- Clear head and increased concentration—This happened within the first two weeks. I thought the cloudy headedness I’d been experiencing was due to lack of sleep and too much coffee. I haven’t gotten more sleep or lowered my coffee intake during the Whole30, for what it’s worth. I don’t have a lot of data points for this yet, but any work presentation I’ve given in the recent past was terrible; I lost words and trailed off, I stuttered and generally just muddled through. Which I know hasn’t always been the case. The most recent presentation I did on Day 27 was 100% better than any part of the last few years. Maybe it’s because I knew the material inside and out. Maybe. But I can tell you that I felt like I was able to think and talk at the same time. I felt the difference.
- Less anxiety and more patience—I have an almost 4-year-old and an almost 1-year-old. My husband is in school full time and I work full time. Life is hectic and a bit stressful. I am a worrier by nature and probably have been in a constant state of stress for years. All of this led to me feeling very low about how I was interacting with my family. I’m not sure I can articulate what’s happened here, but I can tell you that the last few weeks I’ve felt less likely to implode. Yes, my 3-year-old, who I love dearly, still gets on my nerves on occasion, but I don’t have the internal struggle to keep my cool (which I was often losing). I feel more collected. Maybe I was on more of a sugar-filled roller coaster than I expected. I don’t know; but I can tell you that I am very thankful for this internal calm that has settled in.
- Less aches and pains—The aches and pain in my joints cleared up around week 2 also, probably by about 90%. I doubt I’ll ever be at 100%, because I’ve got plenty of damage from basketball, running, all that jazz. But I feel more like 37 and less like a poorly-maintained 67. I can imagine living another 50 years in a body that feels like this. When people want to take the stairs at work, provided I’m not in heels, I can do it! And, I can squat down to look at my daughter in her eyes when she wants to talk to me. That, right there, is worth every minute of the last 30 days.
- No more mystery pain—I’ve only run a couple of days, but I have not had a single instance of shifting-organ discomfort in weeks. And surprise of all surprises, the two days I did run, no Depends were harmed or even needed. And yes, I do have an appointment with my doctor wherein I’ll discuss my discomfort to make sure it isn’t anything serious, but ladies, you know how long it takes to get in to see those doctors. She’ll tell me losing weight was what I needed to do to make it better anyway.
- The other things category—This is a catchall for all that I just won’t talk about online. Or with most people. But if you are at my house having a glass of wine and contemplating doing a Whole30, I’ll tell you about it.
- Weight loss—I wish I had taken body measurements before I did the Whole30. I only have my waist circumference and weight from an annual exam the day before my birthday. And really, I’m pear shaped so most of the inches came off my thighs and butt and aren’t represented here. I’ll also say that I didn’t lose as much weight as my clothes would lead me to believe. Many of the inches I lost happened toward the end of week 2 and seems to have been inflammation related. That probably coincides with why I have less aches and pains. Starting weight: 224
Starting waist circumference: 36.5″
Ending weight: 213
Ending waist circumference: 34″
The granuloma annulare has not cleared up and I can’t tell any difference in it. It’s possible that my body is reacting to something other than what I’m eating or it’s possible that I might just need stay the course longer and let my body continue to heal. It went away when I was pregnant with with my youngest (your immune system lowers during pregnancy) and it took a couple of months for it to resolve then. It’s not too bothersome, so I’m not going to stress out about it; I’ll just keep avoiding pedicures. Sigh.
I saw more and different benefits than I expected. I’m not entirely sure why. I suspect that my body is probably more sensitive to sugar and other “things” in the food I’ve been eating than I had recognized. The next step is to try to reintroduce foods that I feel like I cannot live without and see how my body reacts to them; I should have eliminated foods for long enough that I’ll be able to recognize how my body feels after I eat any that are potentially inflammatory. There’s not a ton I’m dying to have back, other than wine, chocolate, and maybe some cheese. But because I now fully recognize that my stress foods are alcohol and sweet stuff, I’m going to really have to monitor those two.
And there you have it. I’m not going to just jump back into the way I was eating. I’ll probably still seem like I’m being a PITA when I don’t eat something that seems incredibly normal to someone else. But I don’t want to go back to feeling like I did (I just can’t), and I still have some things I want to accomplish. I want to see if I can get back into running now that I’m not hurting so much. I want to keep being able to roll around on the floor with Emma and Aurora. I want to be able to run away from the zombies during the Apocalypse without peeing myself because I’m obese and inflamed (did anyone read this far?).
Thanks to everyone who followed along and cheered me on. I really do appreciate it. Facebook* lends to a lot of negativity in the world, I think, but I feel like I was able to use it to my advantage with this project. So, to my friends near and far, I appreciate you all.