Hello 29! I just celebrated my birthday last week. Twenty-nine years old. Almost thirty. It sounds ‘old’, but I know it’s not. My birthday falls almost exactly 6 months into the year, 6 months after those New Year resolutions, so it feels natural to reflect on how the year has gone so far and where I’m at on my goals. I feel hesitant to say it’s been a rough year so far because so many good things have happened. I still have a job I like, I got to go home for a few weeks to see family and friends, my husband got a great internship and is almost done with school (finally), my parents and grandmother got to visit me in Vienna, and generally nothing ‘bad’ has happened. But it feels like something is missing. It’s like I’m not able to enjoy the goodness as much as I should. First world problems, I know, but regardless, I think my diet and general lifestyle are to blame.
I’ve always tried to be a ‘healthy’ person, but in reality I’m not. I’ll have a few weeks of really good health choices (clean food, exercise, plenty of sleep, no booze, normal work schedule), then a few months of bad choices (ordering-in or eating generally shitty food, lots of alcohol, staying up late, no physical activity and letting work projects pile up). And once I’m in the bad, it’s so hard to get back to the good. My fall back has been Whole30. Thirty days of super clean eating, I can do that. And I have done it multiple times. I always feel amazing afterwards. Amazing is almost an understatement. I feel like the best possible version of myself at the end of a Whole30. You’d think it would be impossible to go back to old habits, but it’s so, so easy.
I hav been feeling a bit depressed in the past few weeks, and then my birthday came. I’ve always loved birthdays, and I had a great one (thanks in large part to my husband)! My birthday gift was an Amazon Kindle, and the first book I bought was “It Starts With Food”. It’s the very first Whole30 book and goes into exhaustive detail as to why the program is designed the way it is and how different foods affect your body and your hormones. I devoured it in 2 days and decided about half-way through that I would start my next Whole30 on July 1st and change my life.
A Fresh Perspective on Whole30
I learned so much from “It Starts With Food” and I would suggest it to anyone who has any interested in how the food they eat may be affecting their body/mood/energy levels/sleep/life. After reading the book I’ll be doing some things differently during this Whole30, some to stay true to the spirit of the program and others because of my personal life.
More Veggies Please!
This go-around, I’m focusing on vegetables! Veggies are good for you. Duh. Everyone knows this. I know this. But after reading “It Starts With Food” I feel this new appreciation for vegetables and all the goodness they have to offer. In past Whole30s I have been so focused on finding cool, yet complicated recipes that sounded deliciously irresistible and I never ever noticed (or cared) if there were enough vegetables included. I want to try and make veggies the star at every meal. But there is also a second reason I want to focus more on veggies . . .
My husband recently starting eating a vegetarian diet. This is going to complicate things, because the food he relies on for flavor and protein like dairy and soy are foods I can’t have. Usually when I’m doing a Whole30 he generally eats the same foods as me. Being on the same diet as your partner definitely makes things easier, especially when you’re the one doing all the cooking. I’m hoping that my focus on veggies will make meals a little easier for both of us. We can share the vegetables and add whatever else we want to our plates to finish out the meal. This is new territory, so we’ll see how it goes. 🙂
I eat almost every meal in front of a screen (sometimes two). We eat all our meals in front of the TV. Even when there is nothing on, we sit on the couch with the TV on and with our phones out. This is a really bad habit that we’ve been stuck in for years. According to “It Starts With Food” part of the Whole30 program is to actually sit down and eat your food without distraction, a rule I was not aware of. I know it’s bad to eat in front of the TV or with your phone out, and I know this is probably why I tend to scarf down my food in no time. So I’ve cleaned off the table in the kitchen (which has been covered with papers, mail, magazines, and other random nick-knacks for weeks) and designated this as our dining table. Not sure if I can get my husband on board with this yet, but you can find me there at meal time!
No Calorie Counting
I’m almost embarrassed to say that I have been counting calories on and off for the past 5 years. I count my calories more than I don’t count them. I log everything I eat and drink into MyFitnessPal, the good and the bad. It’s a terrible habit and completely unsustainable for a truly healthy life. But because it’s so engrained in my eating habits, I’ve always counted my calories during my Whole30s. This time I’m not. I’ve got to learn how to make and eat my food by relying on my body, not numbers. It’s officially day 3 and this is already so hard. Maybe I’ll go into this more another time.
Here we go!
Wish me luck. I know it won’t be easy. The past few week (okay, months) have been filled with wine, ice cream, pizza, late nights, more wine, more sugary foods and so on. Changing your diet and your life is hard, but you have to start somewhere. And you just have to start. I’m starting, and for the first time in all my Whole30s I’m thinking beyond the next 30 days.
If you can’t tell, I haven’t posted on this blog in a while. I’m often paralyzed by the decisions of what content to post, will it be interesting or relevant, does anyone actually care, and then I just put it off. From now on I will try to give less shits and just post things that are going on in my life. You can follow along if you’d like.