Monday, September 16

Featured Whole30'er: Samantha W.

Why did you decide to do your first Whole30?

Frankly, I did my first Whole30 for the reason they tell you to avoid: to lose weight.  I was feeling quite a bit out of control of my body and the way I approached food and eating.  I had tried a number of things in the past that were disguised as "cleanses" -- but they made absolutely no sense.  I just thought to myself, "seriously, you're smarter than this."  Once I heard the Whole30 name thrown around, I did some research and saw that there are a plethora of benefits outside the whole boring weight loss shtick that I found appealing. The main one, as a grad student, was gaining energy.  I decided to do my first Whole30 between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which in retrospect was just about the craziest thing I could have decided to do.

What was the hardest part?

Changing my perspectives on not just food, but my lifestyle in general.  I remember one time in my first Whole30 when I just broke down and cried.  I was so tired of prepping and cooking, when all I wanted to do was have a beer, take a nap, and get my homework done. I am not very skilled in the art of meal planning so I just sort of tried to wing it, which I would strongly discourage. That will only work to a point. I also found it very difficult to shop, plan, and cook for 1 person on Whole30, because many individual-sized portions of "food" are just about 100% processed.  Meanwhile, my roommates were baking these delicacies, my friends were offering me my favorite beers and I had to say no to all of it.  In retrospect, I can see that saying "no" is not necessarily an act of deprivation -- it's an act of moderation.

What was the best part?

It was like I had discovered what my body could do for the very first time. I didn't know that my body didn't have to feel bloated after a meal, I didn't know that I could wake up refreshed, I certainly didn't know that I could sooth myself after a rough day without a beer.  I really appreciated flavors that I hadn't tasted in a while (grapes are delicious: what?!)  I thought this was going to be one of those deals where you suffer through the 30 days and then jump back into the "good life".  It was an amazing surprise to find such pleasure in such simplicity, as cheesy as that may sound. (Mmm cheesy).

Why are you doing another?

I looked back on my last experience and thought about how great it made me feel.  I missed appreciating my body and my food. Plus, this time around I was prepared.  I had done much more research, had saved a bunch of recipes and knew I could give it 100%.  To not try the Whole30 again would be like knowing I had all the tools and skills to build my dream home, but just deciding to rent a crummy apartment instead. 

Any advice for anyone doing one in the future?

Do your research, make a plan, establish a support system (preferably a friend who's been there before or is just super supportive), and document your days.  Also, don't be ashamed of congratulating yourself on trying something out of your comfort zone!  It's not easy at first, but I honestly believe that if I can do it, anyone can.

To view other Featured Whole30'ers click the "Featured Whole30'er" tag below this post.


  1. Beautifully written!

  2. This encourages me to re-start my Whole30. I did well for 3 days and hit a huge bump and began eating all the things I was supposed to avoid. I don't do alcohol, so that's not a problem for me but bread and pasta are hard to give up completely for 30 days. I am going to try this again. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Good for you! My first Whole30 and my second Whole30 were very different, in terms of my perspective. I love your comparison to having the tools to build your dream home. Well said!
    I just sent this link to a friend who is just kicking off her first Whole(6weeks).

  4. This is great encouragement for me as well. I'll be doing my second whole30 in October. I am so looking forward to having energy again.


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