3 Big Successful Lessons of a ‘Failed’ Whole30

Whole30

How was your January Whole30?

A common misconception is that I’m an extremely healthy eater.  Listen, I do enjoy and admire healthy ingredients. I love whole-food/plant-based recipes and am forever in search of new food products that make life better! A big rule of thumb in the last few years has been to always include the best in my diet first.

I also binge, which makes my overall nutritional habits…umm…lacking. Just. Want. To. Drown. All. Emotions. In. Ice cream.  Or nanaimo bars. Basically, my emotions have a secret ninja devil plot to engage diabetes. I’m sure of it. My nutritional habits are improving, ya sure, but sugar…ugh…sugar kills me. (Literally? Hmmm. Likely).

Enter stage right Whole30.

I’ve tried this whole30 thing twice before and made it to the 10-day mark both times. It’s not a diet, so let’s just clear that up right now (the founder explains). And I’m not trying this because I want to ‘diet’. My new year focus for January wasn’t to lose weight – it was to create healthier eating habits by getting to the core of my existing ones. This, like most growth in my life, requires a mix of self-compassion, grit, and humble pie.

Going into January’s Whole30 (which seemingly everyone was doing) I was determined to flawlessly get through the 30 days.  Completely convinced. The number 30 dangled like a delicious red velvet cupcake. If I only get to day 30, then…

Then what exactly?  All things in the world would be better? Who knows.

Lesson 1: Thou shalt not intermittent fast.

At least not until you can like a responsible adult, ha ha.  I finally came to a point in my health that intermittent fasting could be an option. An exciting prospect! So after discussing with my doc, it was green-light-go.  A win after bouncing back from burnt out.

The surprise was three ‘well-that-doesn’t-work’ things that were happening during my Whole30 related to intermittent fasting.

  • Since I was savouring my coffee in the morning I ended up ignoring water. No-brainer right? Drink yo water! I didn’t clue that I wasn’t drinking enough water in until mid-month. Why? Likely because there was a lot going on in January, and apparently, I don’t mind suffering.
  • I had a really hard time eating so well and getting enough calories in within the 8 hours window.  Amazingly, I was uncomfortably full but feeling under fed.
  • Lastly, I wasn’t talking vitamins and probiotics on a consistent basis. Fasting meant that my usual morning smoothie (that holds all my vitamins and probiotics) was a no go for the morning and ‘just-too-much’ to try and squeeze in in the evenings.

This was a good lesson. By mid-month I started listening to my body, drinking more water and reincorporating morning smoothies. Voila, my ‘whole30’ instantly got miles better. I realize that smoothies are typically a no go for the reset however it works for me. And that was the big win here – to start listening to the body and do what nourishes and fuels you best!

Whole30

Lesson 2: Being single isn’t an excuse to be a Miss Wasteful Wanda.

Up until this point I honestly thought (and just accepted) that being single meant that there was always going to be food waste in my house.  At the end of every week I was emptying the fridge of wilted produce and uneaten leftovers.

Except with this Whole30 round! A funny yet miraculous thing happened – there was zero food waste. Like none. I was stunned. Impressed.

Ok, so why?

  • I started saving produce scraps in the freezer to make broths. Delicious nutritious broths!
  • There was only good whole food in the house, therefore I eat all the good whole food. Ha ha. The option of ordering a pizza wasn’t there so I managed with the food I had. The most amazing meals happened after opening the fridge and thinking ‘there’s no food’.
  • Saving pennies mattered in January and I wasn’t about to waste any funds on food purchased outside the house when there was still plenty in the fridge. Yes, this meant sometimes I has soup for breakfast and eggs for supper.

Whole30

Lesson 3: This girl can’t follow a plan to save her life.

If you ever read the ‘Rebel’ profile in The Four Tendencies by Gretchin Rubin you’d understand.  I tested as a rebel with a capital YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.

Looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever followed a plan. Not when it came to nutrition, or fitness, or life.  I tried throughout the years and wasted a lot of money buying these plans.  In fact, I get an immense sense of relief and satisfaction in trashing said plans! Going against the grain is kinda my thing. It keeps me feeling alive.

So how is Whole30 even a possibility? Well in all honesty I started exercising food freedom on day 24 this time.  Did I ‘fail’ Whole30 (or myself?) noooooooooooo.  That’s a hard no. It was a good experience and I’ll do it again.

How can fellow ‘rebels’ approach Whole30?

  • Stick to the hard rules and exercise your inner rebellion with the suggested rules.
  • SWYPO – if you need to, and only after realizing why, I did twice and it was nice. Ha ha.
  • Do something in conjunction with your Whole30 (like a new fitness plan, book club, plan to purge your closet, etc…and be a rebel with that!)

Whole 30

What went well with Whole30?!

  • The biggest win from the month is the better sense of self (vague I know, but this one is just for my own internal musings).
  • I actually started craving was those nutrient dense whole foods over sugar.
  • Meals are now mostly plant based.
  • Somehow all (TMI alert) menstrual cycle symptoms disappeared (my cycles have been getting horridly worse for years now).
  • Improved sleep quality (no longer waking up several night in the night)

I’ll take that. Now, for February the focus is fitness. Lord help me. Burpees anyone?!? Maybe I’ll start with something a little less ‘ugh’…like napping. That counts as fitness, right?!

What’s your focus for the month?

 

Victoria xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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