I’ve officially made it 14 days on the Whole30! I have to say, I sure picked a tough time to start. Between office events, general stress, and getting ready to travel, there has been a lot of temptation to cheat, but at the same time I figure that’s all the more reason I should be doing the Whole30 now in the first place. Stress eating is one of my biggest vices and one of the reasons I wanted to try this in the first place, so it makes sense to truly break the habit during a stressful time.
How I’m feeling: Pretty good. I’ve continued to have some general GI pain (but according to the Hartwigs, that’s normal), on one occasion so severe that it woke me up in the middle of the night, but overall I’m feeling pretty good.
I’m not going to lie, there’s another feeling sneaking in every once in awhile now, and I’m not sure that I like it. I’m starting to feel judgmental sometimes when I look around and see what everyone else is eating. I look at people (including my friends!) and see them eating pizza, pasta, all the cheese, and even a normal meal like a sandwich with some chips, and all I can think about is everything that’s wrong with what they’re eating. I know part of this must stem from jealousy since it’s all related to things I’m not eating right now, but I also do genuinely look around and worry for people. How is it possible that we’ve gone so far down this path of processed foods? How do we fix it? Do people even want to fix it? Don’t get me wrong, I want to have a donut every once in awhile, but I didn’t realize just how processed my diet was until now. I’ve got a lot of thoughts and emotions about this, and I’m still trying to work through them right now.
What I’ve learned:
- How many carb and sugar rich foods I had been eating. This may be kind of obvious based on my last little rant. I definitely relied on these types of foods. I told myself they were healthy or that I didn’t eat that many of them – but now that I’ve cut them out completely I realize how much in this category I did eat. Beans and dairy really aren’t that hard for me to cut out, but the carbs have been very hard.
- I never really made myself dinner before this. I really used to have some rice, eggs, and veggies on a good night, and a bowl of cereal on a bad night. I figured that I was being good all day so I could eat those things, but now I realize that when you make that choice every day it starts to add up.
- Stress eating is definitely still possible on Whole30. For example, on Thursday, I ate half a bag of pistachios after a crazy morning and then had bacon for lunch. So yes, you can still end up stress eating if you don’t eat mindfully. That’s probably been the biggest lesson so far – how much food is connected to emotion for me. I think I’m starting to break that cycle, but I also worry that it will take me more than 30 days to do so.
- It’s okay to not like cooking – you just have to plan accordingly. So as you might have guessed from #2, cooking is not at the top of my list of priorities at the end of a long day. Or even the beginning of a short day. I also am not the biggest fan of leftovers, and that’s something I knew about myself going into this. For me, the recipe for success has been finding a couple of recipes that I can make ahead of time to rely on and then having simple go-to’s so that I don’t have to think too much during the week.
- Flexibility is key – you have to keep the end goal in mind. This week I had a couple of events where I needed to eat, and brought my own compliant snacks, but had to wing it for the main meal in order to get some food. And while I could have stressed out about that, the bigger picture for me here is cutting down on carbs and processed foods, so I tried to do that as much as possible. For example, on Monday at a make-your-own-sandwich line, I made turkey and roast beef rollups with lettuce and mustard. On Thursday I wrapped a burger in lettuce for dinner. Do I know if those meats were 100% compliant? No. Was eating something better than eating nothing and getting a raging migraine? For sure. Choices like these will be hard while I’m on the road, but keeping the end goal in sight will be helpful for those tough moments.
Just a hair under halfway through! So curious to see how the rest of these 30 days go.