March 14, 2013

Whole30® Success Story: Emily M.


Emily submitted her story to us through email, and we were so moved by her results that we just had to share it with the community. She has graciously allowed us to do just that. So without further ado…

My Whole30® Discovery

Since I was 2 years old, I have suffered from chronic asthma.  This meant hospital admissions, terrifying attacks, slavery to inhalers, antibiotics and steroids. Running a block would result in panicked gasping, red face, burning lungs and a feeling of defeat. Not being able to join in with my friends with strenuous exercise made me feel like a failure and a bit pathetic. My weight never was really an issue for me, until I moved down to Arizona – from a life of walking everywhere and eating lots of fish, to moving to the desert, where everyone drove and there was all this awesome new Mexican food! I quickly started piling on the pounds and experiencing depression for the first time in my life. Over the next 13 years I’ve gone down, then back up so many times, and each time was a big struggle, threaded with feeling hungry and guilty all the time. Then came the massive sense of failure when the weight crept back on once I started eating “normally” again. Last August, I saw a documentary about intermittent fasting and tried it out. Eventually I started reading stuff by Gary Taubes and kept coming across sites that talked about the caveman diet. I “Stumbled Upon” Mark’s Daily Apple and through him found the Whole9 and Whole30. I’m a chef (pastry chef, but shhhh!) and being on my feet all day, running around, beating, whisking, carrying are important! I’d given up grains and sugar after Christmas (thanks to Mark Sisson and Gary Taubes) but was still munching on beans, cheese and PLENTY of wine. In fact, over the past ten years, my relationship with alcohol was definitely NOT under my control any more. I could polish a bottle of Jack off in two nights, a bottle of wine in an evening, no problem. I knew I needed to cut back, but couldn’t seem to.

But the Whole30 kept poking me in the back of my mind….

On the morning of January 11th, I was at work and I just decided. I threw down my apron, grabbed my wallet and went in the office to sign up. I text messaged my Mum and told her “Google the Whole30. We start tomorrow!” She’d been along the ride with everything else so far and had lost a lot of weight, and I think she thought “it’s only a month right?” I got home and went into my pantry. Filled two big bags with pastas, rices, beans, sweet sauces, vegetable oil and gave them away.  I was fully committed. The ways in which my health has improved since are so numerous, it’s like I’m discovering new ones improvements day:

  • I’m no longer using ANY asthma medication. AT ALL. That alone is miraculous.
  • I’m off antidepressants after three years.
  • I’m no longer taking the Ditropan for overheating/hyperhidrosis that I was taking for 13 years
  • I no longer rely on sleep aids every night.
  • My joints don’t ache any more, at ALL.
  • I wake up before my alarm every morning and have boundless energy all day.
  • The skin all over my body is soft and dewy. Even on the soles of my feet and I’m on them ALL DAY.
  • I’m hardly ever hungry and when I eat I get a clear “Ok, you’re full now, you can stop” message and don’t feel the need to “clean my plate because it’s just so good!” (Hello Spaghetti Bolognese!)
  • I have totally regular bowels, never constipated any more (as I was sometimes while fasting).
  • I never feel bloated or so full I can’t sleep.
  • I have stopped walking into rooms and forgetting why I was there. I did that at work ALL the time. I’d walk into the pantry, the pot store, the fridge or freezer and just stand there staring blankly.

I just feel in control of my health, my body, and my future.

I thought I’d never have children because I was always so tired and lethargic (and tipsy) but now my husband and I are seriously talking about trying and I’m excited as hell. I run up the five flights of stairs at work every morning, I do body weight exercises and yoga when I feel like it (which is often these days) and my hubs and I start ballroom and latin classes in two weeks. I’ve even signed up for a burlesque dancing class this summer. I’ll be honest. I started all of this because of my weight, but that has lost significance entirely when compared to the extraordinary, miraculous health benefits. I went to see my doc last week about coming off my meds and she was stunned when she saw me. I told her it’s like I’ve found a magic pill. I’m in control now. You said you would change my life, but I didn’t understand what that meant. There’s no doubt in my mind that this diet is sustainable for me and no longer takes more than a gram of willpower to maintain, as I’m so easily satisfied with the yummy food I get to eat. A bazillion thank-you’s from the bottom of my heart. Emily M. emilym_picture