You Can Do ANYTHING for 30 Days, Even Whole30 ALONE

This blog post is in response to a question I received from Kayla commenting on, “Fresh Start.” Kayla asked if I Whole30 alone, or if my husband Whole30s with me. Let me start by saying, this is one of the great things about blogging. Meeting new people and helping to encourage them throughout their journey. As we’ll see through this post, you may do some things alone, but with others out there doing the same, you’re never really alone. Thank you Kayla for reaching out to me. I’m looking forward to our journey together.

The short and long of it…no, my husband didn’t join me on my first round. He did attempt, but after a couple of days, he said it just wasn’t for him. I completed the Whole30 and felt so good that I told EVERYONE about my experience. He decided he wanted to experience what I had, so he joined me Jan 1, 2015 for what turned out to be a Whole120. We started out with 30 days planning to complete at least 90, but continued on to 120 days. I must say, the experience was totally different with him making the changes with me. Much DIFFERENT.

I truly believe that everyone should take the journey at least once, alone. You really learn a lot about yourself during the process. You learn a lot about how you feel about the new foods your body is falling in love with. The first week was a little tough. Remember, your body is addicted to things like sugar, so it has a lot of adjusting to do. After week one, you’re home free. You’ll battle a little food boredom in week 3, but nothing bad. There are groups on FB you can join that share recipes. There are apps you can get for your phone like Nom Nom Paleo (LOVE IT). Not to mention the bookoos of blog posts, Pinterest pins, and Instagram photos.

My advice on encouraging the family to join in is to live your Whole30 experience daily in front of them. I’m the cook in my family, so what mama cooks everybody eats. My family loves food, so there weren’t a lot of things off limits. After 30 days of eating clean (even though not Whole30 for him), my husband benefited from my Whole30 experience. He had lost a little weight, and he was feeling much better. We got off track in December around the holidays, so it became really obvious what we were missing, and he was totally ready to join me.

January 2015, Jeff joined me for the complete Whole30, and now, he is saying things that I was saying a lot. Things like: I can’t believe how much of the grocery store I don’t even shop in. I can’t believe I ever liked ____. I had no idea how many things include sugar that you would NEVER think had sugar in it–like chicken stock. What the what? It’s in practically EVERYTHING, which made me ask the question, if sugar wasn’t in it, would we want to eat it?

June 1st started another official round of Whole30 for us. We ate Whole30ish and then more ish than Whole30, so it became more of Whish. 🙂 I was hurting in my stomach. I was bloated and had unbelievable gas constantly. My stomach STAYED messed up. Now, day 3 of Whole30, all of that is gone! I truly stop and ask myself, why, why, why do I ever eat anything else? I’m still gathering intel on that one. My life is like one big experiment for me. I’m constantly gathering information to see what I can learn about what I am doing or going through. Be sure to pay attention to those things in your life, too. It is invaluable information.

If by chance you have a family that just WILL NOT join you, and you’re not wanting the tough love route of “then cook for yourself,” it’s a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. Cook what you can have. Let them take care of the rest. Share with your friends about it and get at least one of them to be as committed to it as you are or at least as committed to encouraging you. My friend Crystal is that. She doesn’t Whole30, but she knows it is what works best for me, and she encourages me to stick with it or if I’m off plan and not feeling well, she’ll tell me, you know what works for you–do it. Again, there are groups online like the main Whole30 page where there is constantly new information being shared. There are FB groups of individuals supporting each other.

One word of caution: as with any program, there are snobs. Ignore them. There are people who will want to chime in about how you could be eating MORE Whole30 than you are, or how something you picked to eat may not be compliant. BIG DEAL. Don’t get me wrong, it is important for your FIRST Whole30 to be completely compliant. You need that, but after that point, you’ll want to continue. You will feel so good that you’ll refer to the way you eat as Whole30, but it obviously doesn’t have to be compliant. Your research is over at that point. You will add food back that doesn’t bother you or sabotage your behavior.

