Lisa Rehm recently posted her “WHOLE 100 – DONE!” success story in our Whole30 forum, and has graciously allowed us to share her experience here. Lisa started her first Whole30 on July 1st, attended our Whole9 nutrition seminar in Hoboken, NJ on September 9th, and completed her 100th day of our Whole30® program on October 8th.
Her story only serves to illustrate one point we were trying to make in our recent article, Six Reasons the Whole30 Didn’t Work For You… maybe, just maybe, you didn’t give it long enough. Because when it comes to a lifelong, unhealthy relationship with food (and the health complications that follow), thirty days may not be enough time to create new habits, and solidify new thought patterns. But Lisa’s dedication and persistence paid off in the end – and when it comes to changing the rest of your life, isn’t 100 days of effort worth it?
In Lisa’s Own Words
For years I’ve been struggling with inflammation related illnesses, sinus infections, IBS-C, allergies, joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, depression, binging, eating disorders, and hypthyroidism. I lost my thyroid to cancer in 1991, and as I get older it has become increasingly difficult to maintain my health and keep my thyroid levels stable. My weight was up, my energy was down – I was a hot mess.
In January 2012, I began working one day a week with a personal trainer, who told me losing weight and getting in shape was 80% diet. I smiled and nodded, certain that rule didn’t apply to me. For years, I could eat Peppermint Patties for dinner and still drop pounds. Clearly she was not aware of my ability to lose weight easily – just as soon as I mastered this exercise thing.
Over the next few months I struggled through my workouts. I was dizzy, nauseous, and felt like I would pass out all the time. And I never lost an ounce, no matter how many Lean Cuisines I ate.
Finally, my trainer talked to me about giving up sugar and starches. For the next few weeks I cried at my desk as I mourned the loss of pizza, muffins, and energy bars. The cravings were so bad that I would shake. My jaw would tingle, and my whole body just hurt. Thank God I still had my Diet Coke and coffee with three packs of Sweet n’ Low to help me cope. I lasted a little over a month on my no-sugar, no-starch plan, but gradually went back to my old ways.
Enter the Whole30
Then during Easter while visiting some friends, they began telling me about this program where I could change my life by changing the way I ate. As I listened to them rattle off a list of all the program restrictions, I tossed another chocolate egg into my mouth, crossed my arms, stamped my foot, and said “Hell, no.” There was no way I would ever give up artificial sweeteners, Diet Coke, or half-and-half in my coffee. After an hour of talking, they gave up and left me alone to finish off the chocolate.
A few days later, after feeling dizzy (again), I decided to research this Whole30 thing, and for some reason, decided to pre-order It Starts With Food. It arrived on June 26, and on July 1st I began my Whole30 journey.
The first week was rough – I felt weak and tired all the time. My workout session with my trainer on Day 2 was pretty typical of the last few months; I struggled, I was dizzy, and I couldn’t wait to be done. But the following week’s session (Day 9) was interesting. I was still tired, and weak… but strangely enough I didn’t experience any nausea or dizziness at all. And then came Day 16… it was magical. I made it through my most challenging workout since January, strong and with just as much energy at the end of my session as I did at the beginning. Those subsequent days, I could tell I lost some weight and my skin looked better. People also started noticing that I just seemed… happier.
Lisa Keeps On Going
As the weeks passed, I continued to feel so much better, and really wanted to continue the program. I had just too many health issues that I knew needed more than 30 days to heal. Soon a Whole45 became a Whole60, then a Whole75, and then finally I challenged myself to go all the way to 100 days. I definitely noticed a lot of changes in the first 30 days, but it wasn’t until I hit Day 65 that I really began to see huge changes. By the time I hit Day 100, eating this way had become part of my life. Second nature. And I knew I wanted to eat like this forever.
In the end, the Whole30 helped me recover from so many ills and issues that I’ve been struggling with for over 35 years. I now have a healthy relationship with food , and my co-workers no longer have to hide their candy from me. I’ve been freed from food jail! My advice to anyone struggling is keep going. The results may take some time, but they are worth it.
- Depression has lifted
- No more binging
- No more cravings (except for avocados – I love them now)
- My disordered way of eating and obsessing about food is gone
- Food is just food, it does not control me
- Years of neck pain – GONE!
- Cholesterol dropped more than 36 points
- Moods even and stable
- Headaches and overall achiness – GONE!
- Skin looks great; no more dark circles under my eyes
- Feel stronger and healthier than I’ve ever been
- More energy than when I was a kid
- Smile more
- Lost 10 lbs
- Lost inches and really leaned out
- Reduced inflammation and allergies
- Sleep better…..I actually sleep
- I feel good about myself in a way I haven’t in all my 45 years
Have you completed a Whole30+? Share your story with us here in the comments. Need additional inspiration? Here’s one more Whole100 success story that might help change your mind.