a crazy beautiful success story - meet Kristi!

Note from Katie:  I want you all to meet my dear friend Kristi. She not only did Whole30, but also committeed to her yoga practice for an entire 60 days.  Not only is she a beautiful person from the inside out, she is a complete inspiration to anyone who wants to live a full, healthy, vibrant life.  Kristi inspires me every time I see her.  She always has high energy and committment to herself, and I look up to her in so many ways.  Here is her journey in her own words...

This past summer (2012) I made a goal to get into in the “normal” range on the Body Mass Index (BMI) chart.  Not long after I made this goal for myself the company for which I work (a health insurance company) announced a health and wellness incentive in which employees with a BMI index of 18.5 or higher could earn cash for losing or maintaining weight over a five month span, and earn extra cash for dropping up to three BMI points. I was all over this and decided I didn’t care what I had to do, I was earning that money!!!  I could get PAID for achieving my goal.  

I had been tracking my daily calories in an app on my cell phone, but wasn’t planning my meals out.  I was maintaining weight, but not really losing it, even after I adjusted the amount I wanted to lose which dropped my calories per day.  Then, I read about Katie Hill’s  Whole 30 story.  As I read it I immediately thought that this could help me reach my BMI goal.  I could also, hopefully, get my sugar cravings under control and this program would force me to meal plan. No quick meals with this program.  So, I emailed back as fast as I could that I was interested.

As soon as I got the book, It Starts With Food, I started reading it and became fascinated by it.  I became more curious about how my body would respond to the elimination of grains, dairy, legumes, added sugars, and alcohol for one month and equally as curious about how my body would respond when I re-introduced these foods. I had never given up any of these things. So, how did I know how my body would respond.  I couldn’t wait for this to begin. I took “before” pictures, measurements, and weighed myself the day before I started Whole 30.  I also made a countdown clock of sorts and kept it at work.  It did feel pretty empowering to throw those numbers in the trash as I counted each day down.  Particularly on Mondays when I was throwing away THREE numbers. 

I prepared myself for the crankiness of the sugar withdrawal and I felt like a “lucky” one that I only had one cranky afternoon, but had no other noticeable symptoms.  I was surprised by my salt cravings for being such a sweet tooth too. 

 I started noticing differences in the way my clothes fit by Day 4 (I know that sounds crazy), my skin seemed clearer by Day 10, and by Day 16 others were noticing my weight changes too.  By Day 21 I really needed new pants for work.  My pants were getting so baggy and it just didn’t look good.  I went to the store and was SHOCKED when I purchased pants TWO sizes smaller than I had been wearing.  That was an awesome feeling. 

 During my Whole 30 I cooked every other meal I ate.  I typically had three meals and maybe a snack each day.  Snacks were cashews or macadamia nuts and a piece of fruit.  I kept a journal of the time I woke up, what time I ate breakfast, every morsel I put in my mouth (and when), and how much water I was drinking.  Early on, I found out I needed to eat more protein at breakfast since my stomach would be growling by 10:30am. I loved this way of eating and knew by Day 10 that I would NOT go back to the way I had been eating.  I had eggs every morning except one and sometimes had my breakfast again for dinner.  I only ate one meal that I didn’t cook myself during the 30 days and that was at Hu Hot.  I used sesame oil, garlic oil, lemon juice, and a little salt to flavor my meal. 

On day 31 I woke up early and took my “after” pictures, re-did all of my measurements, and weighed myself at home.  Based on the measurements I took at Day 0, I lost 8.75 inches and 9.2 pounds.  I felt better in my own skin.  Better than I think I had ever felt before, even when I had weighed less.  I think it has to do with the choices I was making and knowing that I was healthier on the inside and was more in control of my association with food.  

I also had my Health Risk Assessment at work on Day 31.  The blood work numbers I used for comparison were from my last physical in January (ten months earlier) and my cholesterol was a little high at 236.  From January until October the only change I had really made was eating more oatmeal to help with the cholesterol issue.  The results of my  blood work showed that my overall cholesterol dropped by 50 points, my HDL increased by 13 points, and my bad cholesterol dropped by 69 points.  I was a bit concerned that my triglycerides went up, but after reading more about that, it sounds like that is to be expected during weight loss and a more accurate reading is when weight is being maintained. I have another physical with my doctor in January, I will be excited to do another comparison.

I had also convinced my mom to try this and I have been SO PROUD of her.  She stuck with it the full 30 days and lost 11 pounds.  She is borderline diabetic and on Day 15 her blood glucose was 115 and on Day 29 it was 92.  I am so excited about this change  and that it might help decrease or eliminate some of the medications that she takes.  She says she is only a couple of pounds  shy of the lowest weight she has been in years and is getting many compliments from people around her.  I don’t know how she will continue after the 30 days, but it is refreshing to know that this way of eating does help.  I think I have been more excited about her than I have about myself.

Paleo is the new way of eating for me. Other than curiosity about re-introducing, I don’t plan to go back to grains and I’m on the fence about dairy (I do like cheese, although I haven’t re-introduced that yet).  I didn’t eat a ton of legumes before and feel very hesitant about peanuts after all I have read.  I will try to limit my sugar as much as possible and  I am sure I will have the occasional drink.  Now, I really contemplate what my body has to gain from ingesting certain things which is interesting because I never thought that way before and  I LIKE IT! I can’t get enough of Paleo blogs, recipes, magazines, etc.

Thank You Katie Hill and Whole 9 Life for changing lives!!!

Interested in learning more about Whole30?  Check out www.whole9life.com for the basics or me for personal coaching through the 30 days.