Here we are – 30 days later at journey’s end…or is it really just the beginning?
Without a doubt, this has not only been my most successfully completed Whole30, but my healthiest as well. Instead of beating myself into compliance, instead of overcommitting and burning out, instead of tracking calories and monitoring weight-loss (no matter how many times the guidelines of this program say not to), this time around, I strived to live the Whole30 day by day. I understood that I wasn’t coming from a threatening place – a place of deprivation or punishment. Instead I came to learn, to explore, and in doing so, I achieved so much more.
I’ve completed other Whole30s and not gotten anything out of it. I lost weight or inches, sure – but those results always fluctuated and disappeared in just the handful of weeks that followed. I was missing the lasting achievement – the better understanding of myself in relation to food.
Like most people, I have had far too many sagas in the journey towards repairing my relationship with food. Food is something I have turned to for comfort. It is something I have delighted in for celebration. I have utilized it to numb emotional pain, and I have used it to provoke feeling. I have loved food for the unique experiences it’s awarded me, and I have hated food for the power I’ve allowed it to hold over me.
For this particular Whole30, I cannot tell you the amount of weight I lost. I cannot confirm the inches that have fallen away or the pant sizes that have dropped. I do not know the daily average of my caloric intake, and I have no idea how many oz of chicken were in my dinner last Tuesday night. I cannot tell you these data-points because I simply did not track any of it. For the very first time in my life, weight-loss was not the sole catalyst for me following a particular nutritional program. I can’t begin to tell you the amount of freedom that one simple truth has provided me. There was no pressure – no stress. No concern that if I didn’t drop X number of pounds that these 30 days would be deemed wasted, unsuccessful, or simply not “good enough.”
This time around, I was free to enjoy the utter simplicity of my meals. Should your journey with food resemble anything near mine, you might understand how utterly mind-blowing the uncomplicated joy of serving a plate free of judgement, despair, or guilt would be.
I understand that the Whole30 isn’t for everyone. I understand that certain people would not benefit from the program’s strict guidelines or societal pressures. I would never push anyone to complete a Whole30 who wasn’t already 90% sure of wanting to do so – because in those inevitable moments of facing temptation, it’s solely up to that individual to choose to strive towards completing one more day out of 30. I cannot want it for someone else – they have to want it for themselves.
I hear the critiques of the program, and I understand where certain statements have enough footing worth being discussed. However, for 30 days, to turn your attention to eating whole, unprocessed ingredients…well, that only sounds like only a major win to me. You cannot discredit those good intentions by proclaiming that it’s since been proven that our ancestors used to eat termites. As far as I’m aware, the goal of the Whole30 was never to be more like our ancestors. The goal of the Whole30 is to simplify enough in order to center and build structure from within.
I am amazed at how much I have grown in just 30 days. My skin is glowing and my energy is level. I am sleeping better than I have in years, and my appetite/cravings are not running wild. Despite not knowing exact numbers, I know my weight has shifted because my clothes are fitting differently. I can tell that all the extra oils and nutritional fats have aided with the hydration of my skin, nails, and hair.
I also know my immune system has become impenetrable because during my 2nd week at my new job, I watched as a vicious cold tore through my office. The person it hit the hardest shares my desk, computer and phone. I spent two days susceptible to those germs and I never once picked up the bug. I not only feel amazing, I feel indestructible.
So where do I go from here? Do I intend to stay Whole 30 for a Whole45? 60? 90?
The short and obvious answer is of course, “no.” I do not intend to maintain a diet of such strict guidelines, but I do intend to stay true to a lot of them.
I know my body performs better without dairy, gluten or sugar. I’m remarkably good at keeping sugar out of my diet, but gluten and dairy remain slippery slopes. Aside from truly special occasions in which I choose to indulge, I know maintaining a dairy and gluten-free lifestyle will benefit me greatly. I also intend to keep up the practice of adding greens and veggies to every. single. meal. It’s something I’ve been known to be a little slack on when not paying attention, but I’ve now witnessed just how beneficial those nutrients are when consumed regularly.
All that said…I miss wine. I cannot wait to have a comforting glass or two ready at the willing. I don’t mean to sound like a “booze-hound.” I intend to drink responsibly, but sometimes nothing beats a relaxing glass of red wine. Along with that…rice. Good lord how I miss rice. I plan to re-introduce it slowly, but I am beyond excited to have a starch other than sweet potatoes available for use.
So there you have it – the round up of my 30 days. Thank you so much for going on this adventure with me. Having the support from my friends and readers truly made the entire experience so much easier.
Are there any Whole30 based questions you have for me? Anything you would like me to clarify or elaborate on? Reach out via my contact form here. I’d be happy to describe the program in more detail or even provide recipe/meal recommendations.
Also – to any of you who don’t currently follow me on Instagram – allow me to kindly suggest a) that you do, and b) that you also subscribe to my monthly newsletter by following the link here. My newsletters always include exciting news and exclusive content, but for this month in particular, I am gearing up to announce something really special. If you would like a sneak peak and to be in on the main action for when the big news officially drops, don’t forget to follow that link and subscribe!
Until next time…