So since it starts with food, and today is day one of the Whole 25, let’s start with the Whole 30, which I am amazingly grateful for. Three years ago my little sister came to North Carolina to stay with us for Thanksgiving and she was drinking a lot of tea and eating a lot of sweet potatoes and she wouldn’t have gravy or beer or apple pie. She was doing a Whole 30 and when she first told me about it I thought she was crazy. The following June, however, I decided to join her, along with another sister. I didn’t read the book but I followed all the rules, finished the 30 days, and dropped a ton of weight. But I was in it for the wrong reasons – to lose a ton of weight fast, which I did. But I gained nearly all of it back within the next year and changed nothing about my unhealthy relationship with food. Next June I was ready to go again – to drop a lot of weight fast. But this time I read the book – It Starts With Food.
I began to understand the physiological impact of what I ate. I learned why I relied on food to manage my emotions, why I was addicted to sugar, and what I could do about it. I also stopped blaming myself for this problem and worked on not feeling guilty about the unhealthy decisions I had made in the past. By the end of the 30 days I was feeling amazing. I felt like I had figured it out. But sometime in mid-July I felt my sense of control slipping away again. I recalled the book, which discussed how those of us who had spent a lifetime becoming addicted to sugar would need more than 30 days to readjust. It’s hard to explain just how crazy sugar has made me. I can eat a gallon of ice cream by myself and run 3 miles the next day. I could wash a snickers bar down with a Dr. Pepper and sleep like a baby. At least I could, before the Whole 30. Sugar had stopped affecting my body, or rather, sugar had so altered my chemistry that my body began to understand mass quantities as completely normal. So I was losing grip on the results of the June Whole 30 and decided to do another one in August. Somewhere on the 3rd or 4th day I got incredibly sad for no reason at all. Sugar had so badly impaired my hormone receptors that I actually grew depressed after going without it for a few days. This new understanding strengthened my resolve and I fully committed myself. I emphasized my food decisions, quality of sleep, quality of thought. I had another successful month at the end of which I realized – this is a lifelong commitment. No one Whole 30 will fix me permanently. But every time I apply this kind of focus to my food choices, I’ll get better at understanding my needs and taking care of myself for the long term.
So here we go around again. I am so grateful to have a go-to that I know works for me – regardless of whether it’s right for other people. And I am excited to see what comes of these next 25 days!