That’s it.

I can’t believe I only have ten more days until I’m done with the Whole 30.

When I began, I thought my emotion at approaching the end of this 30 day journey would be joy and excitement. Instead, I would say I’m nervous for it to end.

Once I passed the half-way point, my experience changed dramatically from the first few weeks. My new way of eating has become routine. I don’t have to think expend tons of thought and energy into how I will prepare my next meal or what I will eat. I have made it through withdrawal of so many things I used to love: sugar, diet soda, sugar, dairy, sugar and chewing gum.

I’m afraid to go back to my world of choice. I don’t want to return to my previous life where I had to decide how many cookies I could eat or whether to have a bowl of ice cream. I love having protein-fueled energy, and I don’t want to go back to the highs and lows of my sugar addiction.

So, trying to decide what my boundaries will be at the end of the 30 days is occupying a lot of my mental energy right now. But until then, here are some of the things I’ve experienced my first 20 days on Whole 30.

  1. The biggest change for me already is an improved relationship with food. It was so hard at the beginning to go to a restaurant or movie theater and find myself surrounded by the smells of delicious meals or hot buttered popcorn. At the beginning, I had incredible cravings for something — anything — sugary to eat after dinner. Now, I’m OK. I’m not constantly thinking about food or craving certain foods.
  2. I enjoy tasting real food. Before I did Whole 30, I covered much of my food with some type of sauce. This had already been reduced significantly since I went gluten free, but I still used ketchup, A-1 sauce, Tamari sauce, honey, butter, sour cream and salad dressing to add flavor to my meals. During the past 20 days, I haven’t used any of those. We have a joke in our house that the kids call any type of meat, “chicken.” I think what they really mean is “sauce.” Now that I have a greater sensitivity to what different types of food taste like, I can make choices on what veggies, fruit or herbs I can throw into my meal to improve the taste.
  3. I love the energy I have from eating real food. Instead of craving processed, pre-packaged food, I’ve started feeling an aversion to it. I actually feed bad watching my kids eat bread or cereal, knowing how much more energy they would have if they were eating eggs or another form of protein.
  4. I love being in control of food. It feels so good not to be addicted to sugar. I could just type this line 100 times.
  5. I can now do real push ups. This doesn’t actually have anything to do with Whole 30, but during this month I have been exercising most days. I alternate between doing the “couch to 5K” on my treadmill and doing a couple of strength building programs via the Internet. I’ve always done “girl” push-ups, but I can actually do REAL push ups. (OK, only 3. But still!) People! This is huge for me.
  6. I have lost zero pounds. That’s right. Not one single pound. You aren’t supposed to weigh during Whole 30, but that is the one rule I’ve broken. I’m addicted to the scale. My goal was to lose six pounds, and I really hoped that like 95 percent of the people who do Whole 30, I would shed a little weight. Nope. I could argue that I’ve actually gained weight because at one point I did lose two pounds, but I gained it back. The amazing thing is that even with my obsession with the number on the scale, I would still do it again. I really feel that all of the gains have been worth it.

I guess one thing I should add to put all of this into perspective is that from May to November of 2016, I have had an ongoing and very challenging struggle with my health. During that time, I have constantly been fighting the effects of an auto-immune disease: lethargy, exhaustion, brain fog, joint pain and other unpleasant stuff. Just the fact that I have been healthy enough to try an eating plan like this has been a huge step for me.

When I started, 10 days sounded like a long time. But with only 10 days left, I can’t believe how close I am to the finish line. Of course, the truth is, I’m never finished. Now, to decide what’s next!

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What about you? Did you try something new in January? How is it going for you?

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