Pam – 29 forever – Harrisburg, AR

How many times have you done Whole 30? When was your first round.

I have completed 9 rounds of Whole 30 with my first being in August 2016. We now enjoy Food Freedom.

How did you hear about Whole 30 and what made you decide to do it?

I came to Whole 30 through desperation, desperate to find the source of my leg pain that doctors could not find. I searched online and through one of my many searches I was led to Whole 30 and something deep inside of me told me this was going to be my salvation. I was 100 lbs. overweight and the pain in my legs was so bad I could hardly walk and I knew that a walker or wheelchair was in my future and the thought of that terrified me. My quality of life had diminished and it was not only affecting me but that of my husband and family because I could no longer participate in activities.

What scale and non-scale victories have you had as a result of Whole 30?

The last time I weighed late last year I had lost 55 lbs. When I weigh again this summer I hope to have lost 100 lbs. but if not, the scale will not define me. The NSVs are many but the most important is living pain free. I also have so much more energy, my sleep is better, I no longer wear plus size clothes and can buy clothes in any store and it’s cheaper, no more indigestion, Tiger Blood, clear and soft skin, fingernails for the first time in my life, able to stop taking blood pressure medicine, improved blood work, and I could go on and on.

What helped you to succeed the most on Whole 30?

Having my husband join me in the journey helped me succeed the most. He has joined me in every single round and has enjoyed the food way more than I could have ever imagined because he was strictly a meat and potatoes man and loved his sweets. He is a Whole 30 advocate and loves to tell everyone about it.

This group also helped me tremendously. Judith pointed out that I needed fat at each of my meals and to eat larger portions and once I heeded her advice I saw things start to happen. I also like the accountability factor of the group.

What’s your favorite Whole 30 recipe or go-to meal?

We love the A1-Inspired Roast from Physical Kitchness and it is on regular rotation. We also enjoy the Heroine Chicken recipe by No Crumbs Left.

How has your life changed since Whole 30?

I have my life back! It is nice to live pain free and to be active. I had two defining moments last year and the first was in September on my 56th birthday when I hiked with my husband up a mountain and back down without any leg pain and had the energy and stamina to do it. The second was in October when I felt the most beautiful in a size 16 gown and was able to dance the Mother and Son dance at his wedding. I had been so worried that my pain would keep me from dancing but thanks to Whole 30 I not only danced with him but danced all night long. I will never forget either of those moments.

In addition to Whole 30, did you make any other healthy lifestyle changes (such as incorporating fitness, smoking cessation, etc.) at the same time?

We incorporated fitness starting with water aerobics, due to the pain in my legs, and then moved to some weights and walking. We own some acreage so my husband made a walking trail for us to walk which includes some inclines. When the weather is nice we also go on hikes. I also have started to switch to non-toxic products starting with deodorant, face cleaners and moisturizers and next will be make up.

What message/inspiration do you have for those just starting the program?

The rules and recommendations can be hard to follow but they are written that way for a reason so it is important to follow them to the letter if you want to see results. Detox can also be rough for some. Just stick it out and you will see wonderful things happen. I am a planner so I planned 2 weeks at a time and knew what, where and when each meal would be and in the 1 ½ years of my journey I have never had a food emergency (no RX bars or Lara Bars for me). Planning is key. Whole 30 is the best thing I have ever done for myself and I feel my best eating compliant. I hit a couple of rough spots during my journey but learned from them and moved on and we have now found our Food Freedom and I hope you all find your Food Freedom too.