If you’re thinking about working with me as a Whole30 Certified Coach, you might wonder about my own Whole30 story. Well, you’ve come to the right page!
The Early Years
I grew up in an average middle-class suburban household. My mother cooked almost daily. Most of her cooking was from scratch, with about 25% coming from a box. I grew up eating cereal with milk for breakfast 6 days a week. Our at-home dinners included things like pasta, meatloaf, steak, fish, and SOS. Many of the vegetables were canned. The only vegetables I liked were corn and white potatoes. I had a particular dislike for beets and green bell peppers. My parents drank regularly. They both worked and were very functioning, but I grew up thinking that drinking to excess was the norm.
My mother struggled with her weight throughout my childhood. She joined Weight Watchers when I was in elementary school, and I can still picture her weighing and measuring her food. And while I remember her success at reaching her goal weight, she couldn’t maintain her weight loss. I watched her battle her weight throughout her life as she tried to return to Weight Watchers or tried diets such as the Atkins diet in an attempt to get skinny. Although I was never overweight as a child, I thought that I was. I would look with disdain on my thick thighs – thighs that I would later wish to have!
My parents weren’t physically active outside of work. Exercise was not something that was even discussed, never mind done in our home. I played softball in elementary school, followed by dance lessons for a few years, but my parents encouraged me to avoid high school sports. My experimenting with alcohol and drugs started in junior high and continued for years. I graduated high school weighing about 120 pounds, looking healthy, and believing that I was fat.
The Freshman 15 and then some…
My eating habits took a nosedive during college. Fast food and sweets became the norm instead of the exception. My drinking increased and became more regular. I started smoking cigarettes. By the time I graduated from college, I had gained nearly 80 pounds. Like my mother before me, I turned to Weight Watchers. I had some success and lost nearly 40 pounds before plateauing. Once I reached that plateau, I found myself losing and gaining the same 10-20 pounds for the next several years. I would reach my lowest weight during the early 2000s with the help of a small drug problem, but that’s not the diet program I’d recommend.
Sober, Smokefree, and Searching
In 2010, after many attempts, I got sober. Two years later, I quit smoking. While these two things were huge accomplishments and great for my overall health, they were not good for my waistline. I still had quite a dysfunctional relationship with food; I turned to food for comfort rather than nutrition. Eventually, my body had enough of this. First, my gallbladder stopped working, and later I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. It was a horrible time. Facing a diagnosis I didn’t want, a constant need for the restroom, and expensive medication, I started looking for answers. I searched for dietary changes that I could make and stumbled across Danielle Walker’s story on her blog Against All Grain, which led me to the Whole30.
I completed my first Whole30 round in 2013 but didn’t quite understand the importance of reintroduction – that took the practice of a few more rounds. To date, I’ve done 6 or 8 rounds and have learned a lot about how my body reacts to different foods. First, soy and I are not friends; we are sworn enemies. Next, gluten and dairy are not my best friends, but we’re okay as acquaintances who see each other occasionally. I learned that I like many more vegetables than corn and white potatoes. I love brussel sprouts, green beans, peas, carrots, golden beets, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, orange bell peppers, mushrooms, and more. However, I still can’t get on board with green bell peppers or red beets. All of these lessons add up to some pretty amazing results – my body healed itself and my colonoscopy in 2018, I won’t see another one.
I want to tell you that all of this knowledge also added to my finally shedding all of the weight and becoming a healthy person. It didn’t, but it started me on a journey resulting in my reaching a healthy weight as a healthy person. It didn’t because I literally could not understand Food Freedom. I was either on a Whole30 round or eating like an escaped convict; balance eluded me. I was so frustrated with myself that I nearly threw in the towel on being a Whole30 Coach, but I am so glad that I didn’t.
I’ve realized this past year that Whole30 is not a magic wand that makes all of our food, diet, health, nutrition, and life problems go away. Thirty days (plus reintroduction) will change your life, but not all changes will come during that round. I think of the Whole30 as a foundation for change as opposed to the final product. It’s as if Whole30 pushed me forward over the top of a hill, but I have to take the lessons from it to get over the next one.
Whole30 helped me heal my gut and started me on a path that enabled me to heal myself inside and out. I may not have started as a healthy person, but I am one today. If you’re interested in completing a Whole30 with the support of a Certified Coach, I would love to work with you. I offer both Group and 1:1 Coaching Packages.