Throwing Shade

Crossfit and the Chinese buffet: How Whole 30 changed my life

Justin Mitchell and meal-prep queen Kristin Grizzard
Justin Mitchell and meal-prep queen Kristin Grizzard

I love working out at my Crossfit gym, but I also really loved the Chinese buffet. At 272 pounds, I was considered obese, and I was super unhealthy even though I was at the gym five times per week.

I was excelling during workouts, but I couldn't give up food. I can barely boil and egg, and there have been times when I almost caught my apartment on fire trying to microwave a Hot Pocket. I've never been one to cook meals or eat leftovers, so I relied on fast food and restaurants to feed my eating habits.

Last month, I was tired of seeing 270 pounds on the scale. My skin was terrible, I had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. If I didn't take my medicine, I felt like I was sweating to death. I knew I needed a change, but I didn't know what to do to get some of the weight off.

I wasn't depressed or anything, but I didn't like the way I looked naked. I was determined to turn that around.

My friends Kristin and Rachael were tagging photos of awesome-looking food with #Whole30, and they both lost weight and inches in a month. I was intrigued, but I knew cooking would be a disaster for me. I called Kristin, who can make a gourmet dish out of anything, and asked her about the diet plan. For less than what I spent each week on dining out, she would prepare 10 meals for me to just heat and eat. She advised me what snacks I could have while doing #Whole30.

I started one month ago. I haven't had soda, grains, alcohol, dairy products or processed foods in 30 days. I've been working out as I normally would, and I've been eating Kristin's meals as well as snacks such as turkey, ham, fruit and almond butter. I even went to restaurants a few times and found things on the menu that I could eat.

With no diet pills or shakes or wraps, I lost 30 pounds in 30 days. My cholesterol is near perfect, and my blood pressure was normal Tuesday morning. My skin is clear, and all of my clothes are loose. My chubby cheeks are now just a little round.

Being on a strict diet flat out sucks. The first week, my head pounded because I was detoxing from diet soda. I dreamed about Oreos, Taco Bell and pizza. There were several times where I just wanted to break down and eat a cheeseburger and bacon cheese fries, but I ate an apple and almond butter.

My friends were super supportive. They would text me all the time and encourage me and only invite me to restaurants where they knew I could find something to eat on the menu. Kristin catered to my picky eating habits and often changed meals to fit to my taste.

Today, I feel like a million bucks even though I'm not exactly where I want to be yet. I still love Crossfit, and I still love the Chinese buffet, but I love my health more. After a four-day break, I'm starting round two of Whole 30 to get to my goal weight.

Stay tuned.