We recently received a note from Kim LaPlante, of Detroit, MI. Kim married Seth Arbogast in July 2011, and used the Whole30® to help her prepare for her wedding. Wait – are you rolling your eyes, thinking, “Not another pre-wedding weight loss story?” Given how we feel about focusing on weight loss during your Whole30 (not the point of the program) and “quick fix” diets (unhealthy and unsustainable), do you really think today’s feature is going to be a weight loss story? So read on, and see how Kim used the Whole30 to manage her stress, her energy levels and her overall mood with a pre-wedding Whole30.
“I just wanted to send a note of appreciation. Your program stands above the others in its ability to actually better people’s health and lives in measurable and immeasurable ways. Also, it promotes lifestyle change in a way that many other “diets” do not.
I noticed in the Whole30 comments that you asked a woman who was using the Whole30 to prepare for her wedding to write in. I did a Whole30 in June 2011, and was married in July of last year, so I wanted to take this opportunity to share my reflections on the process.
I had a lot on my plate that summer. I was writing my PhD qualifying exam, which was due June 15th – the middle of my Whole30. I was teaching a college course, running my dissertation studies and planning for a wedding. I had been toying with Paleo principles for a few months – but never strictly. I didn’t really intend to lose much weight for the wedding, but could benefit from tightening things up. A friend and I started the Whole30 in June – and it was the best decision I could have made! Here are some of the benefits I noticed:
A clear head for writing.
Writing is my least favorite part of science/academia, but is a necessary evil. In the past, I would give myself permission to eat/drink whatever I want while I was writing – it was my “treat” for doing a loathed task. My qualifying exam was an extensive literature review on my research area that I had 3 months to write. I procrastinated and had the bulk for the writing left to do in the last month.
After starting my Whole30 (and closing in of the deadline), my writing went shockingly smoothly. I attribute this to the lack of garbage in my diet. I no longer had the sugar crashes that had accompanied my junk-food laden writing sessions. My head was clear. My energy was steady. I was sleeping well. I could think! For me, this was the best, unexpected result of doing the Whole30. I now strongly recommend this program to everyone writing their quals!
Energy, Sleep, Mood & Stress
As I mentioned, I had a busy summer. While on the Whole30 I slept well, had stable energy and low-ish stress. I have always known what I ate and my mood are tightly linked. Too much sugar makes me crabby. This has been the case since I was a child. The stress of feeling overwhelmed by too many tasks also makes me crabby. My now-husband usually bears the brunt of those moods.
The Whole30 made me a happier person independently, but also gave me the mental and emotional reserves deal with stress more effectively. I wasn’t nagging and nitpicking my partner, one of the ways I externalize stress. Obviously that was helpful to our relationship going into our wedding.
I didn’t do the Whole30 for the superficial benefits, but those were an added bonus. I lost about 5 lbs and my husband, who didn’t fully commit but ate the dinners I cooked, lost about 15 lbs. My skin was the clearest it has ever been. This was great going into wedding photos!
After the Whole30
One of the things I worried about during the Whole30 was how I would feel on my wedding weekend. We had four days of festivities planned, which included copious amounts of non-complaint food and drinks. The first day off the Whole30, I failed to take your advice and had beer and pizza. Afterward, I felt terrible. I was then worried that my options were to a) not be able to drink alcohol or eat my wedding cake or b) feel terrible the entire wedding weekend.
In the next two weeks leading up to the wedding, I experimented with what my body handled well. I found out that beer and sugar are out, but vodka and dairy are kind of okay. When the wedding weekend rolled around, I was able to find a balance and start my days with W30 compliant foods and have a reasonable amount of “treats” so I didn’t feel deprived and felt wonderful all weekend.
This experience has changed the way I cook and what I view as healthy. My husband is more on board than ever before. I am doing another Whole30 starting today to clean things back up. It was really a wonderful way to start our marriage. Thanks for all you do, Kim.”
Kim’s experience got us thinking… could this be the start of a new subset of our program – the Bride30? Unlike every other “pre-wedding” diet out there, we would not cater to unsustainable, unhealthy weight loss expectations – but what we can offer is so much more! Clear, glowing skin; improved mood and attention span; better sleep; rockin’ energy levels; the ability to better manage stress; fewer aches, pains and symptoms from your medical condition; and yes… probably some effortless weight loss.
If you’re a bride (or groom) who wants to use the Whole30 to prepare for your big event, we are ready for you! Join our Whole30 Forum and let us help you make your wedding day (and the weeks leading up) as happy and healthy as possible.