I recently took on the challenge of doing the Whole 30 – a 30 day eating plan designed to reset your metabolism, change your food hormone responses and more. To be honest the plan was not drastically different than how I currently eat. It did require, however, more protein and fat especially first thing in the morning. I was intrigued by the science behind it and curious to see if I’d see any results or not.
It is also important to note – I am happy with my body, my weight and my shape. I did not enter into this with the goal of losing weight or getting in shape. I liked the idea of the discipline of 30 days of sticking to a goal. My fiancé even agreed to do it with me.
The first 5 days went very well! I felt good. I had energy. I slept well. I thought this is going to be a piece of cake (bad analogy!) THEN – things took a turn. I began to feel sluggish, tired, cranky and my stomach was upset from the time I got up until I went to bed. My running became a challenge. I just did not have the energy I normally do. I was having trouble finding the motivation or stamina to do a quality Pilates workout.
I kept plugging along. I kept thinking I would turn the corner and start to feel better again. If I just kept at it, I had to be close to my turning point, right? After 5 draggy, grumpy days my fiancé suggested I quit. I was offended! Why would I quit? I can do this! 12 days in the conversation came up again – and I again persist – I am sticking with this. By day 15 – feel worse than ever – I went running. I made it only 2.10 miles and walked 3 times!!!! My pace was so slow. I felt terrible. I realized I needed to use a little common sense here and that common sense was telling me to throw in the towel. Could I have made it 30 days – yes. Was it healthy for me – no.
My body was craving more carbs and energy than I could get from what I was eating. My gut was in distress. As one of my friend’s said – I looked like an Ethiopian with a bloated belly. My body was starving even though I was consuming enough calories – the make up wasn’t what I needed.
It can be hard to decide when ‘quitting’ is really the right choice. This plan was not healthy for me. Continuing for another 2 weeks could have done more harm to me. More times than not quitting is not the right option, but sometimes it is! If you keep going to bootcamp to get in shape and your knees and back ache – bootcamp may not be right for you! If you regularly meet the gals to workout and it starts to become happy hour more than working out you may need to change your plan. If you eat low-fat foods and your belly is still upset you may need to examine the ingredients.
Ultimately, your decision should be about what is best for you and your health. If you find yourself thinking about quitting because it’s hard – that’s probably not a good enough reason to throw in the towel! For me – hearing the my fiancé who I knew had my best interest at heart say “I know you can do this but I wish you wouldn’t because it’s negatively affecting you.” was a good reality check!
While dedication is important and sticking to it is a great quality – common sense and listening to our bodies can’t be left behind. There are things I learned from the Whole 30 (or in my case Whole 15!) but mostly what I discovered is what I was already doing was doing good by me!