Nice work last week! Coaches are so proud of your intensity, your ability to push yourselves hard and get through some of those burners! It’s never easy, we know. But we see your progress and it shows how dedicated you are to yourself! For those of us athletes that are recovering from an injury or are just now getting back into the routine after a break I applaud you for really taking the time to get yourself back into it. Scaling/modifying when you are recovering or haven’t been in the gym in a while is hard, your ego gets in the way sometimes but it’s definitely the right thing to do. Life gets in the way sometimes and you can’t just jump right back to where you left off. I have to fight my own ego when it comes to wods lately as I’m slowly rehabbing my knee and its starting to feel so much better but I miss getting that 20″ box jump and heavy squats. But I know it is the right thing to do. I want to no longer feel pain in my knee and be able to do all the things! Patience, grasshopper.
Team Carissa is coming into the home stretch of the Whole 30 this week! I’m not sure how you feel but I am feeling fantastic and am honestly not ready to end it yet! I know, that sounds crazy, but I love how I feel at the end of the 30 days. Sure there are things I miss, a good glass of wine or a cocktail with friends on the weekend, sushi, tortilla chips and salsa, peanut butter, etc but I certainly don’t miss the blah feeling of overdoing it with food or booze. I feel so much more energy now (TIGER BLOOD!!) and plan to be “mostly” whole 30 come October. That’s just my experience though, everyone is different and some people will not feel that energized feeling towards the end, some will. Here is the timeline for the last half of the Whole 30 for you!
Days 16-27: Tiger Blood!
You’ve hit the downhill slope of your Whole30 and life is beautiful—which means different things for different people. For some (generally people who came to the program eating well, exercising regularly, and feeling pretty good to begin with), Tiger Blood means someone flipped a switch and turned on the awesome. Energy is through the roof, cravings are under control, clothes are fitting better, workouts are stronger.
For others, this Tiger Blood stage feels more like a real sense of self-efficacy. It doesn’t mean things are perfect (or even easy), but you’re proving to yourself that you can do this, things are getting better, and you’re seeing improvements (small or large) almost daily. Your energy is steadier, you’ve got a firmer handle on the cravings, and you’re experimenting with new, delicious foods. You may notice that your ability to focus is keener, your body composition is changing, your moods are more stable, you’re stepping up your exercise, or you’re just plain happier these days.
Of course, this may not happen like magic at the halfway point. There are a huge number of factors that influence which benefits you see and when. If you’re one of those folks who has hit the halfway mark and isn’t seeing or feeling the dramatic changes others have reported*, know this: You’re not doing it wrong. If you began the Whole30 with a medical condition, a long and rooted history of unhealthy food habits, or a chronically stressful lifestyle, your “magic” may take longer to appear, and probably won’t be a “light switch” moment. Don’t stress about whether you’re feeling honest-to-goodness “Tiger Blood”—be patient, and be on the lookout for small, gradual improvements to keep you motivated. Slow and steady still wins this race.
*There really is no such thing as a “typical” Whole30. Honestly. There are just trends and common occurrences.
(Interlude) Day 21: I am so over this.
You’ve solidly settled into week three of the program at this point. Your clothes fit better; your skin is clearer; your inner awesomeness is shining through. But despite the many benefits you’re seeing, you went to bed last night dreading the thought of breakfast. You weren’t much more excited about it this morning, either. Come to think of it, you’re not thrilled with any of your meal options right now. In fact, if Iron Chef Bobby Flay were to walk into your kitchen right now and offer to cook you any Whole30 compliant meal you wanted, you’re not even sure you could think of one. Just about anything sounds like more fun than sitting down to a big plate of Whole30 grub. You’re loving the way your body is responding to the program, but you’re just not sure if you can make it through 9 more days. And if you see even one more egg, you are going to scream.
