So far this Whole30 has been interesting. It feels easier in a lot of ways since I know which recipes we like and how to make cauli-rice, homemade mayo, or zoodles. There’s not as much experimentation. I feel guilty, but I have not been scratch cooking dinner every night this round for a variety of reasons.
The pitfalls of a second Whole30 are definitely resonating with me. Geoff and I got in to a conversation about why I’m doing another Whole30 and it’s a little bit harder to answer. One of the big goals out of a Whole30 is to learn what foods work, or don’t work, for my body. I now know certain things won’t mess me up at all so it’s a lot harder to exclude them just for “the rules”. I didn’t really think through what the motivation was for this second Whole30 when I decided to do it so it’s left me struggling a little. After trying to articulate it to Geoff I think it boils down to one key concept.
It’s SO much harder to say “I’m going to eat clean every day forever and ever” than to say “I’m going to eat clean for 30 days”. Something Melissa Hartwig, co-founder of the Whole 30, posted on Instagram has been rattling around in my brain for a couple months:
This is my favorite trick for resisting cravings. I learned it in rehab, but drugs and food aren’t that different, and I now apply this to many areas of my life where I need to resist temptation and stick to the big-picture mission. The next time you have a craving for something (whether it’s a cookie, the urge to blow off the gym, or an impulsive desire buy something), tell yourself this: # I’m not going to do this today, but if I still want it tomorrow, then I will. # I found out later through my research that this trick is actually grounded in habit research. First, making the reward more abstract and less immediate helps you make a rational choice, instead of acting on impulsive urges. Second, it allows you time to engage support, refocus on your long-term goals, and create a plan for dealing with temptation. Finally, it strengthens your conviction by giving you small wins, enabling you to see that you are, in fact, the kind of person who can successfully resist temptation. # Next time you find yourself up against the urge to eat a donut, you can either (a) tweet at me, (b) use this trick, or (c) all of the above. Either way, we’ll get you through it. #whole30 #changeyourlife
I think this logic helps answer both why I’m doing another Whole30 and what I need to work on outside of a Whole30. There’s something about being accountable to the plan or to my support group that keeps me going. Just being accountable to myself is really hard and this isn’t a journey that Geoff is on so I don’t have that built in check-balance.
Being on plan gives me a reason for my choices that is nicely summarized. It’s easy to say, “I’m doing a Whole30” in explanation rather than, “I’m trying really hard to eat foods that make me healthy and feel better and here is why I don’t want to eat X”. Maybe I just need to work on my “no, thank you” and stop feeling insecure in my choices and feeling the need explain them to other people.
Before attending Burning Man the first time I was *extremely* nervous about all the rumors of drug use. I was concerned that I’d feel overwhelming pressure to participate. Drugs had never been “my thing” so this made me very anxious. In preparation I experimented in a safe and controlled environment so I’d know what I was facing. What I learned was that drugs are not “my thing”. They make me feel awful. When I went to Burning Man and opportunities were offered I was just honest about how they made me feel. I was shocked that not only was I relieved of the pressure but I also received understanding from my peers. If I had realized from the beginning that simply saying “it’s not my thing” was all it took I would not have been so anxious. That experience gave me the confidence to go on saying “it’s not my thing” when similar opportunities arose, both on and off the playa.
I need to remember that it’s OKAY to just say “it’s not my thing” or “no, thank you” and I don’t need to justify or explain it away. In reflection, it’s pretty crazy how much peer pressure is socially acceptable when it comes to food and what we eat or don’t eat.