If you've been reading my Blog and Facebook posts, and if you've ever read anything about The Whole 30 elsewhere, you know by now that embarking on a Whole 30 is not a diet in the sense of "Let's lose some weight". Although the founders of The Whole 30 acknowledge that the vast majority of people do lose weight, they stress over and over and over again that one should ditch the scale during the 30 days (in fact they suggest hiding it!) and to seriously consider disregarding it as something that doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot after the 30 days. This is why, upon completion of a Whole 30, you are encouraged to focus on what they refer to as "non-scale victories"; improvements in a variety of areas including physical (both outside and inside), moods and emotions, brain function, sleep patterns, exercise and lifestyle. As you can see from the pictures below, the lists are fairly exhaustive!
Mr. B and I sat down last night (while sipping on our celebratory Champagne)
and went over these lists so we could ascertain our own non-scale victories. As we perused each item, it was obvious many simply did not apply to one or both of us; case in point under Physical (Inside): "Fewer PMS Symptoms" certainly isn't something Mr. B would expect any improvement in, and as for me, that ship left the harbor a long time ago. And in all honesty, when I first looked at the list, I was fixated more on the ones that didn't seem to apply than those that did. However, just now I went through them again and made a mark next to the ones I felt reasonably applied to one of us or even both, and was surprised when I tallied them up to see it was about 40% of the total list.
Here, then, is a representative sample (note: sample; some are just TMI!) of our non-scale victories:
- Leaner appearance
- Rings fit better
- More defined muscle tone
- Less shoulder/back/knee pain
Mood, Emotion and Psychology
- You're happier
- Fewer cravings (after that bizarre third week, LOL!)
- Clearer thinking
- You fall asleep more easily
- Fewer night cramps
- Energy levels are higher
- You need less sugar or caffeine to prop up energy levels
Sports, Exercise and play
- You're outside more
Food and behaviors
- Learned how to read a label (scary, scary stuff in some of our foods!)
- No longer afraid of dietary fat
- Listening to your body
Lifestyle and social
- New recipies
- People come to you for health, food, or lifestyle advice
My Father asked me probably the best question of all:
"Do you feel better?"
Answer. Yes. Definitely yes. Moreover, I also believe this is a sustainable way of eating, much like when Mr. B and I went low-carb two years ago. We can now more of less stick with Whole 30 eating habits, while allowing back in those foods/food groups that don't cause us any issues. Our first foray, as mentioned previously, was alcohol. As far as I can tell, there were no ill-effects (it did make my a little sleepy but then again, it was also 9:00 when we had our Champagne). Next up is legumes, then non-gluten grains, followed by dairy and then items containing gluten. There is no specific reintroduction for "no added sugar", or artificial anything, and I guess it's because generally speaking, they are to be avoided as much as possible without being ridiculous about it. I have to ask myself why I'd even want to eat stuff with artificial anything in it (I discovered that some artificially flavored coffees have the same chemical as what is in antifreeze). As for added sugar, that might be a once in awhile indulgence because, well, one must still eat dessert from time to time!
As for the question I've been asked more than any other while on The Whole 30: Have you lost/did you lose weight?
Mark and I weighed ourselves the morning of Day 1 and did not step on the scale again until yesterday morning. I was on the fence as to whether I'd weigh myself because I knew it was much more important to focus on the non-scale victories.
In the end, however, I was just plain curious. Mark lost seven pounds and I lost six.
Oh Whole 30, you've been an experience! I'm betting we'll probably meet again sometime in the future, like after our October cruise!