Somewhere in the third week of the program, serious food boredom sets in. For some folks, it gets so overwhelming that they lose their appetite altogether for a few days. Don’t let the food fatigue overtake you – plan ahead! Get to work in week two and hunt down some new recipes to keep the fire burning! Find inspiration from our Whole30 Recipes Instagram Feed, cruise the Whole30 Pinterest boards, or pick up a new cookbook. Find some exotic produce in the grocery store, try some exotic recipes – do whatever you can to get over this little speed bump. Being bored and hungry is just a recipe for disaster, and this, too, shall pass.
Day 28: 28 is as good as 30…right?
It’s day 28. DAY 28! You’ve almost made it! You pushed through all the rough spots, fought off the food boredom, and you’re really loving where you are right now. You’ve had a solid breakfast, packed a delicious lunch, and planned a stellar new recipe for dinner. You’re primed to make it through day 28 without breaking a sweat. But then you get to work. Today is your department’s monthly birthday celebration, and at the mid-morning break a co-worker teases, “You’ve been so good for 28 days! Isn’t 28 as good as 30? Just have one cupcake with us to celebrate.” You brush the comment off – you’re used to them at this point – but it really gets you thinking. What have you got to lose at this point? What benefit could two more days possibly bring you? Isn’t 28 days just as good as 30?
The answer is a loud and resounding NO. 28 days is NOT as good as 30, and we’ll tell you why: You owe yourself 30 days. You made a commitment to give yourself 30 full days of Good Food and improved habits. When you make a commitment to self-improvement, it’s a big deal! If you cop out now, you’re telling yourself that the commitments you make to yourself are open to compromise. You’re telling yourself that you are not important enough to honor your commitment to you. But that’s not true, is it? You ARE important. You ARE worth a full commitment. Require that of yourself and celebrate with a renewed sense of integrity, not a cupcake.
Days 29-30: HolyOprahIt’sAlmostOverWhatAmIGoingToEatNow?!?!?!
It’s day 29, and you’re still rocking. The thoughts you had yesterday of throwing in the towel are gone. You cruise through the day and as you crawl into bed you have a small thought that then grows into full-blown cold-sweat panic. Holy crap. Tomorrow is day 30. The last day. What the hell are you going to do after that?! You worked so hard, fought through all the anger, the naps, the cravings to get to the awesome you’re feeling now. The rules have been your backbone, your lifeline, your excuse for being “that person” in social situations. Are you just going to give them up on day 31? No. You firmly resolve that there will be no deviation on day 31. If it ain’t broke…
It’s totally normal to feel a twinge of panic as your Whole30 comes to a close. For the past month, you’ve lived, breathed, and literally eaten the rules. You feel incredible in your new high-octane body. It’s natural to hesitate at the thought of making any changes – even if the change is a return to what was “normal” for you before. And, the truth is, you don’t have to go back to the way you used to eat. But keep in mind that the Whole30 was intended to be a reset, an introduction into the world of Good Food. I know it’s scary, but keep an open mind, okay?
Day 31: Deep breathing. And maybe some ice cream.
Your sanity returned at some point on day 30 and you realized that eventually, you will have to come out of your perfect Whole30 bubble. Try as you may, you won’t always be able to make life fit inside the Whole30 rules. Does that mean you’re headed off-road at 90 miles per hour? No. But it does mean that you’ll give the reintroduction protocol (in It Starts With Food) the same attention you gave the last 30 days and be honest with yourself about your reactions – physical and emotional – to food. And tonight, that might just mean a bowl of ice cream. And that’s okay.
We don’t expect you to live your life Whole365. We do expect you to take what you’ve learned and use the information to carefully evaluate how the foods you were eating before make you feel now that you’ve eliminated them (and any of their negative effects) from your body. We do expect you to listen to the feedback your body and mind give you and change your food relationships. And we do expect you to make conscious choices about when and how to go off-plan…and when you do, enjoy it!
Your Mileage May Vary
Of course, no two people’s Whole30 experience is the same, and you may find you breeze past some of these phases while being stuck in others for longer than you anticipated. Either way, we hope you use The Timeline to help you prepare for your first Whole30, or to look back on after your Whole30 and reflect on whether we were more right than wrong here.