Ever since I did Atkins years ago, I have stayed away from fad diets or quick weight loss through shakes or gimmicks. I believed that everything in moderation, plus exercise and people including myself could be healthy and fit (notice I did not say skinny, I want to be strong and healthy, not just skinny). However after a few weeks of food tracking I realized that my "moderation" was more of an overindulgence and while my under active thyroid and ineffective medication may be playing some roll in my weight loss, my "diet" (I am using the term diet to describe the usual food I consumed) was a very big problem. Apparently the major food groups are not sugar, candy, chocolate, coffee, bread and beer. After a few weeks of trying to limit my sugar intake I realized I was addicted in a really bad way and no matter how many miles I ran it would not be able to make up for my poor food choices. I had seen Whole 30 mentioned on several blogs I followed, but really was not keen on the idea of giving up all of the food I love and thought it was really just the next South Beach or Atkins fad. I checked out the Whole 30 website and blog (a free version of the program is available here: http://whole9life.com/2012/08/the-whole30-program/ ) and really it made sense. While you are giving up dairy, legumes, grains, sugar and alcohol for 30 days it is more of a reset and a way to really understand what food does to your body, how it responds to them and also your own relationship with food. I still was not completely sold but I bought into it enough that I downloaded the book "It Starts with Food" from Kindle and spent the next several days reading it. When I was all done I figured what do I have to loose? The worst that could happen would be that I would hate it, and go back to attempting to conquer my sugar and cruddy food addiction by myself, at least this way I would possibly begin to understand my relationship with food and why I eat what I eat and maybe I would really reset my body.
I started the Whole 30 on Friday March 1st (finishing up the day before Easter, which happens to be my favorite holiday because I love the food and the candy). I am finishing up day 9 today and honestly I am actually really happy with not only the weight loss results (10 lbs yeah I know it says do not step on a scale but the doctor weighed me when I went) but also how I feel. I am eating now to fuel my body, as opposed to emotional eating or just because there is food around (like eating off the kid's plates or handfuls of whatever as I am making their meals). I have not followed the plan as strictly as they outline though; I am still drinking coffee, I had honey in my tea last week when I had strep throat again, I consumed a honey gel and a protein bar on my long run last weekend, and even tried to enjoy a beer last night (which I dumped after 2 sips because it was not even appealing). As far as cravings I really miss and want cheese but other then that I have not had to many and any that I did have went away quickly. I am struggling with what to eat the night and morning before a long run and neither apple sauce or a hard boiled egg sound good. I do find that after most meals I am full with out feeling gross and that with all of the resources and recipes out there cooking is easy. I plan to continue with Whole 30 for the rest of March as I am now, giving me plenty of time to figure out the details of long run days, and start it again in April before I reintroduce the dairy, grains, and legumes. (I left out sugar because I do not have any intention of reintroducing sugar into my diet (remember I am using the term diet to describe the food I consume on a regular basis), and when I do consume sugar it will be worth it and enjoyable.