Heart-to-Heart: Whole30. Just Another Diet?

whole 30 planI am planning to do the Whole 30 program starting this Monday- I will be using my meal plan as a guideline.  But, is it just another diet?

I want to lay out a bit of the Whole30 thing:

From their website:

The Whole30® is our original nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as 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.

The part, I already take issue with, is the change your life thing…Nope. That just seems like pressure for me.

But the nutritional reset and inflammation decrease. Bring it on.

What I will eat (from their website):

Eat 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

What I will not eat (also from website)

Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. 
Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. [my edit: this is where I may lose all you moms!]
Do not eat grains.  Do not eat legumes. No peanut butter, or soy
Do not eat dairy.
Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. 
Do not try to re-create baked goods,  junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. 
(also) [Do not weigh yourself or measure in any way during the 30 days]

Okay-  I want to give you all my general feeling toward eating

It is to enjoy food. Yes. I do enjoy eating, all kinds of food: From wings or burgers, to tofu and kale. I am an equal opportunity eater.

I want to preface my taking on a “diet” or “lifestyle change” as they call it- with telling you, that I have a lot – A LOT of experience with eating and eating programs and diets…not all of it good.  I have learned the hard way, that food is to be shared, and enjoyed, while keeping us healthy and fulfilled…but not elevated to a position of being the only way that I find happiness, fulfillment or love.  I do not seek out cookies when I am feeling sad…but I used to.  I do not eat an entire bag of potato chips because I am stressed…but I used to.  I do not eat an entire jar of peanut butter when I feel bad…yep, I did that too- more than once.

It seems like an entire lifetime ago- I read a book that changed my eating habits and my life, really.  It was by Geneen Roth.  Her own website gives you a sense of what she writes about better than I could:

Geneen Roth’s pioneering books were among the first to link compulsive eating and perpetual dieting with deeply personal and spiritual issues that go far beyond food, weight and body image. She believes that we eat the way we live, and that our relationship to food, money, love is an exact reflection of our deepest held beliefs about ourselves and the amount of joy, abundance, pain, scarcity we believe we have (or are allowed) to have in our lives.

She and her books got me to understand that eating an entire shitty bag of chips or not staying on a diet for the requisite amount of time did not define who I was.  I learned that my choices were exactly that: My Choices.  I could do or eat whatever the hell I wanted to…if it gave me joy, and not guilt on the other end. I have been through lots and lots with this one, my friends…I no longer eat my feelings- and this is a good thing.

You see, I don’t appreciate books or anyone really, telling me to just put down the fork, or eat less, or eat only this one thing and not that thing…to lose weight or feel good about myself for sticking to the plan.  I like having a plan, for the plans sake– For a way to stay motivated, and inspired with healthy eating.  If the plan tells me that I have “failed” by not sticking to it…well, forget that plan.  I am all about self-preservation.  To their credit, the Whole30 people  have addressed eating issues (108) and I like that they recognize that the uber-focus on healthy eating for 30 days is a trigger for obsessive/destructive diet-behavior- the Whole30 is not for everyone.

Please, please, don’t get me wrong. I love eating healthily and learning new ways to be healthier- I appreciate that someone is doing a lot of research to find out the best foods to eat to get me to a healthier place. That is why I seek out plans, programs, blogs(!) in order to have the motivation to do just that- eat healthier.  But I do worry about women and eating programs, because, I know how hard it once was for me, and how I have had to tread so carefully between eating healthily because I WANT to and eating healthily because I feel guilty if I don’t.

My goal here

My goal is to live a really long time, if I can help it at all.  I want to be an old lady like my husband’s 102 year old grandmother, who is still walking, putting on make-up, and reading 3 books a week.  I want to age without a colostomy bag or a wheelchair, if I can help it. I know I have no control over 98% of this, but as far as what I eat helping me that 1% and exercise helping the other 1%,  I am trying my hardest to get to a place of Goddess.

I just don’t want to perpetuate the cycle of women following plan, diets, or whatever, hoping their lives will change- I have seen way too many other women go through this, only to feel disappointed (at what?!) somehow when they don’t meet an expectation- That sucks.

I am launching both feet forward to commit to eating according to the Whole 30 guidelines…but I have my own set of guidelines that govern my whole-self, not just my whole-30 self.  If you’d like to follow along with me, I welcome you to share some fun recipes, some information on how either eating or removing certain foods from my eating will affect my moods, cravings, weight loss- I am excited to see if I feel good eating the Whole 30 way, and see if I do lose my belly fat- I am excited to have another “plan” for motivating me to eat healthy foods.

But please please please, if you deal with food in a way that is even closely related to what I described- know that you are more than a diet. Food is food.  No more and no less.  Assessing WHY you may eat food that is terrible for you, or eat way too much of it, or why you are entering into a program like this at all- is a good start.

Whole 30 is a diet, no matter what the program says it is.  A lifestyle change. Fine. Call it what you wish.  But I am going to focus on what I will be eating on this plan, and try not to focus too much on what I won’t be eating…Because that is what I have learned from all my experience.  I love to eat- this is just eating a different way for a little while, or longer if it brings me health and is delicious too- Hopefully I, and maybe you too, will be loving it and if it is a healthier way to eat, I am in.

Full Menu including breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week…Tomorrow right here!

2 thoughts on “Heart-to-Heart: Whole30. Just Another Diet?

  1. Larissa

    Right on. I am so leery of “eating plans.” Granted, I carry some extra pounds and if I get really strict and tracked everything I eat again, I could probably slim down more. I’m just not willing to do that. I eat mindfully, balanced and healthy, enjoy my treats, and am generally satisfied with what I consume.

    1. H.A.G.

      Larissa- I totally agree that if you are paying attention to eating nutritious food and exercising, you are probably just fine- I will be doing the Whole30 and keeping mindful of common sense! But my picking what is left from my kid’s plates, a glass of wine with dinner, and a before bed snack…well, it has caught up to me, so I am going to follow the plan, thinking maybe it will make me pay attention- I am keeping a food log of what I eat too- so I can’t really write down that I finished my kid’s plate!

Comments are closed.