whole30 results & styling session giveaway

Marian Parsonsa slice of life, clothing & style, Food & Fitness1 Comment

I know some of you have been waiting to hear about my whole30 results and I can’t believe I haven’t shared them before now!  I wanted to share, but I’ve been debating with myself about how much to share and I always need a little extra time to work up the courage before I get really personal.

So, here is my whole30 review and the results…

Deep breath, muster that courage and here we go.

In case you missed it, I spilled my guts about my food/body image/yo-yo dieting issues HERE.  I gave an update on day 11 of whole30 HERE.  All of the tears and tantrums happened before day 11, so it was pretty boring from that point on.  I got into a rhythm and eating real, whole foods became a habit.  I still had my ups and downs, though.  I really wanted to see “miracle-esque” weight-loss results after just a couple of weeks and I had to constantly remind myself that this isn’t just about weight.  It’s about establishing a healthy relationship with food and I pressed onward.

The hardest part…

The hardest thing was dealing with the emotional aspects of changing my diet.  I never, ever would’ve considered myself an emotional eater.  I was never crying over a quart of ice cream by the light of the fridge after a bad day.  But, I did mindlessly eat chocolate and salty snacks and definitely ate more of said goodies when I was feeling stressed.  When those crutches were kicked out from under me, I was exposed for the emotional eater that I was.  I actually ended up crying one day over the fact that I didn’t have any yummy food to look forward to.  That was unexpected, embarrassing and eye-opening.

What was interesting, is that I pulled my entire family into this with me and I was the one who struggled the most.  After that teary episode, it was clear to me that my relationship with food was really unhealthy.  I was hating the fact that I shared my whole30 commitment on my blog and ticked that I had hundreds of people join a Facebook group that I was suppose to be leading and encouraging.  I just wanted to quit and enjoy my yummy foods.  That group was absolutely key in me not quitting.

 In Jeff’s words, “You can quit and then go tell 700 people on Facebook that you quit.”  Gee, thanks.  Look out as I throw my compliant sweet potato “bun” at you.

But, you know what?  I woke up the next morning and I was just fine.  I ate my scrambled eggs, zucchini cake and some fruit for breakfast and the world kept turning.

And things got easier.

Meals that once felt overwhelming to prepare became no biggie.  Spending the day away from the safety of my stocked pantry and fridge weren’t something to fear.  Cravings faded.  The dreams about food (seriously, I dreamed I was in an ice cream eating contest) stopped.  My desire to snack was curbed.  I started to recognize when I was hungry, full or just bored.  I was in control of food instead of the other way around.

What I gained…

I can honestly say that following the whole30 plan changed my relationship with food and I learned a lot about myself.  As I mentioned above, it addressed the cravings, mindless eating, emotional eating and over-eating.  When I woke up on day 30, I didn’t have a buffet of off-limits food at the ready.  There wasn’t a countdown.  The only thing I ate was hummus with my raw veggies.  Usually, once a free/cheat day is declared or a diet is “over”, I shovel in all of the no-no foods I can.  I just didn’t want to this time.  It wasn’t that I was holding myself back; I was content with how I was eating.  That was huge for me and exactly what I was hoping for out of this.

It’s natural for me to snack on and prepare real food.  I have rediscovered a love for mangos, cashews, olives, dried apricots, sunflower seeds and clementines.  I have also started eating meat again, but I usually just eat it for dinner.  I was eating it at every meal in the beginning and it was just too much for me.  I do eat more at meals usually and mix of veggies, fruit and fats (nuts, nut butter, avocados).

I have also noticed a big difference in my complexion.  I shared this picture on our Facebook group.  Both are without any makeup or touch-ups in the development.  They are straight out of the camera…

whole30 review & results | miss mustard seed

You can see how the redness is fading and my skin is healing.  Now, I wish I could report that it is 100% clear without any blemishes at all, but that’s not the case.  I do still have some breakouts, but they seem to be smaller and heal faster and the rest of my skin overall looks healthier.

Here’s a picture I snapped on day 30 with just a little bit of makeup.  I did loose a little weight in my face and around my jaw as well.


