Okay. Here goes.
Yesterday afternoon, I bought a new book. Last night, I read it, cover to cover. Early this morning, I Whole30-ed my kitchen. It was so liberating! I threw out a ton of crap and bagged up a bunch more to be donated. I turned our fridge, freezer, and cabinet into a clean slate, ready to be restocked with the goodness of real REAL food.
Next, I hit up the grocery store.
Now, let's take a minute here so I can walk myOWNself through a thing or two. The husband and I did the Paleo diet, to the best of our abilities, for the entire month of February. While the intention was to do it for 30 days, we have largely kept it up, right through to today. Now, granted...we weren't extremists with this plan. He still had his wine every night and will never, ever give up cheese. I had cheese once in a while, and had grain products on three occasions during that period. But for the most part, we were dedicated to doing our best.
In the past few days, I've been thinking about how I want to move forward. Paleo taught me a lot of things about myself and my eating habits and I really didn't want to mess that up. On the other hand, I wanted to eat bread once in a while. And I missed beans! I missed them so much! Clearly I had some considering to do.
But then I found the book, Whole30, and devoured it in one sitting.
And now, instead of devising ways to reintegrate some "forbidden" foods back into my diet without losing all the benefits I've gained, I'm going on a deeper deprivation dive, starting tomorrow, Sunday, March 13th.
What does this mean?
You can read for yourself here, if you're interested. Basically, it's Paleo, but stricter. These are the rules:
No sugar of any kind. No grains - of any kind. No alcohol. No dairy. No legumes. No carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. No attempts to "re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients." And, lastly, NO stepping on the scale.
Sounds horrible and extreme and insane, right? Well, wrong.
For one, it's only 30 days.
I mean, OHMYGOD - THIRTY DAYS IS AN ETERNITY!
Except, it's not. Not really.
It's only 30 days.
Unless you "slip" or mess up. There is no mercy for "just one bite." Screw up? Start over.
You have to give it a full thirty days.
Thirty days of making good food choices. Period.
I can do this. I may waffle and cry and crave french fries and claim to hate the people who dreamed this up, but I can do this.
Nearly 40 days of Paleo has prepared me well for this next challenge, I think.
And above all else, I believe I will come out healthier on the other side for sticking it out.
We cannot possibly put enough emphasis on this simple fact—the next 30 days will change your life. It will change the way you think about food, it will change your tastes, it will change your habits and your cravings. It could, quite possibly, change the emotional relationship you have with food, and with your body. It has the potential to change the way you eat for the rest of your life. We know this because we did it, and tens of thousands of people have done it since, and it changed our lives (and their lives) in a very permanent fashion.
The physical benefits of the Whole30 are profound. More than 95% of participants lose weight and improve their body composition, without counting or restricting calories. Also commonly reported: consistently high energy levels, improved athletic performance, better sleep, improved focus and mental clarity, and a sunnier disposition. (Yes, more than a few Whole30 graduates said they felt “strangely happy” during and after their program.)
The psychological benefits of the Whole30 may be even more dramatic. Through the program, participants report effectively changing long-standing, unhealthy habits related to food, developing a healthier body image, and a dramatic reduction or elimination of cravings, particularly for sugar and carbohydrates. The words so many Whole30 participants use to describe this place? “Food freedom.”
And that? THAT is exactly why I'm doing it. My belief that I can - WILL - achieve those outcomes is so strong, it's what will drive me through the low points.
Telling someone is one of the steps in the process of committing to the program. That's what I'm doing here. I'm telling someone. You. Another step toward success is planning, because of course. That's a thing I'm pretty good at, so I plan I did. I mapped out three meals a day plus snacks for the next week, made a grocery list, went to the store, shopped the periphery, read labels, bought a bountiful harvest of REAL food, came home, restocked the bare shelves, and did some prep work.
Strawberries hulled, cut, ready for snacking. Cantaloupe, same. Veggies, chopped. Salad, tossed. Chicken breasts, roasted and ready for duty. There are peppers and chicken in the crock pot for dinner tonight and two lunches this week. There's a beef roast ready to hit the slow cooker tomorrow. There are almonds in a pretty little bowl on the counter. There are avocados for every occasion. There are bananas and clementines and pears and a ruby red grapefruit ready to grab and go. There are hard boiled eggs cooked up.
I've set myself up for success.
I can do this.
I'm doing this for me.
Because I'm worth it.
*Title command as given by the Whole30 team.