There are many, many stories of Whole success on our site, but the majority come from women. We know plenty of men have amazing Whole30 transformations too, but they’re perhaps less likely to publicly share their struggles with a dysfunctional relationship with food, emotional eating, and body image. The thing is, these challenges are universal. They’re common to men and women, and our program, supportive community, and resources work just as well to help both sexes change their relationship with food.
Through our new #menofwhole30 social media hashtag, we’re hoping more men will step forward and talk about their food and body-image challenges, and inspire others by sharing their Whole30 success stories. Today, we’re excited to feature on such story: Kyle T., who rocked 45 days of the Whole30 program, and we’re hoping that Kyle’s story inspires all the other Men of Whole30 to share their stories with us as well. (And you can share with all the men in your life who you wish would get on board with our life-changing brand of magic.)
Kyle’s Whole30 Story
After reaching a point of complete frustration and exhaustion with the destructive cycles my poor relationship with food continually put me through, I decided to do something drastic. My girlfriend has a gluten allergy and is sensitive to dairy, so she decided to do this “radical” thing called the Whole30. I didn’t understand the plan and even gave her grief for it because I thought it was causing us to have “less fun” together. She was gracious with me while I made jokes and told her that her food looked gross. She never asked me to do the Whole30, even though I had reached an all-time high with my weight. I was hovering around 260…40 lbs. shy of 300 is a true wake up call.
She finished Whole30 and raved about how incredible she felt, and how all the symptoms normally present for her (even while maintaining a gluten-free, dairy-free diet) disappeared. I was proud of her, but the thought of doing it myself still never entered my brain.
Then one morning late in January, as I was out of breath from tying my shoes and getting dressed and watching my big gut bounce around while I brushed my teeth. I realized how truly unhappy I was. I had hit an all-time low with my self-esteem and my motivation to do anything to change my health. I texted my girlfriend and said that I thought I wanted to do it, but I was scared and didn’t know if I would be successful. I have a bad habit of starting things all fired up and then letting them eventually fade away over time, once the real work sets in. I didn’t know if I could deal with another flare-up of attacking my bad health only to find myself in a Wendy’s parking lot a week later.
We took a week, and she helped me prepare – we went shopping, shared recipes, and I downloaded the It Starts With Food audio book. Then, I began. I went through the normal phases. Week 1 was horrible. Week 2 was even worse. But once I hit day 15, I knew there was no going back. The changes were so remarkable.
I remember telling her that every morning I looked in the mirror and the “magic” of Whole30 was making me look better and better, bit by bit. My confidence was starting to come back. I was buttoning shirts where the buttons didn’t even touch just three weeks prior. I felt this sensational feeling called satiety, instead of being stuffed and bloated after every meal. My hunger turned into satisfaction. My gym performance skyrocketed and I was just in awe of how incredible the Whole30 made me feel.
Then something really awesome happened. My mother, a lifetime diet soda and sugar addict, saw my progress and was moved to give it a try herself. We’re talking an 8-cans-of-Diet-Coke-a-day addict! By the time I reached Day 25, the eating plan was so easy, there was no pain or headache involved in figuring out what to eat. So I decided to finish out with Mom and do a Whole45.
I write to you today, on my 45th day, nearly in tears because of how sincerely my life and relationship with food has been changed. I still have more to go. And I honestly don’t even know how much weight I’ve lost. I think between 25-30 lbs, but who cares? I know I’m putting on muscle at the gym and a number on a scale is meaningless to me when I’m fitting into old clothes, full of energy all day, and feeling lighter inside and out.
My non-scale victories: finally being able to button a really cool shirt I was given for Christmas, not getting out of breath every morning because my stomach is pushing so hard on my lungs while I bend down to tie my shoes, rocking Whole30 meals in the kitchen that even my two dude roommates were into, learning more about how unhealthy my relationship towards food was and working to mend it, feeling attractive for the first time in over a year, making my girlfriend proud, and instinctually grabbing fruit instead of chips.
My weight has fluctuated my entire life. Before I went to college I got down to 185 lbs, the smallest I’ve ever been. I would gain and lose, gain and lose. But I know that this is the last time I will ever let myself go. I’m never going back. I have decided to adopt a Whole30 lifestyle and am planning to continue to only keep Whole30 approved grocery items at home – and maybe enjoy a treat or two on special occasions, date nights, or family events.
My mom has also decided that she is going to stay Whole30 during the week and use the weekends to have a few treats without going overboard. Let me tell you this: if I can do this, and if my mom can do this (both of us lifetime strugglers with weight and bad food choices), YOU CAN ABSOLUTELY DO IT. I promise. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for my health, mental and physical. Get this: now my roommate wants to do a round of Whole30! He and I are getting back on the wagon after a few Spring Break indulgences.
Thank you so much for SAVING me from inching closer and closer to a truly concerning weight and rock-bottom self-esteem. I can’t wait to continue my journey and one day, someday in the future, wake up, look in the mirror, and say ‘You did it. This is where you’ve wanted to be for so long and had never gotten back to. But you did it.’ Boiled eggs and hot sauce for the win!”
Are you a Whole30 success story? We want to hear from you! Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org!