Clocking in about a year behind the rest of the world, I’ve been doing (eating? participating in? suffering through?) the Whole30 this month. No alcohol, no sugar, no dairy, no carbs – no problem. (ha.)
Are you wondering why I would voluntarily do such a thing? Well, I’ll tell you.
About halfway through the month of October, I reached a breaking point. After a year on Weight Watchers, I was still five pounds heavier than I was when I got pregnant with Henry. I was unhappy with what I saw in the mirror. I was unhappy with how my clothes fit. I was unhappy with the quick-meal rut I had fallen into at home. I was unhappy with how I felt. And as a result of all this unhappiness, I was being really mean to myself. Like, if my inner monologue was a person, we would have been straight up enemies. Unhappy Corley is cruel, grouchy, and a terrible friend.
So when Grace over at Camp Patton posted about her Whole30 experience, I had a lightbulb moment and decided I was 100% IN. I loaded up our grocery cart with lean meats and healthy veggies, I pinned a ton of whole30-approved recipes, I joined the subreddit, I downloaded the timeline. And on November 1, I started.
The first two weeks were honestly awesome. Right away, I felt empowered and healthy. I have cooked more meals at home this month than in the past year, no exaggeration. With each meal, I made enough to take leftovers for lunch the next day. Those Saturdays, I sat down and planned out the weeks meals so that I could grocery shop and prep as needed. I should note that our Whole30 grocery bills were MUCH higher than usual – shopping the perimeter of the grocery store is NOT cheap.
The third week (this week) has been a little tougher. True to the timeline, I am over it. I haven’t had a real “cheat day” or binge, but I have posted some tweets and sent some texts that were less than enthusiastic. It’s cold and dreary and I’m daydreaming about warm sourdough bread, sharp cheddar cheese, and peppermint mochas in cheerful red cups. I’m bored of all the foods I’ve been eating for the past three weeks. I still feel great, and I’m still thrilled with my progress…but I would also be pretty thrilled with a Smashburger with cheese on a pretzel bun right about now.
I’m not going to give up. The deal I struck with myself on November 1 was that I would stick with the plan until Thanksgiving (ok, Whole27), and I’m keeping to my deal.
I have had a couple momentary transgressions – I gave in to the temptation of two peanut-butter filled pretzel bites earlier this week. I got lazy and stopped at Chick Fil A for the family the other night, and when they gave me regular nuggets instead of the grilled combo I ordered, I still ate them. I AM ONLY HUMAN.
But by and large, I am still in this.
Yesterday at lunch, I went home for (more) rainbow trout leftovers. When I opened our fridge, I came face to face with a big bowl of my Mother In-Law’s homemade baked potato soup – and I stayed strong. I grabbed some LaraBars and an orange, and I headed back to the office – I’ve got a week to go before I can say I did this, and I am feeling pretty proud of myself.
But you’d better believe that my first meal on Thanksgiving morning is going to involve bacon and buttered toast.
My go-to snacks and foods:
*LaraBars (choose the ones with no peanuts or sugar – my favorite flavor is *Coconut Cream Pie)
Pistachios (I think I ate my weight in pistachios)
*Almond Flour (for breading meats – I’m never going to stop using this! SO tasty!)
Fresh fruits and veggies
(* indicates Amazon affiliate link)
The best advice I can offer:
Black coffee isn’t as bad as you think it’s going to be. Get halfway through your first cup and you’ll be fine.
Don’t let yourself get hungry. Hunger leads to hanger leads to desperate measures. Make sure you’re getting enough protein and fats with your meals, and allow yourself to snack if you need to!
Plan to succeed. Shopping with my week’s meals in mind, preparing enough for leftovers, keeping my snack drawer stocked with Whole30-approved options — those moves were lifesavers for me this month. When we went over to my in-laws for football, I ate lunch beforehand and packed a banana and a LaraBar to avoid the temptation of football snacks and Chinese takeout.
Don’t beat yourself up. If, like me, you find that you have slipped off-path – perhaps tempted by the PB Pretzel Bite siren song or delectable happenstance non-grilled chicken nuggets – just get back on track and keep going. Yes, you may need to get tougher on yourself if you know your willpower is weak – but don’t be mean. One moment is not going to ruin your whole month!
Easy with the coconut oil. I accidentally made coconut flavored “Cauliflower Rice” and Veggies the first week. Lesson learned. A little goes a long way.
Be your own cheerleader. I’m going to be really proud of myself when I reach my goal at Thanksgiving, and I think I deserve to be!
This has been a major change in my life – major and necessary. I’ll definitely reintroduce carbs, dairy, and legumes into my diet – but I’m hoping to have said a permanent goodbye to Diet Coke, frequent fast food, and snacks that predominately come from crinkly bags. Those are changes I feel proud of, which is a refreshing about-face from how I was feeling this time last month.