My Whole30 Experience


On October 3rd, I shared with you all that I needed a healthier eating lifestyle and that I was starting the Whole30.


All of you were so supportive, and I was encouraged by so many of you who had done the Whole30 and loved it!

My 30 days are up, and I wanted to share my experience with you.  The good, the bad, and the ugly. Smile

My Whole30 looked something like this:

My Whole15

My Three-fourths8

My One-fourth7

Let me explain.

The first 15 days of my Whole30 I followed the program to a “T.”  Not a single coke.  Not a single piece of bread.  Not a drop of sugar.  It was tough, but I did it.

phone 033

After the first week, it started getting a little easier.  And by the end of the second week, I noticed a SIGNIFICANT difference in my energy level.  I woke up alert and ready to go.  I stopped needing an afternoon nap.  And I went to bed and slept wonderfully.

I also noticed that my stomach was getting flatter, and I was no longer feeling bloated and miserable.  My digestion was also improving, and I was going to the bathroom regularly {which has always been an issue for me.}

I was so proud of myself for sticking with the program even when we went to Pigeon Forge with my in laws. family1 Fortunately, we cooked in our cabin most of the time, and my mother in law is an excellent cook.  She helped me by preparing delicious food that I could eat with the family.  Smile


During the next 8 days of my Whole30 I didn’t do as well.  The boys were home for Fall Break all week, and I took them to ChickFilA and caved.  Oh my goodness, it was SO GOOD!  I had a number one with a LARGE coke.  Heaven, I tell ya!  Except I did notice that the Coke tasted extra sweet, and my stomach started bothering me shortly after.

The next day we went to Dad and Janet’s for a trip to the corn maze and a campfire.  Well, we got rained out of the corn maze, but we still went to Dad and Janet’s to eat.  I knew we were grilling hot dogs, but that wasn’t too much of a temptation for me, so I wasn’t very worried about it.


But when I got there, Janet had fixed a SPREAD!  We had chili, caramel apples, smores, hot dogs, chips, cider, hot chocolate, popcorn balls, and more!  EVERYTHING that I love about this time of year.  I didn’t overdo it, but I did enjoy some chili and smores.  SmilePlus, I drank water the whole time.  That’s a positive!


I felt kind of bad about it, but I also was proud of myself for how well I had done so far.  If you do the Whole30, you are not supposed to mess up AT ALL.  So I was kind of bummed that I had messed up.

I decided to weigh myself to see how I had done so far even though I was supposed to wait until the end of the 30 days.

The good news was that I had already lost 8 pounds!  Yay!!!  That was definitely worth it to me.

But subconsciously, I think I gave myself the green light to stop trying to stay on the Whole30 because I was excited about the 8 pounds.

You add on top of that the fact that in one week Better Homes and Gardens was coming to my house, and you can only imagine how I did on the program.


Thus I called my last week my one-fourth7.

I am a stress eater, and the stress of having BHG at my house did me in.  I was working around the clock to get ready for their visit, and large cokes gave me comfort.  Since I was running around town trying to pick stuff up for the shoot, it was so much easier to run through the drive thru to get something to eat.

Sadly, I must confess that I didn’t try to follow the program at all.  I was in survival mode.

Sad smile

Although I didn’t stick to the Whole30 the whole 30 days, I am proud of how long I did make it.  That was HUGE for me!

And it confirmed to me how much better I feel when I am eating the right foods.

I am convinced that I need to be eating healthier.

Since I have been drinking more cokes and eating more processed food, my stomach feels bloated again, and I feel fatigued all the time.   I miss the high energy level that I had when I was eating well on the Whole30.

So here is where I stand now:

I am still going to try and eat healthier.  I am trying to eat mostly meat, fruits, and vegetables, and I’m trying to stay away from sweets, breads, and processed food.

I am drinking a ton of more water than I used to, and I drink a ton fewer cokes now.

With the holidays coming up, I am not going to try to stick to the Whole30 religiously, but I may give it another try in January.  Maybe we can do it together?


I would love to hear from any of you who have tried the Whole30 or a healthier eating lifestyle.

Was it hard for you?

Any tips on how I can stick to it better next time?


  1. O, I so know how you feel/what you mean! 8 weeks ago I started the no sugar/carb thing and was thoroughly enjoying the food and the benefits! No Chocolate/Take Out/Coke for 2 weeks solid then just a cheat meal here and there, but sticking to it 90% of the time! I lost 6kg in 4-5weeks! My tummy was down, no bloating, enery high, feeling great……and then I snuck in a few more ‘cheat meals’, and then we’d be out and about so couldn’t be so ‘disciplined’, and now…… I am trying to get back on the band wagon with the 2kg I’ve put back on – but I find I am more conscious and can compensate if I do be naughty with being extra good after! Aargh!!

