There are far fewer trumpets and confetti than I expected on my final day of this
fad elimination diet. When I started 30 days ago, I thought today would be a day of jubilation and relief. A day where the prospect of tomorrow’s pizza would levitate my spirits throughout the rest of today.
In reality, I probably won’t eat pizza tomorrow and the downpour that accompanied me on my office commute this morning is really harshing my buzz. The purpose of the whole30, at least as I understand it, is to encourage a lifestyle change. For all intents and purposes for me it did. I lost a little bit of weight, though not as much as I expected, and I’ve cheated here and there with red wine and miniature reece’s peanut butter cups. Maybe those slips make the whole(30) thing feel illegitimate, half-finished, etc. Maybe it’s just highlighted the fact that I’m incredibly hard on myself and my perfectionist nature will never let me feel accomplished even if I haven’t had a slice of pizza or a candy bar or yogurt or bread in 30 days.
That said, it has really helped me suss out a few things:
- I now have a better sense of the “bad” foods I actually like, and the ones I just eat out of boredom. I think/hope this will help me make smarter eating choices moving forward
- I have significantly cut out my daily consumption of added sugars, dairy, and grains - and my stomach has been all the better for it
- It has not necessarily helped me sleep better, but that could be due to my increase in coffee consumption to combat cravings #noregrets
- I would sincerely like to stop drinking, but that’s much harder to do than I thought. This is a character trait I do not wish to unpack until my 30’s
- I’m happy to have eggs and smoothies for breakfast every morning
- I still think about food all the time
- I like cooking dinner and packing lunch
- The money I saved on eating out all the time just went to other expenses like registering for a half marathon and a marathon and clothes.
- I’m bad with money.
- Doing a diet has made me exponentially more self-absorbed
The last point is the most problematic. When you live in a culture obsessed with food, and then decide to overhaul your eating habits, it’s impossible not to think and fret over them constantly. And when you do that, you are constantly thinking about yourself - your schedule, your world, your needs (mostly hunger-based). The whole30 made me feel better, but I’m not sure it made me a better person. Not that eating 4 slices of hawaiian pizza, washing them down with 4 companion beers, and sleeping until 1 PM on Sunday is tantamount to good person-hood. But if I am to split my life up into 30-day increments, I’d like to spend the next few legs focusing on others.
30 days seems like no time at all. Particularly this year which has flown by at a frightening rate. But the past 30 days have felt like some of the longest of my life, and prove how much can happen over the course of one month. I trained for a half marathon, I celebrated a cousin’s birthday, I’ve dealt with and am still dealing with an extended family members’s stage 4 cancer diagnosis, an integral member of my work team just quit sending some serious adjustment ripples through our small departments, the Houston Rockets forced a Game 6 on the OKC Thunder only to fall apart in the 4th quarter, I learned how to make baked sweet potato falafel. This chunk of time was filled with insignificant moments and major changes, some of which I will probably forget in a month and some that will have lasting effects. I guess I’m thankful to the whole30 for shining a light on these particular days, while giving me permission to really focus on myself so that now I can push my energy outwards.
Tonight, I celebrate with a face full of hummus. No legumes? Seriously, whole30?!?!