Considering there are a lot of people out there trying the Whole 30 challenge for the first time, I thought it would be fair to give you guys an update on my own challenge for those of you following along. The first week is under my belt and I have been feeling great. I am on Day 11, which per the original Whole 30 book, is the hardest day of the challenge. The reality of how they detailed each day of the challenge hits spot on for the most part. And you know what? Today WAS a really hard day for me.
I have spent the better part of the day feeling grumpy, and a big part of that had to do with food. This week at the office we had two different people celebrate birthdays, which means there were plenty of goodies. There were chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches, chips and creamy queso dip, and the office got a new espresso machine so fresh lattes were being made all day long. My coworkers know I am on Whole 30 and are incredibly supportive (I have gotten a good portion of the office to eat pretty clean over the past year, they are one reason I got this blog going and I thank them everyday for their support). I do not know why, but knowing I could not eat those foods because of this self-imposed challenge really frustrated me more so than it has in past challenges I have done.
I had a lot of frustrating and unhealthy thoughts in my head today: "Why am I doing this? I just want to eat one chip, just even lick the salt off of it so I can taste it. That's okay, right? I could eat just a bite of the ice cream sandwich, I have lactaid in my purse so I could take some." These negative, unhealthy thoughts just kept popping into my head all day, and I do not like feeling like a crazy person because of food. I meal prep so all the food I needed I had already, but it almost did not feel like enough.
As I got through my day, I resisted all temptations in the end because ultimately, I am doing this for my health and well-being. The reason that Melissa and Dallas Hartwig say today is the hardest day is because of the relationships we have food and the psychology that comes with emotional eating. Growing up, birthdays are filled with lots of laughter and lots of sweet treats. Knowing people were enjoying their ice cream sandwiches while I was sitting there eating cashews frustrated me, and I am fully willing to admit that this challenge is, well, a challenge some days. The main reason I did my very first Whole 30 was to change my relationship with eating, mainly eating for emotions (happy, sad, angry, etc).
So you know what I did instead? I knew I had a night alone at home (minus the pets, Jefferson and Jazzy love to keep me company) so I invited a friend over and made us turkey taco salads, loaded with lean protein and lots of veggies. And I felt immediately better, but not because I was eating, but because I had a wonderful conversation with a person I really care about. That is why I am doing this challenge - not so I can be super skinny, but so that I can lead a more fulfilling, balanced life. Replacing what I do at the end of a frustrating day with something healthy for my mind and body made me feel so much better than opening a bottle of wine and eating something unhealthy. Eating clean is just a part of clean living; having relationships with people who support you creates a more meaningful existence.