  2. This past month I did a challenge of eating no sugar. Boy was that hard. I’m also a stress eater and October was a very stressful month for me. Out of the 31 days I had 5 where I caved and had chocolate. I did notice the bloating was gone I felt more energetic and I lost 5lbs . I didn’t think my eating was bad before(we don’t eat out and I don’t drink soda or eat a lot of processed food) being aware of not eating sugar really helped.
    You should be very proud of how well you did. I read some of the book and giving up coffee was the deal breaker for me.
    Thank you for sharing and being so honest.. I can’t wait to hear about your visit with Better Homes and Garden. That’s exciting.

  3. You should not feel bad for slipping. Look what you did accomplish! It’s not easy. I’ve never done Whole 30 but I’ve done Weight Watchers and it’s similar in some ways. You have to consumer food with the least points and most nutritional value and the results are the same. You really do have more energy and feel better. I enjoyed that feeling…need to get back to it!

  4. Traci, when I saw your breakdown at the beginning of your post, I was so afraid you were going to beat yourself up. You didn’t! You have great perspective.

    A few years ago I lost 50 lbs. For me, it didn’t creep on. Summer 2000 I gained 50 lbs. In one summer. It stayed on for a few years and then I took 2 years to take it off. It has stayed off for 3 years (I fluctuate about 5-8 lbs). Each day is a new day and I don’t beat myself up. It takes time.

    You look great!

  5. Traci- you are doing a great job! loosing weight can take time. I always feel better when I avoid suger. Its like an addiction, ya know? I always have a better day when I give it to God. Keep it in prayer and try your best. Many of us are stress eaters, therefore it will take time. God bless you sweet girl as you do your best for God raising your kids and being a good wife. :-)

  6. Traci, I just wanted to let you know that reading your blog when you first decided to try this eating plan motivated me to give Weight Watchers another try. I was addicted to Dr. Pepper…thought I couldn’t live without it, but I haven’t had one in two weeks now. I haven’t given up sugar entirely (I have a little honey with an Eggo waffle every morning), but I’ve cut back enough that fruit is DELICIOUS now! :) I also haven’t given up all bread, but again, I’ve cut way back. I have realized that Dr. Pepper and chocolate are two things that I cannot have on a daily basis without having my intake of them slowly creep back up. So they will both be saved for very special occasions. I feel SO much better now that I’m eating right and exercising. It really does make a difference! Thank you so much for sharing with us in your blog…both the ups and the downs. You are making a difference!

  7. I wish you the best and the holidays are hard on a diet. That would be a great way to bring the new year. God Bless!

  8. there is something that happens psychologically when you’ve had a little success…like you said…for some reason we cut ourselves a little slack….then before you know it, we’re back where we started…. this happens to me every time.

    I feel like I’m afraid of the success so I self sabotage. Or afraid that if I do lose all the weight, I’ll only gain it back…afraid I can’t maintain…. I don’t know what my problem is… but things have to turn around. I’m in pain all the time and fatigued every day…. it’s no way to live.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to make this about me….I’m really just trying to say I can relate and that you’re not alone and that I’m happy for the success you did have.

  9. Hi Traci! I appreciate your being so real and honest with your Whole 30 experience. I’ll admit, when I looked at the program, I knew it was good food and food that would help me feel good and loose weight, but I feared I couldn’t keep it up for 30 days. Life sometimes gets in the way of the best plans. Your family time and the week that BHG was in your home were very understandable reasons for tweaking your program. Bottom line, you lost weight, you learned what helps you have energy and feel better, and you can Incorporate it again. Keep your chin up and don’t feel badly for one second!

  10. Good for you for giving this a go! You just got to remember that nothing ventured, nothing gained! We’re all human and we all fail at times but lets face it if you never even tried in the first place, you wouldn’t have learned how flat your tummy could get, or how much energy you could feel. Some times falling of the wagon teaches you how much better another way is! We all need (including me) to learn how to be healthy in a sustainable way for our own lives – so good for you!

  11. Thank you for your post. I am currently reading the Made to Crave 60-day devotional by Christian author Lysa Terquerst. I am on day 2 and will finish by Dec. 31. She is a down- to-earth writer and the focus of the devotional is how to crave God, not food. I think you will really like her style of writing. I read the book (off and on for 2 years…I have a hard time finishing books!) and it is really good. This book is not a how-to book so it fits in with ANY healthy eating plan.

