for me). But I had been drinking diet sodas since the 7th grade and never realized just how much they taste like chemicals
  • Contrary to what I originally thought, I don’t *need* cheese. Yes I loved it. It was my favorite food. But my life can go on without it
  • I was done with all processed foods, including condiments. No more ketchup, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, or salad dressings. The mayonnaise was a big one. I used to put it on everything

So this time around, I was hoping to learn more about what works and what doesn’t for my body. Only I didn’t really. I just reconfirmed what I already knew. No big earth shattering moments for me this time.

And what’s more, I still haven’t reached the “amazing tiger-blood, the hills are alive, I no longer need sugar in my life” point. My sleep schedule is still F-ed up. I can’t seem to fall asleep until midnight and then I’m dragging myself out of bed around 7:30am (with, by the way, horrible dark puffy circles under my eyes). And I don’t even want to talk about sugar. If I see one more darn cookie I’m going to throw it at someone. The bus stop to go home from work is right in front of a McDonalds. Last night I had to distract myself with Instagram so I wouldn’t walk in and buy one.

So did the Whole30 work? I just wasn’t sure last night. I still was having a few bad fibromyalgia attacks, although it seemed like the overall number was down. And even though during the first two weeks my weight went down to 120lbs (I know you’re not supposed to check during but I got weighed at the doctor’s office when I had bronchitis), when I checked last night I was back up to about 123lbs.

OK, but did my measurements change even though I didn’t really lose any weight?

  • Weight =  123 lbs  (about 2 lbs lost)
  • Chest = 32 inches (same)
  • Waist = 27 inches (same)
  • Hips = 37.5 inches (lost 0.5 inches)
  • Arm = 10 inches (same)
  • Thigh = 22 inches (same)

Alright, so that didn’t really work either. On January 1st, I said that my fibromyalgia pain was at an 8 out of 10. Right now, it’s at a 5. So that’s an improvement. Plus I haven’t really had any 9 out of 10 or 10 out of 10 moments at all this January.

But was that it? Did the Whole30 just sort of help my fibromyalgia pain? Maybe it’s just been a coincidence?

And then something really interesting happened. Right as I was sitting down to type, I remember that I needed to take my resting peak flow. I’ve been struggling with asthma for a long time. Last summer, as I mentioned before, my doctor put me on steroids because I could never clock higher than a 300 (goal is 475). When I exercised, it was even lower, to the point where my lips would turn purple.

So I grabbed my peak-flow meter this morning. Took a deep breath, and blew a 450.

Seriously? I tried it again, this time getting a 400. After months of steroids I never got that high. Ever. The only thing they ever did was make my period disappear (which is also why I stopped taking them). I’m so happy, I almost want to call my doctor to tell her.

But now what? I’m going to assume that this is the result of cutting out dairy. I’ve heard that it’s the number one culprit for allergies and asthma. But maybe it’s from cutting out all processed foods that might contain soy, which I’m allergic to. Or maybe, there is another food that I cut out, that I’m also allergic to but never realized.

But the point is, it worked. Something in the Whole30 worked. I might not have lost the weight I wanted, or cured my fibromyalgia. But at least I know I’m on the right track. Now I just need to figure out what’s next.

15 thoughts on “I Finished the Whole30”

    1. Haha yup. My first time doing the Whole30 was back in August. In September we had a wedding and I gorged myself on processed crackers and cheese, cookies, etc. Worst idea ever! I was so sick I couldn’t eat anything the next day.

  1. I don’t think a second or third Whole30 is ever as revealing as the first, but I’m glad you did finally pinpoint at least one solid take-away. My youngest has pretty severe asthma (he’s lucky to blow 150 on the peak flow meter) and I’m trying to pull him off processed foods and dairy. This is definitely more incentive to take on those battles!

    1. It seriously took me by surprise. I told my doctor and she was baffled. But I guess it makes sense. If I’m having trouble breathing all the time, that’s inflammation. And if I am having an allergic reaction to a food, maybe just minor, that could cause it. I don’t need an epi pen, but it is bad enough to restrict my breathing. Just went to the doctor yesterday for food allergy testing. So I guess we’ll see. If your son has asthma, I’m assuming you’ve done allergy tests before? Could also be things like pollen? I know I’m also allergic to cats, pollen, hay and the “brown spots on leaves.”

  2. I’ve actually never done the Whole30, but I’ve been paleo for a while now. My other half points out to me all the ailments that have gradually subsided over time. Nothing changed dramatically for me, but things did get slowly better over many many months.

    Actually, allergies is the one thing I haven’t noticed any changes for. I’ve lost a little weight, but nothing significant since I’m not overweight to be begin with. But I stopped having acid reflux and I stopped getting the flu/colds all the time.

    I also used to have a lot of problems with sleep, and all the information in those articles that Jake McCrary provided is useful but didn’t really help me too much. I think I was simply deprived of certain nutrients and sunlight and so didn’t produce enough serotonin and therefore not enough melatonin at night (I would sleep so well if I took even a tiny amount of melatonin!). (Serotonin breaks down into melatonin.) It’s hard during the winter months for me to get enough sun, so I often supplement with some 5HTP, which is something your body naturally produces as a precursor to serotonin. Mark’s article has some information about this. I think getting sufficient good sleep is just as important as a good diet!

    1. If you’ve been paleo for a while, I personally don’t think the Whole30 is that important. I just did it because I have trouble sticking with paleo. I needed to prove to myself that eating paleo would make me feel better.

      it’s too bad your allergies didn’t get better. Could be there are just some outside causes that can’t be avoided. I’m also allergic to pollen, cats, dust etc. Although unlike you, I keep getting sick. Driving me up the wall. But maybe it will just take more time for my immune system to get up to speed.

      It’s interesting about the serotonin. When I was researching my fibromyalgia, I read that one symptom was not producing serotonin? I think. I know it said that people with FMS didn’t really get to the deep sleep, which was why our bodies couldn’t heal and we wake up with pain. But who knows. I’ve always had trouble sleeping. I did take melatonin for a while when I was getting my masters, but my boyfriend was worried I would get dependent on it.

      I’ll check out Mark’s article and see if I can get more insight. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Congratulations on completing Whole30! I was considering doing one maybe after this baby arrives.

    My husband actually did notice some dramatic changes when he started Paleo. Like Louise, his chronic heartburn disappeared overnight and he lost 25 lb in a month.

    Personally, I just have a lot more energy this pregnancy but haven’t put on much weight (so technically, am I “losing weight” since the baby is growing every day?)

    And I haven’t slept a full night in years since Crunchy Baby Emma showed up so I can’t comment on the sleep 🙂

    1. Haha aw. Yeah although I don’t have any kids myself yet, most of my friends have warned me that once a baby arrives, you can kiss sleep goodbye. Haha things to look forward to 🙂

      A Whole30 might be a great idea. You’re used to not drinking so that won’t be an issue. And by eating strict paleo, you will know you’re passing on only the best when you breast feed (if you breast feed).

  4. I was sick for 10 of the 30 days, so it was very hard for me to judge the results. I did lose body fat and some inches, and gained some energy, but I didn’t get that tiger blood either. I am waiting to see how I feel once I start reintroducing foods. How my body reacts will be a big lesson.

    Congrats on finishing!

    1. Oh boy. The reintroduction phase is an interesting one. My only advice is to write things down and really do one at a time. When I eat dairy, and gluten and have a soda, I get so confused as to what is making me feel terrible. The only thing I was smart enough to try completely separately was wine. Definitely not touching it ever again. Darn sulfites…

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