So, it’s September 30th. this means a lot of things.
October is tomorrow, and Autumn is really, truly here. I can really see this on my walks. The trees are beautiful. There’s a chill in the air. The students are back on campus. I’m drinking hot tea instead of iced.
It also means we’ve technically made it to the end of our first Whole30. I say technically, because it has now been 30 days. But, really, it’s just the beginning (and not really an ending). It was a great experience, and we learned a lot about food, nutrition, our bodies, and what we’re capable of. I lost six pounds in the 3 1/2 weeks, Jesse lost 14).
This past weekend, we had a couple birthday parties to attend, so we decided to relax the rules since we were almost done. I ended up having a tiny portion of Yumm (locals will know that this means beans, brown rice, veggies and Yumm sauce). I instantly – I mean instantly – got a stomach ache and it became a gut bomb for the rest of the day. I was bloated and uncomfortable. Jesse got instant heartburn. Now, I always feel like Yumm is a healthy option, and I still think that it is (way better than fried foods, greasy meat, etc), so this surprised me. I realized that ‘healthy’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘good for you.’ I’m not sure what it was that wasn’t good for me, but with the bloating and discomfort, I’m going to guess it was the beans. Suffice it to say, after a day of discomfort, I went back to the Whole30 way of eating for the rest of the weekend.
On Monday I wanted to try something else, so I got one of my favorite pumpkin muffins from a local bakery. I figured I had done really well, and deserved a treat on my walk. I bought it, started eating it, anticipating it to be the best thing I had ever eaten. I ate about half of the muffin, and was full and done. I didn’t feel gross like on Saturday, but I just realized it wasn’t worth it, so I didn’t finish it. I didn’t get any headaches or pains, so I’m going to assume that grains are okay for me to eat.
Since then, I’ve been back on the Whole30 plan. From here on out, I’m going to stick to it, but not strictly. I mean, if there’s something that looks good, and isn’t too unhealthy, I’ll have some of it. During this past month, I’ve learned ways to snack healthier, choosing an apple or a few banana chips. I’ve learned that I don’t need as much food as I previously thought. I feel like I’ve slayed my sugar-beast. At the parties this weekend, I could have had cupcakes, but didn’t, and truthfully, I didn’t really miss them.
I know that the Whole30 plan is crazy restrictive and overwhelming. I get it. There were days that were really difficult. There were things I really wanted to eat. But, I kept going. It’s easier than counting calories or points. It isn’t just some fad diet that has crazy things like tons of grapefruits or cabbage soup. It really felt like everything I put in my body had a purpose and was making me feel healthier and more energetic. I learned that a microwaved apple with cinnamon and nutmeg is a wonderful dessert, but that I didn’t always even need to have dessert. I learned that if I was feeling a slump, some tea or a handful of cashews would do the trick.
Most of all, I learned that I’m strong. My will is strong. My body is strong. Today, on my walk, I walked through a beautiful oak grove and couldn’t help taking a selfie. When I looked at the photo on my phone, I thought I looked great. My hair is just in a braid, and I’m not wearing makeup, but I still thought I looked great. I know it’s only six pounds, but I feel like my face looks thinner. And my skin is clearer, my hair is shinier, my eyes are brighter. Usually, I’ll take 100 selfies and kind of like one of them. Today I took about 20, and liked 10 of them. I know it sounds silly, but to me, that is strength.