Today is Day 23 of my first Whole30. Whooppeeee! I have one more week to go and cannot help but to brag a little I feel great. No, no, let me repeat. I. Feel. Great. If that were the only benefit of Whole30, I'd still say try it, because you don't even realize how much what you eat affects how you feel during the day. It is night and day. Whole30 changes your approach to food drastically - it feels like it resets your perception and relationship with food in a very good and positive way. As I am getting closer to the end of the program, I wanted to share a few observations in case you're wondering if you should try Whole30. I will not tell you it is easy, but will spill my 23-day wisdom. So here we go.
The level of difficulty
Depends on your eating and lifestyle habits. If you’re a salad, salmon and water kind of person, this will not be a difficult program to stick to. After a few days I realized I didn’t miss bread, grains or legumes at all and my sugar cravings were gone. In fact, I felt better and lighter. No more awkward bloating, if you know what I mean. However, if you cannot imaging having your sandwich without chips, snacking on crackers or enjoy a beer or two every day after work, I have some news for you – it will be f%^)_+& challenging. I didn’t say impossible. Challenging. But here is the awesome news: you will come out of this experience a new person, and you will freaking love that person. For the first time you will see food and your relationship with it in a very different light. And in my opinion that alone is worth the sweat.
Attitude. Is. Key.
We all want to look like Gisele, right? But only few are willing to put in the work necessary. We would rather sleep than do what’s hard. Isn’t that the truth? I love my red wine and artisan bread with Italian olive oil. Oh yes, I do! I am sure you have things you love and cannot imagine your life without. But guess what? It is only 30 days. Not 30 years. It’s 30 days. That’s. It. If you cannot commit to yourself and your health for 30 consecutive days and say "No" to all the unnecessary distractions and temptations, you have to re-evaluate your relationship with yourself. If you want something bad, you will find a way. Period.
You will have moments of doubt
Yes. You. Will. So make discipline your friend. Everyone who attempts to do something they haven’t done before doubts themselves at one point or another. Such is our human nature -Whaddaya mean I cannot have my glass of wine? The difference between the ones who can stay the course and the ones who cannot is a decision one makes. In a moment of doubt, I take a few deep breaths and allow myself to create a space between screw-this-I-want-that-croissant-now and what-is-my-goal-here. A few moments of temptation aren’t worth casting away the hard work I’ve put into this; the farther you're into the program the easier it is to say "no" to a cream doughnut that's staring at you from the pasty window. I practice this exercise every time a thought of similar nature arises. This approach re-trains your response. It is a very valuable tool I find, as your response to food, beverages, situations, etc. is just like a muscle: train it, and you’ll have a strong body, let it go and… you get the point. Keep your eyes on the prize. And again, if your prize is a croissant, re-evaluate your relationship with yourself.
The many benefits I am reaping:
• I feel better >> my mood is perky and upbeat >> I am more productive >> I feel accomplished at the end of the day.
• I sleep better.
• I am very clear; my focus is sharper and my responses are more grounded.
• I have more energy to exercise and perform better during a one-hour, high-intensity exercise period. I feel I exert more energy, which means I deliver more oxygen to my muscles, which means I am getting in shape faster – this alone is a good enough reason to do Whole30.
• My sense of smell is more keen.
• I don’t have sugar cravings or crash in the middle of the day.
• I am regular.
• It does magic to your skin and hair.
• You're learning to be honest with yourself 100 percent. If you cheat, you're cheating yourself. No one else. This is on you and you only. The true satisfaction comes from being 100 percent committed to the process. Be honest with yourself. It is beautiful.
• I feel happy and uplifted. There is something about eating clean. It makes you feel like a million bucks. When you aren't messing with the natural chemistry of your body with products that aren't meant to be in your body, you body returns to its natural state of health and well-being. Simple yet brilliant.
Words of encouragement
As I wrote here, if you want something bad enough, change is easy. The difficulty of it takes a back seat while you're charging toward your new goal. Try it and find out if it works for you. Try it and see how it makes you feel or changes your life all together. My guess, the change will be for the best. I hope you find this helpful. Good luck!
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Whole30 and/or paid by the organization. This is my personal opinion about the program and honest desire to share my experience.