Whole 30 Round Two
Originally published on Medium
Last February, encouraged by my friend’s Whole 30 success, I decided to go on my own Whole 30 journey. I have never struggled with my weight (although I did gain nearly 20 pounds towards the end of a particularly trying relationship), but I’ve always been hyper-aware of my body. I think it probably has to do with the fact my old cheerleading coach told me that I should stick to a diet of oranges, turkey breast slices, and water because he didn’t want to see my thighs jiggle. I weighed less than 90 pounds at the time. It was around then that I started weighing myself every day, a habit I continue today.
I also didn’t grow up in a super healthy house. We were regularly treated to McDonald’s or Burger King, and the vegetable that made the only appearance on our dinner table was corn. Plus, don’t even get me started on our snack pantry. It was the 90’s. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve branched out, and kale and brussels sprouts are among my favorite foods (seriously, I’m sorry I’m a weirdo). But, my food allergies (nuts, soy, seeds) and even weirder food habits (I despise basil, parsley, cilantro, and most green seasonings) makes my relationship to food, well… complicated.
I think because of this, or maybe in spite of it, I’ve never been one to cut out any particular food group. I seemed to have enough restrictions in my life. But then, my neighbor and friend who is vegetarian and has food restrictions of her own said she was going to do Whole 30. If she could do it, I certainly could. Plus, we’d be able to do it together! I created an email chain of women who were willing and able to cut out grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol, legumes, and other various food staples out of their life for a whole 30 days. And admittedly, it was great! I even got pneumonia in the midst of that month and still stuck with it (although I did have some very plain potato chips, while technically “okay”, they were probably not ideal). By the end of the 30 days, I looked and felt great. But, I missed bagels, and cheese, and wine, and not having to worry about if I was going to be able to find something to eat at a restaurant. Also, I couldn’t look at another fucking sweet potato.
So, I went back to my pre-Whole 30 ways. Some stuff stuck: I still drink my coffee black (usually) and stick to a protein-packed breakfast (hardboiled eggs for the win!), but I also went back to daily desserts. I didn’t gain a ton of weight, but I did gain some. And I felt sloooooow. Since I just turned 31, it seemed like a perfect time to get back on the Whole 30 train. But, this time is different: I’ll admit, I had wine my first day, which is a big no-no. I’m also not meal planning this time around, which kind of takes the pressure off a little bit. And in someways, that’s pretty emblematic for where I’m at in life right now: I want to do things that make me feel good, but I’m also not going to beat myself up over it. At the end of the day, we just do what we can. I feel very optimistic about round 2, and am excited to see what these next 30 days will bring (well, now only 26, but who’s counting…)