I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a Whole30 for well over a month. My initial idea was to begin a whole year of Whole30 starting on my birthday and leading into my 30th birthday next year, which sounded great in theory but posed several problems. For one, I’ll be in Puerto Rico with a dozen friends for a highly anticipated marital union extravaganza. Starting Whole30 during a celebration in a distant land doesn’t exactly lend itself to a successful (or pleasant) journey. Who wants to be the friend at a wedding (in Puerto Rico) abstaining from libations and culinary masterpieces intended to be thoroughly enjoyed? Clearly I thought it was a good idea, so I carefully drafted a document considering all the potential hurdles I could encounter from July 4th, 2014 to July 3rd, 2015, including strategies to manage said hurdles, and mantras to keep me focused on the outcome. I imagined myself gliding into the next decade of my life in the purest form possible, fauxjito in hand (the imaginary mojito substitute I decided I’d ask bar tenders to create in an attempt to fend off grown-up peer pressure).
I cleaned the rotting eggplant out of my fridge and started anew, enlisting my sister along the way. It’s Day 2 and I’m back at Day 1 after a few sips of freshly made rhubarb soda, and a brussel sprout sandwich at a Yelp Elite event to which I RSVPed before choosing my official start date (I’m trying to make friends here, people). I could have easily pretended the whole thing never happened (if I hadn’t checked-in and had professional photographs taken at the event), but I’m trying to make an honest woman of myself. I still consider yesterday a win, while fully accepting today is my new Day 1. Yes, I let the Sugar Demon take possession of my taste buds, but I also chose to only taste the flavor instead of drink an entire cup just for the sake of drinking. Which leads me to the next point of, the free bourbon at the event (and the full bottle of Jameson on my kitchen counter) I completely ignored instead of justifying partaking with an I’m-starting-over-anyway attitude. I ended the day feeling completely proud of myself as I packed my lunch BEFORE going to bed and brushed my shoulders off for perfecting the flavor balance of my Chorizo and Shrimp Stew. I got this.
I’m approaching this challenge as an experiment, with data collection to boot. I’m tracking what and when I eat, when I start to feel hungry again, what time I wake up and go to sleep, any feelings or moods experienced over the course of the day, how much I’m exercising and for how long. I want to really know what works for my body so I can create my own optimal, whole life (fully inspired by another Dear Melissa post). This is about a whole lot more than just food.