Whole30: A Few Reasons Why I Don't Want It To Be Over

November 3rd, 2016

Trumpets, red carpets, and drum rolls please...

I'M DONE WITH WHOLE30! Huzzah! High fives and cheers all around!....Tacos and chocolate and wine, oh my!...

...is what I should be thinking.

But instead, I'm over here like - umm, I am not so sure I actually want this to end. 

Who am I?

I'm a believer, that's who! But really - I had a great experience with Whole30 and believe in its witchery. Here are some of the things that have happened throughout the process:

  1. My body has started craving healthy foods.
  2. My mindset has shifted into looking at healthy alternatives FIRST, instead of just as a way to talk myself out of unhealthy options.
  3. I've broadened my cooking skills (just a little - let's not get crazy).
  4. Internally, I feel awesome - not feeling weighed down by what I ate. 
  5. My clothes are fitting better.
  6. I am sleeping SO WELL and that, in and of itself, is an answered prayer.
  7. Overall feeling clear-headed, no foggy thoughts here!
  8. No need for afternoon coffee (but I still have some because COFFEE).
  9. I'm viewing food differently - viewing it as fuel that is going to help me get through my day and workouts.

I chalk all of these things up as wins in my health book. And, here's an honest moment for you. I actually did have a little cheat moment on Sunday, and I ate 2 fun-sized pieces of Halloween candy (um, Snickers Peanut Butter Squares to be exact), and my body was like UHHH NOPE. I am not exaggerating when I say my stomach seized up and whispered death threats in my ear. It was like WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?! I had a terrible stomach ache and it left me feeling pretty cruddy. It's fascinating what your body can get used to (and not used to) when you eat clean for 30 days (or 26). I bounced back and ate clean the rest of the week and feel back to normal.

So what happens next? Whole30 is a-w-e-s-o-m-e but difficult to maintain long term. The folks over at Whole30 give great tips and tools for life after the program, and how to reintroduce things back into your diet. 

I'm kind of at a point where I'm not quite sure how I'm going to tackle life after Whole30, though. An important thing that I learned about myself through this process is that I am an abstainer, not a moderator. A quick rundown of this is that abstainers have a hard time stopping once they've started, and are not tempted by things that they have deemed off-limits; a moderator gets panicky at the thought of being restricted and appreciates the occasional indulgence. Gretchen Rubin outlines it all beautifully here. 

Understanding this about myself has been revolutionary for me and greatly explains why more rule-based programs like Whole30 and Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace work so well for my life. 

Right now my plan is to eat as Whole30/clean/Paleo as much as possible and face potential indulgences as they come. I plan to truly consider whether or not I really want one of those delicious cookies that my colleague's wife sends with him to work, or if I just like the idea of eating a cookie at that time. I also plan to honestly determine whether or not I would be capable of just eating one at that moment (instead of 7). We'll see how it goes.

If nothing else, I can vouch that Whole30 is a fantastic "reset" button if you're looking for one. Its benefits are real and it really is true when everyone says you'll feel fabulous at the end. If you're considering giving it a go, my two pieces of advice would be to figure out if you're an abstainer or a moderator, and then go in with 100% commitment (and maybe don't start like the week before Thanksgiving. Be realistic).

Happy to have further conversations with any of you that might be interested. Cheers!