The end of a new beginning…

To sum it up:

So, as you may know, I have been doing the Whole 30 Challenge over the past month…and believe it or not…today is DAY 30.  WHAT? How the crap did time fly so fast? Seriously….it FLEW by!!! I wanted to share with y’all some of the things I have struggled with, learned,and achieved over these past 30 days.

Now…I’ll be really honest…I have a lump in my throat as I try to put the words together to even describe these past 30 days, because they have completely changed my life!  But don’t worry…I’m gonna try not to go all “emo” on you!! 🙂

As most of you know….because it’s mostly what I blog about…. I have struggled with my weight, food addiction and self-esteem for most of my life.  I have TRIED to overcome this is numerous ways.  You name it…I’ve probably been there, done that, and got the free t-shirt.  Weight watchers…FAIL.  Health Club…FAIL.  HcG…MAJOR FAIL. Overeaters anonymous…FAIL.  Adkins….FAIL.  Calorie counting…mostly FAIL.  The Shaker Weight..just kidding.  But, with the history I have going with fad diets and failed attempts to “get healthy” I was terrified that the Whole 30 would be another one to add to my list.  Another failure to feel ashamed about.  Another reason to pity myself.  Another diet that wasn’t for me.  However….this one is different.   After 30 days of no sugar, grain, legumes, alcohol, or processed food I can passionately say that paleo IS for me.Because I am a lister…and that’s how I roll…


  1. For the first time since I can remember….I feel in control.
  2. Cravings for sweets and carbs that sued to literally consume my thoughts…don’t anymore.
  3. I feel better about myself than I have since I can remember.
  4. Doing the Whole 30 Challenge has helped me learn how to cook and prepare meals.  MIRACLE.
  5. I could live on avocados and beef…forever.
  6. The extra money that we spend eating clean is saved by not eating out.
  7. Going to the farmer’s market with my hubby on Saturday mornings is way fun.  Something we started this month.
  8. I feel like I am coming so much closer to understanding the concept of “Eating to Live not Living to Eat.”
  9. The guidelines and rules of the challenge were comforting and safe.  The challenge being over is kinda sad to me for this reason.
  10. This has been an emotional transformation for me just as much or more than a physical one.
  11. I have realized that it can actually feel good to pass on something yummy. i.e. molten chocolate cake at Chili’s.  I actually didn’t die as I watched my friends indulge. 🙂
  12. When I walk through the grocery store now…the fruits and veggies excite me more than the candy and sweets.  MIRACLE.
  13. Chase and I spend so much more time together cooking and enjoying each others company.
  14. My energy levels have improved significantly.  I no longer experience the severe energy plummet in the late afternoons.
  15. Recovery after a hard workout has improved.
  16. I often find myself thinking about how my dedication to the Whole 30 is the beginning of a priceless gift I will someday give my children.  A mom that is health conscious.
  17. Being dedicated for 30 days, I have proven to myself that I have the strength and will power to overcome any craving or temptation that comes my way i.e. wedding, showers, birthday parties, ice cream socials at work, eating out with friends etc.
  18. I love my some water now.  Powerade Zero, sweet peach tea, diet coke…you are dead to me. Another MIRACLE.
  19. I do miss me some cheese!!!!!
  20. Chase and I packed our house and moved without getting off the plan.  I can do this anytime, anywhere.
  21. I am really thankful to my family and friends that have been so supportive.
  22. I have found some really cool blogs that have great recipes and info about paleo.  Check them out on my sidebar.
  23. My skin blemishes haven’t improved much since I started. That I’m kinda bummed about.  I guess I’ll try showering now. 😉
  24. Eating this way has become second nature.
  25. I don’t feel like I am crossing a finish line now that I am at the end of the Whole 30.  It was more like a warm-up lap. 🙂
  26. Understanding more about why I eliminated the foods I did during the challenge helped me make the choices even more easily.
  27. Talking with friends about my journey is awesome.  I know that I am not the only woman in the world with these struggles!
  28. The weight loss has been nice.  I’m starting to fit into clothes I haven’t been able to wear in a while.  So get up off me if I’m not necessarily dressing “in style”.  And…don’t try to tell me you don’t have a pair of high school jeans you try on periodically. 😉
  29. Having an awesome support system in my Crossfit coach Kristin has made all the difference.  I would have never done the challenge had she not introduced the idea to me.  I would probably be eating McDonald’s this very moment if not for her.  So thankful! 🙂
  30. For me to turn back to old habits now would be the stupidest thing I could ever do.  This is working for me.  This feeling I have now is better than anything I could ever, have ever, or will ever put in my mouth.  I’m not giving it up!

