My cousin sent me the following text, “a group of us are doing a clean eating challenge next month called Whole30, you in?” I quickly googled this thing I had never heard of called Whole30. What was it? Could I still drink coffee? I can survive without my beloved Cabernet, but I cannot go without wine, cheese, AND coffee. I’m not a super hero. With a cup of coffee and a dash of coconut milk, I was in.
For the past few months, many have been participating in Whole30. Did you do it? Are you thinking about it? Almost a year ago, my circle of friends and I gave it a try. I thoroughly enjoyed Whole30, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t any obstacles along the way or someone didn’t accidentally fart in public. Sometimes uncomfortable things happen when you try something new and venture out of the ‘ole comfort zone. Here is what to expect when you choose to participate in a Whole30 challenge.
Stage 1: The Hangover. You may feel “off” for the first few days. I’m not sure how I escaped this, but I did. Those around me did not. Friends had flu-like symptoms or felt like as if they were hungover. I felt great and immediately noticed an increase in energy. I felt very smug for skipping this step. That was stupid.
Stage 2: Anger. You may become full of rage in 0.2 seconds flat. One of the participants in my group is very even-keeled. She is not prone to the emotional outbursts that people like me shower their friends and family with. Her patience level seemed to have diminished overnight for a few days. I laughed as she told me about what was going on in her household due to her anger. I had yet to experience any rage and thought I might have escaped this as well. I was wrong. It was okay because my husband was out of town and I had been by myself for a few days. Suddenly, a friend was giving me advice on the phone and I DID NOT WANT HER ADVICE. My pulse quickened and I almost bit her head off. Later on, I might have gotten into a verbal altercation with a woman at the gym for yelling at me. It is fuzzy and I do not wish to rehash. Be prepared for instantaneous anger over mundane things. Warn your family because no one is safe.
Stage 3: Annoyance. People’s comments will be an annoy you. As I’ve gotten older, I have become better at keeping my mouth shut. However, sometimes the struggle is real to remain quiet when people make comments that are stupid. It is especially hard to keep mum when I’ve been without red wine and sugar for a few weeks. People around you will not understand why you are doing Whole30. They will say things that don’t make sense. They will question if Whole30 is healthy while talking with a mouth full of glazed donut. They may ask if you are taking vitamins out of concern for your heath while still eating donuts. You will attempt to explain the program and watch as their eyes glaze over just like that dang donut and they aren’t even listening. You may either practice your yoga breathing or revert back to Stage 2 in their presence.
Stage 4: Acceptance. You get over it and decide to be awesome instead. There comes a point where you just feel so dang great that you don’t worry yourself with the small annoyances. Your incredible hulk-like anger has diminished. Your body feels good and you can tell a huge difference in your energy level. Your pants aren’t even digging into your skin anymore and you can keep them buttoned at dinner. Sure you may miss certain foods, but you have finally kicked some bad habits. Many of us said good-bye forever to food items such as soda, margarine, or flavored coffee creamer. I used to love flavored coffee creamer and now it tastes gross to me.
Deciding to embark on a challenge like Whole30 will not happen without a few hiccups along the way. Change isn’t easy and your body may revolt for a few days. Stick with it. The things you learn and experience are totally worth the uncontrollable anger or the embarrassment of farting in public. I made some lasting modifications in my lifestyle during the 30 days and I know you can as well.
For more information about Whole30, here are the following resources:
It Starts with Food