Michael Hymen is a member of the Customer Advocate and Sales team. Here, he writes about his Whole30® journey.
It’s the home stretch of what might have been one of the best experiences of my life – embarking on my first-ever Whole30®. Sure, I’ve talked a lot about the struggles and creative ways I’ve had to eat throughout this whole thing. But one thing I’ve shied away from was what it’s actually done for me. As we reach the remaining three days, I’d love to share with everyone the results of my Whole30®.
I didn’t go into this Whole30® with any expectations, unrealistic ideas or grand plans. I thought about doing it last minute and on Sept 1st, I dove in head first. My main goal for the Whole30® was to get back on track with my eating habits. For the longest time, I was clean eating, working out on a regular basis and feeling great. At some point in the last year I fell off of those habits. The habit of cooking my meals for the week ahead of time. The habit of getting up early and making breakfast and, most importantly, the habit of getting home from work and cooking a meal for myself as opposed to ordering in. I was ready to make a change and I was in the right headspace to keep up with it for the foreseeable future.
Week 1 came and went, and I was feeling good. I had my meals set for the week and was unbelievably prepared for snacks and hunger spikes. It was a great way to start something new. Week 2 got a little harder. I was only able to prepare for a few days that week and then I was out of town for the rest do the week. As I’m sure you’ve already realized, eating for a week outside your kitchen is incredibly tough. Then Week 3 came around, and I’ll forever call that the week of temptation. Week 3 had me back in the kitchen but filled with non-compliant food at events all week. Half of the week I was celebrating two of my best friends at their wedding with a rehearsal dinner at one of my favorite pizza places and a wedding dinner menu that I could only stare at. The only thing keeping me from digging into the food or drinking alcohol was the fact that I couldn’t keep myself from the dance floor. The next 3 days, I was celebrating both my 1-year-old nephew and 3-year-old niece’s birthdays. Hand to my heart, I swear I did not fall for the temptation that is cake, cookies and sweets!
This brings me to the last few days of Week 4. I find myself actively planning what I want to do with my diet to make sure I can continue to see the results. My general plan is to continue following the Whole30® guidelines on oils and sugars. I may add back in some of the natural sugars like monk fruit, so I can try some of our amazing Vital Proteins products. I have also thought about adding in dairy for a little bit, so I could use our Collagen Whey Protein. For the most part, I have just been using our Collagen Peptides throughout this Whole30® but I would like to get back to using the Whey Protein again. Last but not least, I plan on adding very limited carbs back into my diet. I used to find myself buying 3-4 loaves of bread per month and would like to bring down to just one loaf a month. From there, I am going to continue to monitor my body and see what is and isn’t working and eliminate as necessary.
The results have been amazing. My general energy has been higher than normal, which my team isn’t so thrilled about given my already over-the-top energy levels. But at least it’s all been positive! Not to mention that I have lost weight. I know that the Whole30® specifically mentions “don’t look at the scale” but it’s tough to ignore when you are barely fitting into some of your clothes anymore.
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Now, I never intended to lose weight doing the Whole30®, but what it clarified for me was that I was working out enough and the only thing that was holding me back was the food that I was putting into my body. My friends were telling me constantly that my diet was what was holding me back, but it wasn’t until I started Whole30® that I truly understood what it meant. Now before you ask, “Well what about your alcohol intake?” I do not drink that often, but when I do, I don’t add in any mixes because I don’t want to do my body any more disservice than I already am. As a 20-something, I think it’s crazy to say that the alcohol intake part of my diet is the easiest to manage but it is, and I am excited to see what adding bits and pieces back into my diet will do to my life.