A lot of my Instagram followers, friends, & family have been really interested in this entire Whole 30 thing that I have been doing. Their first question is what is it. Then they ask why I’m doing it. If they make it through both those answers they usually get all wide eyes & amazed that I’ve been able to do it without one single cheat because they never could. So I decided to talk about my whole journey with the Whole 30 & hopefully by the end I’ll convince some of you that IT IS POSSIBLE for you too.
I honestly don’t know how I discovered the Whole 30 program, but I know that it was through the beloved social network of Instagram. It’s really nuts how the use of hashtags & tagging people can really get people’s names, ideas, brands, & products out there from one small town to the entire world. It’s how I’ve found some of my most favorite bloggers, clothing brands, & jewelry makers. I think we’ve come to a point in life where the impossible dream can become reality through a simple picture app that allows for free advertising. I mean, that’s how I have most of you following me, from my fashion Instagram. Anyway, all I remember is somehow clicking from one post to the next one day & landing on the lovely profile of Jenna Rammel from @jennaskitchen. her pics were cool & I loved the artsy vibes so I followed. Little did I know that what she was taking part in would weeks later change my life!
I don’t know Jenna personally, but I’m gonna talk for a second like I do! She’s a stay at home mom to two boys who lives in Utah & is Morman. She is not a person who works for or get paid by the Whole 30 owners, she’s just another person in the world like me, who finally found something different that worked for her. She explains in her picture comments that she has always had horrible views of her body since the age of 12 & I believe that’s only because someone else pointed something out to her which made her feel self-conscious & insecure. She says she’s struggled with body image every since & has had a love/hate relationship with herself & food because of it. When I came across her profile she was just finishing up day 26 of her first Whole 30 & in Disney World of all places! I was so intrigued by what she was doing & how she could do it with such yummy things around that I googled the Whole 30 bit & read the entire thing doubting that I would ever actually commit to such a thing. Now onto what this thing is actually…
The Whole 30 program was started by some people sometime for some reason. I don’t remember the details, but feel free to look them up! All I remember is that what I was reading about food & our relationship with it towards our body was actually making sense. I first scrolled through their “I’m new to Whole 30” section on their site & read through their 8 steps to getting started & I was hooked. As I read I learned more & more about the program & the purpose behind it. It basically makes you cut out all processed foods, all sugars, all dairy, all grain & legumes. Which leaves you with meats, vegetables, fruits, & nuts. Which is nuts!! And right away I thought to myself there no way I can do this! But then I came across their famous quote, “It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.” And reading that was like having a bulky weight trainer smack me dead in the face saying, you can’t say you can’t do something unless you first try & see if you can. That’s when I knew that I needed to do this in order to see if I even could do something like this. To see if I even could change the way I eat, the way I feel, & the way I face things I think I can’t overcome.
So back to reality. I had read the program, I had realized that I needed to do this to change the health of my body, but I had no idea how I was going to accomplish it all on my own. The Whole 30 was really big on full committing to the entirety of the program, no slips or cheats or any kind, & they were really big on creating a support system towards success. Okay, I’ve tried healthy eating before & it worked for like 12 hours until you see those Baked BBQ Chips in the pantry & you just cave. I felt like I was setting myself up for failure so why even begin? But then, Mrs. Jenna Rammel came to the rescue! She announced that she was going to start another Whole 30 in a few days so that she could be the support system for her fast growing Instagram followers. That was the glimmer of hope that I needed to do this! That night after reading that I remember going to Red Robin with my parents (whom I live with) & told them over my chicken fingers & French fries that I was going to do a Whole 30 & that I really needed their household support in doing so. I laid out all the rules, most of which they gave me a big eyed & wide mouth response too. But they complied to their own versions of it & this began the craziest 30 days that were focused around food, food, & more food!
