As I’ve gone through my fitness journey, I have tried a lot of “diets”…. even typing that word right now makes me cringe. The dieting game that I have played has left me tired, discouraged, and wanting. Nothing about dieting sounds appealing to me right now. All dieting leads to, for me, is restricting and binging on an ongoing and never ending cycle. Until I say stop.
I’m saying stop.
Whole30 is a challenge that I decided to do for many reasons but mainly because it was time to stop listening to the dieting mentality and start trusting and listening to my body.
My Reason Why
When it comes to fitness, nutrition, weight loss and food, everyone has their own story, struggles, and successes. The journey is always on going. As I have taken a look at my own journey and made intentional changes to be healthier and happier, I have gained a passion for nutrition and fitness. I have tried diets, and fads and I have done A LOT of research in this area.
Each step in my journey has taught me something new about myself and about fitness and nutrition. It has given me perspective and has helped me to view nutrition from different perspectives. But through my struggles I have come to unhealthy places in my view of myself and my body.
I have always said that my overarching goal is to make lifestyle changes and to gain overall full body health. While that has remained my goal, as I have traveled down the road of weight loss and experimented with various diets, I have have begun to focus less on overall health and more on body image. I have limited calories and restricted my eating; only to come up short and end up eating worse than what I had prior to the diet.
Throughout time, goals have changed from bulking and toning to weight loss but when I intentionally stop myself from going down that road of attaching my self worth to my dress size, I always come back to my overarching goal of overall health.
When I lost weight in college, I never did so intentionally. I had come to a place where I was happy with who I was and I was comfortable in my skin. I did however want to feel better and I started running and I cut out crap from my diet (most processed foods, sugar, etc.).
I started to listen to my body and I ate when I was hungry and not because it was time to eat. For the first time in my life I knew what it really felt like to be hungry and full; not because I had never had those feelings before, but because I got those feelings confused with being tired, and bored, and sad.
So my why is because I am fed up and tired of not knowing those feelings again because I was always on a diet. I am tired of being held to eating because I had calories to spare or depriving myself because food didn’t fit into a container. I am tired of not knowing what it really feels like to be hungry or full.
My why is because I am tired of not respecting my body and always seeing the negatives when I look into the mirror instead of the already pretty awesome women hat carried a life for 9 months and is now providing life through nursing a beautiful child. I am ready to start listening to and respecting my body, because, let’s face it, I’m pretty awesome, and you are too!
I chose January not because I want to make this a resolution but because this is when my journey led me here. I am all about goals and resolutions and I love the excitement of the new year for that reason, but that’s not why this time.
I am doing this now because it is the next step in my journey that I hope leads me to a place of healthy living that I can model for my son and family and I am using whole 30 as an avenue to jump start that process and to curb my sugar addiction.
My goals for this Whole30 are pretty simple if you know why I am doing this.
- To relearn my body’s signals and listen to what my body is telling me
- To curb my sugar addiction ←– it’s bad…does anyone know if breastfeeding makes this worse or is it just me???
- To be able to better feed my baby and be an example to him for living a healthy lifestyle
- To regain energy
What is the Whole30?
If you are truly interested in the full details about Whole30, visit whole30.com, they have a ton of great resources for you and all for free. Begin with the getting started series. Also, check out their books:
These are all great resources and believe me they will help you immensely as you get started down this journey.
In short, The Whole30 is eating real foods for 30 days. You eat all the meat, eggs, fish, fruits , vegetables, and good fats such as oils, nuts, and seeds that you want.
You avoid all grains, legumes (including peanuts – yes that means peanut butter), dairy, sugar (including all alcohol), carrageenan, msgs or sulfites.
On the Whole30 they recommend that you weigh yourself before and after but that you do not weigh yourself. While you are on the Whole30. Also you should not recreate baked goods with compliant ingredients.
As a rule of thumb, within the program, I would suggest that you make it tailored to you. Stay within the guidelines suggested but if you know that fruit is a big downfall for you that will not help your sugar addiction, avoid fruits. If you know you will ea nuts like no tomorrow and not listen to your hunger signals, avoid it! You do you on this one.
Whole30 Action Plan
I’ve spent a while researching and preparing for this plan but the prep work does not need to be terrible. Here are the steps that I have taken to get ready for my Whole30
- Do your research. Go to whole30.com, buy the book and read blogs about the Whole30. Find out what it is really about and think through how this plan will fit into your life. Each person has different considerations and things to keep in mind on the Whole30 so research within the framework of your life
- Clean House! Get rid of all the things in your house that are not Whole30 compliant (with the exception of food for children and husbands if they aren’t fully on board with you – I’m all about influencing change but not if it will cause a marital rift)
- Create your emergency list. These are your go to foods and foods that you’ll eat when you are in a pinch. I’m all about planning and cooking but the reality is you won’t have time for every meal and there won’t always be prepared foods in the house when you are hungry. Be prepared for this and have emergency foods in your pantry.
- Stalk your pantry. What are your go to items and what will be useful in a lot of your recipes? Have lots of meat, eggs, veggies and fruit on hand all the time. Plus make sure you have what you need for cooking, oils, spices, etc.
- Meal Plan. What works best for me is to plan week by week. If that doesn’t work well for you, do a couple of days or however long you can handle! If you can plan a month out and stick to your plan, by all means, go for it!
- Grocery shop for your emergency list, common pantry titles and your meal plan. Do your best to follow the recommendations of grass fed and organic but prioritize and do what your budget allows. More on budgeting and the Whole30 to come.
- Find an accountability partner or group. This is so much easier and more fun to do it with other people so talk your spouse or best friend into it or join a Facebook Group. There are a ton out there and they make all the difference.
- Think through different scenarios. Are you traveling this month? Do you have social engagements? A life? Good! Do not put your life on hold for this. Part of the point is learning how to do this while still living your life so you can make lifestyle changes for the long haul! But with that being said, you are going to have make some changes, sacrifices and go into these engagements prepared.
- Stretch yourself. There will be a lot of days that making and eating whatever is easiest is best but buy a cookbook or make Pinterest your best friend because if you never change things up, you WILL get bored.
- Just do it. If you’ve made excuses in the past or you feel like you can’t just do it. It is a good challenge and if nothing else it will teach you about what you are putting into your body, your overall health, and help your relationship with food. It will be life changing and you won’t regret it.
I plan to check in and let you know how my Whole30 is going along with telling you how I got through traveling on the Whole30, breastfeeding, and how to make the Whole30 as simple as possible, so stay tuned and let me know how your journey is going! I’d love to hear from you!