  12. Hi Traci – Way to go! Next time: Give yourself at least one day a week for meals and treats. Don’t go crazy – but let’s say on Saturday you have a coke with lunch and a dessert with dinner. Then you won’t feel horribly deprived. You might need “Dixie cup” of coke daily.. etc. Paleo diet is a lot like South Beach. I think if you eat like that and have smaller treats throughout week – ie. Fun size. You will still lose weight and feel better. I love Chick Fila! We don’t have those up north! When I do South beach I squeeze the sandwich in the bun to get rid of grease, peel off most of breading, and throw away bun. I also eat the pickles! It can be done! Good luck. I totally get it!

  13. Also – all the fake sugars aren’t good for us. I can’t even drink a diet coke! I drink diet pop rarely. If You don’t like water too much add a little of low cal Gaterade to it (just for color) It works for me!

  14. My husband and I are reading the Whole30 book together and beginning to making changes as we progress through the book. Thanks for your inspiration! I got the idea from you!

  15. Personally thank God daily for a thin face, slim arms, a long torso, and legs with thin calves. I’m being truthful. For the way God designed you allows you to weigh more yet remain very slim on camera. Analyze this. Photos add weight and you so do not look obese. Keep a journal a wise Christian woman told me. Of the body parts you like that God gave you. Example: God thank you for my teeth. They are white and straight and my check ups are good. Thank you Lord and help me to appreciate my teeth.
    Next, I’ve always been regular slim. Rounded in derrière and on top but slim waist. But no weight issues. Then I had an injury and the meds caused immediate weight gain and increased weight gain. I’m embarrassed. What did I do all those prior years? And continue?
    Stuff healthy stuff into foods you love. Love tacos? Brown the lean meat, add a touch of olive oil if too lean, and at the same time add chopped fine cabbage (comes angel hair cut in a bag), celery, zucchini and a touch of spinach. Toss a bit of salsa in and you have a variety of great veggies in a taco–before you add the trimmings!!! I do this with meatloaf and add grated zucchini and a cup of pumpkin. I keep one cup portions in a ziplock bag in freezer. Even those fancy squashes I use for decor that are good to eat can be cut and quickly cooked in the microwave. But the thing is, my daughter never knew pumpkin was in the meatloaf!! Nor the grated zucchini ! So I’d make foods and everyone loved and sneak in Greek yogurt for sour cream. I used ripe bananas and cut down on oil and sugar to make banana bread. I thought everyone cut up every veggie out there and made soups with a handful of lentils, barley and such… It seems more satisfying. But I’ve slipped into eating after supper. It started with my watermelon but I’ve been adding other stuff. My GI doctor says NO!!! This is not good for the digestive system!! So because you are cooking for growing sons, your meals must be hearty, healthy yet not make you gain weight. I think trying a few of these tips might help? I’ve found at our VON’S (Safeway) they carry pre-peeled and nothing added potatoes, carrots, pearl onions, and celery. I use a beef and chicken stock combined with a handful of instant brown rice, a bit more of frozen veggies that have corn, peas, green beans, lima beans and nothing else–just a heaping handful per pot, and a package of stew meat. For your family double. It is less than $20. It will seem like you slaved all day but this healthy meal in crockpots takes less than ten minutes! And ready when you are home. Remember my Dad? We bought him the small bottles of Coke and he made drinking his tiny juice glass with two ice cubes and Coke ( maybe two ounces?) such an event! We sat at the table and took time to enjoy. He used Swedish words to say it was very good. And that we weren’t to gulp it down. He was not a drinking man, a Godly man who loved The Lord, and so a bit of Coke he enjoyed for fifty years! He lived to be 90. I can see his smile, hear his voice say the Swedish phrase!!! But he never over indulged. He said, you can get diabetes if you overdo a good thing!!
    So how about enjoying these few pounds shed? Allow dessert if at an event. But push secret good stuff into foods you cook. Then if you HAVE to be on the run, have a Starbucks big insulated cup pre filled with water, get a grilled chicken wrap no dressing nor cheese, bring an apple and you’re good to go!!! Getting hungry? Eat something healthy. I found a double fiber bread with added protein ill stick half a banana in. Or eat plain Greek yogurt with raspberries or strawberries swirled in.
    And most of all, remember you are made in the image of God. Now I sound like I’m preaching to you but I’m preaching to me too. Maybe the Holy Spirit is reminding me of all these things lest I give up hope and become discouraged. My body, brain, mobility, thinking, life has all changed so very much since my brain I jury. But maybe The Lord is trying to remind us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit….that we are designed by God…that He loves us unconditionally…that as Peter wasn’t it was shown, food restrictions of the Jewish faith is lifted…and then some simple ways to keep us healthy. Please reread my opener too okay? God bless you as you share honestly with us. I know its easy to feel like a failure but do not grow discouraged. Lets lean on The Lord even in this!

