The 30/30 Challenge at Body Balance Fitness, Nutrition, and Massage

Man and women showing fitness and health joy jumping at the beach.

Body Balance Fitness, Nutrition, and Massage co-owners John and Kristi were jumping for joy after their Whole30 experience.

At Body Balance Fitness, Nutrition, and Massage, we promote holistic well-being, with equal parts movement, healthy eating and drinking, and deep rejuvenation. We love a healthy challenge, and we’ve got over 20 Body Balance clients joining us for the first Body Balance 30/30 Challenge.

For 30 days, all participants are embarking on the famous Whole30 program and coupling that with at least 30 minutes of movement each day. But why?

The Origins of the Body Balance 30/30 Challenge

Earlier this year, out of curiosity and to fine-tune their own nutrition habits, Body Balance co-owners John and Kristi decided to try out the Whole30 program. They’d heard good feedback from others who’d tried it, and they’d done their research.

John’s motivation to go Whole30 was fueled in part because “I wanted to find out how my insides were doing.”

“Whole30 sounded interesting,” John continues. John like it because it’s not a “diet” in the traditional unsustainable, depriving sense of that term; importantly, too, it’s not a diet in the sense that the focus is not on losing weight. What it is, is a highly disciplined healthy eating regime.

Particularly appealing were the aspects of this being a cleanse, an elimination diet, and that it claimed to help lower inflammation.

“We wanted to know if the claims held up,” says John. “So we decided to test it on ourselves.”

What Is This Challenge?

As the name implies, the Whole30 program promotes eating whole foods—that is, steering clear of processed or preprepared foods—for 30 days. The closer something is to its natural form, the better. The program also removes many food types you might consider healthy.

As stated on the Whole30 website, what this looks like in stark terms is cutting out the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Sugar
  • Legumes
  • Dairy
  • Grains

You’re also not to eat foods containing carrageenan (a seaweed-derived extract used in manufactured foods), MSG, or sulfites.

In the spirit of this not being a weight loss–focused program, you’re not to weigh yourself during the 30 days.

So what can you eat? As stated on the website, here are the “yes” foods:

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Natural fats
  • Natural herbs, spices, seasonings

To get more details about Whole30, their website provides clear explanatory information.

John and Kristi’s Journey

Going into their 30 days, John and Kristi were well aware of the habits they wanted to reset: “Kristi knew her challenge would be salty snacks and wine,” says John. “And my go-to is sweets.”

Throughout the journey, the dedicated duo tracked their eating, mood, physical changes, and what they were eliminating (yes, they tracked their poop; I know, it sounds gross, but the quality and frequency of one’s elimination is a clear indicator of one’s well-being).

Within the first three to five days, Kristi experienced headaches, which she attributed to detoxing, especially from the sugars of wine. John felt his own longing for sugar, which helped him tune into how addictive that sweetness is.

Once past those first five days, however, the couple began to feel much better.

“We noticed a mental clarity, our skin was better, and the whites of our eyes were brighter,” says John. “We also noticed that the cravings for sugar and alcohol started to diminish, especially after about seven, eight days.”

By week two, another interesting challenge arose: the diet began to impact John and Kristi’s socializing. Most of their friendly get-togethers involved non-Whole30 foods and alcohol. Not partaking in these delights served up temptation and a feeling of not participating, not joining in the fun of the occasion.

But by week three, they’d settled into the routine and the program began to feel easy. By the final week, “there was no issue,” says John.

Kristi and John felt great—and that was reflected in the, yes, gross to talk about, but very important indicator of regular and healthy eliminations. “I was blown away by the changes,” says John. “Especially by what was being eliminated. OK, I’ll say it: I was amazed by the great pooping!”

Checking in on the Body Balance 30/30 Challenge

We checked in at the one-week point of the Body Balance 30/30 Challenge.

The 22 enthusiastic participants are using the power of the group to help fuel motivation. One participant noted that accountability was an appealing aspect of this pursuit.

Through group texts, they report when they’ve completed their daily thirty minutes of movement.

“Participants are sharing recipes and really supporting each other,” notes John. “People are hanging out, strengthening this healthy community. This has become a regular dialog.”

The challenges John and Kristi originally faced are shared this by group, with eliminating alcohol and sugar being among the most common hurdles. Aware of the temptations presented at social gatherings, many participants have decided to curtail food-and-wine–centered events.

Surprisingly though, some participants are finding that they don’t miss foods they thought they would, that it’s easier than they anticipated.

And changes are noticeable. One participant did notice feeling tired in the evenings, and a bit irritable, but also feeling full longer so not snacking as much, and enjoying the new recipes. Among reported improvements are better sleep, feeling stronger, afternoon slumps being less noticeable, and a greater motivation to move every day.

Join Us for 30/30 Part II

We’ll check in with the 30/30 Challenge team after their 30 days have passed to find out how everyone fared, and what they’re taking away from the experience. We’ll post the results here, so please return.

At Body Balance, we’re always looking for ways to support people in their healthy pursuits and build community around wellness. We welcome you to join us.

 

Cherie Turner

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