How A Little Thing Called the Whole30 Changed My Life
by Peggie Larsen, Pierre, SD
Hi, my name is Peggie, I am 46 years old and I have had issues with body image and food for what seems like my entire life. I remember I started gymnastics in 6th grade and absolutely loved it. Around the time I was in 8th grade my coach told me he wanted me to lose 10 pounds. At that time I think I weighed 115 pounds. And so IT began… IT being the body image issues.
I remember reading magazines (Teen, I think ) and finding a diet in the back of one, so I sent for it. The diet seemed pretty good, I remember eating boiled eggs and stuff like that. I definitely did not lose 10 pounds like the coach wanted me to. Instead, I started eating more and more and more. Eventually, I developed an eating disorder; full blown bulimia. Here came the food issues. My best friend, (who was also in gymnastics) and I started hogging down on everything and then making ourselves throw up. I think the bulimia lasted until I was a senior in high school. I eventually just stopped doing it. By the way, it didn’t help me lose any weight either.
I have always been an active person and have always been interested in health and nutrition. In the last few years I just started gaining weight and it seemed like no matter what I did, I couldn’t lose it. I kept telling myself I didn’t look that bad and I could still fit in my clothes (barely). I felt thick, I felt tired and I was totally disgusted with myself. One day, while hanging out on Facebook, I noticed a post about the Whole9 workshops. I was immediately interested and wondered what this stuff was all about. I started poking around the Whole9 site and reading a lot of the information. I was mesmerized. Nutrition information is my narcotic. I was hooked. I read every post about the Whole30 program and how it could “change your life.” I decided it was now or never.
My Whole30 start date was the first day of 5th grade for my youngest daughter, August 23, 2010. I loved not having to count calories or keep track of the food I was eating. Honestly, who wants to count calories for the rest of their life? Not me. I also loved the fact that Melissa and Dallas never pawn this off as being a diet. This is definitely a lifestyle change and they stress that. I poured over the posts every day and looked forward to what everyone else had to say. I found the best recipes in those posts as well and made a lot of them. The days flew by. This was so easy. I didn’t miss dairy or grains or sugar . . . or so I thought.
I never thought I had a sugar addiction until the dried mango reared its ugly head. I would have sworn on a stack of Bibles that I did not have a problem with sugar. Boy was I WRONG! I ate that mango and then I wanted to keep eating that mango and then I craved that mango. That mango was torturing me. That was a huge lesson on how those sugar tantrums can almost take over one’s life. I kicked that effing mango to the curb and haven’t seen it since. I am proud to say that I have not been controlled by the sugar-y stuff since then. At Thanksgiving I had a cranberry waldorf salad (thanks, Melissa Joulwan) that was delicious. This had the possibility of being a mango for me, but everything worked out okay.
I feel I have conquered my food issues along with my body image issues. My entire body composition has changed. I have lost about 10 percent body fat in total, and it feels great. My eyes look clearer, my hair is growing like crazy and I just feel better overall. I have to say this process has been very therapeutic for me. This lifestyle has definitely spilled over into my every day life as well. I look forward to each day with an energy I can’t remember ever having. I want to keep my house clean, I want to go to the gym, I want to get out and do things!
I feel clear-headed. I feel clean. I feel strong. I feel powerful. I feel energetic. I feel like I can handle anything life throws at me. I feel WHOLE!
Today is Wednesday, December 8, 2010, and today is my Whole108.
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