I have taken an unplanned hiatus from writing here for approximately 30 days, and I know it has been that long because I just finished my Whole 30 — 30 days of rock-solid commitment to eating nothing but whole, real foods that are nutritious and health giving. My mom and Ali were doing it too, and for the past 30 days we have eaten meat, fish, poultry, eggs, healthy fats, nuts, fruits and vegetables – and that’s it. It might not sound like much, but we have had some of the best meals of our lives this past month, and on top of that we’ve come out of it feeling amazing. I say we’ve finished, but we are all keeping our diets more or less unchanged for the time being. Giving up dairy, grains, legumes and sugar might sound like a huge sacrifice, but to me it felt strangely correct.
I don’t like to talk about it much but I have struggled with sugar for, oh, forever. And it was always a huge problem for me, logistically, in struggles with weight, and also ideologically. I could not understand why I let something that I knew wasn’t helping me take control of my life. I have given it up for months at a time, and I could rattle off a list of plans and diets that I used to do so, but always went straight back, and I think that for me it was that the changes I made weren’t drastic enough. It was just low-GI carbs, but everything else the same, or it was just calorie counting with essentially no dietary adjustment, etc. Doing the Whole30 was this massive change in the way I eat, and there was absolutely no wiggle room for negotiation (or lying to myself) and once the first, murderously angry week was over, I felt… free. I stopped constantly snacking – overnight – and I realize now that the reason that I ate basically every two hours was that the things I was eating were not sustaining me. I wasn’t some trigger happy eating machine, I just hadn’t found the right fuel. That was the first change, but there were a few others…
The first thing I noticed was that I was sleeping amazingly well. Now, I have always prided myself in my ability to sleep. I can sleep anywhere, and there is very little that can keep me awake at night (jet lag and babies, I guess). So it was a surprise for me to discover that my sleep had been sort of so-so, but now it was amaaazing. The sleep felt so comfy and delicious, and I woke up feeling nourished by it. Huh. So my sleep was sub-par before. Interesting.
Then I noticed that I didn’t feel stiff in the morning anymore. I used to wake up feeling like I had been stuffed in a box, and I needed to loosen up as the morning went on. I found myself waking up without my usual aches and pains and actually feeling limber. I used to think I just wasn’t one of those people naturally blessed with flexibility, but I guess the way I was eating had something to do with it. Another coin drops.
And then, my energy levels sky-rocketed. I started to feel an amazing mental clarity and boundless energy. I have always had a deep-seated need to do hard physical work to relax (or strenuous anything, really) but I struggled with having the energy and motivation to actually do it. Now, when I get to the garden I am ready to haul manure, dig deep holes, and carry buckets of water. And it feels so good.
Now, three weeks in Kaya and I got colds, so we aren’t superheros or anything. And I am still crabby when under pressure and forgetful … all the time. So in other words, I am still the same person, just better rested and more energetic. And 10 pounds lighter.
Anyway, this was all to say that I have thought of another 30 day challenge for myself. I love all of the blogs I read, but the ones that I admire the most are the ones that have posts every day. Wow, what a commitment. And I love it that there is always something to report for those brave and persistent bloggers. So now that one 30 is down, I am going to start a new one — a Blog30 – 30 days of posting every day. So for better or worse, you’ll be hearing from me a little more often. Watch this space! (And click the graphic above for more info on the Whole30, if you’re curious.)