Near the end of last year, I knew I had to make a change. With the wedding, honeymoon and holidays, I had my fair share of indulging. I was always interested in trying Whole30 because of how extreme the program is (no grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol, sugar, at all, for 30 days) and I sure love a good challenge. I’m lucky because my husband wanted to join me on this journey so we got to do it together, which is always more fun than solo.
Today, I finished Whole30!
I feel awesome! Seriously. You know what’s funny? When I first started, I was annoyed by the things I couldn’t eat because it felt like I was playing by someone else’s rules. I don’t like someone telling me what I can and cannot eat and I really don’t like when people tell me that things I thought were healthy, are actually bad for me. After I got past some of that initial stubbornness, I read the book that goes with the program, It Starts With Food. I think it really helped me to understand why certain foods make me feel bad and others make me feel good. You see, I workout all the time. I have set routines that were designed by a personal trainer, I go to Barre3, I do yoga, I lift, I run and it seems like no matter what, I was missing something. I remember my trainer telling me once
“Fitness starts in the kitchen”.
I thought that meal prep seemed extreme and only something that body builders did. I mean, I figured that I was eating fine: I never overeat, I don’t grab a bagel or muffin in the morning, I hate fast food and my splurges were usually once a week for tacos and margaritas. As I continued the Whole30 program, I learned that I had A LOT to learn. One thing that stuck with me in the book is probably the most popular quote:
“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.”
Dealing with Boredom
There were a few days where I was just bored. Bored of eating eggs in the morning, bored of cooking, bored of doing dishes and bored of the same thing. Every. Single. Day. John and I tried to fill our time on the weekends with things we’d never done before, which was actually pretty fun. We went ice skating the first Friday night. Yeah, like, skate party, ice skating with all of the non-drinking teeny-boppers on a Friday night. We laughed at the beginning about being older than some of the parents that dropped their kids off to skate but when we got out on the ice, we had a great time circling around and trying not to fall down.
Another weekend, we had a date night at a fancy steakhouse and ordered filet mignon with roasted carrots and steamed broccoli, cooked with olive oil only. I was being a big baby about not having a glass of red to enjoy with it and not being able to order a cup of bisque to start but when I took my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious my plain healthy meal really was. For some reason, I felt the need to keep up with the same stubborn attitude through the last bite, although I really did enjoy our date night dinner. (sorry John)
One major thing I noticed during Whole30 is how slow time passes. I’m telling you, you think your life is whizzing by, try Whole30 for a month and see how slow those weeks go. Sure there are days of boredom and complete annoyance, but overall, the positive effects far outweigh the negative.
The Final Days and Positive Effects
By the last week, you know how I felt? Excited. Relieved. Energized. But not for the reasons you might think. I’m not excited to eat pancakes or relieved that it’s over. I’m actually excited to continue with this lifestyle. I’m relieved that my stomach doesn’t hurt every night. I now understand what I’m putting in my body and why. I’m energized! I’m focused, my mind is clear. I feel great. No highs and lows, no cravings, no crashes. I’m content, all the time. My workouts are meaningful. I’m sleeping soundly. I used to wake up several times in the middle of the night but now? I sleep straight through for nine or more hours… it’s crazy! My body is happy about my new healthy food choices, and even after all the griping about food prep on the weekends, I actually enjoyed learning so many new recipes and cooking meals with John. I can taste everything! Fruit is crazy sweet, vegetables are so savory. Alcohol is not even on my mind. Ever. If I want to relax, splurge and go all out, I bake sweet potato fries in coconut oil, crack open a Kombucha and lay on the couch watching Netflix. Whoa! Slow down there party animal…
So now you might be thinking “Thanks Janine for bragging about all of your great habits, while I’m over here with three kids, two jobs and no time to read a book about health, let alone spend a couple hours a day cooking and cleaning.” I’m sorry. I’m not trying to make you feel like crap. I know you’re busy. We all are if we want to be. So, it’s up to you.
If you want to make a change and take massive action to change your perspective on healthy eating, give it a shot. You don’t have anything to lose but some lbs, baby! Going forward, I’ve decided that this is going to be my standard. I will make healthy choices when it comes to eating out and you better believe I’ll be adopting these recipes into my weekly dinner cycle. I’ll continue weekly meal planning (future post with more details about this), Sunday meal prep (and this), Paleo-style eating and limited liquid calories. Because I have actually enjoyed life without them. And you know what? Life is what you make it.
Be present and enjoy today!
- Everything you need to know: Whole30.com
- Official Whole30 Book: It Starts With Food
- Coming Soon: The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom
- Need more convincing?: 30 Reasons to do a Whole30
Tips and Recipes from Bloggers: