Whole30: I finished. I’m not stopping.

For quite a long time I have suffered with some chronic health issues. Essentially, I haven’t really felt “well” since October 13, 1999, when I was in a serious car accident. What prior to that had been a very active life, became a life guarded by pain where I’d been injured and then later diagnosed with some additional, painful and debilitating issues.

Some of these issues have no cure, so I am left to manage symptoms with varying degrees of success. I’ve become fairly adept at managing to do what I want to do, and much of the time people don’t even know that there’s something wrong unless they are present when I hit one of my limits head-on. But, I’ve always wondered if there was something more I could do to feel better.

It was a few years back that my publisher, Nadim Najm at SYM Group, started talking about a complete change in lifestyle he’d made that was just producing incredible results for him. I didn’t realize then that this lifestyle was about more than “diet and exercise” in the traditional American sense of “eat a low-fat diet and exercise a lot and you’ll feel great and drop weight.” You see, chronic pain and exercise don’t generate much in the way of incentive. I did eat a fairly healthy diet and I was as active as my pain permitted (sometimes more than that, actually). So, I was happy for Nadim and the results he and the others were seeing from their changes, but not terribly interested.

It’s amazing what a difference a few years and some research can do. There are foods — foods we all think are good for us and part of a healthy, low-fat, widely-recommended diet — that make what ails me worse. They cause inflammation, immune system reactions, and more — any one of which could have contributed to my pain. So, when Nadim and about 40 other friends decided to do the Whole30 Challenge, I convinced my husband (no easy feat!) to give it a go with me as a part of the group.

You can have all the details of this dietary change by clicking the image above, or by reading It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways [affiliate link] but I’ll summarize. I’ve had lots of food that isn’t grain, dairy, legumes, or sugar. I also had something of a head start because I’d given up most carbs for Lent, and I haven’t had coffee since before I went to Haiti in April because my brain would not get behind drinking it black. I did make myself a ‘regular’ cup of coffee this morning (after 6 weeks without it), drank about a third of it, was underwhelmed and gave up drinking it.

By the sixth day, I received the biggest benefit of my entire 30 day adventure. Four years ago, I suffered some nerve damage which took away much of the external feeling in my hands – it’s hard to describe, but think of it like wearing gloves all the time. There was a point early on, when the damage was new, when I couldn’t tie my own shoes or do anything like tie a sash behind my back. Muscle memory kept me working, but on that sixth day, I could feel the keyboard keys under my fingers. I can pick up small items cleanly, deal with thin plastic bags, and more. Major, major gift.

In addition, I started sleeping more soundly and waking up awake. If you know me, you know this is a huge difference! I also dropped 15 pounds, mostly around my core.

So here I am. Day 30. I have had LOTS of food. I’ve not felt deprived. I feel clear-headed. I have clear skin.  I’m not sleepy at 3 pm every day. I feel my fingers! Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to my physical. I’ve always had high cholesterol — maybe I don’t anymore?

I finished my Whole30 Challenge. I’m not stopping.


4 Responses to “Whole30: I finished. I’m not stopping.”

  1. Allison Wilson
    May 13, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Praising with you, dear friend! This is awesome!!! :-)

  2. patti
    May 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Thanks, Allison! It really is awesome!

    I just had my blood work drawn. My doctor was beside himself with excitement over this. He wrote down the name of the book and is going to prepare to offer it to some of his other autoimmune patients.

  3. Barb
    May 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    awesome Job, you will see the different in your blood work also I know we did

    • patti
      May 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

      Thanks, Barb! I’m eagerly awaiting the results.

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