Years ago, before I ever started this blog, I dieted. Actually dieted. None of this ‘chose a better lifestyle’ or ‘pick a new food way of life’ stuff…but went out of my way to diet to lose weight. At the time, it was the best thing for me and it worked. I stayed with it after I lost my 24 pounds and learned to work some of those diet ideas into a more balanced menu for myself. I eventually became the girl behind Embracing Balance and happily went along balancing healthy foods with indulgent foods and enjoying every bite while maintaining my happy weight.
At some point a few years ago that balanced lifestyle stopped working. I gained back 15 pounds gradually, focused a little too much on cheeseburgers and a lot too little on portion control. No surprise that those pounds just hung on for dear life.
You’ve all seen me get back on the healthy eating and workout bandwagons a few times since this all happened, but doing it multiple times hasn’t done anything for me. I would make it a few days with clean eats then decide a cheat day or three won’t hurt. Then I kick the scale when it doesn’t move. And console myself with Cheezies when my old pants still don’t fit.
Guess what? I’m human. I need to pick myself up, dust myself off, rethink things, and make new choices. And sometimes I need to do it over and over and over again. This time, I woke up and decided that the thing to do was try another diet. An actual diet. With rules, guidelines, and restrictions. Something I could really work at and be proud of.
The problem was that the diets of yesteryear don’t fit my food beliefs anymore. I’m not going to turn to no-fat yogurts, 100 calorie snack packs, and diet soda this time. I want to eat real food. I want to eat a lot of real food.
This is how I found Whole30. It’s all about real, good food. Sure, it’s not meant to be used as a ‘diet’ per se but the handy side effect of regulating meals and eating a specific assortment of foods can be weight loss. Plus, it’s something that can work even after the weight loss portion is achieved. It’s good food for life.
To start I decided I needed to be as strict with myself as possible which is part of why I opted to try Whole30. 30 days of eating by the rules.
“Eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.”
No sugar, no booze, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no additives, no spuds.
As an added bonus, it’s basically an elimination diet…so the option of finding out what foods cause me gastric grief, joint pain, body aches, or anything else was what really sold me. I never knew legumes could cause body aches…and guess what I eat a ton of? Yeah…damn you chick peas, black beans, and peanut butter.
At the very least I knew that is was 30 days I could be proud of. A personal challenge if you will. Even if I didn’t shed a pound, or jumped face first into a bucket of ice cream after 30 days, it’s still a month to be proud of.
So the next round of blog posts will review how my Whole30 went down. I finished a week ago and have a head full of thoughts swirling around that I have decided to share. If you have any questions, please throw them out and I will attempt to address them as I go along.