9.27.2017

I'm Doing Whole30 in October



Have you ever heard of the Whole30 program? Several people in my life have done it and raved about how "life changing" it is. As someone passionately interested in food and nutrition, it was something that always intrigued me, but I never seriously considered taking on.

You see, I'm what you may describe as "skinny fat." I have skinny genes, I'm not overweight, I have a healthy BMI, I eat relatively well and I get enough physical activity on most days just chasing Charlie around the house. I don't need to lose weight and I don't need to go on any kind of restrictive diet. Thankfully, Whole30 isn't a diet or weight loss program. From my (limited) understanding, Whole30 is a reset. It's eliminating problematic foods from your diet, allowing your body the time it needs to recover, and then slowly introducing them back into your diet to see how your body reacts. It's a method of understanding the best diet for your body.

I'm not interested in losing weight, but I am interested in figuring out how I can be my healthiest self. Every winter for the last 7-8 years, I've had terrible seasonal acne. I tried both topical and prescription treatments, and nothing helped. All of a sudden, this winter through no effort of my own, my face was clear. I realized that it was because when we pared down our grocery budget, I eliminated all of the sugary snacks and processed foods I was used to eating. This was a HUGE wake up call to me that I had become really unhealthfully addicted to sugar. In the last few weeks, I've started backsliding into my sugary ways. And instantaneously, my skin has broken out. I really want to cut out this sugar habit once and for all and start eating clean.

My desire to eliminate sugar from my diet is certainly reason enough to try out the Whole30 program, but it wasn't my biggest motivating factor. My family is. Diabetes runs in my family. My Dad has been diabetic for pretty much my entire life. We believe this is the cause of the debilitating stroke he suffered nearly 20 years ago. The stroke that left him disabled and has since led him down a road of serious health issues. My Dad's health has been steadily declining since his stroke, but the last year has been a living nightmare for him. His story is not mine to tell, but it's been a very scary time for our family. About a year or two ago, my Mom was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and just a couple weeks ago, my baby sister was also diagnosed.

The fact that my young, healthy, 25-year old sister is pre-diabetic scares the crap out of me. As healthy as I am, I have a genetic predisposition to diabetes. After everything my father has gone through, I refuse to allow myself down that same road. I love bread, I love pasta, I love anything remotely resembling a carbohydrate- but there is no food that I could possibly love enough to put myself and my family through what my Dad has had to suffer and experience.

This is all heavier and graver than I wanted it to be, but I take my health seriously. As the founder of Whole30 says,
"This is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth—the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.

So, starting October 1, I'm doing the hard thing. I'm doing Whole30. Not drinking my daily dose of coffee creamer will be hard. Not throwing back a glass of wine after a long day will be hard. Not eating chocolate, bread, and peanut butter will be hard. But nothing is as hard as walking into that hospital room for the first time at 10 years old after your Daddy has had a massive stroke. I owe it to myself, I owe it to my husband, my Mom, my sister, and my babies. I'm going to give this Whole30 thing a shot.

Send all the healthy, good vibes my way!

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