Home > Food, Health, Personal > Whole30 success!

Whole30 success!


“Congratulations!” cheered the lady behind me in the check-out line. “When are you due?”

“Oh, I already had the baby!” I replied, smiling.

The look of horror on her face passed quickly. Faux pas: in the bag! “How long ago?”

“Two months.”

“That’s a very pretty dress,” she replied, shifting gears to divert my attention.

I wasn’t miffed. I feel great! With only ten hours to go in my second Whole30, I’m down from a size 14/16 to a size 10. My husband is asking me almost daily if I’m sure I’m not pregnant, I’m glowing so. There’s newly returned spring in my step and I no longer get hangry. Just hungry.

This Whole30 was harder than my first. The first time around, I’d already been eating an extremely restricted diet for months; doing so helped manage extreme sensitivities brought on by exposure to environmental toxins. Shifting to Whole30 then meant ditching rice and occasional beers. This time around, it meant giving up my much beloved lemon cupcakes and all manner of delectable but unhealthy delights. Deprived of those, I found myself doing the unthinkable: shopping for distraction.

I do not like shopping.

I took this need for a new outlet as a sign that I was on the right track, and I was. I was squashing habitual craving eating-to-destress one healthy meal at a time.

Breastfeeding a newborn also made this more challenging. Whole30 meals of a little fat, some protein and a plethora of veggies are meant to sustain for 4-5 hours. The Whole30 team does caution that pregnant and breastfeeding women need to eat more frequently, but I was astonished by how much more frequently I needed to eat this time than last. I was usually ravenous–though quietly, not lashing out hangry-style the way I do when running on carbs!–after 2-3 hours. It’s only been the last couple of days that I’ve consistently made it 4-5 hours between meals with only mild hunger at best.

Was it worth it? You bet.

Am I going to keep it up? You bet.

The biggest critique I’ve seen of Whole30 is that it’s too strict, or just another yo-yo diet that will bring temporary weight loss that’s obliterated once you finish the diet. These irritate me, despite my effort to treat them with zen equanimity. Such statements reflect zero effort to read up on the rationale of the Whole30, which is about changing long term relationships with food and body image, not doling out weight quick fixes. Indeed, no weighing whatsoever is allowed during the 30-day “detox” period before verboten foods are reintroduced. This is because too much focus on the arbitrary measure of weight distracts from the whole picture of feeling wholly awesome eating real food instead of the food substitutes littered throughout the modern grocery store.

I want a cupcake right now. Part of me wants to stand outside my favorite cupcakery and buy a dozen lemon cupcakes the moment it opens tomorrow. Yes, I’m going to keep striving to eat the Whole9 way. Fortunately, that does not mean forever banishing much beloved foods. It means eating them sparingly, when I genuinely want to . . . not because engineered food substitutes urge me on, or because I’m feeling anxious and want a quick–but superficial and fleeting–sugar fix.

But mostly, I don’t want that cupcake. Not now. Not really. I want to keep basking in the glow of feeling truly nourished.

My Whole30 isn’t stopping here. I’m just not ready to give up feeling this good yet, not even for the world’s tastiest cupcake.

And that? That determination–not any external change–is the real gold of the Whole30.


* Written at 29.5 days because there’s a baby asleep on my chest and no guarantee I’ll find aΒ writing opportunity tomorrow.


  1. June 13, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    It looks like you feel amazing. Congratulations indeed!

  2. June 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I don’t know what the Whole30 is, but I kind of feel like I might accidentally be doing it because of my allergy? That is the only upside to this allergy; I am eating healthier than ever before. And you look amazing and like you feel amazing, which is what I know you are going for. πŸ˜‰

    • June 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      Thank you! I usually would’ve included a bunch of links, but forewent that in light of the circumstances. πŸ™‚ There’s more info in my footnote, but the gist of it is: no dairy, no grains, no alcohol, no added sugar or sweeteners of any kind (though fruit is fine). I was most of the way there for health reasons before, but removing the rice–strange though that might sound!–did wonders! It is an adjustment getting rid of those things, but so worth it for this feeling. Aaaah.

      • June 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm

        Unfortunately, the only thing my body seems to tolerate other than fish, chicken, fruit, and veggies, are grains. So weird. I try really hard not to eat an all-pie diet!

  3. June 13, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Before I can even comment I am struck by the irony of “Please weigh in – kindly!” LOL
    You look BEAUTIFUL! And the dress IS pretty. After four kids I can tell you – while I lost the weight rather quickly after each, my problem was always keeping it off and it was different with each kid. I am going to check out the Whole 30 – I’ve never heard of it. But the building queue of food allergies/ intolerances is growing fast.
    Anyway, Congrats!
    P.S. I thanks for your recent comment on my blog. You were the one blogger I was hoping would leave a comment because, as I told my husband, “She just rocks!” πŸ™‚

    • June 13, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Your comment’s opening made me laugh! I didn’t put those two together at all. πŸ™‚

      Thank you, on both counts! It was exciting to wear the dress for today’s Father’s Day celebration at the preschool. I bought it a year ago but didn’t have a chance to wear it. It was exciting to feel great in it, even despite my sniffling and sneezing. If this is how good I feel even with all that, I’m extra excited to get back into feeling the goodness not dampened.