  16. I started a Paleo Lifestyle for the one hundredth time in January of this year, well not one hundredth but actually the 4th! I have gained and lost the same 30- 40 lbs over and over again!! This time was different,,, i knew it was time to get serious and stop eating all the addicting sugary foods that were causing me to be fat and depressed!!!! I was determined to do it,,, the only secret is,,, you have to get it all in check between the ears!! I lost about 45 lbs since January 7th!!! I do not eat any dairy or grains, and I don’t allow cheat days,,, you just can’t have them if you want to be serious about your health,,, I always have a plan,,, even on vacation, i carried some foods with me and went straight to the grocery store first thing!!! Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail, its as simple as that!! once you stop eating the crap and clean up the diet, you won’t even crave the crap anymore and your body will love you for it! When I was on a eating sugary crap rant, i was not nourishing my body and I was miserable and not engaging in life! now that i lost the weight “again” and truly gotten serious,,, i feel better and I love life!! I Prayed the entire time I was trying to get off the sugar high and God gave me the strength that I needed to get through,, i am trying to honor this temple he gave me, by not putting sugary junk in my body!! I also Followed Sheri Rose Shepherd’s Bible Life Coaching for 30 days,,, it, along with following a Paleo Lifestyle changed my Life!!! Praising God!! Praying for all those who struggle like I did and Praying for you Tracy!!!

  17. So far I’ve lost 40 lbs since May 1st and honestly I couldn’t stick to a plan that rigid. I think cutting out complete types of food is too difficult because if you cave, then you cave big time. I’ve been using a free app on my phone (Lose It) and I just track my calories with the bar code scanner each day. If I’m really careful for the first half of the day, sometimes I have enough calories left for a piece of pizza with my family on friday nights or a small handful of chocolate pieces from Trader Joe. Everything is about portion control. I try to fix “clean” meals for dinners but to feed a family sometimes that’s difficult and the kids get bored with grilled chicken yet again, so I’ve made some light casseroles that i’ve found around the internet/pinterest and since I don’t have an entire food group restricted I can make those dinner and then portion out my 1/8 piece of the casserole dish and know I’m still eating healthy. (The app has a recipe builder so you know exactly how many calories are in a portion.) Portions and not binging on holiday foods/candies were my biggest issues and I feel like I finally have that under control. Good luck!

    1. I’ve used the app “lose it” too before, and I need to start using it again. I think I am going to join a gym during the winter months so that I can get some exercise in. I don’t like to run in the cold.
      Congrats on keeping your weight loss off and thanks for all the great tips!

  18. Your blog inspired me to research and try WHOLE 30. Thank you so much for being so honest with your efforts and your results! On Friday the 15th I will be finished with my 30 day sentence, just in time for our trip to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas. I have noticed toning in parts of my body…like inches lost, but not necessarily significant pounds lost. I have followed the program to the T up until 2 days ago when I just refused to go one more day with black coffee or coffee with coconut milk. I allowed myself a tablespoon of flavored creamer. The world did not end!! The program showed me that I can be disciplined and make better choices. Breakfast menus were the hardest for me to come up with. But, I have kicked my Diet Coke habit, and plan to keep that down to an occasional taste, but not addiction level. It takes effort to eat this way, and our usual lives don’t always afford us that extra time to be so intentional with our food planning. I’m glad I did it. I don’t know that I’ll do it again anytime soon though. Thanks again for your candidness — Rika

    1. Oh my gosh! I am so jealous that you had more will power than me! I wished I had stuck it out for the whole30. But CONGRATS to you for staying so strong! Did you see or feel a change in your energy level? I think that is what I loved the most about it. Every since I have gotten off of the plan, I feel so sluggish and tired all of the time. I’ve got to get back onto eating clean again.

      1. I did notice an increase in energy, once I got through the withdrawal phase. I started exercising by doing simple walking, pushups, and leg lifts. I couldn’t really tell if my mind ever felt clearer, because with my new found energy it was almost like my mind was zinging in a million directions of new things to do – create – decorate – move…bouncing all over the place. Now that I’m back to regular eating, I am being more aware of what I eat and trying to determine what makes me feel good and what makes me feel like a slug. When and if the time comes for you to try it again, you’ll know more of what to expect and how to prepare for the journey :)

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