The Whole 30

I’ve fallen off the wagon. When once my days were spent hiking, running, or religiously attending Zumba or Barre classes… they have recently been dedicated to drinking with friends and watching Netflix. I’ll admit, after a long and exhausting day at work, the last thing I want to do is change into restricting gym clothes and go sweat. I think my rut began after I had exhausted all of the facilities of my gym. My favorite dance studio is just too far away (20 miles roundtrip!) to go to every day, so I joined one just down the street from work. It is a small, locally owned women’s gym. They have a small room of treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes that I found myself in most often. The rest of the facility is dedicated to weights and one dance studio. I am honestly not interested in developing muscle tone at this point in my fitness journey, so I rarely used the weights. I did attend several classes, but they just weren’t as fun as my previous studio. Plus the times were pretty inconvenient. As a result, I only went a couple times per week because curling up in my pajamas after work sounded so much more appealing! My willpower has been powerless lately, so I’ve lapsed into a pretty unhealthy lifestyle. It doesn’t help that several coworker’s birthdays were in May, so we had cake nearly every week!

Now that it’s summer, I’ve decided to get back on a fitness track. I certainly did feel better when I was exercising regularly and eating smart foods. There’s honestly no excuse, especially when I am home every day by 4:00pm. That leaves FIVE HOURS of daylight for me to enjoy. I want to get back into running, so I’ve decided to restart my “Couch to 5K” app and vow to use it at least 3 times per week. Maybe I’ll run a 5k by the end of summer? Who knows! I’ve also decided to bite the bullet and buy a punch card to the dance studio I love. It isn’t even the price I hate – it is the drive! I have to spend an entire hour in rush hour traffic to get there by 6:30pm when class starts every Wednesday. I’ve recently discovered that they have the same class at 10am on Sunday. I’ve always avoided this one because I love to sleep in and, let’s be honest, I usually spend Sunday mornings hungover. However, this won’t be a problem anymore. Why? Because today I am starting the….

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With the prevalence of fad diets on the market, it can seem like the Whole 30 is just another get-thin-quick scheme that works by cutting out calories – but it’s not. You’re not even allowed to count calories on the Whole 30. The premise is that you should eliminate what is bad for you so your system stops craving it. I’ve read blogs where women dreamed about all the unhealthy foods they would eat on Day 31, but when that day came… they simply had lost the craving for it. It’s a pretty well-known fact that sugar, casein (in milk/cheese), and other food components have a drug-like effect on the brain and that’s why we crave cheesecake at 2am. Instead of a drug intervention, I’m giving myself a food intervention with the hopes of getting clean.

Please forgive the following pretentious statement: I know the 30 Days will be hard, but I don’t think they will be that hard. I already eat extremely healthily. My typical dinner consists of steamed vegetables most nights! My only downfall is alcohol – and the subsequent poor food decisions that result from alcohol. On a given Friday night, I will consume 3 cocktails and 2 beers. Followed by pizza with friends. Followed by drunk-raiding the fridge as soon as I get home and eating any leftovers in sight – paired with possibly microwaving peas and slathering them in BBQ sauce (one of my favorite combos!). This sounds like a disgusting amount of calories, right? Flash forward to Saturday morning when I wake up at 1pm hungover and desperately hungry (how?!) for breakfast. I spend the majority of the day snacking and recuperating by browsing the internet. If I’m lucky, I will take a walk to the park or to the grocery. By the time I get home, it is already 6pm and time for me to get ready for Saturday night. That’s right – I repeat the entire pathetic routine again. More and more frequently, I’ve been realizing that I’m getting too old for this. That’s why I am (kinda) excited about giving up alcohol for a month. I NEVER thought I would admit that – alcohol is my weekend lifeblood, but it will be a fun experiment and I am already anxious to see the results.

The Rules

For 30 days, I must eat meals rich in protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. Absolutely no sugar (added, honey, natural sweeteners), legumes (beans), grain (bread, cereal, oatmeal), dairy (yogurt, cheese, milk), or alcohol. For the entire 30 days, I cannot weight or measure myself, but I am to focus on how I feel and how these positive food choices are impacting my overall health.

It sounds crazy and restrictive and absurd, but I am always up for a challenge. Especially a trendy challenge. Whole 30 is extremely popular on social media and there are entire communities dedicated to supporting each other, crafting acceptable recipes, and answering any questions. I will try to give short updates throughout this journey, especially when I am feeling low (which I’m sure I will!)

I am going to officially start on June 1, but I will spend this week preparing and getting myself into the mindset. I had this delicious breakfast of two eggs over easy, a mix of onions, tomatoes, and jalapeños. I paired it with two slices of 90% lean turkey and 1/3 of an avocado. Coffee creamer is strictly prohibited in the Whole 30, so I’m relearning to love my coffee black!

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I also got myself off of the couch and went on a nice 5 mile walk to the grocery store to pick up some more protein for the week – wild salmon for my salads and some turkey burgers for Memorial Day! There’s nothing I love more than a “naked” burger wrapped in lettuce, onion, and some pickles on top. Who needs the bread?

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