      I did update this post to include a few links to Whole30 stuff. There’s a good (short) overview here, with easy access to lots more info. I found it in a fluke while watching a bad movie alone in a theater last year, and I’m so, so glad I went to that bad movie, even if I hardly remember the movie itself. πŸ˜€

      (Speaking of being glad? I would’ve been sad to see no more updates to your blog with no idea where else to look for you! ♥)

  4. June 13, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    What gorgeous pictures! You are glowing! I love the phrase “hangry!” I was totally hangry a little bit ago because I waited too long to eat. Congrats on your current Whole 30 success and keep up the great work, you look so much more fantastic than a lemon cupcake tastes! πŸ™‚

    • June 13, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      Oooh! I love that last line, which I can imagine is going to come to mind at opportune times in the future.

      The first time I heard the word “hangry,” it was true love. Almost since I met my BIL, he’d greet my crankiness with the simple question, “Have you eaten recently?” Heh. No more of that now, thankfully, even with all the tweaking to get it just right for breastfeeding.

      • June 14, 2014 at 6:08 am

        I just shared “hangry” with my husband and he so gets it in every sense of the word! He has to be regularly fed, too! Now we have a new way to describe that time between 6 pm and when dinner’s ready! ❀ Have a great weekend!

  5. June 13, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Wow, you look great!

  6. June 13, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    You sound determined. Glad you’re feeling so good–and you look great, too! Keep up the good work.

    • June 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm

      Thank you! I’m debating whether to extend by 15 days, 30 days or 45 days. I’ll see how it unfolds. For now, another 15 days is definite. I’m excited to see how I’ll feel then, though I’ll unlike fill feeds with another post on it then. :p

  7. nicciattfield
    June 14, 2014 at 3:30 am

    It’s so wonderful when you feel good instead of the sugar waves! The first time I tried it, without all the supermarket stuff, I was saying “There’s nothing to eat! What do people do?” But learning to go by my body was wonderful, stopped the 4pm slump, and left me feeling as though I’d released something.

    You look fantastic, by the way! ‘Radiant.

    • June 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      Thank you so much! Even though I’ve got a wicked cold right now, I feel pretty good. I did have a moment earlier where I saw a beer and thought, “I could have that now!” but opted to skip it. I remember how I feel after I have beer, so it’s going to have to be a really special beer to make that trade-off. πŸ™‚

  8. June 14, 2014 at 5:52 am

    You look inspiring. My food adjustments are always to fix how I feel, I have don’t have the patience to follow anything set down, but i do have an understanding of my body so tend to eat what makes me feel good mostly. I think I am fortunate, things I like and things that make me feel good usually are one and the same.

    I think though, I must read up on what you are doing because you look INSPIRING.

    • June 14, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Part of what made this so easy for me to go with was knowing what did and didn’t work. I didn’t have to mark anything down or track anything, just put the right balance of good food into each meal and eat until satiated. For someone who already makes a point to eat only/mostly things that feel good, it might not be as handy. For folks who are looking for clear, easy steps to learning how to do that, this is great–challenging, but great!

  9. June 14, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Deb, thanks for sharing your Whole30 experience and the link–great stuff! You look fabulous, and how wonderful to FEEL fabulous, too. Love the word “hangry”, too. Ice cream is my downfall, and when I give in to huge amounts of it (always in the dark, cold winter as comfort food) I feel sad and/or hangry. Great post!

    • June 14, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Ice cream was my downfall until a few months ago, when a girlfriend introduced me to some amazing cupcakes and set me down the path to daily cupcaking. The good news is that ice cream no longer holds much power over me. The bad news is those cupcakes are still massively alluring. I got myself a pair of cupcake earrings that’s all of the fun with none of the “ugh,” so my fingers are crossed there. πŸ˜‰

  10. June 14, 2014 at 8:55 am

    You look beautiful. And most importantly, it sounds like you feel so good πŸ™‚ Congratulations!

    • June 14, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Thank you! I feel better already than I did this time yesterday, even with an infernal cold. I’m glad I did it, even if it was more challenging this time than last. πŸ™‚

  11. June 14, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Congratulations to the healthier, happier you!

  12. June 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Clicking bake and forth between your post and the Whole30 page. Interesting and encouraging! The biggest challenge I’d have is the protein as 90+% of my protein comes from legumes. Only on rare occasions do I eat eggs or seafood, so I’m trying to figure out how I could make this work, or IF I could.

    Congratulations on all your hard work!

  13. Rainy
    June 21, 2014 at 10:54 am

    That’s so fantastic. I didn’t make it through my first Whole30. That’s so cool that you’re feeling so good! It’s difficult to change habits, give up treats that have some emotional components, and stick to something like this. Well done! Oh, I’m Rainy, btw. New follower.

  14. June 23, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Your second one, and on breast feeding! Good to know it can be done! It’s funny, when I first started talking about the Whole30, many of my friends and family were SO skeptical. They kept asking if I was hungry, they looked at me strangely when they ate pizza and I brought my own food- but then I started getting complements on my glowing skin and losing weight. And in fact, I feel happier and better than ever! I just finished my Whole30, and plan on going a little more paleo- but really, plan on being Whole30 compliant at least 80% of the time, Paleo 15% of the time, and off plan entirely 5%. Ish. We’ll see how it goes.

    I started at a 16/18, and I think I might be down to a 14/16 which I am STOKED about. But it’s more than just my clothes fitting loosely. It’s the fact that I wake up and have energy almost right away, that I feel good about my body in a way I haven’t in a long time, that I’m FULL all.the.time (before this I was constantly trying portion control, and almost nothing is worse than feeling slightly hungry every waking minute.) And yes, the hangry is gone… poof. I LOVE it!!!

  1. June 16, 2014 at 11:10 am
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