Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why I Quit My 2nd Whole30 and Why I'm Not Sorry

I'm a quitter. I quit the Whole30 after ten very successful and fulfilling days.  There-now that that's out in the open let's talk about it shall we.

When I was a teacher I would always ask my students to write letters to next year's students--preparing them for the experience of time in my classroom and the subjects covered in that grade level. There were always two guaranteed pieces of advice in almost every letter, "Don't make excuses and don't be lazy."

Because everyone who knows me knows that two of my biggest pet peeves (which pet peeve doesn't really do it justice) are laziness and excuses.

So I will tell you first and foremost I admit that I quit and I don't have an excuse. But I feel good about my decision and my explanation below isn't an excuse. I quit. I didn't follow the program for 30 days and there's no way around that.

The first ten days were a breeze and I felt fantastic. On the tenth day, I started craving something sweet. The cravings intensified a lot more over the course of the day. That night, Zach and I went on a date and I really wanted to get a treat and enjoy it with him. My mind started spiraling as I talked myself out of the treat repeatedly. While I was able to stay positive in the reasons I gave myself not to give in, "You want to develop a stronger sense of discipline. You want owe it to yourself to enjoy optimal health for a month." and so on. But I found that even though I was having those positive thoughts, I started dreaming about eating ALL THE JUNK that I had started feeling deprived of.

There were two things I could see happening:

I was preparing my mind to binge eat things that don't make me feel good as soon as I was done.
(What's the point then?)

I was starting to feel like I was afraid to stop Whole30-ing because all of the "off limits" food started to feel a little scary to me.

I have a tumultuous past with my weight/body image. I've been working really hard for the past several years-the hardest work undoubtedly being since I had JaiseAnn-on becoming more healthy and confident. I've come really far. I eat so much more balanced and I exercise daily--I need exercise in my life and I need whole foods to feel my best. I have come so far in how I feel about myself and how I look at myself. The scale might still tell you I'm unhealthy, but I know that I've come to a really good place.

I ultimately decided that I wanted to have ice cream with Zach after our date. Moreso, though, I wanted to feel like I could trust myself to enjoy a little ice cream and not make myself sick on it. I wanted to treat myself like I deserve to treat myself. Ultimately I could give myself a million positive reasons not to have a treat, but I felt like I was lying to myself. The real reason I was holding back was because I was "punishing" myself for the extra weight I'm still carrying. One ice cream treat won't kill me or ruin my progress and I really need to believe that. In believing that, I find balance. But in order to believe that, I have to trust myself to have the ice cream or whatever else it may be. 

I've learned a lot about listening to my body since quitting--maybe more than ever before. I've learned that my body needs (at least right now) boundaries and breaks. I need both of those things. Some day I might go into more detail about that, but for now I know that I am doing the right thing for me. 

I don't see the Whole30 as  a good or bad practice in discipline and I love eating a Whole30 diet--I've discovered so many amazing ways to prepare foods. All of my meal planning is going to be Whole30 for the most part--I love how satisfying it feels to eat that way--I definitely notice a difference. I also know that my body and my relationship with my body and when a Whole30 started to feel like a threat instead of an asset to that relationship, I knew I had to honor my body first. 

How do you feel about following challenges that have to do with food/diet/exercise and how they impact your body image or relationship with food? Do you tend to have positive or negative results? 

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