20 Crucial Reasons To Do The Whole30
Seeing as how I'm on Day 18 (as of this writing) of the Whole30, this seems either a bit premature or late, depending on how you look at it. However, I felt compelled to write it because I kept coming up with reasons to make the this program a permanent part of my life. Initially, this post was supposed to be 10 items long, but the Why's kept on flowing! I bet once I'm finished with the first round, the list will continue to grow. I may even do reflective piece once I have six months and/or a year under my belt.
Anyway, while I was compiling this Whole30 list, I realized there's really nothing frivolous contained in it; every single point is crucial to me. This is significant because many of the other diets I've been on in the past were focused almost completely on the superficiality of seeing an arbitrary number on a scale, in the shortest possible amount of time...and then resuming the terrible eating habits that led to the diet in the first place. Yet, I continued to tell myself it was about my health. Ridiculous!
After reading It Starts With Food and The Whole30, perusing testimonials, and testing out the recipes, I was certain this was a plan for my life, not just my food intake. It was about so much more than weight loss or simply eating more veggies; in addition to having more energy and clearer skin, people were seeing lifelong ailments disappear—or greatly diminish—in a matter of weeks. I didn't know what the future held, but I knew I had to give the Whole30 a try and see what it could for me.
This list represents why I'm doing "radical" things like giving up dairy, alcohol, bread, and beans. whenever I feel tempted, I come back to this list to remind myself of the most crucial, life-affirming reasons to do the Whole30.
1. It focuses on real, unprocessed food.
2. I was addicted to sugar (and didn't know it).
3. I wanted to embrace the challenge and make myself proud.
4. After watching just about every girl and woman I've ever known torture themselves about their weight/appearance, I longed to show my daughter that good nutrition—not an obsession with the scale—was/is vital for a healthy, free, and balanced existence.
5. Dairy disagrees with me, but I needed an extra push omit it from my daily life.
6. It loosely mirrored how I already ate and was easily adaptable to non-Whole30 palates. (The recipes are so good, y'all! For example, we're all obsessed with the homemade mayo! Don't believe me? Try it for yourself and report back.)
7. The Whole30 book begins with this quote and it hit me like a sledgehammer.
8. Counting calories and weighing food are soul-sucking activities.
9. Despite being naturally pear-shaped with a smallish waist, I'd begun to develop a gut for the first time.
10. I was tired of giving my all in extreme workouts, but not seeing results for months.
11. I wanted to stop mindlessly eating and savor my food, but...
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12. When the time does come to indulge, I want to enjoy the experience free of guilt or shame.
13. Taking control of my food intake is empowering rather than defeating.
14. I desperately needed a sustainable lifestyle, not another diet.
15. After a particularly torturous year, I am ready to reclaim my life and thrive.
16. All of these questions applied to me. Every. Last. One.
17. My hormones were off the rails and my family was bearing the brunt of my moodiness.
18. As a busy wife and mom, there are no days off for me; therefore, my immune system needs to be a strong as possible.
19. The self-discipline I'm cultivating during this journey will no doubt spill over into other aspects of my life.
20. It works. After just 18 days on the program, I have more energy than I've ever had in my adult life. I've also lost 5-6 pounds without starving myself or exercising excessively.
Despite starting this journey with enthusiasm, I never expected results like this quite so quickly. Yes, I did the research, but I still retained some level of (good-natured) skepticism. I questioned whether the Whole30 could work for me, or if I'd be an exception, a difficult case. Turns out, I'm none of those things! In going out on a limb and trying something new, I've found the solution for my persistently-problematic eating habits. It's tremendously freeing, but also life-affirming. For so long, balance was allusive; every time I'd thought I'd found it, I'd eventually fail. The difference with Whole30 is that it's a program I can stick to 90% of the time, and still allow for decadent treats when inevitable special occasions arrive. Recently on Instagram, Dallas Hartwig posted a picture of himself enjoying gelato in Italy. That meant so, so, SO much to me because it shows the authors are still practicing what they preach after years of being Whole30 devotees. This is a lifestyle in every sense of the word.
Have you tried a round of the Whole30? What were your experiences? If you're on the fence about it, I highly recommend giving it a try! If you've got questions, leave 'em below and I'll do my best to answer.