What I lost…

I know if I were reading this post, I would be eager to see how much weight was lost.  I ended up losing 7 1/2 lbs, which isn’t a ton of weight, but given that I had about 21 lbs total to lose, that’s a really good chunk of it!  Now here’s the focus of my debate with myself…do I show pictures?  I decided I would share one, because I was shocked at what a 7 1/2 lb weight loss looked like and I don’t think this post would have the impact it could without a picture.  (I don’t know why I rolled out of bed and didn’t bother to fix my hair before the “before” picture, but there it is.  Bed-head and all!)

whole30 review & results | miss mustard seed

The biggest difference is obviously in my rear and legs.  You can also notice a difference in smaller things, like my collarbone and jaw are more pronounced.  I was scared there wouldn’t be a difference in my before & after pictures, but was pleasantly surprised.  Obviously, my clothes are fitting much better and even getting loose now.

My family did really well, too.  My dad lost 18 lbs, Jeff lost 10 lbs and my mom lost 4 lbs.

My keys to whole30 success…

I did make it through the entire 30 days without one cheat.  I think the key to that was having an amazing support group and putting myself out there to be held accountable.  I also made a no-excuses commitment to do it.  I think if you go into it with an “I’ll just try it” attitude, you’ll start to negotiate with yourself when things get hard.

This commitment to no sugar, no grains, no alcohol, no legumes and no dairy also takes planning and it does take money.  Our grocery bill was definitely higher because all of the fresh produce and pastured/grass fed organic meat.  I’ve gotten better at having leftovers in the fridge for quick dinners, but I do need to be on top of meal planning and prep, which stressed me out at first.


Life after whole30…

So, what now?  As I shared, I didn’t run out and buy all of the foods I had been craving during the 30 days once I was “free”.  I was used to how I was eating and there was absolutely no good reason to change it.  I added in a little hummus to eat with raw veggies, some all-natural, yogurt-based ranch dressing on salads, a little (and I mean a very little) cheese on my eggs and a small square of 70% dark chocolate with almonds for something rich and sweet.  Otherwise, I’ve been eating as I did on whole30 and I plan to continue that.  I have lost another pound eating this way and hope to lose about 14 more to reach my goal.  

I do feel some of my old mental struggles with food returning now that the boundaries have been taken away.  I have to have conversations with myself about my trigger foods and listening to my body and making choices that won’t self-sabotage.  I’ve been leaning on the Made to Crave book more during this time.  “You crave what you consume” has been running through my mind as I drink more water and eat more veggies and fruit.  I can eat anything I want, but I want to make the best choice for me.  I want to stay in control.  

I do feel like I need a new challenge, so I’m going to commit to P90x3.  I did some of it after p90x, but didn’t make a no-excuse commitment to it and sort of petered out.  I’m going to focus on getting stronger, not on exercising to reach a calorie burn, so I’m in deficit on my Up bracelet.  I get too obsessed with that approach and it isn’t sustainable.

Eat real food.  Get strong.  That’s what I’m boiling it down to.


As I mentioned earlier, I would’ve quit if it weren’t for the amazing support group on Facebook.  I intended it to be a way for me to encourage others, but I think I got the better end of that deal.  I have been so encouraged and inspired by the ladies who have shared their stories, triumphs, confessions, fears and failures.  We have whole30 gurus who keep us all straight, women who shared their meal ideas and recipes with us and even a nutritionist who has been acting as a consultant and a resource for the group.  It’s been really special.

And, as a part of that, Ella from Start Close In Styling, who has worked with me as my stylist, joined the group and was really inspired.  She was so inspired, that she wanted to offer her styling services in a giveaway.  We did one giveaway within the group and decided to offer one to all of my readers here as well.  (This isn’t sponsored, by the way.)  So, just leave a comment here and you’ll be entered to win a virtual or in person (in the DC metro area) styling session with Ella.  You can read about my experience with her HERE, but I wouldn’t unleash her on someone else if my experience wasn’t awesome.  The giveaway will end Wednesday, February 11, 2015, at midnight PST.


Yes, this blog is about home, DIY, antiques, decorating and all of that stuff.  I love it and it’s what I talk about 99% of the time, but I so often get busy with those things that I neglect myself and I know that’s something a lot of women can relate to.

So, here’s to moving mountains in our home and our lives.

PS – I bought a toilet on Amazon today.  Yes, I did.

whole30 results & styling session giveaway

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