When Kari H. of Waunakee, WI shared her story, the thing that stood out to us was the clear and dramatic change in her perspective on her own life. In 30 hard-but-incredibly-worth-it days, Kari moved from accepting pain and sickness as a part of who she was and how she lived to pursuing health and happiness as her goal.
In Kari’s Own Words
“I went from completing a sprint triathlon in August 2011 to barely able to tie my own shoes within twelve months. I had iron infusions every three months because I wasn’t absorbing what I needed and joint pain from inflammatory arthritis. My bowels hadn’t worked right in years, and I had diarrhea four to five times a week.
I guess I couldn’t grasp that this was not normal. It seemed to be my normal.
Several doctors later, someone finally listened to me. She couldn’t figure out why this 40-year-old body was falling apart, but she promised me we would figure it out. Suggestions from her and my GI doctor to go gluten-free were heard but not carried through. My aunt mentioned the Whole30® plan, as she had completed it in October 2012. I got the book It Starts With Food and decided to start in January 2013.
I needed to make a choice. I couldn’t continue like I was.
The pain was leading to an increase in depression, but this plan sounded like something I could do–and continue, if it really made a difference. My best friend was a great role model for me during this time.
I focused on food the first thirty days because I was unable to exercise yet with my knee pain. As early as days seven and eight, people started noticing that something was happening. I couldn’t see it, so I took a picture again… and I couldn’t believe my eyes! I was less puffy and bloated–my inflammation was down!
Here is an excerpt from my journal on Day 8: ‘We had a date night – went to a movie premiere that will be released on Friday. When we have gone to the movies (which isn’t much anymore) we have always gotten the big popcorn and soda then refilled at least once.
This time, I went in with a plan.
I took a container with clementines and cashews, along with my big thing of water. As I sat watching all the people eat popcorn (including my husband) I realized that right now where I am, nothing tastes as good as healthy feels. I can’t think of one thing that I wouldn’t be able to say that is not worth me feeling like **** for. The difference I have seen in just 8 days is huge and I want to keep going. How good can I feel? I can’t remember the last time I can say I felt good.’
Then came a trip to Texas during Days 16-20, and my devotion to stay on track kicked in. It wasn’t that hard to make it happen–I had to plan, and look at my menus closely. I am really not sure I missed anything too much during the 30 days, but I had to conquer the sugar demon for sure.
And as I sit here on Day 29 reflecting on my Whole30 experience, I am so proud of what I did – and I can’t wait to see what another month brings.”
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