As I write this, I’m on Day 16 of my Whole30 (today, 1/20, is Day 18). I had to refer to the calendar I posted on the inside of my kitchen cabinet to check–it’s a great sign that instead of counting down the days, I’ve felt pretty excited about food this whole time. Instead of “going without” a few categories of foods, I’ve been discovering a new way of defining abundance.
The hardest part of the Whole30 for me has been the social aspect. Let’s be real: I definitely have hermit tendencies, and the Whole30 has brought out the worst of them. It’s hard to go out with friends and be the one person who won’t eat any of the food and is sipping with intensity at a glass of club soda and lime. On the plus side, my meals at home have become more extravagant than usual to make up for the lack of restaurant fare. My favorite so far has been Whole30-friendly, Paleo sushi with cauliflower rice.
Looking at on the last time I tried to complete a Whole30, I didn’t have particularly clear goals or motivation. I knew it would be healthy, I’d feel good, all the cool Paleo kids are doing it–eh, okay, cool. Still, I committed to taking pictures of everything I ate, posting here daily, and writing about the experience. A word to the wise: forcing yourself to think even more about food when you’re already scrutinizing each thing you’re putting in your body is a recipe for burnout. Instead of savoring fresh-from-the-oven meals, I insisted on snapping pictures of them til they got cold.
The completely self-imposed pressure of showing off my happy, healthy, Whole30 eating style ultimately led me to go out with a whimper somewhere around Day 20. In retrospect it was clear that other negative habits and attitudes toward food hadn’t changed in those first 20 days either.
This time around, I made no commitment to anyone other than myself…though you can tell that I’m still taking snapshots of delicious meals. I reread The Paleo Solution, finally got It Starts with Food from the library, and thought about what I wanted to accomplish in advance. I framed my Whole30 as a way to experiment and hone a way of eating that I already knew worked for me.
The most powerful realization I had this month is this: no one cares what I eat. Really. I’m pretty sure none of my friends could care less if I eat a piece of cake or red beans and rice. So the only judge who matters is me. Since I’m feeling good only two weeks in, I have plenty of resolve to keep it up.
As I continue in the pretty flipping awesome “Tiger Blood” phase of the Whole30, I want to share two amazing blogs that have made this process even better: Holly Would If She Could and Nom Nom Paleo. If you’re looking for motivational reads, inspiring food, and a strong sense of Whole30 community, you won’t be disappointed.
Good luck to all the Whole30ers out there this month! If you’re doing the January Whole30, how are you feeling?