Day 1 is easy. I’m not gonna lie. So is Day 2. Until about 11 o’clock at night & you’re laying in bed & your body starts tweaking & you can’t stop thinking & itching for Wing Stop, Pizza, Sour Patch Watermelons, & all things you cannot consume for the next 4 weeks. And all you can do is lie there & just hope to fall asleep so that one more day is over & that you can eat eggs in the morning for breakfast. Repeat for the next 5 days & you’ve finished week 1. The cravings for everything you can’t eat do start to become fewer & far between. They don’t go away, but you do become stronger in resisting the temptation & ignoring them by eating an apple doused in cinnamon. That was my crack on this thing. It’s what got me through tough afternoons & starving nights. I’m making this sound horrible, well it is for the first 5 or so days! But then it becomes so easy you forget that you “can’t” eat stuff & all that’s on your mind are the things you can eat & you can’t wait to eat them! The best part about this program is that there is no portion control or calorie counting, you just eat as much of the good stuff as you wanna eat when you wanna eat it. What other “diet” allows you to do that?!? None! And no other healthy program I’ve ever seen/heard/know about allows for such crazy results in such a small amount of time.
This is the picture that made me wanna change. It was taken about a year ago last October. I was so bummed when I saw it! I was like, how come I don’t look like this anymore!? What happened! I think the hardest part about being a women is that your body is constantly changing. And old habits that were once fine just aren’t okay anymore as time goes on. Did I ever think that I ate that bad? No, not really. I always knew I could eat better & choose more wisely. But I never thought that just two years after getting out of high school I would start to have stretch marks appear across my lower abdomen not from pregnancy or any medical condition, but from simply gaining an unhealthy amount of weight too quickly! They were just there one day like BOOM! It made me so sad & I had no idea what do about it. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin at all anymore. I’ve never been skinny & little & I’ve learned to embrace my curves. But somehow the womenly curves I did have were being drowned in growing fat & being stretched to fit in more burritos, ice creams, & pizza. I’m being extreme here. Do I believe I ate my feelings? No. But I do see that as my body grows & changes I have to learn & know how to take care of it best at each stage in life. Eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted just wasn’t working for me anymore & that’s why I am so glad that by God’s grace through a random Instagram find, I found the Whole 30.
I finished up my Whole 30 last Tuesday & was finally able to weigh myself. They encourage you to just do before/after weigh in’s because it’s not about the number on the scale but about how you feel. And I was feeling great! My clothes were already staring to fit me differently heading into the end of week 2. That’s just about 10 days people! Nuts, right? I lost so much back fat (I’m being real) & gained a ton of leg muscle. I worked out at home a little bit during the Whole 30 program, mainly sticking to weight training in my arms to tone things up, & did a few leg work outs too. I will never run. I’m not a runner. And I’m not a gym rat. But just a few exercises each day has made me feel better & I’ve noticed strength gain. The Whole 30 talks about how since your body doesn’t have carbs to burn it will burn fat. And since you’re eating leaner things, you’ll gain leaner muscles which is pretty cool. I noticed that all over my body! I only own one pair of jeans because I had come to a point where I only felt comfortable in leggings & cotton shirts. But my golly, my jeans were huge on me by the end & I can tell I have more room even in my leggings! I’m telling you, this Whole 30 program is worth the results. It changed my life & relationship with food & myself. I lost 12 pounds in 30 days & have loved doing it so much that I extended it to 45 days. And I don’t ever see myself going back to eating the way I was.
I’m not quite back to the shape & size that I was before, but I’m getting there & I’ve started! That’s the first step, to start. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that I’ve made sure every time I’ve mentioned Whole 30 that I’ve linked it back to their site. That’s because I want you to click it & start reading about it for yourself so you can start to change your life too! You can also purchase their book It Starts With Food to go more in depth into their program. I just stuck with reading their online program & keeping a close eye on the #jennawhole30 Instagram feed for inspiration & motivation. Whole 30 really did change my life & I want it to change yours too. So click that link, because YOU CAN do this. I promise.