Monday, June 1, 2015

Whole 30 Day 20

These last ten days were extremely difficult with the whole Whole 30 thing. Not gonna lie. This is not for the faint of heart. Or for those who despise cooking. Or for those who hate reading labels.

Lucky for me, I only lack two of the three.

If I weren't a determined gal, I would have given up on this whole program on day 13. Also, if I hadn't posted this on my blog for the world to see, I would have given up on this whole program on day 13.

Lucky for me, I have this blog.

Where to begin? How about the negatives?

1. I hate dirtying every dish in my house to make meals with which I am unfamiliar. My loathing for cooking may have something to do with this.
2. I hate all of the thinking required when before, eating was thoughtless.
3. I hate it when everyone else around me is eating something I can't. It's not that I really want what they're having, just that I wish I didn't have to think so much about my own food.
4. I hate reading labels and how much time grocery shopping takes.
5. I hate not being able to order anything in a restaurant but grilled chicken and plain salad.

Those hates aside, there have been a few positives, I must begrudgingly admit.

1. Every recipe I've tried has taught me good stuff, primarily this: I thought my family just didn't care about food because they never said anything at dinner time. I'm finding that they look forward to dinner a little each day, and all of the kids have been willing to try everything I've made--and liked it. A lot. This is probably the best part of Whole 30 for me, and these recipes will become part of our regular rotations for sure.
2. I'm not craving anything, really. I mean, I did want a Belgian waffle smothered in buttermilk syrup last night, but my body isn't demanding the sugar fix any more. Same with all simple carbs and treats. I've probably eaten more fruit than most Whole 30 participants, but that's fine with me.
3. I've discovered that my body does need complex carbohydrates to function. I wasn't eating even the recommended carbs (sweet and regular potatoes) for a few days, and I crashed. Once I got some baby red potatoes in me, I felt much better, and I've been on top of that ever since.
4. I don't miss soda. There. I said it. Does it make you all feel good? I've stopped flavoring San Pellegrino with a splash of juice and mostly stopped drinking it at all. Whether this will be permanently when I finish the 30 days, I don't know yet.
5. Honestly, I don't genuinely miss anything. I miss the freedom of being able to eat what I want, but bread and cheese and chocolate and treats don't haunt me.
6. Most shocking of all, I've found that I actually like food. I used to say that I don't really like food or care about it, but that's not true. I like making something delicious and having my family appreciate it. I like how things taste and how textures feel and how flavors blend together when done right.

The primary lesson I've learned so far from Whole 30 is that I can do anything for a short period of time. I don't give up, so that's not the problem. Control is my game plan. I've always been able to exert control for short periods of time--complete control of everything--then when that phase is over, I slowly resort back to my old habits. I don't want to do that this time. The problems will come back when I'm let loose on food again, I'm pretty sure of that. Carbs will start calling my name. Goldfish will frequent my dreams. Chocolate chip cookies will fill my oven and my tummy.

I only have ten days left, and I know how I'm going to spend them. These last few days are a gift to me. My cravings are under control and I still haven't received the green light to let loose, so I'm going to use these ten days to do something I had never done before Whole 30. I'm going to train myself to enjoy food. Enjoy the taste and smell and texture and blend and the whole experience. I'm going to eat meals and limit distractions while I eat. I'm going to taste every bite and teach myself to stop when I'm done enjoying the taste. I don't think I'll completely learn how to do this in ten days, but hopefully I'll have a little experience with it before the world of food is once again my oyster.

Hopefully, at the end of this Whole 30 experience, I'll have learned a lot about me and how to be moderate in my eating--eating the things I've always loved, mixed with new favorites, in a way that satisfies my appetite but keeps me happy with my choices.

One thing I do know--this Whole 30 thing will NOT be a permanent part of my life.

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