So yesterday was my last day of the Whole 30 Challenge. It was an emotional process at first, but I must say that I am so glad that I did it. I am going to list the pro’s and con’s here in this blog post and some lessons I learned. Yesterday I finished the day off with a 10 mile run- with a 5k built in. I was able to get a PR (kind of unintentionally) which to me is indicator that my overall health is improving. It was the first race I have ever done where I did not have any stomach pain or cramping whatsoever. I did try some Halo Top ice cream (pictured below) when I got home because I felt like I deserved it after all the hard work- so far- no adverse reaction to the dairy. I really think it was the wheat and other grains that I was having problems with before the challenge.
So here are my (terrible) before and after pictures. I can see some differences, though they are not that drastic, I can tell a huge difference in my abdomen. I don’t look as “bloated” and can see some definition in my abs. I wish I would have had someone else do the photos so that you can see them better.
Pro’s: No stomach pain, I lost 6 pounds with out having to use portion control and the foods I ate were actually good and flavorful, No bloating or stomach cramping, my strength at cross fit seems to be better, Better sleep, I know what goes in my food now, no sugar cravings, no afternoon crash at work, clearer skin, I had a 5k PR, it seems easy to wake up at 4:30 AM now, more energy, I learned new recipes and cooking styles, and I saved some money not eating out anymore.
Cons: This challenge makes it hard to eat out with friends and family (especially if they are not supportive), You do spend a little bit more on groceries (however, you can make this very low budget if necessary), you do have to cook most of your food at home, You will start wishing for new Tupperware containers and cook ware instead of new clothes and shoes, you pretty much obsess over your meals, you spend hours reading labels and ingredient lists to find out almost everything has soy and sugar in it these days, and you will go through a detox phase where you feel sick and fatigued (but it does eventually end).
Overall this challenge helped me learn more about how the ingredients I put into my body made me feel. While I will not be so strict and hard on myself I will stick a mostly paleo diet for the next few months to see if the progress can stick. I will post some blogs about my weekly meal prep and possibly continue to take progress pictures throughout my next marathon and strength training cycle. Thank you all for following along and if you have any questions at all about trying this challenge shoot me an email or a comment! I may do it again in January just to help clients get on track after the holiday season!