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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Live in the Positive Zone

My second elaboration post from my article on being successful in a fat prejudiced society encourages you to live in the positive zone. What is the positive zone? It is anywhere there are positive messages and positive people. It is a zone that you create for yourself in your mind and in those you surround yourself with.

1. Positive messages.
voice in your head a liarThe messages around people with a lot of weight to lose are grossly negative. It is very easy to be demotivated and even sabotaged by such negative messages, so be intentionally positive. Find positive messages that inspire you to work past the negative. Pin them on Pinterest for easy access.  Find them on Twitter. Share them on Facebook. Wake in the morning to positive messages, and before you sleep at night, end with positive messages.

2. Positive people
Margie no photoYou know the type of people I am talking about. The ones that just seem to have “found it.” They have found the way to be excited about any type of success in health and nutrition or in mind and spirit. Surround yourself with those people. By the same, rid your life of negative energy that will zap your life of anything positive. They are bad for your health! Make changes where changes need to be. Sometimes, we set ourselves up for failure because of the places we decide to frequent. Think it through. Does it make you excited to be in this phase of your life? If not, change.

3. Social Media
Over the course of a year, I have gone through a major purging of social media. I started with things that would trip me, like Food Porn. What is food porn? You know what it is. Those photos that float around social media that you “Share,” “Pin,” and “Tweet” because they look so incredible you want to look at them over and over again. Those meals that you have no intention of making, but you want to dream about them. They are kryptonite! I’m not saying you have to do completely without good looking food, but I do have suggestions.

Make your social media outlets all healthy food friendly. While you are working on getting your physical person healthy, this may require you “unfollowing” some friends. I have friends who I love to death. They are still my friends on all social media outlets, but I have unfollowed their posts because they haven’t reached the same point I have in eliminating food porn. If they tag me in a post, then I will see they are talking to me, but otherwise, I check out their profile to see what’s going on with them. It keeps me updated without having images pop up in my face at times when I may be vulnerable.

4. Follow Positive Blogs
Just like this blog, follow positive blogs that will encourage you every day. Be careful. Some blogs may appear to encourage you to be a better version of yourself health wise, but may in reality be a negative venting blog for someone who is trying to make their way to being positive. I know what that is like because my blog started out that way, but then I realized that positive-in equals positive-out. I’ve constantly made changes, and will probably continue to make changes. We aren’t growing if we aren’t changing.

I hope you found this post to be very positive and motivating. I ask you to share it with your friends. Maybe you’re already in a healthy place in your life. I am sure you have friends who could really use this advice, so please share it across all social media platforms. You’ll find the sharing links at the bottom of each post. I also encourage you to comment. Let me know how you’re doing on your journey. Until then, may you find much about your day to smile about!

Hungry for Change

To say I am hungry for change is an understatement. I have been hungry for change for a long time. Change isn’t always easy though, especially when it will mean changing behaviors that have become bad habits over the course of time.

Habits such as:

Not eating breakfast

Not drinking enough water (or not drinking much of anything)

Eating mindlessly

Not following a schedule for eating

Not planning meals which results in last minute fast food pickups

Not saying “No” enough

Thinking about exercise but never doing it.

Eating while watching television or while otherwise distracted (which causes mindless eating)

This is the type of thing that could potentially derail me. I see this list, and I know that each of these behaviors should be addressed. I am bad to attempt to tackle a number of them at once. I can’t do that. I need to push away from this article and look at the list targeting the one behavior that would have the greatest impact and work on it first.

In looking over the list, I think that meal planning would probably yield the greatest results. If I plan my meals, then I would most likely follow a schedule, eat breakfast, drink water, and not eat out. Is that cheating? Is that choosing one that impacts many and in impacting many will that be too much change at once? What do you think?

I watched a WONDERFUL video on Hulu.com (I think, or Netflix) called “Hungry for Change.” The video is about three overweight guys (some who you’ve seen in other videos like the guy who juiced for 90 days in Fat, Tired and Nearly Dead), who had each (through different means) taken control of their health without pills and gimmicks. They joined forces to gather research on becoming healthy without having to buy anything different than you would grocery shopping. THIS IS WHY I LOVED THIS FILM. They weren’t trying to sell you anything. No lapband infommercial. Although they discuss juicing, it wasn’t like a juicer commercial.

The moral of their film is to make changes slowly. Even in changing your eating. I loved what one of them said. He said something to the effect of, “Don’t go through your house and throw everything away and go buy up the store in healthy foods. Just start adding healthy foods to what you are eating now. When you go shopping again, start making healthier choices. Don’t try to do it all at once. Your body will begin to crave more and more change, and when it does, give it the healthy options that it’s craving.” It was THE MOST REASONABLE way to look at a healthy eating plan.

Today, I added sweet peppers as a snack and were they good!! I love sweet peppers. We had pizza today, but instead of our typical all the way, we choose an awesome veggie pizza with lots of peppers. It was SO DELICIOUS! Warning, they are a bit watery that way because of the water from the veggies, so they tend to be a little messier.

Are you hungry for change? Do you think you can start adding healthy items to your eating now to make changes slowly? I think it could work for me if I keep my mind on the prize.