Whole 30 Day 12

I thought I’d have so much more time to sit and write about my Whole 30 experience this month and it’s already Day 12! Time is going by quicker than I feared, but not because the Whole 30 plan is “no big deal.” It’s taken a lot of effort, daily, if not hourly, but it’s now becoming a new normal. And more importantly, it’s giving me the time and space I needed to give to so many other things!

The Whole 30 timeline shares that the first 10 days are the hardest with ups and downs and all kinds of physical and emotional symptoms being normal. In the first week, I found that I was slightly more emotional, momentarily moody, and also very motivated to commit to this plan. I’m actually not someone who enjoys, or even encourages, short-term detoxes, diets, or extreme programs that strongly veer away from normal life.

Typically, after a week travel or of celebrating, I’ll take a few days off from alcohol and eating out. Since my diet is full of healthy, whole foods, and I am happy with my eating habits, I don’t experiment with trendy diets or detoxes. But the Whole 30 brought up an additional level of accountability and even emotional cleansing that I was truly craving deep down.

After 3-4 days of just “figuring out WTF I’ve gotten myself into,” I started to really settle into my Whole 30 ways (trust me, you have to read ingredients lists, you have to prepare your meals, and you have to map out your week). I had very minor physical symptoms, which was good, and I found the meal ideas, recipes, shopping lists, and guides to be very easy to apply to my lifestyle.

NOTE: I have not. Been. Hungry.

Trust me when I tell you that Whole 30 is NOT a diet for weight loss (even though, for a lot of people, based on their current habits, it’s VERY LIKELY you’ll drop significant weight while ON this plan, just because #math). Also, I did not start my program to lose weight. I am confident my weight has maintained, my energy and focus has greatly improved, and my motivation to do so much more in a day has been my favorite side effect so far.

I wanted to complete this program because I’m going to support others to do it in the future (so obviously I need to practice this a few times on my own). I’m adding Whole 30 support to my practice as an option for people who want to improve their relationships with food and to better understand how and why what we eat has such a significant impact on how we look and feel.

I also wanted to complete it as a “challenge” to myself. I’m not good at “cutting back” on things like wine and chocolate, so committing to a plan like this with specific rules and supporting over 150 members in my free Facebook Community Group this month was enough to make me stick to it!

I have to move through any moments of cravings, or “want” of things that are off-plan. Does chocolate sound good? Do I want a bite of my son’s mac n cheese? Does someone else’s glass of wine look incredible right now? Am I stressed about a difficult conversation? Am I avoiding working on a certain project or email? NONE of those thoughts are reason to eat something that is off-plan. I just don’t. I’m not going to say that I “can’t,” but right now, I’m choosing not to.

I literally have ONLY ONE CHOICE, to go do something else. I can workout, I can walk, I can be on my phone, I can do laundry, I can work more, I can go make some art, I can pay some bills, I can read a book, I can hang with my family...I can DO ANYTHING ELSE. But once my meal is finished, I’m full, I’m satisfied, and the dishes are done, there is no snacking. There is no dessert. There is no need to touch any of my previous habits and it’s time to move on. And it’s all going to be ok.

That concept is what MANY Americans are lacking. Excuses and foods that aren’t ideal for our health are EVERYWHERE and we make it so easy to grab and go. We revolve many social gatherings and events around eating and drinking. We snack for any reason under the sun. And none of it is necessary.

I was already eating 3 satisfying meals a day with absolutely no eating after dinner time, so that recommendation from the Whole 30 plan already applied. I’m eating some fruit as a 4th mini meal during the day (fruit digests better when it’s not eaten with other foods), but other than that, I’m good to go.

So now, we’re on Day 12. I’ve settled into a new normal. Even though I miss my wine almost every day, I’ve never even CONSIDERED giving in to that “want.” Next time, I’ll tell you more about the beautiful and amazing expansion that happens in your mind when you abstain from alcohol (when you haven’t in a long time).

This experience is totally doable, but you have to be prepared and have a support system along for the journey!