Things I Missed
Gum, chocolate, an occasional chocolate donut, and hot chocolate. So mostly chocolate. And I wanted so badly to chew gum. I’m in kids’ faces all day at school and hyper-aware of my breath so sometimes I had to chew on mint leaves or drink mint water. As the days wore on, my breath actually seemed fresher and I noticed that even in the mornings I wasn’t rockin’ nasty morning breath. My friend Jessi said that’s what happens when you cut out dairy.
Things I Didn’t Miss
Cheese, bread, and Diet Mt. Dew. I love cheese and bread…and I’m not saying I won’t ever have them again because, hello, pizza. But those weren’t the things I was dreaming about eating as I ended my Whole30 run. I can tell you a few days out, I’ve still not had cheese or Diet Mt. Dew; I did have a roll with dinner once and it felt like such a luxury!
Diet Mt. Dew took the longest to stop craving. I do still think about it occasionally, but not enough to have one. And I could if I really felt like it was worth it. I’m not saying I’ll never drink pop again, but right now, I’m still doing okay without it.
Right now I’m taking what I learned on my Whole30 round and making better choices. I’m transitioning to eating mostly Paleo foods but without all of the extra creations where people make all their favorite foods just with cleaner ingredients. The Whole30 program frowns on re-creating all your favorites because it’s not handling the addiction or triggers or whatever, it’s just making new ones (they call it “Sex with your pants on” look it up, it’s really funny). So I’m trying to eat clean and basic just like I’ve been doing. But I’m not as strict as the Whole30 was. I’m also much more aware of food labels and what I’m feeding myself and my family. I’m making subtle changes to our family’s diet. I’m eating dark chocolate as a treat. I will have a drink out with friends if I want one. I’m buying cured bacon like a rebel. But I’m not missing much right now or feeling left out of some awesome treat that makes me want to change my patterns. I’m giving myself grace if I want to indulge. And you better believe I plan to have one of my Grandma’s rolls on Thanksgiving because, come on, it’s Thanksgiving. Oh, and gravy too.
At times I feel like I’m almost afraid to loosen up because I’m feeling good and healthy and I don’t want to lose those feelings. Through the duration, I never once thought negatively about my body or felt bad about my food choices. While my eating was heavily restricted, within those restrictions, I could feel satisfied and full so that I never had the guilt of “why did I eat that?” or “I should have stopped after the first helping.” I felt good about myself and my choices and so I felt better about my body. Even though I weigh the same as I did three months ago and I’m not at my lowest weight, I just feel good. That was the biggest lesson for me. That when I know I’m treating my body right, everything else just feels better. I feel more confident and sure in my skin. And that made it all worth it.
(Next week I’ll share some tricks and tips that helped me survive the Whole30 in case you’re interested in trying it or just want to incorporate some better, cleaner meals into your routine.)