Charlotte, North Carolina
Throughout 2019 and early 2020, I successfully completed three Whole30s with Whole30 Certifed Coaches Sarah Rentfro and Dr. Vickie Bhatia. When I started my first Whole30 in January of 2019, I was desperate as I had struggled with Bipolar Disorder for decades. For the past 16 years, I had consistently taken multiple medications that lead to major weight gains and losses, but truthfully never alleviated symptoms of the disorder.
Within a matter of weeks of my first Whole30 in January 2019, I noticed a tremendous difference in my overall mood (I was calmer and less anxious). I felt empowered to take control of various aspects of my life. The challenges associated with a mental illness diagnosis are feeling often limited in options, both medically and personally. Whole30 gave me control over my life. After that first Whole30, the big win was discontinuing sleep medications that I had taking for 12 years.
By September, I had completed another Whole30, and was able to stop taking mood stabilizers, which I had been taking since my diagnosis in 2003. I stopped consuming alcohol and food groups that were ineffective in maintaining positive mental health. Now that I was off medication, I woke up at a normal time of day, was more engaged in the relationships in my life, and experienced high productivity without becoming manic. Since September, I have not had a single episode. It is a miracle!
Now, I am ending my time in a Food Freedom group with Whole30 Certified Coaches Dr. Vickie Bhatia and Debbie Marlowe. It has been so beneficial and supportive to work with these two amazing and knowledgeable women! Even though my eating patterns look different than they did a year and a half ago, I never feel that I am depriving myself of any food group. I don’t drink or eat certain foods and drinks, but this allows me to hear my laughter, be present in my time with my nieces and nephews and get up at a time I chose and run or walk in the morning and then continue on my day.
I don’t get on the scale so I don’t know what I weigh, but I’ve dropped three clothing sizes since December. I have real, stable, and reciprocal relationships with people. Work literally could not be better right now. I am able to exercise when I want to and I try new Pilates moves and run road races. Now, my activities with friends are healthy ones!
These things are happening because I believe in myself and know that I have control over aspects of my life. If you asked me a decade ago where I’d be today, I couldn’t have imagined a life so wonderful. It’s not full of scheduling the day around taking medication and knowing when the pharmacy is open. It is a life full of doing the things that fill my soul. Whole30 has given me my life back.