Over the past few years I’ve been on a health and fitness journey that lead me to drastically change my fitness routine and eating habits. I started doing cross-fit style workouts and eating a mostly paleo diet.
In October of 2015 I stepped outside of my comfort zone and trained for and ran a half marathon. For the first time in my life I felt strong and confident in my body…then last year happened.
Last summer, after a series of very stressful personal events, the healthy habits I worked so hard for started to fall by the wayside. I was back to my old tricks, and I knew I needed a hard reset. On February 26, my husband and I started the Whole30.
The Whole What?
So what is the Whole30? It is an eating plan that cuts out sugar, grains, alcohol, legumes, and dairy. Your meals are filled with protein, vegetables, fats, and fruit. The idea is that you eat strictly from those food groups for 30 days to give you “food freedom”. There are a lot of “rules” that go along with this, but that is the Whole30 in a very small nutshell.
I started out doing everything right. I shopped for compliant foods, spent hours in the kitchen prepping, and was excited to get started. Day 1 came and we nailed it! Yummy, healthy foods filled our plates, we were excited…and we were so hungry that night both my husband I went to bed early to escape our growling stomachs.
Day 2 came, and I woke up feeling sick. My stomach was upset so I picked at my eggs that morning and choked down a few nuts and strawberries for lunch.
I all of a sudden hated the Whole30.
You know the last thing you want to eat when you feel sick? Meat and veggies.
That afternoon I need something to settle my stomach, and I caved and made myself a piece of toast covered in butter.
I was only on day 2 and I had already “failed.”
According to the Whole30 plan I needed to start over, and the next day needed to be Day 1 again. I felt defeated and disappointed in myself.
Never be Afraid to Make Something Your Own
I honestly almost threw in the towel right then and there, and then I remembered what my fitness coach said to me when I told her I was doing the Whole30.
She said “Make it your own, sometimes 90% is good enough.”
So I decided to keep on going and to make this program my own. I am following the Whole30 principles about 95% of the time and eating Paleo the other 5%.
Today I’m on Day 16 of doing it my way and I could not be happier with the way I feel, the results I’ve seen, the way my clothes are fitting, and the bad habits that have been replaced with good ones.
Sure I am technically not doing the Whole30, but I’ve taken many of the ideas and tailored them to a program that works for me. By making a few changes, I’ve set myself up for success in a long-term and sustainable way.
I’m a rule follower by nature, but breaking the Whole30 rules has been freeing and eye-opening. I guess I’m a little bit of a rebel after all….
Have you tried the Whole30? How did you like it?