I thought about just letting this go and not actually sharing it. I technically “failed” with my Whole30 Reset, so why talk about it? Shouldn’t we only share things when they go perfectly? Well, of course, the answer is no. At least for me. I definitely want to share about things that go well, but I also want to be transparent with you. I think we can learn from any type of experience if we’re open to it and take the time to reflect.
So lets talk.
My original plan was to start my Whole30 reset Monday, April 23rd and stick with it for 9 days. Easy enough, especially since I’ve completed a full Whole30 not too long ago. 9 days would go by in a flash.
Things were different with this reset than with my first ever full round. It was a lot easier to plan since the whole concept and guidelines were familiar to me. I was able to get into the swing of things much faster and had an easier time making purchasing decisions in the store. I had missed the structure and built in “choice system” of the program. When I’m doing Whole30 I automatically know certain things are a no-go. This makes it a lot easier to resist and say no. Unless you’re not fully committed. Which happened to be my problem. I think since it wasn’t a full round, I was easily convinced to go against the plan.
Everything was going well. I was hungrier the first few days, but had compliant snacks ready if needed. I wasn’t thinking about food 100% of the time like I did during my first round (yay!) I wasn’t feeling the full on positive side effects yet, but I was feeling good.
It was all good until Thursday night. There was a delicious chocolate and strawberry triffle being served at small group and I rationalized ‘I’ve been doing well with this reset, so a little bit wouldn’t hurt.’ That threw me off because it confused my mind and body about what we were doing. This was supposed to be a time where I was fueling my body with whole foods and giving it a break from all the carbs and sugars. Whoops…
It pretty much fell apart from there. My brain is too good at rationalizing what the ‘dark side’ wants. Added sugar, french fries, dessert. I’m totally not against those things in moderation, but my moderations had gotten out of control which was the reason for my reset. Those things don’t fit into a Whole30 Reset, but once they made their way in, it was tricky.
So it wasn’t a wonderful reset by any means. I felt a little guilty when I flopped, but then let that go. Guilt doesn’t do any good especially when it’s in our relationship with food. Life happens outside the walls of a perfectly planned program. Sometimes we get it “right” and other times we don’t. It’s not an all or nothing kind of thing.
What did I learn?
I have the choice. I don’t need a particular program to make a change. It can be helpful to have a program if I need the guidance or the extra push, but ultimately every moment is a chance for a better choice. When I look at each moment as independent of each other, it helps me stay out of the mindset of one misstep blowing the rest of the day. I’m sure we’ve all been there — one bite turns into a whole weekend and then you feel crummy. Ican be empowered to make the right choices for my own body and health.
Be gentle during crazy stressful times. On the scheduled last day of my reset, Vida Dulce had their friends and family celebration and set to open to the public the next day. In retrospect, this probably wasn’t the most ideal time to do a reset. My focus was all over the place and treats were on the brain. I think it’s beneficial to treat your mind and body especially well during crazy times, but putting too much stress on it can cause an adverse effect. Maybe during that time relaxing a bit in the food department would have allowed more breathing room in other areas.
Buy the good things. Only buy the things you want to eat. This seems pretty obvious, but isn’t always done in practice. If you want to eat the veggies, buy the veggies. It’s easier to just not buy something than to rely on your will power.
Consider the WHYs. When bumping up against something that I “shouldn’t” do, I can consider the why. Why do I want to do this? Why do I feel like I shouldn’t? Those answers can help guide my choices and actions. Maybe that something is a big dessert. I feel like I shouldn’t because it’ll make me feel sluggish and bloated later. If I feel like I should because its been a long day and I need a treat, it’s best to avoid it. If I feel like I should because it’s cake to celebrate my sister’s college graduation, that’s a special time and I can enjoy a smaller piece. The why behind it makes a difference.
Keep accountability. I enjoy keeping accountability with myself through a journal and with others through honest conversations. Journaling helps me work out the deeper layers of a situation. It helps me uncover patterns and missing pieces. Health is important to me and I have close friends that feel the same — these are the people I share goals, struggles, and victories with. The best part about being vulnerable with others is often times they have been there too and can help you overcome the struggle! I don’t know everything and can learn so much from the experiences of the people in my life. Take comfort in knowing you are not the only person who has ever gone through that situation.
It may be a while before I complete another round or reset, but that doesn’t mean it’s back to my treat yoself daily ways. Once in a while, yes, because #balance. While it’s still a crazy season, I think it’s best to take the pressure off. I want to enjoy fueling my body with whole foods, but allow some space for flexibility. It seems like everyone has been sick (I haven’t been feeling so well myself), and I know rest and food are our first lines of defense.
So if I put a label on it, maybe it’s a loose Whole30. Which is itself an oxymoron, but I think you get the point, yes? There is a time for everything. Right now is the time to take what I have learned and nourish myself — mind, body, and soul.