When my trainer Grant first asked me to join a 30 day transformation challenge on the Whole 30/Paleo diet, I was skeptical at first. Despite having done some background reading when I first began training with Grant a year ago, and testing the waters a little here and there, I wasn’t sure I could dive into a month-long departure from dairy, grains, legumes, and alcohol. But after the reality of my holiday binging had set in, and knowing I had some big races to start training for, I signed up to begin the challenge on January 2.
Committing to anything for 30 days can seem daunting at first — heck, I haven’t been able to commit to running daily for a month, or doing pushups, much less giving up some major food groups. But as I saw throughout the process, it got easier with time, and now that it’s over, I kind of want to press that “Easy” button in my colleague’s office. So how was it, really? Here are some of the finer points of my 30 day challenge…and the not so great ones:
Why It Was Awesome
- I cook a lot already, but this challenge forced me to be even more creative and come up with even more recipes. I made more meals with meat in one month than I usually do in six months, I baked paleo muffins, made a delicious brisket in my oven, and tried different snacks.
- At restaurants, I tried new things because I couldn’t order sandwiches or items with cheese or beans. It also made me value vegetable dishes more.
- I felt empowered ordering water, tea, or coffee at bars, despite the weird looks the servers gave me. And I still had fun at happy hour.
- I lost weight — over 7 pounds. Weight loss was just one of the goals in this process, and my skinny jeans are now loose, and some dresses fit better than ever.
- I was held accountable by others, and I could hold others accountable. The entire group of us recruited by Grant shared recipes and tips and words of support in a Facebook group. I could text my friend Tammy to remind me not to have wine after a bad day, and I could send off quick pointers to someone who wasn’t sure what to order at a restaurant.
- There’s nothing like the pride I felt after saying “no” to cookies and cakes on the office counter, or for having water and salad at a sports bar on the night of the college football championship. Huzzah for willpower.