The day has arrived! I have finished The Whole 30 Challenge!
Cue the chorus!
Wow! What an odyssey! How fitting also that the day I end the challenge would fall on Warrior Wednesday plus this post marks 120th!
Give me the bro-fist!
Case in point:
When I started the Whole 30 (W30 for short) on March 11, 2013; I didn’t bother to weigh myself because as an ectomorph, there’s not much for me to melt off weight wise. Before W30, I would be consistently fluctuating between 152 – 156 lbs. I didn’t consume a lot of veggies, ate mostly clean meats (grain-fed or vegetarian-fed), used gluten-free products, cooked with butter, drunk Lifeway kefir once in a while, had sporadic cheat days on weekends (some would be on Saturdays or some on Sundays), used Pure Protein protein powder (alliteration win!), ate eggs (cage free), trained 3 times a week, consumed water hit or miss.
As noted in my previous post on how I discovered Whole 30 (you did read that post, didn’t you? 😉 If not, mosey on over there and come back, ok?), I wasn’t sure if I could do this challenge or not. So in typically Yellow personality fashion, I did my READY-FIRE-AIM approach and just jumped in one weekend! When I was getting close to the end of the challenge, I updated with this post as well.
Okay, there is a lot to cover regarding this milestone. Instead of boring you with a long post, I will capsulize my experience into bullet points. Fair enough?
- Another milestone in my life achieved! I proved to myself that I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me! – Philippians 4:13
- Body-fat dropped! I would hover around the 12% range (this is a guesstimate based on mirror). As of this morning, I am 9% body-fat which I verified using Accumeasure body-fat calipers.
- No more painful joints. As noted in the first post, I was having joint pain in my knees. Even during W30, I would have the knee pain. Finally the pain has subsided.
- The man pooch is slighter than before. Truly, I think this is a posture issue more than a body-fat one.
- I ate more vegetables than I have before. In fact, I discovered new vegetables I never dared to explore or cook (e.g. asparagus, acorn squash, etc.). Big win.
- The eczema spots on my legs became lesser. One did seem during W30 and this may have been due to my body detoxifying.
- I fell in love with grass-fed meats and realized the investment is truly worth the sacrifice. I bought my meats from U.S. Wellness Meats (whom I am an affiliate now because I believe in their quality of their meats and their customer service is 5-star). You can go to my affiliate link if you are intrigued. Click on HERE.
- I became MORE aware of reading EVERYTHING before I shoveled the food down my gullet. You would be surprised at how sneaky manufacturers are (e.g. Hain’s Sea Salt has dextrose – a sugar. why in the baked beans do they need sugar in a salt products?!?).
- I learned how to become more creative in cooking including learning how to make ghee!
- By God’s grace, I learned that I CAN survive without sugar (e.g. stevia) and carbs!
- By God’s grace, I can overcome sugar urges.
- I learned that I DO have a choice in whatever goes into my mouth to eat. I’m never forced to eat anything. Food consumption is 110% my responsibility!
- This challenge is not hard. This is all mental. I’m a big boy.
- I gained friends on Twitter who were also doing the W30 and they encouraged me especially when I was burned out on eating sweet potatoes!
- I missed the convenience of pre- and post workout powders. Throw that bad boy in a shaker, add some almond milk, and BAM! done. I would come home late from weight training and still have to cook my post training meal.
- Be ready for opposition either from your family and/or friends. They will be intimidated by your sudden changes. Some will be close-minded because they think they are “enlightened” or the W30 is extreme. Never push W30 on them. Be a good example through actions and make sure you have a clear answer on why you are doing the W30.
- I had to time my ordering from U.S. Wellness Meats so we wouldn’t be forced to go to the local supermarket. The local supermarket had organic meats however they were given vegetarian feed (a.k.a. soy).
- Becoming prideful and judgmental. I had to be careful because I had a tendency to “look down” on those who were not doing W30 and think I was better off than them. Now I realize everyone has to find their own path in nutrition. W30 is just one vehicle that I found works for me and this is a lifestyle, by God’s grace, I plan on living from now on.
- Eggs I bought during W30 were organic in the first part of the challenge and due to our budget, I had to downgrade to whole grain fed eggs. Did I stress over this? No. I decided to be like water and go with the flow.
- Freaking out on what to eat. The first few days I would scour the book “It Starts With Food” like a maniac to find out what I could and could not eat. At times I became obsessed. Later once I got into the groove, I evened out.
- Constipation and body odor increased as my body retrained and detoxified itself.
- I wasn’t discipline in going to bed early at all. I became distracted by playing Marvel: Avengers Alliance. Sigh.
- My water intake wasn’t as best as I would have liked. Hit or miss.
- Strength levels dipped since my body started to use fat for fuel instead of carbs. I would suck wind more during metabolic exercises too.
I knew that I would melt weight during this challenge too. I melted to 142 lbs. This is still okay for me as long as I don’t dip to the 120-ish range and I end up looking like Gollum. Bruce Lee was between 135 and 140 lbs. So I’m in good company. 😉
Looking back, this adventure has been truly amazing for me. So what’s next? I will continue with this lifestyle for sure. I realize I have a choice on what I eat now and if I chose to go “nutritional off-roading”, I’m ready to make an intelligent choice than do this willy nilly. Plus, allergy season hits in September and this will be the true test to see how a Whole 9 lifestyle can shelter against seasonal allergies (the bane of my existence).
Addendum: I did take Creapure creatine and baking soda for my training. The supplements I normally would take had a plethora of additives. Sigh.
How about you? Will you consider doing the Whole 30? If so, how can I help you? Leave your comments below and thanks for supporting me! 🙂