Why The Whole30 STILL Matters, Even In The Midst of Chaos.
I almost skipped out on writing this entry. It just seemed so, I don't know, frivolous, I guess? I mean, how does one write about food when it feels as though some fresh new hell awaits us every flippin' day? Who really cares about the Whole30 when the world is burning down?! I should be writing about the hard-hitting issues! I wrestled with this feeling for weeks. I finished my third Whole30 on February 9th, and am just now getting to this post. What changed my mind was this realization: By resisting the urge to "go down with the ship" (ie, spiraling downward with booze and fatty foods), standing tall in solidarity with others, and facing sh*t head on, there is hope (and strength and wisdom and clarity, and resilience and, and, and!).
And listen, I'm not even talking about politics, necessarily. The aforementioned "sh*t" could simply be the drudgery of life. For example, 2017 has gotten off to a rough start for the Shultzes, y'all. Work woes. Kids' stuff. Shenanigans from our estranged family members. Serious toddler 'tude. You name it, we sparred with it. And yet, here I am, still here, fighting my way through the muck thanks to the empowerment, self-discipline, and courage I've found by changing the way I eat (and also therapy, because therapy's AWESOME). I know it seems super far-fetched, especially for those who've never done the Whole30, but please believe me when I repeat the sentiments of its creators: "It's so much bigger than just food."
Hand to God, if I hadn't experienced breakthrough after breakthrough, I wouldn't have believed it. Under normal circumstances, I'd either be white-knuckling it on some miserable low-calorie detox diet or shotgunnin' alcohol and junk food to cope with the general state of my life. Instead of engaging in those harmful, soul-sucking activities, I chose to enjoy some chilled LaCroix, commune with the Creator, and investigate the roots of my pain. Why? Because after three cycles on this program, I know what I'm capable of. Plus, the old way(s) of dealing with discomfort always made things worse. ALWAYS. Whether I starved myself or binged on comfort foods, the problems remained. Then, of course, I had GI distress, lack of sleep, and other irritants awaiting me, as well. Blech, I'll pass on that, thankyousomuch.
These days, I have a clear head no longer clouded or numbed by wine. My moods have stabilized because I'm well-rested. My clothes fit comfortably and my gut is functioning just as it should, which helps me feel less fearful and stressed out. Life may not be perfect, but I'm healthy enough—physically AND mentally—to roll with the punches and calmly create solutions.
If you're reading this and it's resonating with you, don't fight that feeling! I know the idea of willingly giving up alcohol, sugar, dairy (cheese, glorious cheese!), and bread is completely daunting, but you can do it. Every single person who swears by the Whole30 began right where you are at this moment. I wasn't sure what lie ahead when I began this journey—I just knew I was tired of feeling like garbage and there had to be an answer somewhere. I was a miserable, bloated, and sad mess, a shadow of the person I really wanted to be. After overcoming one of the darkest periods of my life, I felt as if I'd hit a wall in my progress. The Whole30 was the bridge I needed to get to my best self, and I feel that way every single time I do it! I learn something new with each cycle. It's always there when I stumble off track (because I'm human, after all) and need a reset.
If you're still on the fence, check out my Whole30 Resource page! It's got tons of free info, tips, and advice for ya to peruse as you're able. Ready to dive in? The resource page is a great start for you, too, but also sign up for my free 5-day email prep course, The Happy Whole30! It's got worksheets, shopping lists, and more to help you have a successful first (or umpteenth) cycle!