Disclaimer: I am a personal trainer. So naturally, I am at least somewhat fit, and was already eating pretty healthy especially by the general standard but let’s get real – there is always room for improvement. When a friend and coworker recommended The Whole 30 to me, I completely shunned the idea of giving up wine, dairy, and beans (among other things), but the notion of feeling better than I already did sounded pretty appealing.
So a few days passed and I became increasingly aware that I didn’t feel as healthy as I should. When I would manage to get both my boys down for a nap, I would literally have to lay down too. Too tired to utilize the time for laundry, cooking, cleaning, or anything that I really did want and need to get done. I would be so tired in the morning, hitting the snooze several times, until I had to rush through my morning, barely getting the kids and myself where we needed to be on time. I was doing the bare minimum when it came to everything, simply out of exhaustion. Oh, and let’s not forget that I feel like my head is trudging through quicksand no matter what time a day it is. I’m not talking about the normal “where did I put my keys” stuff, I am talking forgetting super-important stuff that used to be no problem for me. But why? I am exercising, I’m eating “healthy”, and I have no huge stressors in my life besides the normal day-to-day stuff. “Something has got to give” I told myself.
Fast forward to the last day of the month. The following day was to be the first of the month and a Monday. I was thinking I needed to make a change if I was going to feel better and this was the perfect time to start fresh. Something HAD to change and I was no longer willing to accept that I should be feeling like this all the time. Do I drink wine too often? Is it the dairy? I eat whole wheat, but could the breads/grains I am eating be making me feel this sluggish and mentally foggy? All these questions flooded my thoughts on the last day of the month.
That evening I made the choice to do it. I didn’t have the book so I asked some questions and searched the internet for information to guide me until I got the book. I began the next day. 6am came and without dairy/sugar free cream for my coffee, I had to forgo my usual cup of Joe. Agony! Pure agony! I made eggs, sautéed some veggies, and called it breakfast. Lunch came and it became abundantly clear that I had not really prepared for this properly. With so many restrictions, I now needed to prepare and cook more often in order to make this work. That evening I ran to the store with a must-have list to get me through the next couple of days.
The following few days, were pure hell. I was tired, hungry, cranky, and having sugar cravings all day. I knew I was detoxing from all the garbage I now realized were wreaking havoc on my body. By Friday and into Saturday I started to come out of the other side of the storm. I began to feel better, became more alert, and generally happier. I had finally begun to see the benefits, both physically and mentally. I dropped 5 pounds of fat (you’re not supposed to weigh yourself but I had to when I noticed the difference in my clothes), I woke up easier, and took less time to really perk up and engage in my morning, I no longer crashed at 1pm, I was more efficient throughout the day, and I had even begun to handle the day-to-day stressors with more grace.
I am happy to report, that although I am not done, I am on day 22 and going strong. The sugar cravings are gone and I feel amazing. I see more definition in areas that I had been missing due to the extra layer of fat covering it all. Even my skin looks better! I miss my evening wine from time-to-time, but I know that without it, I am better the next morning. Although I have not completed the program, I came to realize that life is way too short to accept feeling the way I was and that making changes in order to get the most out of my day is absolutely worth the sacrifice. I thought I was healthy before, but this – THIS is wellness. Feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally strong is totally worth giving up all those things for the gains I have made.