Today marks day 7 of my Whole30 journey. My initial surge of excitement seven days ago almost resulted in a kick-off post, but something deep inside me said I needed to wait. I needed to experience the initial challenges and triumphs before bringing something of substance to my readers. Not only that, but I needed to do this for me and only me. I needed to step in a new direction feeling dedicated and distance myself from added distractions and pressures to perform.
When I began my month-long body reset, it honestly wasn’t something I thought much about. I had heard stories from friends who had taken on the challenge, I thought it would be good for me to get back to basics and reboot my system, and when a friend said “let’s do it,” I said sure.
Mid-morning of day 1 came and I realized I wasn’t ready for something like this. Afternoon of day 1 came and I knew that’s exactly why I needed to keep going. Day 2 started highlighting my overall lack of interest surrounding vegetables… yup, I said it – I don’t really like vegetables. I eat them because I have to and I wish their role was to make you fat and ugly so I could let them go more easily. Yet another reason to rally. Luckily, my pride kicked in quickly and I didn’t want to stop solely to prove I was powerful enough to prevail.
Day 3 felt dark. Really dark. I didn’t want another goddam vegetable and I almost gave up. I felt hungry and unhappy. I cried. I couldn’t believe it was so hard…. how had this happened to me?! Had I really gained over 10 pounds of solid cider, wine, cheeseburgers and french fries?!?! Thankfully, my godsend boyfriend Blake helped bring me back to the light. All he had to say was, “What about those sausages you got?” Moments later, my plate of only sausages, cornichons and black olives brought me to life.
Day 4 felt invigorating. I got through the darkness and suddenly didn’t mind mixing up my meals to make things more exciting. Getting here made me realize I was ready. It would be hard but the rewards would be incredible. Deep inside, I also knew it had very little to do with the food or the program itself. It was about my mental strength – my ability to overcome my own weaknesses and rise up. It was about changing my daily habits in a very drastic way and deciding I wasn’t going to look back.
Day 5 felt strong…. until 5 o’clock. I guess I wasn’t too shocked that the weekend meant a whole new set of struggles. Living in Old Pasadena means bars and bad food at my fingertips. Working multiple jobs means being ready to let loose at the end of the week. I made hot yoga a priority and invited others along to make sure I’d hold myself accountable. It helped, but didn’t heal the urge to grab a drink. No matter how many times I thought about it, I didn’t give in and my fire was fueled even further.
Day 6 was so stupid. The mental pull of my weekend routine was insanely frustrating. I had come so far and grown so strong, but now felt like I was back at square one. I had plenty to keep my body and mind busy, which I thought would help. Sadly, I hadn’t prepped enough and found myself unhappy and irritable. Keeping my plans throughout the day was a struggle and I really just wanted to stay home and say sorry. As the day progressed, I was so happy I didn’t do that. A planned walk around the Rose Bowl really helped get my blood flow going. An evening birthday party with a mixed group of vegans, sobriety seekers, musicians and more made me forget about food and focus on friends.
So here we are on day 7. The weekend warrior in me still wants a drink and deliciously hot cheese fries, but I’m totally fine. I’m better than fine, I’m pretty goddam fantastic. I forgot to hard boil more eggs for the morning, but didn’t mind munching on a carrot and fruit until I could get my hands on chicken. I had an awesome day with family and friends and have found myself going longer than ever without frantically trying to feed myself. I’m starting to see my more confident self come back, I’ve lost several pounds, I really started noticing a positive difference in my sleeping patterns, and best of all, my skin problems have already cleared up. Going into the Whole30, I had been struggling with breakouts, bad red spots and terrible dry skin. I’ve spent months putting topical nonsense on to make it stop, but I knew deep down it wasn’t going to help. I needed healing from the inside out. Your skin is the last line of defense when there’s a problem in your system and there was no more denying it. The fact that everything was COMPLETELY GONE IN SEVEN DAYS did the trick and told me I’m doing the right thing.
My journey has just begun and I’m already a better person knowing I won’t give up or give in to my weaknesses and lack of willpower. We must work our minds, our habits and our push through discomfort just like a muscle. Giving up will keep us weak. Kick, scream and cry if you have to – but just keep going.
To you, your inner power and your personal strength to prevail,