Today I want to take some time to reflect on the past 60 days. I jumped into it feet first after feeling very out of control with my sugar dragon. I know the wonders of Whole30 and needed to get back to feeling great and having the energy I need to manage my crazy life. This was an extended round with minimal meal prep, easy meals and a lot of fresh veggies. Plates were not pretty but filled with the good stuff to help me power through being a mom to 3 littles, doing grad school, and keeping our family going. My kids, ages 5, 3 and 3 ate healthier. They are often following my model for making healthy choices. That alone makes it worth it.
This round reinforced for me how drastically my body does not like dairy, gluten and sugar. These are the things that make me drag on the floor and feel so exhausted that it zaps my energy for the first half of the day. Gluten will only be returning for small visits as part of food freedom and I have no intention of reintroducing it on the regular. Dairy does not put me in the complete fog that gluten does, but sometimes it works for me and other times it doesn’t. I would rather reserve this for special occasions. For me, the sugar dragon is a real battle. She retreated into her dungeon during this round, but I also noticed that she sat there, at the doorway, ready to pounce. She is my biggest struggle as far as keeping my eating on track and for some reason if I give her an inch, she will run a marathon. I have seen this pattern repeat itself before. This is where I need to be thoughtful and really think through what is worth it to me.
There were so many positives of doing this extended round. I was able to make it through numerous celebrations, holidays, family gatherings and the stressors of life and maintain my round. I wasn’t eating out of emotion, but for fuel. The longer round reinforced how ingrained the Whole30 meal template is in my life. On or off round, my plate is always to the template. I love this. After decades of dieting I am so thankful to have found something that isn’t dieting and that truly helps me obtain better fitness and health.
Primarily, I have learned that constant mindfulness is key; some of my behaviors have drastically changed over the past year and a half and I don’t really need to have them in the forefront of my thoughts (drinking alcohol, eating to the meal template and minimal snacking). Others are still a definite work in progress (that pesky sugar dragon). But progress is being made and is consistent. Whole30 has been a life changer, not just a short fix. That’s what I love most about it. It’s about creating a healthier version of your body for life and truly changing a lifetime of eating patterns. It isn’t done in 30 days and one round, that is just the beginning of the journey.
The part of the journey that helps you to realize how amazing healthy and delicious food makes you feel, that there is another way to do things. That you can feel amazing as you work towards a healthier you. It doesn’t have to be torture until you hit your “goal” because goals that end leave you without something to achieve, and then you stand at a crossroads wondering which direction to go. My body continues to feel more fit and healthy, my mind continues to be sharp and my patience continues to increase. These are all life long changes and will always give me something to work towards. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “life is a journey, not a destination.”
At some point, I will do a 60-day round, but that time was not now. At the halfway mark, I made a very intentional decision to end my round. You can read about it a few weeks back.
So, how have I been doing for the past month? Did I fall face first into bowls of cereal, macaroni and cheese, and pizza every night? NOPE! I can honestly say Food Freedom is within my grasp and I am feeling so confident and happy about preparing my meals.
Has every single meal been totally compliant? Nope! But, has every single meal fit the meal template? Also nope! Am I mostly focusing on veggies, protein and healthy fat and including food items when I think they are worth it? YES!
Like Andrea said above, it is just second nature to start my plate with a huge helping of vegetables. I credit Whole30 for rekindling my special relationship with baby arugula. I don’t tell myself I “can’t” have something anymore. If I want it, I choose to eat it. Food guilt is gone, and that is monumental for me; it is probably a bigger victory for me than the 25 pounds I have kept off.
However, this is not a linear path. Everyday is not perfect, but the trend is that I am sticking to the recommendations of not snacking, eating three full, satisfying meals a day and choosing foods that make me feel good.
I can’t stop talking about Whole30 and what it’s done for me to everyone I know. (#sorrynotsorry) I have been more active with my kids, which was one of my major goals. I am signing up for a Y membership this week to further this goal. I have a system down for prepping, putting plates together, and having quick easy meals at the ready. I will keep moving forward. My Whole30 anniversary is coming up in August. You better believe I will celebrate…with a kombucha.