This month we are all about the Whole30! New recipes, shopping lists, menu plan, meal rounds ups, an ever growing Facebook support group, and now a Mom Crush who’s life was changed because of her decision to try a Whole30! Mom Crush Amanda Robertson will have you convinced that eating clean, whole foods, is not as hard as it seems. In fact, if you glance at her Instagram account she makes all the food look very glamorous. Today Amanda shares with us her amazing transformation story that all began with the Whole30.
SFM: Tell us about your personal journey with health and fitness. What was the inspiration behind doing your first round of Whole30?
Amanda: Where do I even begin? I was always an athlete in my childhood years. I grew up playing soccer, basketball, volleyball and I was a competitive cheerleader. I played soccer in college my entire 4 years, and I pretty much ate whatever I wanted; with little thought behind it. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I learned I suffered from infertility. My husband and I had tried getting pregnant for almost 5 years before turning to fertility treatments. After our first IVF cycle, I became pregnant, but miscarried shortly after. We tried a second cycle, and that too, was unsuccessful. I fell into quite a deep state of depression, and, I’m sure like plenty of other women, turned to food for comfort. My weight increased pretty drastically through all of that time. Finally, after a 3rd attempt, we finally had success and our twins were born April of 2013. My weight hit an all-time high of 220 lbs. It wasn’t until our twins turned 6 months that I decided to make a change, and be healthy and present for my children. I began my first Whole30 at that time, with no idea of where it would bring me. All I knew was that I needed to make a change and after seeing so many other success stories floating around the various social media sites, I decided I would give it a try. I called my mom and asked her if she wanted to do the “challenge” with me. Not that she needed to lose weight, because she didn’t; but more so for that extra bit of accountability. After that first round, I was down almost 18 pounds, but aside from that, I was feeling so much better. My skin was brighter, my energy levels were better, and I was finally feeling like I was heading in the right direction of taking control of my health.
SFM: How many rounds of Whole30 have you completed? What motivates you to keep going?
Amanda: This question gets asked a lot, and when it comes down to it, I think I have completed between 3 and 4 rounds since October 2013. I really never drifted too far from the program after my first round, because I really did feel so much better. My body feels it’s best eating this way, and I’m currently at my lowest adult weight (down almost 100 pounds from my highest). That’s motivation in itself!
SFM: How has your life changed since you made the physical and emotional transformation?
I no longer turn to food as comfort. My children and husband have a mother and a wife that is present and able to participate in all aspects of our busy lives. I was never big into running as exercise but last year completed my very first half marathon!
SFM: Whole30 is all about creating a better relationship with food, did this come easy for you? What are some things you still struggle with?
Amanda: This came easy for me ONCE I decided to make the change. I have always been the type of person that once I commit to something, I do it. During those first few days of my very first round of Whole30, did I miss cookies? Absolutely. At the time, I told myself, “On day 31, you can have that cookie.” And I meant it. I knew I at the very least, had to commit to 30 days. Beyond that, if I got to the end of the program and still felt I wanted that cookie, I told myself I could have it. Truth be told, day 31 came around and I felt so great eating the good, clean, wholesome foods I was eating, I no longer wanted that cookie. Now, do I still indulge on occasion? Absolutely. But the program itself, and that initial commitment really helped me to learn when such indulgences are worth it, and when they are not.
SFM: What are a few of your favorite Whole30 meals/recipes?
Amanda: I find most of my recipes from The Whole30 book, itself. Shepherd’s Pie and the Classic Chili are two of my absolute favorite meals. My family (husband and toddlers included) also love these, so it’s a win win for everyone!
SFM: I think a lot of women feel like the Whole30 is too restricting and not doable, can you convince our readers why you think it REALLY is DOABLE?
Amanda: The only thing I can say is this; if I can do it, YOU can do it. I really would challenge anyone reading this to just give it a try. Try it out for 30 days. Commit to 30 days. Not 2 weeks, not 28 days; thirty days. You owe it to yourself to FEEL happy and healthy and I truly feel this program will help you feel just that!
SFM: Do your kids eat whole foods for the most part as well?
SFM: I saw a few pics of you and family members who have also done the Whole30, I can only assume your healthy habits have rubbed off on them?
Amanda: My husband has unintentionally benefited from the Whole30, because, like I said above, he eats what I cook! My mother has also done a few rounds of Whole30 and has continued to live a Paleo lifestyle since embarking on her first round.
SFM: What do you do for physical exercise? Have you always exercised or did you focus on eating healthy, whole foods first?
Amanda: My workouts have varied over the past 2.5 years. When I began my first round, I strictly focused on food. With two 6 month old babies at home, I didn’t have a whole lot of free time for myself to exercise. I knew I wouldn’t be able to control when I would get a free moment to workout, but I could control the food that I ate, and that’s exactly what I did. Since then, I experimented with some Zumba classes, Pilates, Yoga, running (completed both a 5K and a Half Marathon), and I currently workout (cardio/weight training) in the evenings.
SFM: Do you have any additional advice for anyone thinking about doing the Whole30?
Amanda: Just give it a try. It’s ONLY thirty days. Anyone can do anything for 30 days, right?!
Thank you so much to Amanda for sharing your story with us! Follow Amanda on Instagram for more Whole30 inspiration!
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