As someone who has struggled with weight loss since elementary school, food is such a sensitive issue. I hate counting calories. I hate exercising on machines. I’m sure I have real psychological wounds from 20+ years of worrying about what I eat. That being said…
Last summer I tried eating Paleo for a while, and I loved it. Experimenting with new ingredients, making almond flour baked goods and trying new veggies was fun! I felt wonderful and full of energy. It was a lifestyle change that I could truly embrace. As a bonus, I lost 9 pounds in the first couple of weeks, and the weight stayed off- that is, until I came home from vacation and unintentionally went back to dairy and grains over the holidays (Oh, December, the best of times and the worst).
On January 1, James and I started the Whole 30. Basically, it’s a very strict Paleo program (no grains, no dairy, no legumes- AND no Paleo desserts) where you eat lots of fresh veggies and fruit, good quality proteins and no sugar for 30 days straight, no excuses.
Today is Day 16, and I feel great. The best part of this program has been that James is doing it with me. Having my husband by my side is HUGE! There is no way I could do this without him. He feels great too, and says he would like to continue eating this way, long-term. We love clean food!
The hardest part about this program has been the social engagements. Having to ask my mother-in-law and now my sister-in-law to please excuse us while we eat our own food we bring to their house is kind of uncomfortable. I feel rude and awkward and weird. This is the one part of this program I will not sustain after day 30. Starting in February, I will allow myself to be a nice house-guest again.
What do I plan to sustain after day 30? Everything else. Here’s how:
1. I WILL REMEMBER how much energy I have when I eat Paleo.
2. I WILL REMEMBER how rewarding it feels to know you are making healthy choices.
3. I WILL REMEMBER that a “healthy” American diet doesn’t work for me, and that the sugars in dairy and whole grain foods make me crave more food and make my body feel weighed down.
4. I WILL REMEMBER that even if I do not lose weight, the “happy healthy energy” feeling of Paleo/Whole30 is a reward in itself, and that my body deserves to feel this way. And my soul deserves to know that I am eating as healthily as possible.
5. I WILL REMEMBER that if I lose my way, there will always be the Whole 30 to get me back on track.