When Lindsay Tigar was 25 years old, she suffered an injury during a half-marathon, and her physical therapist told her she had to stop running. Since running had always been Lindsay's exercise of choice, she was devastated. After staying sedentary for several months, she gained 20 pounds and experienced heartburn during almost every meal.
She decided things needed to change. She and her roommate embarked on the Whole30 plan together, a clean eating program that helps you identify food sensitivities.
>> Read more: This Plan Helped Hundreds of Women Lose Weight for Good
Tigar stopped eating gluten, dairy, refined guar, alcohol, legumes and processed foods, and instead incorporated foods like meat, vegetables, fruits and some nuts into her diet. She says the first seven days of the plan felt like a "perpetual hangover." She craved cheese and sugar and felt more lethargic than ever.
A photo posted by latigar (@latigar) on Jul 11, 2015 at 8:05am PDT
But once she got over that hump, things started to turn around. Her energy levels perked up and she noticed her clothes fitting a little better. By the end of the 30 days, she was down 18 inches and 11 pounds.
Soon after, she discovered boxing class — an intense workout she struggled with but loved because it was so empowering. Once the weight started falling off, she was more confident in joining new fitness classes, and her workout routine consisted of boxing, boot camp, HIIT and hot yoga. She went from exercising two times per week to almost every day.
A photo posted by latigar (@latigar) on Sep 7, 2016 at 5:04pm PDT
After the Whole30 ended, Tigar realized she wasn't craving anything too ridiculous. "I'll never forget the time I went out with one of my friends to celebrate this 30-day feat and it didn't even occur to me to reach for the bread basket on our table," she told Women's Health.
In fact, almost a year later, she still makes and enjoys Whole30 recipes, but she also isn't hard on herself when she eats more carbs or fried foods than Whole30 allows.
>> Read more: 18 Easy and Delicious Whole30 Recipes
Whole30 helped Tigar realize that she was pretty sensitive to dairy. "These days, I rarely eat dairy and am almost never bloated," she said.
A photo posted by latigar (@latigar) on Mar 12, 2016 at 12:46pm PST
Changing her diet helped Tigar avoid cravings. She says she eats clean 80 percent of the time, and over the course of a year lost 25 pounds and went from a size 14 to size 4. She even says that her bra size went from an E cup to a C cup. Plus, she says she has abs for the first time in her life!
She says maintaining that weight loss is all about balance, and having realistic expectations for yourself. "I'm strong, I can kick it in intermediate boxing, nail a yoga headstand, and still have some dairy-free ice cream every once in a while," Tigar says. "You have to be your own super fan, and that means letting yourself live a full life."