Last year I thought that I might be interested in completing (another) round of Whole30, but I couldn't find a solid 30 days where I wouldn't be traveling. Whole30 is nearly impossible while traveling so I decided to forgo that idea. I also had a crazy, busy year between school, work, life – it was a mess and most of the time I didn’t feel like I could even keep my head above water. There were points where I couldn’t justify spending two hours to meal prep when I needed to spend two hours studying for the bar exam or two hours doing laundry. When push comes to shove, I need clean underwear before I need homemade ranch. Between meal planning, grocery shopping, meal prepping, doing dishes… Food started to be on my mind much more than I wanted it to be. And then I got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying the food-centered life I had made for myself. I don’t enjoy eating leftovers and I don’t enjoy eating the same thing for breakfast, lunch, or dinner day in and day out. I don’t enjoy forcing myself to eat a gross chicken recipe merely because it’s Whole30. I don’t enjoy spending $8 on coconut aminos instead of $4 on soy sauce. I don’t enjoy wasting food because I made something I don’t like. I don’t enjoy the days or weeks filled with guilt because I had a piece of pizza or a margarita at happy hour. It’s simply just not for me.
And then there’s the pressure. There is SO MUCH pressure on social media around eating healthy and having a life filled with restriction. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, alcohol-free, sugar-free, paleo, keto… The list goes on and on. And frankly, it’s BS. I’m so sick of it. That’s not to say that I don’t follow or appreciate the accounts that share recipes and their journey on these programs. Some of my favorite accounts focus on Whole30 recipes or are centered on healthy lifestyles. However, I don’t think eating popcorn and beans, or any non-Whole30 approved foods, are going to kill anyone. Experiencing a life filled with restriction increased my anxiety and made my self-worth diminish.
So here’s the plan. I vow for the next two months (January 11 to March 11) to forgo the meal plan and my exercise routine. Instead I want to listen to my body - eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full, if I want a piece of chocolate or a glass of wine at dinner then I’ll have it. If I have extra energy, I’ll workout. If I want to meet up with a friend for a dance or spinning class, I will. I’m going to track everything I eat and every time I workout as well as my weight and report back with the results. Hopefully this system will help me to stop thinking about food so much and focus that energy on finding joy in other areas of my life.
What to expect on the blog:
I thought it would be motivating/fun to incorporate YOUR wellness along with my own - power in numbers, right?! Every Friday, I will post the following week’s challenges and a check-in. I will re-cap my own personal progress - the workouts I tried that week, how I felt, my eating habits, any specific meals I loved (or hated), my weight (which may not be a solid number...I'm trying to keep anything off the blog that'll draw comparisons because everyone's bodies are different). As a fun spin on things - I want you to comment on the wellness blog posts, DM me on Instagram, email me, or comment on any Instagram post to let me know how you're doing for the week. I will randomly choose one comment per month (February 11 and March 11) where I will send that reader a little treat to encourage them with their own wellness challenge and serve as a reminder to continue on lovin' their bodies.
Here’s to saying “thank u, next” to the diet culture and putting only those things we love into our bodies! This little experiment may have disastrous results (like potentially gaining 5 pounds), but honestly who cares! If it’s going to make me happier then I’m all for trying.
This week's challenges:
Workout three times this week. Whether it's going to the gym or going to SoulCycle, get your heart rate up and SWEAT!
Evaluate your fridge/pantry and toss, store, or donate any food items that don't line up with your healthy eating goals. Starting with a clean slate is best!
Take a "before" picture. Throw on your favorite sports bra and swimsuit bottoms and take some pics! I know it sounds silly, but I definitely stay more motivated when I am able to look back and see the progress I've made. It's especially uplifting for days there's snow on the ground and staying in bed seems much better than jumping on the elliptical.