Whole 30: Round 3ish……
Beginning of February, I completed my 3rd round of the Whole 30…..well kind of.
If you’re not familiar with the Whole 30, please refer back to THIS (https://www.followyourgutmdnp.com/post/the-whys-and-whats-of-the-whole30 ) previous blog post where we went over the simple, yet strict, rules of this dietary reset.
The last few months of 2019 were filled with an endless amount of parties, get-togethers, and events that were centered on yummy (and delicious!) food and drinks. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas were only a few of the occasions where the food was abundant and the cocktails were flowing….on the ice of course! Needless to say, I felt like I needed to “reset” my system once the holidays came and went. And what better way to do so than with the Whole 30?
Luckily I had the support of my hubby this time around- and he even decided to join in! He had no interest in doing so the last 2 rounds of my Whole30 resets as he could not bare the thought of giving up his rice/noodle obsession. But this time he felt he needed a reset as well. This meant taking out all of the things that caused inflammation and weight gain and replacing them with simple, whole foods. It also meant becoming creative with our meals once again.
But something happened this round that hasn’t happened before. I gave myself grace and realized I needed to make this a way of life rather than just a restrictive 30-day reset. During the last 2 rounds I was extremely hard on myself and constantly paranoid: What if I had just one “non-Whole 30 approved” condiment with or without my knowledge? How come I can’t have that just this once? Oh no….we have a party to attend? How will I survive without something being snuck in that is not Whole 30 approved? All of these thoughts tormented me. But this time I came to the conclusion that I needed to find a way to incorporate this as a way of life. How you ask? Let me share my thoughts and the lessons I learned.
Moderation is key but there are some insistences where complete restriction is necessary.
There are times where we do have parties and events that we just have to go to, but we don’t have to “let loose” every single time. Making better choices, whether out or at home, is now something my husband and I both have instilled within ourselves. Instead of having that dessert opt for a coffee. Or, make it a priority to have more waters than cocktails. Consciously making these changes allows for us to enjoy but also feel better inside and out.
Alcohol should be a “treat” rather than being something expected.
Almost every evening, my husband and I would have a glass or two of wine or an alcoholic beverage with dinner and possibly another while enjoying a movie or TV show after the kids headed off to bed. It had become part of our “wine down” routine (see what I did there?). But now, we keep to one alcoholic beverage a week or just opt out completely on alcohol during the week. I can attest that going alcohol-free during the week allows for a more settled sleep and has me waking up motivated and clear-headed to take on the morning routine—workout, shower, waking kiddos up and getting ready for school. This kind of feeling makes it easier for us to pass on alcohol even on the weekends- even though we technically can have whatever we want.
You don’t NEED carbs! You WANT carbs!
Carbohydrates—something that everyone either hates or loves and is the ultimate “frenemy.” Like I said before, my husband didn’t want to partake in the last 2 rounds as he is a self-proclaimed rice/noodle-holic. He would be the first to wave that flag. But, with incorporating the Whole 30 into our everyday routine we realized that carbs are not something we HAVE to have. And we both know that less carbs makes us feel better inside and out. I am proud to say carbs and I have an understanding with one another and my husband has that same relationship with them. We don’t deprive ourselves, but we do restrict them more. We have learned we need to utilize fuel from other sources and that carbs are something we *want* to have rather than *have* to have. When you come to terms with that mindset you will always win.
Having continuous support for a healthy lifestyle IS A MUST!
This last round I had not only my husband’s support and one of my best girlfriend’s and also from my other best girlfriends who didn’t really partake in the Whole 30 reset. But that didn’t mean they didn’t support us. Every day they sent encouraging text messages telling me and my friend who was doing this last round with me how proud they were of us even though they didn’t want to do the reset themselves. This didn’t mean they wouldn’t take parts of the Whole 30 and incorporate it into their already healthy lifestyles—less carbs, less or alcohol during the week, incorporating more lean proteins ad good fats were all concepts taken from the Whole 30 and motivated our friends to improve their own lifestyles rather than looking at it as just being a restrictive 30-day reset.
Focus on the Non-Scale Victories (NSV) versus the actual scale
This is a concept I have taken from the Whole 30 reset from day 1 of my very first round. But this round was different as I became stronger and found motivation in the mindset that the scale is just a number and the less bloat, less brain fog, and more lean muscle mass matter more. I now find even more motivation in those NSV than ever before.
In the end, give yourself grace and the ability to really enjoy life's gifts
You might question: “Well did you finish your 3rd round of the Whole 30?” My answer: I didn’t finish following the exact rules, but I found something even greater—the ability to incorporate the reset’s values into my lifestyle in a way that I will be able to keep it going forever. My husband and I both have a new-found understanding of what is helpful for our bodies (goodbye eggs—that will be a different blog post) and choosing foods and drinks in a way that will nourish us.tails by the pool and beach. We both wake up early enough to get our workouts in before the day begins and, in all honesty, I am more motivated on vacation than at home—not because I am in a bikini most of the day, but because I actually don’t have to rush to be anywhere and can get a full hourlong workout in without having to make sure we are at school or work on time. I am completely grateful to be on vacation but even more grateful that I am able to keep up with my two girls. That I am able to walk up 3 flights of stairs 20-30 times a day so we can ride the “totally awesome!” (in my 6-year-old daughter’s voice) tube water slide or play water games together in the pool. I am grateful that treating my body the way I do during the year allows me the opportunity to have fun with my husband and my two beautiful, energetic girls.
You might question: “Well did you finish your 3rd round of the Whole 30?” My answer: I didn’t finish following the exact rules, but I found something even greater—the ability to incorporate the reset’s values into my lifestyle in a way that I will be able to keep it going forever. My husband and I both have a new-found understanding in what is helpful for our bodies (goodbye eggs—that will be a different blog post) and choosing foods and drinks in a way that will nourish us.
Now I am off to enjoy the remainder of my much-needed family vacation and to climb 3 flights of stairs for that "totally awesome waterslide" for the 40th time =)