Whole30™ Success Story: Jenn L.

A few months ago, we received a note from Jenn L., a friend and unofficial “client” of Lauren Guibert, one of our original Whole9 Envoy Extraordinaires.  Jenn wrote:

You’ve heard it a million times, but – you changed my life.  I was lucky to have worked with Lauren Guibert – we worked in the same building, but had never really talked.  She offered her expertise to me, and I will forever be grateful.  I was an instant convert as soon as I did one week of your Whole30 program, and my husband was too.  The friends of mine that have chosen to get on board with this for at least 30 days – give your program a shot, do it for 2 to 3 months at least.  They see and feel results instantly, as I did.”

We were moved by Jenn’s story, and we think you will be too.  Read it in her own, unedited words.

Jenn’s Story – Then

I remember pushing 230 lbs on the scale just 4 months ago.

I remember pushing a 40 in waistline.

I remember running mile after mile and never getting anywhere.

I remember climbing hill after hill on the elliptical.

I remember trying any diet I could and never feeling satisfied or successful.

I remember crying a lot – out of hopelessness and despair because I couldn’t make my body respond the way I wanted it to.

I remember beginning to research other job possibilities because I was about to lose my job in the USAF.

I remember begging the doctors to run more tests to tell me why I can’t lose weight.

I decided, I was going to just stop eating (SLIMFAST was a prepacked meal that I didn’t have to worry about calories) and then I was going to try to run more, even though I tore a ligament in my ankle.  Maybe climb more elliptical hills.

Then, I was told to go talk to someone – Lauren Guibert – who knew about fitness and nutrition.  Honestly (I hate that she is going to read this), I thought, “Wow.  Another person who is naturally thin and fit, who is just going to tell me to run more and to stop eating cake.”  I don’t even like cake, but that’s what all “nutrition experts” had told me before, as they stared at me with pity.  So, there I go walking to her office to tell her how I struggle, how I diet, how nothing works for me and, and, and (breathe)…she talked about food.

She looked me in my eyes, told me she had answers.  She said, “Just don’t bullshit me.”  Then she made me a workout plan and a diet plan.  She integrated me for about a week and a half, then sent me the Whole30 link and said, “Anybody I train has to do this for 30 days.  Read it.  Ask me questions.  Start Monday.”

I remember how good I felt after one week on the Whole30.

I remember the weight literally FALLING off of me.

I remember fitting my clothes again.

I remember moving the notches on my belt.

My spare tire turned to a muffin top, which turned into a waistline.

People started making statements like, “How long are you going to do this for?”  or “you shouldn’t punish yourself like this”.  They were upset that I didn’t want bread, or dessert, or alcohol.

I remember when the statements turned from that, to “Tell me how you eat.  I want to lose weight too.”  “Help me find something healthy to eat so I can drop a few pounds.”

Jenn’s Story – Now

My husband completed his first Whole45.  He lost about 20 pounds.  He used to have high blood pressure, which almost completely regulated itself after that 45 days.

Now, I am 180lbs and have a 32 in. waist – gaining more muscle and getting more lean every day.

Now, I am satisfied when I eat.

Now, I’m not embarrassed to walk in my uniform in front of my bosses.

Now, people actually don’t recognize me.  They have “welcomed” me, as if I was new.

Now, I can try on jeans without thinking, “Which of these looks the LEAST terrible on me?”

Now, I am happy, confident, continuing to learn too – I’m still a beginner, but I am eager to become an expert.

Finally, I became pregnant shortly after I sent in my testimonial.  The first three months of my pregnancy were entirely Whole30.  My baby is healthy at every appointment, and my weight gain has been perfect.  I’ve also done a few Whole15’s purely to make sure that I don’t spoil myself on treats! And as of November 2nd, our beautiful baby girl, Magdalena, was born.

So, that’s my success story.  This was life changing for me, just like you say it will be in the introduction.

I’m horribly embarrassed to send this BEFORE picture.  It was taken in October of 2010.  And this is me this summer, after my Whole30 – I went from a size 18 to a size 12 in a matter of months.

This is as much my story as it is Lauren Guibert’s, because she is the one who introduced it to me, provided guidance and even support. She taught me about the Whole30, who answered every stupid sugary question, and only cringed a little when I said SLIMFAST.  She was great and listened to me and gave me guidance non-stop.  Oh, and of course, THANKS TO YOU TWO, whose blog I reference daily.


Jenn L.

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  1. Lauren G. (Whole9 Envoy) says

    Finally! I am SO happy you sent in your testimonial. I think your story will speak to so many people and it’s wonderful that you decided to share it.

    I still remember that first consultation like it was yesterday. I remember telling you that this was going to change your life for the better, and that it was going to be hard but worth the effort in the long run for your health. To some people reading this I may sound mean or harsh with the way that I approached your training, but as you came to realize being blunt is just who I am. I said not to BS me and I wouldn’t BS you. You didn’t need to be coddled or judged, you needed someone to actually invest time and effort into helping you. Both of us made a commitment to your health that day and I think we can agree the result grossly exceeded our wildest expectations!

    I believe the greatest challenges yield the greatest rewards and you had to overcome a health and fitness shortfall with a bum ankle in 4 MONTHS! I’ve never been prouder as a Coach than the day you passed that PT test with a 40% improvement.

    YOU deserve all the credit for everything that you’ve achieved. You worked hard and did everything I asked of you with a smile on your face. I told the other trainers then, and I still say now, that you’re the best client I’ve ever worked with. You’re a shining example of health and a motivator to those around you, and I’m proud to have had the privilege of coaching you.

