Whole30: Week One

Okay, I made it.

Let's just start there and say this, I am still alive on Day 8.

This has been much easier than anticipated. Seriously. No jokes there. I think that has a lot to do with pre-established pageant-based discipline. Not that that means you can't do it if you haven't competed. But, think about it, I have gone without bagels, ice cream, and string cheese for months before. So 30 days feels...meager, in comparison.

However, it's also just not as limiting as it sounds. I thought that with the lack of sugar, and the lack of grains, I was really going to feel like WHAT CAN I EVEN EAT?! And truly, that fear really rested in what I would have for breakfast. I love oatmeal. I live for oatmeal and coffee in the mornings. But, I am surviving just fine without it.

So a couple things to know if you're thinking of tackling this in January (or, whenever.)

Prep. Prep. Prep.

Write out a grocery list, go before your 30 days even start. Look up recipes. Make a Pinterest board. Heck, if you need to print those recipes, do it. The more prep, the easier the day.

So far, I have done one grocery trip and two big cooking days. I'm headed back to the store tonight, with new recipes and ideas in hand. But I know the first 8 days would not have been so painless if it wasn't for the prep I had put in beforehand.

Learn the ropes.

Read the rules, familiarize yourself with the easiest ways to slip up - and steer clear, obviously. Know your safe foods, (Larabars literally saved me on day two.)

Know your favorite fresh fruits, and veggies, and proteins, and treat those not as punishment, or a a food you have to eat, but as your fuel. I think one of the most powerful parts of setting your mind up for this is understanding that by pressing this hard reset button, you're really giving yourself exactly what you need. 

When you only know the rules, this can feel daunting. When you say, no grains, no dairy, no sugar, no alcohol, no legumes, no MSG out loud, it sounds long and difficult. It sounds so hard.

So, really try to understand why you are doing this to yourself as well. Then the rules aren't rules, they are the steps you're taking to be better.

You will get cravings, move on.

Truthfully if you can't make it through a craving, you can't start with Whole30. This, like anything else, requires discipline. Particularly because you are detoxing from sugars and grains, it is going to suck. 

You will crave weird foods. You may want to cry because you can't have a cookie.

Move through it. Drink water. Leave the kitchen. Put down the phone.

Do something different - because you want to stick to this 30 days, and sometimes there will be cravings that make you think you can't. Walk away from it.

Understand your limits.

This one I learned yesterday. When I had a day-old migraine, a fourteen hour day, and a lot of miles to drive. I knew that I was going to need my snacks, and as much will power as I could muster. But I also knew the top two priorities were surviving the migraine, and still remaining the best Miss Vermont I could be. Whole30 was not a priority.

And a Whole30 purist will say that's wrong. Maybe if you try this, you'll think that's wrong too.

I know my body, and I know that if I had pushed myself yesterday, and not given my body the fuel and, frankly, the caffeine it needed... I wouldn't have made it. I would've been the girl pulled off at the rest stop crying into her steering wheel because it hurt so dang bad. And yes, I've been there.

Confession: I went to Starbucks. I got a tall mocha with coconut milk and a half pump of skinny mocha.

Is that the best I could have done? Probably not. Probably could've gone with a black cold brew. But you know what? I wouldn't drink it. And I still would've driven more than 2 hours down to Ludlow, and I would not have been my best when I arrived at that Rotary meeting.

So I went to Starbucks.

Then, I ate the pork at Rotary. And maybe there was sugar in the rub they used. And maybe it was marinated in maple syrup. (I honestly don't know, because I am not rude enough to ask.) But I was a guest, and I was the speaker, and I was Miss Vermont. And I sure as heck was not asking for a special meal for an elective diet.

But when I left, I ate my cashews and pineapple, and went on my merry way. I ate totally compliant for breakfast and dinner, and I drank more water than I thought I could. And I don't feel bad.

Hold on, back up, read it again.

I don't feel bad.

Because remember, I am doing Whole30 to focus on my approach to food. I am looking at fuel, not rewards. I am thinking about what is going to make me feel the best, and not just taste good in the moment. And yes, that meant I got Starbucks.

I don't think I'll be in a position to "cheat" again. I hope not anyways. But if I do, I do. I will make the educated and calculated choice if I need to. And I'll be honest about it, sure. But I'll be unapologetic as well.

Because frankly, this isn't about anyone on the internet deciding that I didn't actually complete Whole30 because of a single coffee. This one is just about me, being the best me.

If you're up for this, and what help, give a shout. If you think you will be up for it, but want to hear more, stick around. I'm pulling together a definitive list of pros and cons as I go, and I just know y'all are gonna love that.

No comments