I imagine the title of this post got some eye rolls. Before you start throwing tomatoes, hear me out here. I set out on this #bloggerlife journey with a commitment to bring you honest experiences and plethora of sarcasm. Sometimes that will mean going off the beaten path. I’m here to share all of it with you.
First, I think it’s important to say that if this is your first (or even second) Whole30, I do believe it’s very important to finish the whole round and do some form of reintroduction. It is just as important to decide this before you start your round as opposed to when you’re faced with a delicious plate of sushi or chocolate cake and decide then and there that you’re done. However, this is not my first rodeo and the point of the Whole30 is to improve your habits and relationship with food. I decided when I started this round, that if I had truly slayed the sugar dragon by the time January 26 rolls around, I would be ok with calling it a day. For me, that was the specific goal of this round.
I started this round knowing I had a girls trip scheduled at the end of the month and I debated doing a round at all because of this. Then I remembered that is ridiculous and I am in charge of implementing health challenges, goals, and habits in any time frame I want. Please know, it is absolutely possible to go on a trip and stick with the Whole30 plan. In fact, I have done exactly that twice now. Simply stated, it’s not important to me to finish the 30 days just to say I did it if I can reap the same benefits by “ending” on day 26. I am not quitting due to a lack of willpower or motivation. I am not quitting because I want to eat cookies or make my beloved paleo pancakes. The reason I am quitting has more to do with mental health and the ritual of spending time with some outstanding humans in the way that I want to without feeling guilty or bound by a finish line three days later.
I will not be diving head first into a bowl of ice cream or the bread basket at dinner. However, I will be enjoying a few glasses of wine and probably even some sugar (whether its conscious or not because it’s literally in everything ever) with some of my girlfriends on a beautiful mountain getaway. Recently, I was listening to a podcast with Dr. Frank Lipman and he said that he isn’t necessarily convinced that a glass of red wine is actually good for heart health.
What is good for our health however is sharing a glass of wine with friends while laughing and experiencing personal connection and stress release.
The wine is sometimes a catalyst for the dose of all the feels with our friends and families.
I know how food like dairy, gluten, and sugar affect me and am armed with all the tools I need to make decisions about what goes into my body based on that information. I am not ending my Whole30 early because I cannot fathom having any fun without drinking wine either. I am no stranger to being sober sally at many a gathering. I am ending early because 30 days is not a rule written in stone for me at this point. Some rounds last 5 days and some last 45.
If having a few glasses of wine while continuing to eat unprocessed nutrient-dense food technically means “ending” my Whole30, I am ok with that. Whole30 for me is something that extends beyond a 30 day window. I may drink some booze this weekend I’ll likely enjoy every drop of it. That’s alllll a part of food freedom, folks.
I am writing this on day 19. I no longer have sugar cravings after every meal like I did on December 26th. My body craves nutrient-dense food and that is what I will continue to feed it on day 20, day 35, and day 103. That certainly does not mean that I won’t at some point find myself in need of another reset. But! That’s the beauty of the Whole30. When you learn to recognize when your body needs a reset, you can literally build your own plan to achieve that. In the past, I have gone off the rails after the 30 days because I had the mentality that I was “done.” If ony… right?! Now, I know that food freedom and life after Whole30 (or any reset) means that I have to plan and prepare, choose healthy foods, and wade through which less-healthy foods are worth it to me and my health goals (enter, wine). I’m not going to lie. If I could eat all the potato chips and brownies and meet all my health goals and not feel like I got hit by a food truck, I’d do that. Who wouldn’t?! But, after testing that theory over and over again, it’s time to lay that one to rest.
I will still plan ahead (duh. It’s me we’re talking about) and pack some goodies for my trip so if I’m faced with a breakfast of waffles with whipped cream or a lunch of mac n’ cheese, I won’t have that panicky feeling that I am unprepared and will be hungry the entire weekend. I plan to bring some hard boiled eggs, some compliant bars, some raw fruit and veggies, dips and dressings, and offer to make dinner one night as well! I also plan to chill the F out a tad and enjoy quality time with my girlfriends. Cheers, ladies!
This doesn’t have to be complicated. If the only reason you’re finishing a program, a challenge, or a “diet” is because you feel guilty, you are probably not ready to take that on- and that’s ok too!
As Diane SanFilippo said recently when I saw her in Boulder, “everyone really just needs to chill out.”
Listen to your body. Live your life. Learn to be ok with making your own rules. Real life happens. Ya dig?