While Paleo is the foundation of the Whole30 program, I choose to live closer to Whole30 than to Paleo. It’s nice to have a name for it, so I refer to it as my Whole30Life when I am not doing an official round of it.  So the final take aways from this post: Try Whole30 at least once. Be completely compliant. If you choose to Whole30Life, don’t fret the snobs. Find a buddy who supports your goals. If you still find yourself alone, you find me online. I do have an online group you’re welcome to join if you’re looking for a private support group online. You can do it. I had a lot of really strong food addictions and negative behaviors. If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT.

I’m happy to help. I’ll be your Whole30 consultant. 😉 Do it for you! You won’t be sorry!!

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Judge My Buggy NOT My Body

Lately, I have been thinking about how society views people who are overweight (obese, morbidly obese). For the largest segment of the population, the view is very superficial. We are measured by what we look like. Not just measured but judged. There are clicks where we won’t fit, stereotypically. There are jobs we won’t be offered, which is legal because being overweight isn’t a protected class. People judge based on the package–not the entire package but basically just the outside.

I want to send the message that just as we shouldn’t judge people based on their past because they could have changed over the years, a person’s body, thin or overweight, shouldn’t be judged. A thin person shouldn’t be assumed to have an eating disorder, and by the same token, it shouldn’t be assumed they eat healthy. The same applies to overweight people. Don’t assume that their current body accurately reflects the level of their discipline. The only way to properly determine the overall nutritional health of a person would be to judge their grocery buggy.

I have been overweight since puberty. I have gained approximately 5 lbs a year over the course of my life. When you do the basic math of junk food calories, it doesn’t take a lot to equal a gain of 5 lbs a year. Given the terrible food choices I’ve made over the years, I think my body has been pretty forgiving to only add 5 lbs a year, but I digress. This fat suit that I have been wearing all these years is much more difficult to remove than it was to put on. The worst part is that although I have maintained a healthy eating lifestyle since July 2014 (excluding Christmas season–I went awol), my body still reflects the bad decisions I have made over the years.

Unless I wear a sign that says, “Don’t Judge My Body Based On My Past Choices”, people will still make assumptions about me that aren’t true. Now, the list of people that I really care what they think is very short, but it is still a societal prejudice that should be broken. I am trying to do my part by writing about it to educate others that a person’s buggy will tell far more about them than their body will. My buggy will tell you that there is ZERO junk in my house, and my family eats very healthy–despite our out of shape bodies.

Everything that goes in my buggy is whole (in their most natural state available in a grocery store without anything added to them and a very short ingredients list of only natural items and no sugar added). Meat, vegetables (and a lot of them), and fruit. I would be happy to be judged by my buggy now. I actually love grocery shopping. It is very empowering to know that I am making healthy decisions. What is unfortunate is that it takes a years of healthy grocery shopping/eating to undo the past as reflected by my body. This is why we shouldn’t judge others based on their body because it is not the most reliable source (even chronic illnesses make the body an unreliable source).

The same is true for people who are thin. It cannot be assumed that someone who is not overweight eats well. Genetics and heredity play far too much into that equation for it to be fair. We tend to use the body as a measurement here and assume that someone who isn’t overweight is healthy. Not necessarily so. Their buggy would tell you a lot, too. It’s just for whatever reason, their body doesn’t show their poor decisions on the outside of their body–yet.

When I visited my doctor after changing my eating, she was extremely pleased with the result of my blood work–all numbers were within normal limits! I had asked her to do a “before” blood panel, so I could chart my progress, and progress it was. The outside of me hasn’t caught up with the healthy changes that I have made in my life, but it will–eventually. Until then, I will accept myself for the healthy woman that I am. I encourage you to look at your buggy and make necessary changes. If you already have or when you do, accept yourself for the healthy person that you are, and help me spread this message by sharing this post with your friends. It will take a while to make a change, but the power of social media can spread the word quickly.

Check out Judge My Buggy on FB and join us in sending the message that the body doesn’t tell the whole story about a person!! Share your buggy with us.