I hope you had a great week! I was planning to give an update on my Whole30 journey but, things changed.
I quit the Whole30 and I’m here to tell you why. Let’s start from the beginning.
In the past few weeks, I have felt like my healthy eating hasn’t been exactly 100%. At the end of last week, I thought to myself, I think I need a reset. Too many donuts, too much sugar, too many carbs. I needed to get back to my totally healthy self. So, I looked up a Whole30 meal prep recipe (I’ll share it), prepped my breakfasts for the week, and made sure I had a full gallon of water ready to go – right next to my gym bag. Great start!
I woke up on Monday morning on a different kind of vibe. I was motivated and had my Tom-Brady-laser-focus-game-time face on. I drove to work, gallon of water in the passenger seat, meals all packed, and drank a green juice on the way. I ordered my coffee black, and drank it with a smile while eating my avocado and 2 hard-boiled eggs with Himalayan salt. Like. A. Boss. I had an RX bar, went to the gym on my lunch break, and came back to eat my meal prepped lunch at my desk. People complained about the smell but I didn’t care, I was starving. About 20 minutes after I’m done eating my lunch, a coworker handed me 2 chocolate munchkins. I said thank you and threw them in the trash (#tragic). I wasn’t about to give up on my diet on the first day! And then, the hunger hit me. The I-Need-A-Snack-Or-It’ll-Be-Ugly hunger. So, I went to the Bistro at my work, where they sell only packaged, processed snacks and got peanuts. Amazing. I’d never been so happy to eat in my life. And then I googled if peanuts were Whole30 approved, and they weren’t. Friggin A. First day and I screwed up. Daaaaang. I went home, I had chicken sausage with peppers and onions and it was DELISH. Who would have thought Whole30 food could be so good? And then I remembered the peanuts and thought well, I guess I can just start again tomorrow. Tomorrow will be better.
Narrator: It was not better.
On Tuesday, I woke up STARVING. Like I had never eaten before in my life. I settled with a banana, brought my eggs and avocado to work with my gallon, meal prepped lunch, and headed to work. I stopped at a store on the way and got a fruit cup, ordered my coffee black again, and ate my eggs and avocado like a compliant, Whole30er. Had another RX bar, went to the gym, ate my lunch, and made it through the day, blah blah blah. Nothing too exciting.
On Wednesday, I woke up feeling VERY deprived. Very. I started picking apart every food item in my cabinet. I went through my refrigerator and realized I could barely eat any of it. My cabinets and refrigerator aren’t unhealthy by any means and there’s a big no Oreo rule in my house because I will conquer the whole bag. I tried to turn my attitude around and say, yanno what? Let’s focus on the food that I CAN eat. Not that I can’t eat. You can curb sugar cravings with fruit. You can curb carb cravings with leafy greens or other veggies (because they are carbs). There are ways around things. So, same routine. Grabbed all of my stuff for work and headed out. I had to work through lunch, so I couldn’t go to the gym and to be quite honest, I wasn’t feeling 100% myself as it was and I was NOT about to go flaunt a girl who couldn’t eat anything and felt terrible about herself in the gym. I just wasn’t. I got home and realized that I didn’t take anything out for dinner. Shiiiiiit. Now what? As I look through my refrigerator and my frozen shrimp in the freezer, I felt like a failure. What the hell was I going to eat? I was tired of fruits and veggies already. And then, I was like OMG I have premade veggie burgers in the freezer, I’ll just have that! Nope. Made with quinoa and can’t eat them on a bun because that’s a grain. Frustration hit. I ate a salad and moved on.
On Thursday, I woke up late. I grabbed my stuff, ran out the door, and as I was driving to work I was literally talking to myself. “What the hell is the point of this diet if I can’t eat anything?” “What the hell is wrong with me?” “People do this all the time, just three more weeks.” Are you kidding me….three more weeks of not eating anything except fruits, veggies, and meat? No thanks. I decided that even the hardest trainers (probably) allow their clients a cheat meal, so I “cheated” and got an egg white omlette panini FILLED with veggies and a black coffee. Right after I ate that, my “diet” spun out of control. I had guilt, but I had chicken nuggets for lunch. Then nachos for dinner. Then, a spoonful of cookie butter for dessert. Then, a handful of nacho chips for snack because I literally COULD NOT STOP EATING. I couldn’t. I’ve never been a binge eater. I’ve never had an unhealthy relationship with food, honestly. I’ve never had this happen to me before. And I HATED myself for it. Why did I just do that? I just ruined 3 days of hard work and now I have to start over? What’s wrong with you, Robyn?
And that’s when I said, fuck it.
Here’s the thing. There are grains that are GOOD for you. It is OKAY to put cheese on your salad (if your body will let you). Even Tom Brady eats quinoa on the DAILY and he is the greatest quarterback of all time. Why was I depriving myself? A little bit of sugar here and there is OKAY. You can put almond milk in your coffee and it won’t affect your progress. There is a science to eating, and quite frankly, the Whole30 is not compliant.
Here’s another thing. I now hate the word compliant. Why should I comply with any diet that restricts my eating? Why would I put myself through that mental distress of thinking that my eating is not good enough because I ate a grain? I totally understand that restrictive diets are supposed to help us feel better physically, but mentality is a HUGE part of health and wellness. There should be no guilt involved at all.
So here’s my lesson that the Whole30 taught me: if you eat foods that are nourishing to your body, nourishing to your soul, then you’re doing the right thing. Quinoa and brown rice have carbs that will give you energy to get through a workout. Donuts are a part of life, just probably not a good idea to eat one every day. And a glass of wine never hurt anyone, either. Let’s pair rice with veggies and meat. Let’s have veggie pasta with tomato sauce or olive oil. Let’s have balance, live our lives and not live for our diets, ya feel me?
To my readers who have finished the Whole30 with no problems, I applaud you. Your mental strength and willpower is tremendous. I will post Whole30 approved recipes here and there because they are delicious. But, I will not be finishing the challenge. I love all of you, thank you for reading.