Holiday Treats Come Early

One of my coworkers walked past my desk today with two boxes on her way to the lunch room. “There’s pie,” she said as she passed by. Pumpkin and apple. I have no idea what it was for but it looked delicious.

And then our conference rooms were overbooked and not appropriately scheduled which meant our scheduled 2pm (you know, that time when you really start to hit that post-lunch wall and count down the seconds to closing time) was moved from a perfectly sterile lobby conference room to the lunch room. Our VP of Ops was finishing a plate when we walked in.

I just finished my 2nd round of Whole30 this week (read: “yesterday”). And while I definitely did a better job with reintroduction this time around, I still managed to sip a paper Dixie Cup worth of champagne on the same day as my gluten reintroduction. And okay, I did have a sip of IPA the day after gluten reintroduction at a Lions game too. And wouldn’t you know it? Something didn’t quite sit right. By Whole30 standards, I still didn’t get this reintroduction thing quite right (why must I continue to self-sabotage?) but I definitely learned some lessons.

Pie before the holidays? Holiday treats come early, folks! I can just see the writing on the wall. Suddenly Melissa Hartwig’s “Is it worth it?” becomes “Why not?” and the decision is made before I even ask the question. I’m elbow deep in stuffing, marshmallow sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream, washing it down with copious amounts of red wine and yes, I’ll take a side of ice cream to choke down the pie crust that I’ve never ever liked in. my. entire. life. but continue to polish off of plates because it’s there; thank you.

Then the writing on that wall goes from bright pink and bubbly, sugary sweet, to black and jagged. I’m weighted by remorse. And perpetual tiredness. And irritability. And sore joints. And elevated stomach issues. And, well, weight.

Yeah, about that…I’ve lost 20 lbs since May.

I know know it’s not about the weight (I turned to Whole30 to address health issues that allergy testing and blood work couldn’t shed light on), but I need to keep saying that out loud; it helps me remember where I was and what choices I made to get to today. And really, I say it so my decisions make more sense to the people around me. Because very few people will understand ordering a dry baked potato but so many of us can shake our heads “yes” at the thought of getting back to our fighting weight.

My advice to you? Keep that reminder in front of you. Post it somewhere publicly, if you have to. But don’t eat the pie before the holidays.*

*Disclaimer: That is, of course, unless you responded to “Is it worth it?” with a true and emphatic “Yes!” (If that’s the case, I am judging you for deeming a superstore pie as worth it but YOU DO YOU, BOO.)

Whole30: Day 30

Today is my 30th day of Whole30! I cannot believe the last 30 days have gone by so quickly.

In the last 30 days, I have gone without added sugars, dairy, legumes, alcohol, or grains. I’d love to boast a perfect record but I discovered some missteps along the way, mainly after I had already eaten the offending food. I also allowed myself some cheats in the form of dried fruit and veggie chips which met the Whole30 ingredient criteria but failed in the strictest sense of Whole30 for completely eliminating foods that facilitate over consumption.

Here’s what I think:

  • It’s not impossible.
  • It does require a lot of planning.
    • Day Designer has an awesome printable for meal planning that kept me organized. Thank you, guys!
    • My husband took over planning for a bit but I couldn’t have made it without breakfasts, lunches, and dinners written out next to the grocery list for the week! If you’re not a chef, don’t try to wing recipes. Research and plan. Trust me on this.
  • You won’t miss X nearly as much as you think you will.
    • Beer on a hot summer day?
      • Yeah, it sounds good. But I’ve gotten pretty crafty with sparkling water and none of the bloat!
    • Chips and salsa?
      • This one is a game changer. I am a tortilla chip addict. I consume them at such an alarming rate that my husband started to buy two bags when he’d go shopping so he could have some (we call that behavior enabling, but that’s a story for another day!).
      • As of this evening, I have gone t-h-i-r-t-y days without tortilla chips. You know what I realized? Being addicted isn’t really that funny. If I eat one, I want one hundred and one! I have no control and, even worse, that’s by design. The food industry designs processed food to be addictive.
  • Plan some Netflix food documentary binges through the process. They’ll reinforce your decision to do what you’re doing.
  • Don’t try to force your kids to eat Whole30 with you. Introduce some new recipes but don’t make your experience miserable because you’re making your kids miserable.
  • You might just find that energy you’ve craved.
    • I’ve been staying up later and later as I’ve been going through this process. The wise voice inside says I should’ve been holding steady to my bedtime to become a morning person but the fact of the matter is, I’m getting more hours in the day regardless of what time I’m getting them!
  • You will probably lose weight.
    • I lost 9 lbs. I’ve been comfortable wearing pants that were busting at the seams. I got to pull out a pair of pants from the back of the drawer that were hopeless. I can see definition in my arms again (which is funny because while I’ve been focusing on food, I’ve been putting zero energy into exercise).

Closing thoughts?

You should do it if there isn’t a medical reason that you shouldn’t. Outside of generally being healthier and more aware of what I’m putting in my body, I feel like this huge burden has been lifted from me. Food can pull at you. It calls to you and then shames you from your changing body. Or it can, if you’ve got too much processed food in your diet. Cut it out and replace it with wholesomeness. Your body and your mind will thank you.