Whole30 - June 2012 Summary

Why would I try to subject myself to another round of a regimented Whole30 program in the middle of summer?

Here's why...

My most successful Whole30 was shared with my husband somewhere between February and March of this year.  I had been eating according to the Whole30 rules for most of 2012.  In fact, somewhere along the line I forgot how to RELAX.  (This is pretty normal for me)

When I lost focus at the end of March, I couldn't seem to pull myself back together.  Every time I went out to eat, it was like a "special occasion" in my head and I couldn't remember how to just not order grains and sugar.  April and May were like a free-for-all.  The clothes that fit so well after my Wedded Bliss Whole30 now required great effort to squeeze myself into.  I didn't feel happy about my choices.  My knees and ankles were achy every day.  My stomach was cramping.  And I started getting dull headaches.

My goals for going into a new round of 30 days of strict eating:

1) Reestablish a healthy mental connection with food choices
2) Reconnect with my pre-Whole30 Paleo eating roots - I wanted to remind myself it was okay to NOT be perfect
3) Get rid of the bloat, aches, headaches, and cramps
4) Slip right back into the pants I was wearing in March

I needed the concept of the Whole30 to get me back on track... since I am such a "rules" girl, I forgot how to bend them without completely turning my back on them.  And that's what I needed to get back to.

Honestly, if I had known ahead of time that a good percentage of the month of June was going to be spent in airplanes, rental cars, and outside of the comfort of my own home... I probably would've picked another 30 day month to conquer an eating program as regimented as Dallas and Melissa Hartwig's Whole30.

Instead, I spent part of June in Dallas.  I spent part of June in Las Vegas.  I spent part of June in Monterey, CA.  And I spent A LOT of June in a car.  What resulted was actually a very good exercise in sparking my memory of how to live a Paleo life in an everyday world.  The safety of my own kitchen walls was stripped away and I was forced to ask questions, make smart decisions, and plan ahead.  I may not have met all the requirements of fulfilling a true Whole30, but I got really really darn close.

Here are the successes of this round of Whole30:

1) I am no longer scared to drink iced tea at restaurants for fear of soy lecithin.  I need to RELAX.
2) I was reminded how to make smart decisions at restaurants for the sake of preserving my health.   I no longer feel like crap after making ridiculously stupid meal decisions (no more chicken tenders and fried pickles with ranch in weekly frequency)
3) Bloat is all gone.  Grumbly, gassy tummy is gone.
4) I learned how easy it is to fly/road-trip and pack Paleo snacks for the long travel days
5) My jeans are back in the apparel rotation.  Even better - clothes I haven't worn since Matt and I were dating four years ago have made their way into the rotation as well.
6) I'm getting some really great nights of sleep again... BONUS PERK!
7) My fingernails and hair are growing thick, strong, and very quickly... BONUS PERK!

Will I still eat Ben & Jerry's?  You bet.  But not a pint every night for a week.  I will dine out from time to time and not obsess over the oils, the hidden sugars, or hidden soy.  The bread has never really been an option as that was the first thing to be eliminated almost three years ago... I don't crave it.  I don't like it.  And there is never any satisfaction when I eat it.

Like I posted on Day 15 - this lifestyle is all about consistency.  I fall down.  But I am getting better at picking myself up, dusting myself off, and moving on.  I've learned that I don't need to beat myself up when I make a bad choice.  I've learned that if I don't see the results I want in 30 days, to keep on going.

Here is wonderful snippet from It Starts With Food, one of the most straight to the point, easy to understand, and accurate sources of nutritional and health information...
We're not food robots.  We like to indulge from time to time, just like the rest of you.  But we're honest about our reasons, and we want you to be honest too: "This food/drink is not making me healthier, but that's OK, because it's delicious/special/culturally-relevant/emotionally-significant."
When it comes to less healthy foods, understand that the less (and less often) you indulge in them, the healthier you'll be.  Where you draw that line is totally up to you. (p. 96 It Starts With Food)

This month I watched my mom go into the hospital for a heart catheterization.  And we received the greatest validation a healthy meats/fats/veggies lifestyle can provide... a strong heart with clear arteries... contrary to what Mom's family history had written for her destiny.  I started to look back to my Paleo beginnings in 2009 and realized just how far I have come both physically and mentally.  Almost 3 years and I feel great.  I haven't been 100% every day of every week.  It is unreasonable to think any one of us CAN be... but being consistent and hearing my Mom's good news is a reminder to keep on going.  Keep doing what I'm doing.

This month... the Whole30... and everything that transpired were just what I needed to get my head focused on the positive and remind me that I'm on the right path.

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