I started the Whole30 last Saturday and am happy to say that I made it through the entire week without cheating, killing anyone, or crying. There is this Whole30 Timeline that details the things you will go through during the program, and I am also happy to say that so far I haven’t really had to go through any really really tough times this week. I did get a slight, nagging headache on Day 3, but I drank lots of water and took some ibuprofen and it really wasn’t awful. Yesterday I was a little cranky, but again, not awful. Overall, the first week wasn’t terrible at all. In fact, at one point I posted on the forum asking if I was doing it right simple because I didn’t feel awful!
That being said, I think I have a couple of advantages that I wouldn’t have had, say, a year ago. For one, I went through a stretch (almost 9 months) of being gluten and sugar free, and I went through withdrawals like the world’s worst hangover for about a week. Even though I did not maintain that lifestyle (because gluten and sugar, yum!), I did learn then to be much more mindful about what I was eating. I stopped buying many processed foods and made things at home-I think that truly helped lessen my withdrawal/detox time and symptoms. Don’t get me wrong-I still ate all sorts of crap, but it was homemade crap. Still not at all good for me and still not in any way conducive to a healthy lifestyle, but at least it was minimally processed crap. Hey-it makes me feel slightly better, so let me enjoy that one small thing.
Another advantage: I don’t take cream or sugar in my coffee, I rarely eat cereal, and to drink a glass of milk is, for me, about as rare as a purple giraffe. So in giving up dairy, I really don’t feel like I am missing anything. Cheese, maybe a little-because eggs. There are a lot of eggs to be eaten on this program and I don’t love or even particularly like eggs, so I have always used cheese and jalapenos to mask the taste. Still, overall dairy hasn’t been a problem.
Actually so far not much has been a problem as far as food goes. When I was gluten and sugar free, I had to overcome a lot of my food issues and remind myself that food is fuel. Sometime it tastes like ambrosia, other times it’s simply something to provide fuel. It really is a simple as that. So, with that in mind, I haven’t had much of an issue with eating leftovers or partaking of something I would previously choose not to eat. It’s just fuel. I still haven’t eaten Brussels sprouts or beets-but it’s only been a week.
Also: I like to eat the same foods often. As in, I could (and have) eaten a turkey sandwich for lunch for weeks at a time. While variety is nice, routine is even nicer. So what looks like a food rut for many people is, for me, simply how I am. Again, only week one, but if I am changing dinner up regularly (which I do, because I love to cook and love making new recipes!) than breakfast and lunch are no big deal (yet).And you don’t HAVE To eat the same thing all the time-there are so many wonderful foods you can eat that you could conceivably eat something entirely different every meal during the 30 days. Really.
My main reason for starting the Whole30 is simply a desire to feel better. Ya’ll, I have been feeling basically shitty for the last several years. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I am tired all.the.time, I am irritable and anxious and I simply hurt everywhere, all the time. During my GF/SF time, I felt like ten tons of awesome. I walked four miles a day, I didn’t nap, I felt strangely zen most of the time. Shit still happened because life, but I felt mentally and physically really good. I want that back. And I want to remember how crappy I have felt for the last long time and remind myself that certain foods just aren’t worth it.
That being said, it’s been a good week. I am pretty proud of myself (and the lovely friend who is doing this with me!) for getting through it. Here’s to Week 2, one meal at a time!