I started the Whole 30 Program on Monday.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, The Whole 30 is “a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.”
I don’t have any agreement or get any compensation from them — I’m doing this because I just need to get my shit together.
To be honest, I think I’m on the verge of a mini meltdown or I’m going through a mid-life crisis or something.
I’m super emotional about the kids growing up. I’m a disaster and crying almost daily thinking about the impending last day of preschool for Number 7 and it’s a month away.
The secretary at the elementary school has been forced to seriously harass me to fill out the kindergarten registration paperwork for Number 7 because I just can’t get myself to do it.
I’m in denial.
An entire phase of my life is coming to a close and I feel like I’ve let so many parts of it pass by without taking advantage of them.
And I’m feeling like just about every aspect of my life is totally out of control.
I understand that to a certain degree that’s the way it is with young kids and that’s the way it is with lots of kids and we’ve just come off a 3+ year run full of injuries and foreclosures and a whole bunch of other shit, and I think the dust is kind of settling.
And I think for the last four years I have been functioning in that big old cloud of dust swirling around multiple shitstorms, and I’ve been navigating my way from storm to storm, and I haven’t really let myself think about much of anything.
I’ve been surviving on autopilot.
And now that every single second of my life isn’t spent worrying about if/when we are going to get kicked out of our house, and now that the fog has lifted a little bit, the insanity of how I am living is becoming evident.
I can’t live like this anymore. And I sure as hell don’t want to teach my kids to live this way.
So for me, committing to this Whole 30 program isn’t about losing weight.
It’s about living mindfully and living with intention.
I think the way you think about and prepare and eat food can be pretty big barometer for the level of mindfulness you have in your life.
I have been so go-go-go recently that meal times are rushed and unplanned and far from the nourishing experience they should be. And I’m not just talking about nourishment for your body.
I have lost all sense of meal times being an opportunity to sit and rest and reflect and connect with other people.
I have no idea how much food or even what food I am eating every day. I’m eating standing up and picking off of plates and eating in the car and eating on the couch while I watch The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (my latest Netflix obsession).
I’ve been thinking about doing this program for a while now, and leading up to it, things got even more out of control. I basically went on a food bender. This past weekend I found myself eating chocolate chip cookies in the coaches’ room at a swim meet like I was going to the electric chair. I grabbed a couple and was shoving them into my mouth and I was halfway through the third cookie before I even realized what the hell I was doing. The cookie didn’t even taste good, and I threw the rest of it in the grass.
It does not feel good to be out of control.
So the biggest part of this Whole 30 for me is about making the conscious decision to be more mindful and regaining control of multiple areas of my life, starting with food.
So what is the Whole 30?
Well, for 30 days, you basically eat food that you can either grow or kill, to put it in the words of a friend of mine.
No sugar. No dairy. No legumes. No booze.
I know. It’s restrictive.
To be honest, it’s not the sugar or the booze that’s going to be the hard part.
It’s the dairy and the legumes.
No cheese and no beans and no milk in my coffee and no peanut butter!
Those are the ones I miss the most.
But it’s day 3 and so far so good. Because while there is a lot of stuff you can’t eat, there also a lot of stuff you can eat!
And you can eat as much as you want of the good stuff. There’s no calorie counting, and there are plenty of options. They just take a little bit of thought. And intention. And it’s not forever. I don’t plan on never ever eating cheese again or never enjoying a nice cold Blue Moon. Or five.
I’m doing this because I want discipline back in my life. And I need discipline in my life.
I want to set a better example for my kids.
I want to enjoy the experience of a delicious meal and be conscious of what I am doing.
I want to eat because I am hungry and listening to my body and not because I am bored or scared or stressed or angry.
I need to restore some order back in my life and I want to live more mindfully before another five years of my kids’ lives passes me by.
And for me, all of that is starting with the Whole 30.