Some of you may have seen that Claire and I did the Whole30 program for the month of January. We first heard about this program through Claire’s friend Shirley, who is a Whole30 superstar. I am happy to say that we made it through – and we are so excited to share our experience with you!
The Whole30 is a food regimen that avoids dairy, wheat, and added sugar of any kind. It focuses on eating “whole” foods for thirty days: meat, vegetables, and fruit. You might say it sounds restrictive, or hard. I found myself chugging a glass of milk the night before we started (New Year’s Eve) while everyone else was probably enjoying cocktails. But guess what? It’s only thirty days. IT’S ONLY THIRTY DAYS. And it is completely worth it.
These past thirty days have been enlightening, but even more importantly, they have been empowering. Here are some of the things I learned this month:
- We are addicted to sugar. Day 2 rolls around and it feels like you’ve been hit by a bus. You’ve got a headache all day and you wish sleep would give you respite. It is CRAZY that our body reacts this way after only one day of being deprived of sugar.
- Every piece of food counts. You are encouraged not to snack in between meals, and so that little piece of diced onion suddenly becomes that much more important. In all reality though, this taught us to use what we have and be thankful for it. We were no longer wasting food.
- Sugar is in everything. It’s in salt. It’s in bacon. It’s in things you would never guess, and you start to wonder if companies are trying to get you addicted to their product.
- The food you eat has a big impact on your day. I’m happier, I think more clearly, and I am more motivated. I have more energy to give to Claire and Peter!
- Eggs. Eggs for breakfast every day. Eggs are good. Eggs.
- It’s incredibly satisfying to practice self control. Being able to prove to yourself that you don’t need a crutch, you don’t need that snack, and that you can stick to something for thirty days is awesome!
- It is important to have a meal plan. Meal planning enables you to eat healthier, and makes grocery shopping so much quicker! Our shopping times were nearly cut in half.
- Food preparation is essential. Cut up onions. Cut up garlic. Cut up carrots. Repeat. This is an important part of the Whole30, but food preparation makes cooking easier and allows you to try out some new things! It’s like LEGOS FOR COOKING. I love creating, and we are closest to Our Creator when we do!
- I learned to be intentional with our shopping and eating. Being intentional is a good thing for your life in general, but with food, you start to realize what you are putting into your body and how that will affect you.
- Boundaries allow for true freedom. These boundaries may seem threatening at first, but once they are established, everything within is fair game! There is a beauty in this, since you are no longer a slave to cravings and junk food. You are truly free!
Outside of all these mini lessons, the most important thing I’ve learned is that the body matters. This may seem simple to some. I used to place great emphasis on the spiritual, and I thought that it was okay to neglect the physical. It wasn’t until gaining a deeper understanding of the Theology of the Body that I began to see I was wrong. We are wonderfully and fearfully made, body and soul. The two are forever linked together, and what happens to one greatly affects the other. The body we are given is our body for eternity.
I knew that I needed to start taking better care of myself and that this began with eating well. I whole-heartedly embraced the Whole30, and after these thirty days, I have lost 23 lbs! I lost 4 inches on my belt. I went down 2 pants sizes. I have more energy throughout the day. My mind is clear. I have only had one migraine this month, which is amazing! I’ve regained my self control with eating, and my portions have grown smaller. I feel more myself. The Whole30 has changed our lives for the better, and there’s no turning back!