Ok, so I’m eight days into the Whole30. And it has been a very difficult, but rewarding week. This is really hard. There have been some expected results of week one, and unexpected results of week one. Here it goes:
1. Headaches the first few days.
Whew, the withdrawal. I think I went to bed at 7 on the second night because I had a pounding headache. I didn’t realize how much my body craved the sugar.
2. My Sink Is Full Every Night
This lifestyle commitment requires some serious cooking. Nothing is processed, so every meal is created from scratch. That means there’s a lot of time cooking and a lot of time cleaning. I wasn’t prepared for how much time it was really going to take, even though I cognitively knew I’d be cooking. Sidenote: I love that every time I eat, I know EVERY ingredient in my meal every time. That’s so rewarding.
3. I’ve Realized How Little Food I Actually Need to Be Satiated.
Because I’m not filling my body with crappy, processed fillers, I’ve realized that a couple of eggs and a veggie fill me up quite well. I don’t really miss the carbs or dairy, and I love cheese, so I thought I would miss dairy terribly. The sugar I do miss, but that is my greatest vice.
4. I *did* step on the scale.
You’re not supposed to do this; it’s a cardinal rule. But I did. 6.5 lbs lost in one week. Holy amazeballs. I really needed that motivation.
5. My Kids Are Eating So Well.
I’ve discovered that my kids love sweet potato “fries” and tonight enjoyed pork with baked apples, onions and sweet potatoes for dinner. Since I’m not going in the pantry, neither are they. Who would have predicted that one?
6. I do spend part of the day hungry, mostly at night.
I’m trying to remind myself that I had dinner and I’m not hungry, I’m just mentally craving something sweet. Some nights I just go to bed early.
7. I’m Not Afraid of Breakfast.
My previous habits would have me waiting until I was super hungry to grab something to eat, (usually around 10 or 11 in the morning,) because I didn’t think I needed breakfast. Now I see that if I eat early, I’m full and energized until around 12 or 1. I don’t even think about food. And now I’m eating eggs, fruit, bacon, (sometimes,) and it’s wonderful!
8. I’m Not Sure I’ll Make it the Whole Month.
The first few days were a breeze, (other than the headaches,) but now I’m starting to realize I have a lot of time left, and it’s only been a week! I’m constantly reminding myself that in doing this program I’m changing my relationship with food so that I’m not using food as a stress release or pastime. And in this week, I’ve seen my skin clear, my bloat disappear, and my energy get better. So I’m doing all of these wonderful things for myself. But I still feel deprived of certain foods I enjoy regularly. I’m taking it day by day at this point, trying to make it through each section of the day by reminding myself of the benefits.
9. This Strict Lifestyle Would Not Be Sustainable Long Term.
It’s expensive to buy fresh foods every few days, and it takes up a lot of time to prep and cook and then clean everything. I’m choosing recipes that are fast, and I still feel like I’ve doubled my time in the kitchen. While I’m enjoying it, I just don’t think this is a pace I could keep up for a long time. Short bursts, yes, definitely. I’m hopeful that I’ll change my relationship with food enough so that I don’t have to remind myself to eat this way, but maybe 80% of the time, I just will, naturally go toward more healthy options.
10. A Support System is Crucial.
You need support. A friend who is doing this with you, your spouse, online groups, whatever. The whole30 is a community, and it’s critical to rely on this community. Otherwise, you might stop for the wrong reasons, or you may not be able to see the benefits. Definitely do this one with a friend.
As “diets” or “lifestyle changes” go, the Whole30 is drastic. And to be honest, I’m not following this perfectly. But I’m doing the best I can. I like that this changes my relationship with food. I can see that happening. I’m eating new foods and new combinations and enjoying them. I’m not afraid of things like bacon or potatoes, because I’m not also eating sugar, chips or sub rolls. As I said, I’m taking it a day at a time. I’ll let you know where I am next week.
Who’s doing the whole30 for January? What have been your challenges and successes?