The last four days of Whole 30 required venturing out into the world with my new habits just a bit. Thursday night I had 40 minutes to kill between teaching a yoga-class and retrieving Max and his buddies from basketball, so I stopped by Starbucks and ordered a peach tranquility tea to sip while I waited. It smelled heavenly. “So sweet”, I thought. Uh-oh. Sweet. I quickly googled the tea, and low and behold, it was in fact made with candied peaches. I spent my time in Starbucks smelling my tea and pondering the fact that I was in a Starbucks not drinking or eating a thing. Was I crazy? Had I gone too far? Is this what it feels like to stick to a plan? I vacillated between feeling like a silly fad dieter to feeling completely empowered. You see, there was a time in my life I planned my day around my coffee and accompanying coffee cake.
I ate out for the first time too. Luckily, I was with a dear friend who is fully supportive, and she wasn’t annoyed at all by my questioning the waitress and eating only cucumbers and salmon. Though why should she have been? She got all the aioli and flat bread.
Not eating dairy, grains, legumes, sugar nor consuming alcohol for thirty days is a big deal. It’s been annoying at times and and slightly painful at others. I remember the first time I heard about the program, I was intrigued, but I knew it was nothing I could ever do. I thought I wasn’t disciplined enough or mentally strong enough. Anyway, why would I ever want to do such a thing? I have worked so hard to not let food control my life, why would I participate in a program that would require me to constantly focus on my food? I believe the answer comes in my mindfulness meditation practice.
As a yogi, I’d dabbled in meditation for years, and I loved the idea of it, but I couldn’t quite bring it into my day-to-day life. Then, eighteen months ago, I picked up the book Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World, by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. This book was a game changer for me. Via this book and the accompanying guided meditations, I formed my almost daily mindfulness meditation practice. I believe that carving out 10-15 minutes for myself almost every single day is the most loving and disciplined action I have ever given myself. This practice both requires and cultivates discipline and loving kindness. It has also given me the confidence to attempt something as radical as Whole 30, which requires oodles of both. Meditation has also allowed me to accept emotions and parts of me that previously I tried to ignore. With Whole 30, I feel as though I’m facing head on my old eating karma.
What physical changes have I noticed?
I haven’t experienced any bloating since I started. Though my sleep has been disrupted and I’m waiting (hoping) for it to even out, my mood and energy level throughout the day is pretty steady. Friday, the day after I’d slept soundly two nights in a row, I felt a clarity I don’t remember having felt before. I sometimes experience the effects of what I believe to be low blood sugar, and I get a little shaky. I need to eat right away in the morning and make sure I’m eating fat and protein between my meals. A fully loaded salad is my favorite meal. I like to feel full when I go to bed, so I’ve added a hefty portion of cashews before hitting the sack. Before I bought them roasted and salted, but I now very much appreciate them raw. Sweat poured out of me at yoga both today and yesterday like it seemingly wasn’t pouring out of anybody else in the large classes. My only explanation is detoxification.
I am looking forward to seeing what week two brings.