March 11, 2018
A year and a half ago, I took the plunge and did my very first Whole30. Yea - you know that food thing everyone keeps talking about? The one that your mother, brother, sister, cousin, neighbor, and teacher have all done? The one that everyone thought would be a fad but has actually stuck around for quite some time?
Finding the Whole30 has been, hands down, one of the best things I've done for my health. It's helped me control unnecessary food cravings, make better food choices in general, understand my relationship with food better, all while slimming up a bit. I've never felt better, slept better, or had my clothes fit better than when I do a Whole30. I've actually written about why I love it so much before (you can read it here), so I won't bore you with all of that again, but take a read if you've been thinking about it but have been afraid to take the plunge.
However, I do want to share some words that I wrote in August 2016...just two months before I tried Whole30 for the first time. They were written at a time where I realized how closely dumping debt and dumping weight were intertwined. It's where I realized that trying to get in control of my money and trying to stay in control of my health were equally as important and had so much in common.
1. It is a daily battle. I'll be honest - every single day that goes by where I don't spend money on something that wasn't budgeted and where I don't eat something really horrible for me are both counted as great victories in my book. I have to intentionally think about both of these things as I walk through life and remember what my goals are. I wander around the grocery store with, "No, you don't NEED to spend money on that, just like you don't NEED to consume that," in my mind all the time. These choices are tied very tightly together in my mind. And they both happen to be choices about the lifestyle I'm choosing to live.
2. It is not an overnight change...it is a lifestyle change. I'm at the point in my life where I am working toward making leaps and bounds toward a healthier eating lifestyle. This girl, that used to eat poptarts for breakfast and hot pockets for lunch, is now an 80% Paleo kind of girl. When I started teaching BodyPump regularly (along with Zumba), I felt myself getting stronger but noticed that little change was actually happening in the appearance of my body. I remember thinking - if I'm going to be working this hard multiple times a week to build strength, I'd better be seeing it. And that's when I started making S L O W changes to my diet, because it really is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I figured I needed to my fuel my body well in order to get the results I wanted to see. The fact of the matter, too, is that as I am getting older (we're in plain sight of 30, people) I'm more in tune with my body, how it reacts to certain foods, and how I feel internally. (And also how my metabolism is slowing down...) Over time, this mindset has nestled itself into my brain and I do my best to eat clean, whole foods (I fail quite a bit, but I'm working on it). It's taken almost a year and a half to get to 80% Paleo and I've got more work to do. But lifestyle changes don't happen overnight.
Living the Dave Ramsey way is also a lifestyle change. It doesn't happen overnight and it takes quite some time to get the hang of. Just like weight management, it is an 80/20 formula. 80% behavior and 20% knowledge. Anyone can understand that living within the guidelines of a budget is a smart thing to do, but so many people don't actually practice it. Just like most people know that eating pint of ice cream in one sitting is not good for your health, but so many people still do it. Lifestyle changes take a lot of time, patience, practice, and perseverance.
3. It is not the same for everyone. This little lesson has probably been one of the hardest for me to learn and I believe it applies equally to dumping debt and dumping weight. We are all made and shaped differently, with a unique gene pool and different metabolisms. I tend to look at what other people are doing and imagine I can live my life the exact same way. "Oh, well so-and-so eats pasta every day for lunch and is still as thin as a rail. I can eat pasta every day, too!" Sometimes, I'm an idiot. Over the years I've had to be really careful about comparing myself to others when it comes to food and exercise. It's been a long journey of figuring out what works best for ME and MY BODY. I carry weight differently than others. I react to carbs in a different way than others, etc. And the same exact lesson applies to money.
I have to continually remind myself that my budget does not look like everyone else's. Not everyone is carrying around hundreds of dollars of debt that they are paying off monthly. Just because my best friend can order 5 things from Ann Taylor Loft (y'all know I still love this store) doesn't mean that I can. (Well I COULD, but I'd have to budget for it...budgets are beautiful). Finances can produce the same theft of comparison as body image (and then some) if you allow them to. I say, keep your head down, stay in your lane, and figure out what works for YOU.
Living in a healthy eating lifestyle and a smart spending lifestyle are one-in-the-same in my mind. They both take discipline and hard work. They take practice. They take breaking bad habits. And sometimes it's no fun and all you want to do is spend 70 bucks on 5 pizzas (but then you've just screwed everything up, so don't do that). But the hard work and discipline will pay off and beautiful benefits will be had.
Two months after I wrote those words I realized I'd had enough and it was time to make some even bigger changes. I did my first Whole30 and never looked back. It's changed my health drastically and has helped me make smarter food choices. And since I'm making smarter food choices, I've got tighter boundaries about the foods I'm buying at the store which makes my budget happy. It's all intertwined.
And I get it...it can be hard to try to eat healthy AND stay on budget. I was always really hesitant to try Whole30 because I can't really cook and I remember thinking, "now why would I spend a ton of money on food only to ruin it with my subpar cooking skills?" But eventually I gave in and took the Whole30 and my subpar cooking skills for a whirl only to realize that a) it doesn't have to be expensive and b) you can keep it simple...you don't have to create crazy fancy recipes for it to work.
The more Whole30s I've complete, the better at it I get and the easier I can fit the foods into my grocery budget without overspending and the more I enjoy the meals I'm making. This makes approaching each Whole30 I do feel easy and manageable.
So I've created a free guide in hopes that others will see how easy it can be to complete a Whole30 if that's what you've been wanting to do. In the guide you'll see how to complete the program with simple and sustainable recipes, all for $75 a week or less. Grab it by clicking the button below and start the journey to get in control of your health without going broke!