An old blog post written by me on September 13, 2013 on my old blog writefromthefarm
Well, I did it. I know I touched on it the other day, but I want to write about it again. I did the Whole 30 Life Challenge recently and yesterday was my last day. 30 days of no sugar, no dairy, no grains (gluten), no legumes, no white potatoes, no alcohol, no MSG, Carageenan, sulfites, no sweeteners, etc. Can you imagine? Probably you can’t. I know I had no idea how much of my ways would have to change when I willingly joined forces with one of my friends so I would not have to go it alone. Susie was a blessing and a good sounding board, even though we live 4 hours apart (but seconds away by text or facebook!).
Here’s what Susie had to say about her Whole 30 journey:
So thirty days to change your life? Is that possible? Well, it may not fix all your problems, but it certainly is a good jumping off spot! Thirty days is a long time, and it’s also a short time. The first few days were pretty rough. I really wanted half and half in my coffee. REALLY, REALLY wanted it bad. Probably sent too many texts to too many people that day about how badly I wanted it. Sorry peeps. But I did not have the half and half. I wanted feta cheese on my salad. Pouted a little too much about that, too. Didn’t have it after all, and I survived. And so, that is how my journey went. The first few days I had to “go without” and it felt awful and depriving. I felt a little too sorry for myself, and all ABOUT FOOD! Stupid, stupid, meaningless food! So everyday in the beginning was a new challenge, and then around Day 8, it just snapped for me:
2) I also realized that all of this was just crap that I was missing. I don’t need creamer or half and half. I don’t need cheese on everything (to my husband who might read this, you do not need cheese on everything either, I promise!) I had a new desire to keep going and get past all these pity-party feelings about things that just made me feel bad about myself and were keeping me from enjoying the process of the Whole 30. It was just gonna have to be mind over matter. Check out my FB post about deprivation, and my friends Susie’s response: CLASSIC! This is why it’s good to have a “battle buddy.”
And its not just about getting carbs out, it’s really about getting the crap out. I was eating crap! I was eating crap that was making me sick, yet sad that I could not eat the crap. It took time for me to start feeling better, and it happens fast on the Whole 30, to start realizing that that crap being gone from my daily life was why I was feeling better!
Then I just decided it was time to get serious. First of all, this should be crazy easy for me. I’m a pretty amazing home chef (yes, I can say that about myself). Second, I have access to amazing produce, because not only am I living in the bread basket of the world, I also work on an organic farm. Secondly, nobody loves Instagram more than me, or photographing their food like me. I was missing out on an opportunity here. So I put on my big girl panties, got in my kitchen, and thought of new ways to think about food. Once I started, it wasn’t that hard and I had a lot of fun.
For a look at how I blew up Instagram daily, here’s a link to my account:
And here’s a more detailed album of how I kept track of my creations on facebook:
I don’t think I ate a single thing that tasted bad or did not fill a need. I got really good at listening to my body and making mental notes of old habits that I was trying hard to shed. This is not an easy task, especially if the rest of your family is eating Domino’s Pizza for dinner or croissant sandwich samples at Costco. (But they are now detoxing themselves. About halfway through my 30 day journey, I gutted the kitchen and threw out a ton of food that was just garbage! So they are not eating a lot of that stuff anymore.) And let me say, walking through Costco and not grabbing a sample while you’re shopping is SO HARD TO DO, but like the other things, I survived it all. And in case you’re wondering, I did finally perfect coffee. I don’t even know if I will ever have real dairy in my coffee again. And those coffee posts are my most popular on Instagram, by the way. Who doesn’t love a good cup of Joe? And who wouldn’t want to unjunk their coffee? That particular part of the Whole 30 is my pride and joy. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Spice Frappucinos, frothy creamy lattes, chocolate “milk,” chocolate “milkshakes,” apple spice lattes, etc. Yes, I did that! And all dairy free, sugar free, and completely guilt free, and homemade. I am free of the shackles of the sugary Starbucks habit! YES!
All in all, this experience was great. I feel amazing. I have so much energy. It’s been a great 30 days. It’s been so life changing that I’m not even planning on giving up yet. A lot of people stop at Day 30 and then begin the reintroduction process, but I have decided to stick with it. I’m going for longer. I’m not sure when I’ll stop, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I lost two pants sizes, a bra size, and fit into a lot of clothes in a way I have not in a long time. I don’t know what I weigh at all; somehow that is not that important to me exactly how much I lost when I gained so much more. I know how I feel and I think that’s more important than some arbitrary number that means less to me than my level of self-worth. Today is Day 31 of a challenge I want to continue forever. How long it will last, I don’t necessarily know right now, and I don’t have to. I’ll know when it’s time to transition and try easing off a bit. But for now, I just want to keep feeling this great and see how much greater I can feel in the future.
For more about the Whole 30/Whole 9 Life Challenge:
UPDATE: I have since done another Whole 30. For more info about this challenge, and my most recent, click here: My Whole 30 in 15 Seconds.