It isn’t that I am a sceptic. I love to learn about and try new things. And I definitely appreciate all things that will make me healthier. But when I saw on social media that my friend was trying something called Whole30 I thought it was just another diet plan, cleanse, or something that was just going to make me feel like a failure because I started for a few days and gave up when my favorite cookie bakery shined its lights on me as I was innocently driving by. Or does that only happen to me? Oh ok . . . moving on. But as I watched her posts and secretly began wanting to look into what the heck she was doing, I became more and more intrigued. You see, she was saying things that really resonated with me. She mentioned that she was noticing that she was becoming forgetful, that her energy level was in the tubes no matter how much she exercised and took her supplements, and that even her skin was giving her trouble. Then I saw that she had purchased this book!
Well . . . if you know me at all (and if not, I sure hope we get to know one another better soon) I am a book worm. I will pretty much read anything I can get my hands on and if there is a book about it then it must be good, right? So I jumped into my car and hightailed it to Barnes & Noble because I couldn’t even bring myself to wait two days to get a good deal on Amazon Prime. I mean for.the.love! I needed this book!
After locating the book in the store (there was a split second that I thought they didn’t have it and I started to panic but the nice little helper guy performed a miracle and found it for me) I turned to the very first page and this is the first quote that I read. “It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.” Well folks . . . there you have it! I was put in my place in a matter of seconds and I knew I had my hands on truth that would either set me free or hold me captive. It was up to me to decide.
As I read on, the authors admitted that they know this is hard. I liked their honesty! Here is the Whole30 in a nutshell. “The Whole30 is not a diet. It’s not a quick fix. It’s not even a weight-loss program. The Whole30 is designed to change your life. It’s a monumental transformation in how you think about food, your body, your life, and what you want out of the time you have left on this earth. It’s so much bigger than just food. It’s a paradigm shift the likes of which you may only experience a few times in your whole life.”
Wow! To say that this got me thinking about how I view food and use it to “help” me function through life would be an understatement. As I journaled and reflected here are some truths about myself that I took note of.
I look at food as:
- a nuisance until I am depleted and then I want it at my disposal
- a way to “treat” myself for a job well done
- a way to reduce stress and anxiety
- a friend, companion, source of security
- a reward instead of as a source of energy and strength
Right then and there I saw a pattern. I look at food as a source of identity and look to it to provide comfort and confidence when I am weak. I have been on a journey for the past year to grow into the person that I know I am fully equipped to be so realizing this about my relationship with food caused me to stop and take notice. It is time for a change in this area in my life. What I know to be true after reading testimonies from those that have already been through the journey of Whole30 is that this process with food will change my life in so many other areas. And that my friend, really excites me!
I also started taking a hard look at how I feel most days. Here is where the rubber meets the road. I am a 5’2 40 year old mom of two boys that runs a full time business from home. In all honesty, and some of you may throw stones at this point, I haven’t ever had to really worry about my weight. My metabolism has always been good and I have been free to eat almost anything I want most of my life without gaining too much weight. But what I have noticed in the past few months is that is c.h.a.n.g.i.n.g . . . like really changing. Since I turned 40 my ability to “drop a few pounds” by not eating bread for a day or two just isn’t cutting it. That fact though, alone, hasn’t really spurred me on to make any real changes. I work out, am a runner, take good supplements, and stop eating when I am full. I hate to cook because I just don’t like taking the time to plan, prep, cook, and clean. The desire to lose a few pounds hasn’t been enough for me to make any real lasting changes in my diet. Exercise and taking good supplements were only two pieces to the puzzle. And without all of the pieces in place, the changes weren’t happening.
But I know you want me to be really honest right? Because authenticity and owning our truth is the only way that we can really make a change. Well . . . I have no willpower and give up on things such as these when I feel the least bit uncomfortable. The waitress places the basket of steaming fresh bread right in front of me, my family wants ice cream, and that silly sign from the cookie bakery is flashing at me again. And I just give in and give up! Man oh man!
When I am really honest with myself I admit that my energy level is in the tubes, my hormones rule.my.life, and my head is foggy most of the time. I forget things, am easily distracted, and feel that I “deserve” those Netflix binges because I have worked so dang hard. When really, I simply lack energy. These issues are much bigger to me than a few unwanted pounds. How can I live the life I am destined to live if these things are the truths about me? How can I serve God, my family, and others with intensity if I am lacking in energy? In all honesty, I can’t. Not to the best of my ability. And my friend, that is what I crave most (even more than snicker doodle cookies). An avenue and strength to really help others be confident in their own skin and be their authentic self without apology and to live their best life!
So I have started my Whole30 journey with these changes in my life as my focus:
- an abundance of energy
- balanced hormones that don’t control my mood and view on life
- learn to love to cook and be creative in the kitchen
- teach my boys that living a healthy life is important
- stress management
- confidence in the long term benefit versus the short term gratification
- a new love for healthy, real food
- and a testimony that helps others know they can do it too
What does the Whole30 really consist of? I continued reading and learned that cleaning up my diet and eliminating certain foods that promote unhealthy cravings and habits, disrupt my metabolism, damage my digestive tract, and burden my immune system I can let my body heal and recover from whatever ailments those foods may be causing. And then slowly and systematically, I can reintroduce those foods and pay attention to how they are impacting me and then create the perfect plan for me for the long term.
I am on day five my friends and I can say that I am feeling good. I am just getting started but as I keep my focus on WHY I am doing it and keep my eyes off weight loss or the outcome I am able to take each day as it comes with positivity and motivation to own the day!
After a couple of days I knew I needed the first book that really explained the entire science and plan for the Whole30. It Starts With Food is pretty amazing and I think you need it too. It will give you a clear understanding of why the foods we eat effect us the way that they do. Alright my friends. I challenge you to dive into Whole30 if anything I have said speaks to you. This journey is one we can all go on together! Please leave me a comment if you have questions or found this info helpful for you.