Why Did I Do a Whole30?
- I have a terrible relationship with food and I needed to change that. Normally I am just worried about loosing weight, but all the other weight loss methods that worked for me just had me eating low fat, sugar-free, ice cream, and bread all day. I lost weight but still had a bad relationship with food, and then a few years later I gained the weight back.
- What I eat helps regulate my bipolar disorder better than medications do. I needed to figure out what was best for my treatment plan.
- I wanted to have choice in my life rather than letting my illness take control of me.
- I wanted to finally stick up for myself and to say that I am worth this amount of work.
- For my family. I wanted my son to learn what is healthy. Not see that you eat healthy to be a certain size, but you eat, sleep, recover, play, learn, and grow spiritually so you can be play hard, learn more, and be strong.
- Meal planning. You need a TON of food prepared in order to eat Whole30 because you really can't eat out anywhere. (Or at least I could not because I did not want to risk it.) Sometimes we ate the same meal for breakfast lunch and dinner.
- The "Sugar Dragon." I craved sugar, dreamed about sugar, and a few times overate dates or sweet potatoes.
- Binge eating healthy food! I didn't know that if I had no options, I really would overeat veggies and meat.
- Taking food everywhere. Every meeting, every dinner party, every play date for our son, we brought our own food.
- I am not cured. I have had Irritable Bowel (IBS) my whole life and really thought if I just ate Whole30 it would go away. It got better but didn't go away completly. There must still be more I am sensitive too. Also, my bipolar is much better regulated but I don't have more than 3-4 days where I am really stable.
|Two of our favorite books. Photo by Jeff Norris.|
- While I am not cured of IBS or bipolar, they are both significantly better. And, I no longer fear cutting out foods in order to get even more healthy. I always thought "I don't have enough willpower to be better." Whole30 made me realize willpower is a myth. I can do it if I have a good support system, we are better prepared, and I know I am worth it. It was not until week 3 that I really realized I could do this. I think you just have to force yourself to do it for at least 3 weeks before you know you can do it.
- Cooking with my husband. We used to drive each other nuts trying to cook in the same kitchen. But this time we both were working towards the same goal and it was great.
- My son learned about being healthy and is actually interested in it! He remained almost completely Whole30 compliant, and he wanted to do it. Gone are the previous days of him complaining that he can't have pizza, bread, dairy, sweets, candy, and "eat what everyone else eats." He likes to just eat healthy. He wants to be stronger, faster, and better in school. He started CrossFit kids in the last few weeks and is really loving the whole healthy lifestyle.
- We had fun doing this together as a family. We cooked new things, ruined some dishes that made our son laugh at us, went to visit the farm where our meat comes from, worked out together, and we became far more encouraging of each other not only with eating but work, school, and life.
- I learned that my eating disorder is perpetuated by eating bad food. It Starts With Food, the book about Whole 30, has a great chapter on the science behind the addictive nature of processed foods.
- Supplements, sleep, and other things had been suggested to me by my doctor for my treatment but it was so hard to figure out what helped, what was causing problems, because I just had so much bad food in my body. I have a better idea of what supplements help, how much sleep I need, and that there are still a lot more lifestyle changes to go before my treatment plan is compete. Now doing the Whole30, I know I can do all of these things.
- I proved to myself that I matter. I did not cave and put myself last just to make other people more comfortable. I did not doubt my intuition on how best to care for myself. I gave myself power that I thought I did not have before.
- Mental Illness: Less Ativan needed, bit better sleep (still working on this), more stable moods, times that would have set me over the edge were not as bad, on the path to recovery from binge eating, happier, sense of self worth.
- Physical: Better at CrossFit and better at sticking with working out, lost weight and inches (I went down two notches on my belt), skin clearing up, eczema not gone but better, IBS not as bad.
- Family: We became closer as a family, we support each other more, healthy living has almost defined us and what we think is important, even our dogs are on a better diet.
- Spiritual: Much better connection to the earth, animals, and farmers who bring us our food. More gratitude, less waste, more understanding of how to help others who are working on being healthy, easier to stick to our ethics, more connected with the Spirit of Love around us.
- Sticking with a strict Paleo base following the Whole30 concept of not eating a ton of Paleofied foods, and not using any refined sugar, and only small amounts of honey or maple syrup.
- Whole30 has a reintroduction plan, but instead I will be eliminating some more foods to see what still bothers my stomach and I never want to reintroduce wheat, sugar, processed foods, etc...
- More focus on sleep, timing of eating, exercise, and meditation.
Overall, the Whole30 experience was great. True, sometimes I wanted to pull my hair out, scream, yell, and quit. However, the power you gain from doing something like this is so great. You become stronger in body, mind, and spirit.
Some of our most used items this month: It Starts With Food, Practical Paleo, Well Fed, and recipe for Slow Cooker Italian Pork Roast.