As cliche as it sounds, my husband and I joined the masses in making some New Year’s Resolutions. Not surprisingly, after having two children, one of my top priorities was to get into better shape (read: try to lose the rest of my “baby weight”!). I had just received a few inspiring cookbooks for Christmas, and one of them happened to be the Whole30 guidebook. We decided to try out a few of the recipes to spice up our menu repertoire, and we were pretty impressed that a meal could taste pretty awesome without any added grains, dairy or sweeteners…so we decided to take the Whole30 plunge.
If you are not familiar with Whole30, it’s not a diet per se (the primary goal is not to lose weight) but a way of resetting your nutrition; not just what you put on your plate, but how you think about food and associate with food. For 3o days, your body has a chance to heal from foods that cause a negative impact on your hormones, immune system, and digestion. In addition, it breaks the cycle of habitual eating; those cravings that throw all resolutions and weight-loss goals out the window and create a vicious guilt-stress-comfort cycle of eating. This is a life-changing program, my friends.
But here’s the catch: life-changing also means crazy challenging! In the past 14 days, I have experienced the following thoughts and emotions:
“This is a breeze”,
“this is annoying”,
“all I want to do is sleep”,
“all I want to do is eat a sandwich”,
“I am sooooo tired of eggs”,
“I am soooo bored with this”,
“Going to birthday parties with pizza and cake SUCK”,
“We can do this…if we hibernate”
“This is a breeze”
“Just give me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! No wait! A big bowl of Kraft dinner! No wait! Ice cream! No wait! A donut! No…wait….”
“Feeling good. We can do this!”
As you can see, it’s been a roller-coaster! I have found the hardest part is not snacking/eating in response to boredom/exhaustion/stress. It has opened my eyes to how dependent I am on food to fix or improve things! Have you ever questioned the source of your sudden appetite when you sit down to watch a movie with your hubby? Ever noticed how you pick at your kids’ food when they don’t finish their meals? Ever “reward” yourself with a latte from Starbucks on a difficult day? Welcome to my world; I figured we ate fairly healthy as a family, eating organic and all but eliminating processed food and junk food, but I got stuck trying to lose the last of my “baby weight” and always struggled with guilt after having the odd treat.
Friends, I can so far say that, as difficult as this is, I am gonna stick this program out to the end….not just to prove to myself that I can see a difficult challenge through, but because I believe in this program more than any other “diet” out there. Overhauling my emotional relationship with food has been the key to true health for me; I have never felt so energetic (from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed; goodbye afternoon sluggishness!) and so clear-headed! My stomach and “love handles” have shrunk significantly, without any change in exercise routine (admittedly I haven’t even done anything except go for a few walks outside), and my skin has cleared up and has a certain “glow” to it (according to some of my friends). I also have noticed that, since my mind is not constantly preoccupied with food (what are we having to eat next? What do I feel like snacking on?), I have been so much more productive! No more mood swings or energy crashes either!
I will check back in another two weeks, but I would encourage all Mamas to check this program out, especially if you feel like you are in a “rut” with your body….it is not for the faint of heart, and it definitely requires you to plan your meals ahead of time, but the benefits are astounding!
Continuing the journey,