Food Freedom IRL And 5 Tips To Help You Stand Up When You Fall Down

There’s a reason it’s called practicing. My son just turned one and he’s not walking yet, but he often takes one hand off the coffee table and is trying so hard to balance…until he face plants. And then does it again. Kind of like how I have been managing to get through the month of March. Not only was my baby’s first birthday party this month, but I offered to host a good friend’s shower the weekend before and will be attending my dad’s birthday party this weekend coming up. There’s been gluten (pizza, bread and cake…oh, the cake…), dairy and sugar. So. Much. Sugar.

I always have Whole 30 at the front of my mind in all these situations. I made sure we had veggie trays, salads, both green and fruit and have attempted to stick to the template knowing that there would be other choices available. However, like my son face planting in an attempt to stay vertical, I have fallen face first into celebratory treats that have left me feeling less than stellar. I will say, before Whole 30 occasions such as these would have sent me spiraling into guilt, defeat and I would throw my hands up as I shoved another *insert indulgence here* into my mouth. An enormous NSV (non-scale victory) for me is the self-reflection I can do and regrouping to change course. I am doing this as we speak and as I type. Here is how I will get back on track without needing to commit to another full 30 day round.

  1. Focus on meal to meal choices and attack minute to minute challenges rather than thinking long term If you are like me, you are ruminating on all the THINGS you just consumed that didn’t help you. (I see you left over lemon bars…) I only let myself think about the one meal I’m making and make sure I’m checking the veggie, protein, healthy fat boxes. It takes the pressure off. When a snack opportunity comes up, I tackle that then, and so on until I have completed a day of compliant, focused eating and build on it.

  2. Keep it super simple I NEED to have easy, tried and true options at my fingertips so I don’t get overwhelmed and just end up making toast for breakfast or eating my kids’ leftover Mac & Cheese. I literally throw some mixed greens on a plate, mix up some tuna salad and chop cold veggies some days to make it as easy as possible to eat things I know will keep me full and make me feel better. Now is not the time for me to be trying a new, fancy 17 step gourmet recipe with a ton of ingredients. *However, if that is something that helps you feel motivated and reignites your whole30 flame, GO FOR IT. I just like the KISS method in this moment.

  3. Create a contingency plan If my son doesn’t finish his delicious peanut butter and jelly, then I will wrap it up and put it in the fridge instead of leaving it out on the table where I will, most likely, take a bite. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are delicious, yo. I do this for most situations, especially snack attacks. My contingency for cravings is ALWAYS, ALWAYS to make a cup of tea. It takes a good 10 minutes to heat water, pour and steep and let it cool to drink and by that time I’m usually focused on the tea process rather than whatever has caught my eye.

  4. Be as kind to yourself as you would to a best friend Use positive self talk and change your mindset. You haven’t failed. Remind yourself this is part of the process. Nothing makes me feel more in control than when I get my act together after I’ve been out of control. For March has been a doozy of a month and because I’m still practicing Food Freedom, I’ve made some choices that probably were not worth it, but how would I know if I didn’t keep practicing. So, note to self: 5 sugar cookies in one day is too many and they aren’t special anymore. They are just more fire to fuel my raging sugar dragon.

  5. Phone a friend I have at least 3 good friends (besides my amazing admin team) that I can text or call anytime and geek out about whole 30 recipes, rounds or struggles. They keep me accountable and honest and I can brainstorm or vent and then move forward. If you don’t have people like this in your life, there are so many great resources on social media like out Whole 30 group or blogger/personalities on Instagram. It’s refreshing and inspiring to see what other people are doing.

  6. Do a mini reset If I can’t get this sugar BEAST tamed in the next day or so, I will probably decide to do a 5-10 day mini reset until I’m back to making better choices for myself with minimal struggle. We all know the struggle is REAL.

If you haven’t read Food Freedom Forever, I cannot recommend that book enough. It was eye opening to me about the process of achieving a healthy and balanced relationship with food and not feeling badly about the ups and downs it takes to get there. I hope your biggest take away is that it’s not the end of the world if you get off course. That’s just life. You are not a failure. I am not a failure. The success comes with making a game plan and choosing to get back in the game, back on the horse, or whatever other catch phrase you want to use. Let me know what else has worked for you. I’m totally open and interested in more suggestions, because chances are I’ll need to slay good ol’ sugar tooth again at some point. Some day, I’ll achieve total Food Freedom, but for now, I’ll keep holding onto the coffee table and get back up when I face plant again as I find my balance.