My mom and I had an interesting discussion about food this last week (she is prepping to do her first Whole 30 starting tomorrow.) She said to me “Oooh, because I’m doing the Whole 30 I’m going to treat myself to little cherry tomatoes just for snacking.” And I said “I know! After seeing my friend Elizabeth’s salad on twitter, it reminded me I need to pick up some radishes. I can’t wait to just have RADISHES WAITING FOR ME IN THE FRIDGE. YUM!”
The interesting part about both of these things is that it’s not like daily life precludes us from doing either, but something about narrowing our nutrition focus helps really clarify the Venn diagram of nutritious foods we really enjoy and foods we feel are genuinely pleasurable. It’s almost doesn’t make sense, but there is a way in which narrowing your choices actually creates a feeling of abundance that doesn’t happen in my normal life. Less is more: the food version. If you are feeling frustrated about food right now I challenge you to find your own cherry tomatoes or freshly scrubbed radishes ready to be eaten this week.
My goal with the Whole 30 (among other things) is to find some new, awesome habits (snacking on radishes) and healthy meals that I truly do enjoy specifically because my choices are limited, and to keep them in the rotation when I am back to having ALL OF THE OPTIONS. If I can just change one or two habits after this experience I will count that as great progress.
Some time in the first week, everyone who has decided to undertake this challenge has that moment where they realize “Holy shit, this is really hard.” And to that, I say: YOU ARE RIGHT! What you are doing right now is a really hard thing. If you are feeling a little unmotivated because of that, I want to remind you of this. The act of getting through something tough is going to produce additional benefits (hello, confidence) that reach beyond even the physical awesomeness that you will earn just by doing the Whole 30. So I guess what I’m saying is make sure you are giving yourself credit for both things these days.
And I also want to remind you that if it feels hard? YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT! Because I really think that is nice to hear.
The last thing I’ve been thinking is that sometimes when the going gets tough we are tempted to use that difficulty to rationalize quitting.
“The Whole 30 is not sustainable, I should probably stop.”
“I don’t want to be obsessed with food all the time, I am just going to quit this now and try to develop mostly better habits in balance.”
“Why am I thinking about every morsel of food that goes in my mouth, that will not make me happy in the long run so in the short run I should quit.”
I want to challenge you to use that difficulty to motivate you. When you feel it is hard, validate that for yourself. But also, validate that YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS. And then, think about this:
*The Whole 30 *isn’t* sustainable, and it is not meant to be. That is why it is only 30 days. It’s NOT a Whole 365. But it is a finite commitment, and it is one that you have already invested some time into. Why not keep it up and see it through? If you have done it for 6 days, you know you can do it for 6 more. When you get to 12 days, know that you can do 12 more. This is not a life sentence, this is 30 days.
*Embarking on a Whole 30 *does* mean thinking about your food more than usual for a finite period of time. It is not programmed to make you obsessive. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light will be so much more illuminating if you give yourself 30 days of mindfulness about your food. But keep it in perspective that when something *is* about mindfulness, it’s going to be on your mind, right? So if you are thinking about food a lot more than usual, you are not being obsessive, you are on the right track. And you will only be doing it for 30 days.
Don’t let your inner-rationalizer undermine your success!
Remember that you are building an awareness of your body, and that this takes consistency and commitment.
Remember that this is hard, and it is okay to give yourself credit for doing hard things.
Remember that this is only 30 days and you won’t always feel this challenged.
Remember that you are almost done.
Remember that you can do it.
Any other advice you would like to add?