  2. Tara Burch says

    Wow, Jenn–congratulations! Your story is so inspiring–and I love how you provide the changing perceptions of those on the sidelines. I’m on day 18 of my first Whole30 now, and I still get the questions like, “So, what CAN you eat?” (they’ll get it eventually. . .) Anyway, great job! And congrats as well on becoming a mother!

  3. Suzanne says

    I’ve read a lot of amazing testimonials since starting researching this Paleo thing and yours was the first one that made me cry. Congratulations and great job! Amazing job!!! I’ve been where you were and, while I still have a looooooong way to go, I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

    … Also, effing HATE those people who tell you “Just eat less and exercise more!” Want to stab them in the eye with a shrimp fork >:(

  4. Jenn J. says

    I remember telling Jenn about Paleo, and her looking at me like “good for you, but that’s impossible!” Once she started working with Lauren she gained the confidence that she COULD do anything she put her mind to, and she finally believed in herself. We all knew she could accomplish anything, as her friend I’m beyond happy that she finally saw it for herself:) SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!

  5. Jenn L. says

    Thank you all! Also-Melicious-you of course helped me discover so many recipes. I’m lucky I wasn’t one of those people who said, “there’s nothing to eat”. Well, I did at first-but Coach G hooked me up with your website and Tom Denhams website from the beginning. I just started a new CF gym and I was telling the owner about W30…his son is really interested and I’m hoping he gets on board with me. I love it and I live it. It’s not just about weight loss…I want my daughter to see healthy living from day 1. It’s generational now. :) this website gives me inspiration every day…and educational too. When you know what crap food is doing to you, it’s easier to not eat it. People don’t understand that’s it’s not always how much you eat, but it’s what you eat. You guys are saving lives, saving jobs, and helping so many people. You know this though…you get read the success stories first hand. :) keep on rockin and rollin…(enjoy a taco or 3 every once in a while)

  6. Heidi says

    <3 <3 this is EXACTLY what the world needs to read and witness!! Jenn, you are doing an amazing job and have a total winning attitude about your approach to life. Congratulations on this first stage of your journey, can't wait to witness more. You inspire me!

  7. Betsy says

    Awesome job, Jenn! I also shed a few tears when I read your story. I’m on day 12 (really day 19 if not for that tiny bowl of ice cream when i visited Austin), and feeling great – knowing i’m doing the right thing for myself. I just wish I had the knowledge you have when my kids were babies – it is REALLY hard to undo 10 and 12 years of wrong nutrition lessons. But I’m giving it my best – one day at a time. Keep your baby (and the rest of your family) healthy and strong. GOOD LUCK and GREAT JOB!!!

  8. says

    Fantastic!! Great job, Jenn!! I just love reading inspirational stories like this. I can relate on the part where your friends asking you how long you will punish yourself by eating Paleo – but, it’s not punishment! It actually feels good to be healthy. Proud of you, mama!

  9. Shema says

    Jenn – I’m right there with the others – I’ve read a lot of paleo transformations yet somehow your story made me shed a tear.

    You noted that your first three months of being pregnant were entirely Whole30. Does that mean you lost weight? I ask b/c I just started trying to conceive (and this time around I’m doing it with full blown Type II Diabetes). I know the Whole30 is an awesome way to regulate blood sugar (with no meds!). But is it safe to lose weight when pregnant? I did the Whole30 twice last year and lost 10 pounds the first time, 5 pounds the second. I wasn’t limiting calories at all…so I assume that doing it while pregnant might lead to weight loss even if weight loss is not an intended outcome. I’ll appreciate any advice if you read this! And congrats on your amazing transformation and beautiful baby girl!

  10. Jenn L. says

    Hi Shema! No, I didn’t lose weight when I was pregnant. It actually helped me gain appropriately. One of my friends had gestational diabetes and her doc put her on a diet that is very similar to this style of eating. The way I look at this is more than weight loss. The weight loss is a side effect of eating healthy and being healthy. But I think due to the weight loss I was able to conceive easily and had a healthy pregnancy. There are lots of good and healthy fats to get in this way of eating and during pregnancy it was nice to have those and not worry about it affecting the baby negatively. Dallas and Melissa just had a post from an Ob/GYN on their page somewhere that she said this is a perfectly healthy style of eating. Thank youfor your comment! It was hard to write that and send it in. Glad that people can relate and/or be inspired from it. I still eat this way while breast feeding and it is great and I know that my daughter and myself are getting lots of nutrients that we need.

  11. Shema says

    Thanks so much for your reply Jenn, I really appreciate it. And thank you again for helping so many of us by bravely sharing your story. I do firmly believe in this way of eating. I just know that when I’ve been strict with the Whole30 I’ve always lost weight. Which of course is a wonderful outcome in addition to all the other great improvements I see in my health! I just worried about losing weight during a pregnancy. But the details you’ve shared here reassure me that I can gain the right amount of weight if I plan properly. And I’ll definitely look for that OB/GYN post you reference. Thanks again and best wishes to you and your family!

  12. Janis says

    Hi Jenn,
    I just came across your very inspiring story. I am on day 1 of my first whole 30 and can relate to a lot of what you said. I am also in the Air National Guard and understand the absolute embarrassment of being overweight in uniform. Your story made me cry and also gave me hope. I would love to chat with you but not sure how to get in touch with you. What is your user name on the forums? Thanks!


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  14. says

    My family and I (myself, my husband, our 2 kids and my parents – ages 62, and sister) are on Day 29 of our first Whole 30. Today’s email referenced your story which is how I found it. What a wonderful transformation you experienced. We are all so fortunate that Melissa and Dallas have created such a wonderful and inspiring program that has helped so many people. Thank you for sharing your story. I think I will share ours soon also.


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