January 12, 2016

Losing More Than Weight: Amber’s Whole30 Story

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This post comes to us from Amber Hill of Amber Lately. Amber’s story is part of our ongoing Whole30 success stories series. To submit your own Whole30 story, contact [email protected].

In Amber’s Own Words

In August, my husband decided we would spend the entire month doing a Whole30. I thought he had quite possibly lost his mind. Who voluntarily removes sugar, dairy, and wheat from their diet?? Not this broad.  When we started this experiment, I was over four months postpartum with our second child, and had about five pounds to lose in order for me to be at pre-baby weight. On the first day of our Whole30 I posted my “before” weight and measurements on my blog, with every intention of posting my “after” on Day 31. I figured weight loss would be the most important result of my Whole30.

Everything I Lost

It turned out, weight loss was the least important thing that the Whole30 took from me. Instead of being happy to lose those five pounds of baby weight, I was thrilled to lose: My sugar cravings. After bringing my sons into the world, my sweet tooth was off the charts. I was chowing down on some form of sugar every day— chocolate, cookies, ice cream. The day after my Whole30 ended I couldn’t wait to add cream and sugar to my coffee again. I had a little extra pep in my step on my walk to our Keurig. As I sat down and took my first sip of what was sure to be heaven on earth, I just about choked on my previously cherished cup of joe. It tasted like poison. I guess I am now a coffee and coconut milk kinda gal. My compulsion to count calories. This frees up so much time and stress. Since I got pregnant with our first son, I have been a counting calorie fiend. All day, every day, I would log every calorie consumed to the best of my ability. It just became something that I did, kind of like brushing my teeth or putting on clean underwear. Now that we have adopted a whole foods diet, I no longer have the urge to count my calories. That doesn’t mean I stuff my face until I can’t move, it just means that I know my body is able to process what I’m eating in a beneficial way, which allows me freedom from counting calories. (Note from Whole30: Read Melissa Urban’s take on weighing, measuring, and calorie-counting on the Whole30.) Amber Hill IMage 1 My desire to stand on the scale. I gained a few extra pounds during my Freshmen year in college. When I returned home, I couldn’t believe the number I saw on the scale. That fall, I took a scale back to school with me. From that day on, I have weighed myself every single morning that I could. What started off as a harmless act quickly became an unhealthy obsession. If breaking the bondage of standing on a scale daily had been the only thing I gained from the Whole30, I would consider that a win. If you currently suffer from this same ridiculous addiction, then you have to give the Whole30 a try. This result alone is worth the 30 days that you will devote to it. My lack of self-confidence. Would you believe me if I told you that I hated looking at my naked post-baby bod? Just ask my husband. Ever since our first child was born, I have hated getting undressed. I disliked it so much, I would change clothes on one-half of my body at a time. And forget going clothes shopping, that was a nightmare of a different breed. I read countless articles, and saw numerous empowerment videos, all of which highlight the same message: “You are beautiful—exactly the way you are.” …Neat. Don’t get me wrong, I love the message, and when I look at other women, I rarely notice a flaw; but when it comes to myself, I saw nothing but a list of imperfections. The Whole30 changed my way of thinking. I don’t know how else to say this, but I feel HOT. That’s right, hot! I get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and think, “Who is that smokin’ babe? Oh, who…you mean silly me? Yes. You are looking good girlfriend!” So what if my thighs still touch and if you can see the fading dark line on my tummy from pregnancy. For the first time in over three years, I feel attractive! I never would have sought out this lifestyle change on my own; and while I had no intention of admitting this, I’m so grateful my husband pulled me down this particular food journey. Want to share something that Whole30 took from you? Join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Amber Hill is a food blogger, coffee lover, wife, and mother of two beautiful boys. She shares her experiences in motherhood and life in hopes of encouraging and inspiring other women. Check out more about Amber at Amber Lately or on her Instagram feed.  

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