My Whole 30 Is Over. I Feel Amazing. It’s Complicated.

My Whole 30 Is Over. I Feel Amazing. It’s Complicated.

Tomorrow I’m drinking my first cup of coffee in a month…because at the end of the day I’m crossing my first goal of 2013 off my list: Complete a Whole 30.

Here’s what I wrote at the beginning of the month:

This is a short-term (30 day) nutritional reset. I eat this way (whole foods, and for me, low glycemic index) most of the time already; the big changes for me are no coffee, no wine, no cheating. (I slated January as my Whole 30 month, but I was dreading giving up the coffee so much I started it early so I could just get it over with already.)

Today’s my last day of no coffee/no alcohol/no sugar/no cheats, and I’m shocked at how different I feel. Shocked.

Att the beginning I just felt grumpy, and sad that I couldn’t have my coffee or wine. (I hate to tell you that, but let’s be honest: those are the two things I missed the most. My mom kept asking which I missed more. My answer? It depends on what time it is!)

After Day 3, it wasn’t hard. Really.

On Day 6, in the middle of the afternoon, I felt this huge burst of energy. This does not usually happen to me at 2pm; but it was unmistakable, like somebody flipped a switch. From that afternoon, my energy levels shot up, my brain fog disappeared. I’d been having some health-related anxiety (which is oh-so-easy for me to fall into since 9/11), and it vanished.

Since Day 6, I’ve fallen very easily into a virtuous cycle: with extra energy, I don’t have to drag myself out of bed in the morning–I just wake up. It’s easier to exercise–and then I feel better because I do. I have more patience with my kids. I’m (even) nicer to my husband. I sing more!

Did I tell you I feel amazing?

I feel great, but my feelings about my awesome Whole 30 results are surprisingly complicated. It’s nice to feel great and all, but I’d really like my coffee back. And my red wine. And I’m terrified that when I add those things back in, I’m going to feel like crap. And then what?

(I don’t like the answer.)

Tomorrow morning, I’m looking forward to a glorious cup of coffee. Next week, I’ll try a glass of wine and see how that makes me feel. I’m hoping the answer to both is “just fine,” because it’s great to feel amazing–but wouldn’t it be better to feel amazing and get to drink wine and coffee? I think so.

(If you’re thinking about trying something like this, can I just encourage you to go for it? The worst part of my Whole 30 was the dread of the beginning. Once I got started, it was fine. Even before Day 6. And the results might surprise you. And then you might have complicated feelings about them….but you can cross that bridge when you get there.)

Have you ever had complicated feelings about your own success? Tell us all about it….and feel free to give me a pep talk in comments!

ambivalent about whole 30 results why it's complicated
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70 comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    Anne, why no coffee? Is it because you usually take sugar in it? I’ve always had sugar in my coffee, but surprisingly enough I’m happy with a big splash of coconut milk in my coffee these past couple weeks (trader joe’s light)…and it’s perfectly Whole30 compliant. Bummer about the wine, though 😉

    • Anne says:

      Stephanie, I usually drink my coffee black, but I quit it for my Whole 30 because I’d been having headaches. My doctor told me coffee and wine were likely triggers. Since I was already quitting wine for the month, I thought I’d quit the coffee too to see if that had any effect on the headaches. It did, and you can read about it here.

  2. Amanda says:

    OH goodness! I was nervous for a few minutes there. I am on day 18 and I’ve been drinking coffee. I stopped reading your comments and went straight to Google to see if I had been cheating! Then I finished reading and saw why you had stopped drinking coffee. I usually drink a cup in the morning-a travel mug that I’m lucky to drink half of and two nights per week when I work the night shift in the hospital ER. I used to love to get a latte before work, but I’ve settled in to drinking a cup with coconut milk and it’s suprisingly better than I thought it would be. I love it for the warmth and sometimes for the pick me up-night shift plus a 15 month old who still doesn’t always sleep through the night, but I could also go weeks without it if I didn’t have to work. What I really miss is soda. I love the bubbly sensation and I cannot find anything that satisfies that for me-so clearly I have a poor relationship with it.

    I’m also trying to figure out what my life will look like post 30. I’m not sure that I’ve noticed significant results, but I also wasn’t convinced that I had food sensitivities–maybe some bloat. I feel like I’m going to start with trying to stay compliant at home and maybe allow myself some cheats in social situations and on the weekend (those are definitely the hardest times to follow the rules, but sure enough, I actually do live through them much to my surprise.) I guess the reintro will give me a better sense of what works for me and what doesn’t.

    • Anne says:

      Yes! A thoughtful re-intro is crucial to getting the most out of the whole 30. Good luck with yours! (And sorry to panic you about the coffee. 🙂 )

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