Half Way There! Whoop Whoop!
Today we arrive at the halfway marker for our Whole30 challenge. As you may recall, I say we because I am doing this challenge with my personal training clients. As a team we started May 1st with no sugar, no grains, no dairy, no white potatoes, no legumes, no carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites, no alcohol or tobacco products, and finally no Paleo-fying baked goods.
I remember introducing the idea to my clients a month in advance to help them physically and mentally prepare for the Whole30. For example, one month prior to the Whole30 I cut out candy and fika. Each week I would focus on cutting out another item on the list until it became time to make the full switch. Coffee and artificial sweeteners were the hardest for me to stop and in the final prep week I had headaches for multiple days and would immediately come home from work and crash for the night.
When the Whole30 started I was very nervous to be around non-Whole30 approved foods. The fear was so irrational that I threw everything away in my house that was not Whole30 approved. Mustard, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise (I don’t even like mayonnaise!), sandwich meat, butter, pasta… if I couldn’t eat it… I threw it away much to the dislike of my boyfriend! However, in my defense… he was already committed to working out of the country for the next 4 weeks, and he was only going to be home for 2 out of the 30 days. I was nervous when I was invited to social events, to the extent that I delayed RSVPing to a very special event due to the fact that I had no idea if I could trust myself with non-approved foods and alcohol. When I started the Whole30, if you would have asked me on day 1 my strategy, I would have told you that I was planning on living in isolation for 30 days and I would have been content with my answer.
Here we are halfway through and I can promise you that I would have never made it this far on my own! My phobia with non-approved foods was very real and alarming. During the start as I was preparing to buckle down for the evening, I received a spontaneous invite for a night out. I wanted to say no and I am sure I did in fact, but my friends dragged me out anyways. While all I could think about was how much I would have liked a drink, or how good those snacks would taste… I did it. And if I did it then, I knew I could do it again. It led me to feeling more confident in myself and open to more social opportunities such as dinner parties and weekends away, regardless of my participation in the Whole30.
While I am happy that I was able to overcome my irrational fear of “breaking my Whole30”, I am not as happy with my current intake of fresh fruit, dried fruit, and nuts. I recently started allowing myself fresh and dried fruit as a treat when others might have dessert or enjoy a fika-treat. It started out as a compromise, however now it is something that I find myself doing even during the week. For example, because I am missing sugar… I am now reaching for fruit when I could just as easily pack something else for a snack at work. Or even better… ask myself do I even need the snack? Am I thirsty? Am I bored? Am I tired? Why do I think I am hungry? I can almost promise you that I am not hungry!
So … what’s next you ask? More practice… becoming more aware of how I feel during the day. Have I had enough water? Did I get enough sleep? Did I eat enough during breakfast or lunch? I also need to simply break the habit! Just like the start of the Whole30, much of the challenge is about stepping out of old routines and changing your way of thinking. If I normally walk downstairs to grab a fruit… why don’t I try to go for a walk around the gym or take a tea? Just mixing up my normal mid-morning routine might be enough to help me make a change. The Whole30 is about learning what it is that your body really needs and about learning what you as an individual need.
So far, I have learned that I need…
- My regular hours of sleep
- Protein for breakfast … always!
- To plan ahead – meals, snacks, workouts etc.
- Food prep, because without my readymade chicken and veggies… my hunger and tiredness may have gotten the best of me