Halfway through Whole30…and still going!

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,

Ash xo

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