Focus on the journey, not the destination.
Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
I’ve reached the home stretch of my first Whole30. I am feeling happy and healthy, plus a little relieved and nervous.
Happy because I am doing it – no slip-ups, no excuses, no cheats, no major meltdowns. I am establishing new thought-patterns and letting go of habits that haven’t worked in the past. Happy because my clothes fit better. Happy because I feel good. Happy because I’ve had fun discovering recipes that will be great for meal plans even after the Whole30.
Healthy because I am fueling my body with whole foods. I’ve been drinking tons of water and no alcohol. I’m tired when it’s time for bed and up in the mornings when it’s time to wake up. Healthy because working out has felt like a natural extension of this new eating routine. Healthy because I am listening to my body and taking great care of myself.
Relieved because the end is near. It will feel luxurious to have a glass of wine with dinner, and it will feel nice to have a nibble of chocolate after. It Starts With Food (the book companion to Whole30) offers a full re-introduction to normal foods plan… that I will follow another time. My last day of Whole30 coincides with our departure for a 3-week trip to Europe. I’ll be navigating my re-entry carefully and swiftly.
Nervous because I’ll be diving from this extremely restrictive diet to dinners out and meals on the road. Nervous (and excited) to weigh myself — my reflection in the mirror looks stronger, more lean and toned. I am not going to tie any measure of success to my weight, but a girl gets curious after 26 days of hard work!
A few things that have made this Whole30 easier on me:
- Working from home. I was talking to my Mister about how this hasn’t been that hard. He gently reminded me that working from home has helped me avoid break-room candy, office happy hours, and monthly birthday cake. If I were doing Whole30 from my old job, my resolve might have been tested more.
- Empathetic friends. Last Friday, our friends invited us over for dinner. They prepared a Whole30 approved meal… including mock piña coladas that were sugar free. We stayed out way later than planned because it was such an amazing night!
- Being a former vegetarian. These days I have no qualms about eating organic and pastured meats. My past life as a vegetarian helped me feel comfortable with being the weird one at a table, and it gave me a fondness for most veggies.
This experience has taught me that I don’t need to eat everything. I can decline, pick and choose, and eat based on my hunger.
I am hoping to remember this feeling: I will not “lose out” if I don’t eat every macaroon in Paris. All I need is one (or two!) for the experience. This realization is freeing… but scary. The thought that usually plays over and over in my mind is “I deserve that.” Now I know that I deserve to feel good, happy, and heathy… and no sweet treat can give that to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I will indulge again. I just plan to be more intentional and honest with myself about what I’m eating. In It Starts with Food, the authors say that food is either good for you or bad for you. There is no middle, gray part where food is neutral. This black and white explanation has been helpful. When I eat “bad for me” foods, I plan to acknowledge it as such and savor the treat… instead of dreaming about eating ten more!
I am already planning my next Whole30 for when we’re back from Europe. For now, I’m enjoying these last days of the program before we take off on our adventure.
Image via Death to the Stock Photo
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