Today I am on day three of a full on Whole30. Not a ten day one between trips. And not one that perhaps includes bacon cured with sugar because I can’t find sugar free. Nope, I’m going whole hog, 30 days. I’m even hoping to not eat out very much (at all if I can pull it off!) to be 100% sure I’m sticking to the rules.
I was having the nagging What is wrong with me? question as I contemplated another run at this. Why can’t I just do one Whole30 and be super on top of things for the rest of my life? Sure, there’s always the time and place for a treat but why can’t my everyday eating look Whole30-esque most of the time? Then Melissa Hartwig, co-creator of Whole9 and the Whole30, posted an article this week on what she learned during her seventh Whole30. Her first two points made me realize it’s not me, it’s life. And instead of feeling like a loser, I’m being awesome for recognizing I need a change and going back to what I know works for me.
So why am I doing it? I asked myself that pretty seriously as I drove home from Eastern Washington this weekend. The next four weeks are a little nutty. But they are only going to be worse if I continue to not take care of myself. Everyone is different, but for me it really does start with food. When food is on target for me, everything else falls into place. When it’s not, things get messy. I stop making sleep a priority, I don’t exercise, and I definitely spend way more time in front of screens. So while this season is busy, making the effort to eat incredibly clean is only going to help. Below are the specific issues I’m hoping to help improve over the next thirty days.
1. Sleep. I am in the awesome (sarcasm font) cycle of tired but wired. I am exhausted at night then can’t fall asleep. I wake up multiple times and then for good well before I’m actually rested. I can’t fall back asleep but I’m still tired. I’m looking at the last four months of uninterrupted sleep I’m going to have for a long time and I want to make the best of it.
2. Digestive issues. I’ll spare you the details, but will add that for the first time in my life I am having heartburn. While it’s partially due to the alien in my belly, I did have a friend test my HCL point and it is hotter than it’s ever been. Study group pays off.
3. Eczema. I’ve been battling wrist and eyebrow eczema since last fall. I haven’t tied it to a specific food, but it pops up when I’m run down and when we have been traveling. My guess is because both scenarios usually mean a lack of sleep and poor food choices. This past weekend my wrist flared up and it’s both ugly and itchy.
4. Lethargy. I just don’t feel very energetic right now. I failed miserably at keeping my goal of getting exercise four days a week in September. I don’t want to get up and do anything. The second trimester is supposed to be the golden months of pregnancy and I’m wasting them away.
5. Mama guilt. Did you know that it is possible to have mama guilt even before the little one is born? Between personal interests and my NTP program, I know a lot about nutrition and it’s impacts during pregnancy on mama and baby. With that knowledge comes responsibility and I haven’t been taking mine very seriously lately. I want to go into the second half of my pregnancy with a concerted effort to be the healthiest I can be, both for the martian and for myself. I am unequivocally at my best when I’m feeling good and we all know the ‘fourth trimester’ is going to be rough no matter how it happens. I want to increase our family’s chances of thriving versus simply surviving, and me being at my best (or as close as I can be post birth with a newborn!) is going to be key to that. Getting myself back on track is a thousand times more important to me than setting up the perfect nursery, so this is where my focus is for now. Just to be clear, I have not been out boozing around, just eating more sugar, gluten, and bad fats than I am comfortable feeding myself or the martian.
I should address weight. No, I am not trying to lose weight. I realize the martian will keep on growing and chances are I will gain weight on this Whole30. That is totally fine with me as my goals are all around improving energy and digestion (and ditching the red bumps from eczema). I don’t typically weigh myself at home, but I did have a midwife appointment on day 1 (coincidentally) and will have another one in the final days of this Whole30. Knowing that what the scales says for this Whole30 is not important, I specifically called out the five items above to have something other than weight to compare at the end of my 30 days.
This Whole30 is going to be very simple by default. There is way too much going on to cook complicated meals. Next week I’ll share how I’m managing to have compliant food ready to go for three meals a day despite a hectic schedule.
__________________________________________________________Today is the last day to sign up for the Style Me Fall Challenge at the regular price. The shopping list comes out tomorrow and in perfect timing, Seattle weather has gone from summer to fall almost overnight.