NSV... what is it, and is there a vaccine for it?
NSV... another Whole30 term I knew nothing about in the beginning of my journey. In fact, I had done four Whole30's and read a lot about it before I learned what NSV meant. While I didn't know the meaning of the acronym, I was certainly familiar with the concept. NSV stands for Non Scale Victories. If you have ever done a complete Whole30, you are familiar with NSVs, victories beyond the scale, victories that have nothing to do with weight loss, victories that are too many to count and perhaps more important than measurements or the number on the scale.
During my first Whole30, one of the most significant NSVs that I experienced was mental clarity. In my forties, I had experienced major brain fog. I had a difficult time concentrating long enough to even read a book or watch a movie. I had always been a Sunday school teacher, but I couldn't concentrate to prepare a lesson. Any time I listened to a lecture of any kind, even something I was interested in, I had a difficult time focusing until it ended. About three weeks into Whole30, I distinctly remember sitting in church and listening. I listened to every word that was said. I actively listened without even trying. From that point on, I have noticed it across the board. I read again. I watch movies. I listen to lectures. Bye bye brain fog.
In my second month of Whole30, I noticed distinct differences in my senses. My taste buds had especially changed. A barely ripe strawberry tasted so sweet and delicious. Who could even desire a sugar laden dessert? All of the flavors in my basically unseasoned food seemed to come alive in a way that I had never experienced. My eye sight even improved. I needed a vision screening, and my far away vision was 20/15 in both eyes at almost 50 years of age. Eye sight isn't supposed to improve with age, right? I am still in need of reading glasses... but still! My sense of touch was also heightened. It seemed that my body had rid itself of all the junk and stripped my senses until they were at their peak! That's good stuff!
Many people report NSVs that are health related. I had horrible asthma and allergies, requiring daily medication for years. This may sound unbelievable, but I have not taken allergy medication since I began Whole30. I really don't remember sneezing for a year and a half. I still carry a rescue inhaler for asthma emergencies, but I never have to use it. I have run three half marathons in the last year, plus several other shorter races, and I never need to use my inhaler. I had the kind of asthma that landed me in the ER numerous times. It seems to be gone.
The most exciting NSV for me has been my energy level. For about seven years, I lost the pep in my step. I had always been an exerciser, but I had stopped. I tried to jump back on the wagon, but I never had enough stamina to stay on the wagon even for a second day. Exercise was discouraging and painful, so I just stopped. Three weeks into my first Whole30, I woke up one day and just like Forrest, I felt like running. And so I ran that day. And I ran the next day. And the next and the next and the next. And then I began running in the mornings and taking a long walk with my dog in the evenings. A few months later, I mustered up the courage to go to a hot yoga class. One year and a half later, I exercise six days a week, sometimes twice a day... not because "I feel like I have to." Not so "I can eat." I exercise because I feel so good that I want to exercise. I enjoy it. I know that if someone had said that to me back when I was in my 'funk,' I would have hated her... and that may be how you're feeling about me right now. I couldn't say this unless I had been where you are right now. But I am living proof that no matter how exhausted and fatigued you are, you can change that. Change your eating.
There are many other NSVs that people report: lower cholesterol, drastic decrease in inflammation and joint pain, symptoms of autoimmune diseases disappear, lower blood pressure, better sleep, more efficient digestive function... the list is never ending. Others report more cosmetic NSVs like: shinier hair, clearer skin, stronger fingernails... I could talk all day about the wonderful things that people experience. Everyone's journey is different.
Try Whole30 and tell us what your NSVs are!
It's truly live changing. You'll never know until you try.