The Weight Loss Results:

In 30 days I lost….14.5 lbs

The Plan:

I plan to keep doing what I have been doing on the Whole 30.  I know if I don’t set guidelines and rules for myself though that I probably cannot be trusted.  At this point and I am planning on eating strict paleo Monday-Friday and if I chose to on Saturday and Sunday have 1 meal with something non-paleo.  The funny thing is…I don’t even want to do that at this point.  I remember thinking on day 5 or 6 how I was going to HOUSE a large pizza at the end of this.  That’s not important to me anymore.  Me and Chase did reward ourselves however with this bad baby….
That’s right.  A box of Island Coconut Coffee is in the mail also.  SO EXCITED!
Anywho…that pretty much sums it up for me and the Whole 30.  No regrets.  It changed my life.  Now I’m a believer! 🙂

About Jenni Riley

Hey! My name is Jenni Riley. I live in Abilene, Texas with my kick-A husband, Chase, and our two boxers Romo and Ruby (who are the coolest dogs on the FACE of the world)! I work in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and love it! Love my family, and love my friends that have become family. I love to be creative and crafty. My specialties are furniture and stationary. I sometimes suffer from diarrhea of the mouth when I find myself in awkward situations. I have a poor self-esteem when it comes to my body, but I’m pretty good at hiding it to most people. My close friends and husband would disagree. I love God and love people, and I am searching for peace and fulfillment….everyday. I am writing this blog as a way to share my journey with others that are on the same journey as I am. I am working toward a life of healthy eating and exercising. My main motivator is my desire to be a good example for my “in the future” children. I don’t want to pass along my horrible relationship with food and disdain for exercise to them. I hope my blog can be of some encouragement to someone, somewhere. And even if it’s not…it’s therapeutic for me to process my feelings that are so easy to bury…with food!

10 responses »

  1. Jenni — this is too awesome for words! And we absolutely love our Keurig — I”m sure you will too! Congratulations!!!!!!!!

  2. Holy Crap Jenni!!!!!!! I am sooooooooo beyond belief proud of you!!! What an accomplishment!!!! You did it!!! I’m seriously so impressed and proud of you. I teared up reading about your transformation. You so deserve this! Love you tons!


  3. jenni! way to go!! danny did it too! But unlike you…haha…he did order the large pizza on day 31! haha! but he admits it did change “his cravings” … so proud of you!

  4. Jenny you are an inspiration! I have been so afraid to commit to changing my eating habits and even more afraid of working out since I hurt my shoulder. I’m tired of feeling discouraged about my injury and comforting myself with chocolate, Dr. Pepper, and of course a DVD so I can sit on my butt while I stuff my face! I have been watching myself put back on weight that I had worked very hard to get off, and battling with the failure of it all within myself. I spent the last 2 months pouting about the success I WAS seeing just before I got hurt, and angry over the fear of getting hurt again…I have avoided the gym like the plague and gone back to all my old eating habits and I feel like junk!! Reading your blog has been uplifting and enlightening…I am not the only one that struggles and has fear, and I CAN conquer these fears if I just stick with it…I keep trying to convince myself this, but failing to really believe it. I think that reading your blog has finally convinced me!! Thank you for being an inspiration to me at a time when I have truly been at my lowest!! Tomorrow morning I am going to set new goals….starting with getting my lazy rear back in the gym…injury or no injury I will not give up. If I have to I’ll put my doctor on speed dial for Cortisone shots!!! Because nothing can possibly feel worse than the emotional roller coaster I’ve put myself through the last two months. Jenni, God may have used my gym to help you, but He used you to renew my strength!!! THANKS!! You are a blessing to CFB and we will miss you when you’re gone….

    • Brandy,

      I’m really glad that my experiences and struggles can be of some encouragement to you!!! And I’m glad that you know you are SO NOT ALONE in the battle. Even since the end of the challenge I have struggled to keep my focus and to get into the gym. (the long drive kills me). So here I am making excuses again when I should be recovering from this mornings workout. This is what makes CFB so unique and amazing to me. Being strong and encouraging to one another when we need it!!!! Keep working hard and loving yourself enough to put your health FIRST! You will not regret it! 🙂

      Thanks for your sweet words. I’m going to miss everyone at CFB more than you could possibly know. 😦

  5. Congrats Jenni. You are proof that anyone can change their life if they really want to. Proud of you and keep up the awesome work. Wish I could have a big OHS like you.


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