“I need to hold on to the feeling right now of how good my body is feeling. My clothes are fitting better. I am having less mood swings, more consistent energy. A donut cannot make me feel this way”. March 24, 2018, Whole 30 day 13.
Oh, how tightly I hold onto things that really don’t serve me! Especially when in comes to food. Give up cheese? Not on your life! No more pizza? That’s hilarious. No way could I ever do that.
This was my normal response to all those who chose to follow special diets. I didn’t think I ever could have the willpower to do that. When my friends told me they were doing a “cleanse” or “low carb” or “gluten-free” I would want to roll my eyes. I saw these things as controlling food and to be honest that scared me. I didn’t want food to control me that way. But in all reality, food was already controlling me. I was attached to certain foods, even though, in the back of my consciousness I KNEW there were foods were not making me feel my best. My full healthy potential and even mental power (due to the brain fog I often suffered from) was being held hostage by the foods I was eating.
The decision to change
Then one day, I committed to curiosity about my own health. I wanted to see for myself if changing my nutrition really could change my daily experience. I started with the Whole 30 program, a reset diet that cuts out lots of foods that people can find problematic. Out went dairy, gluten, sugar, grains, alcohol, legumes,processed foods, chips and desserts. In came lots of meat, veggies, fruits and nuts. (And lots of La Croix sparkling water). (To learn more about Whole 30 check out the webpage here.).
There wasn’t any special inspirational quote, or moment, or big health crisis that was the final kick for me to jump over the cliff towards change. I just became tired of my own excuses. Why couldn’t I give up dairy? I had no good reason other than I just didn’t want to. I was holding tightly onto that last cheese quesadilla like it was a million dollars.
An opportunity for growth
I hate the word diet. The first three letters spell D-I-E. So the idea of cutting out foods and controlling my intake was actually quite terrifying. But the results proved the opposite. It has been life giving.
A reset period, or diet, or experiment (call it what you will) is a powerful way to reconnect with your body. We often allow our physical desires and appetites dictate our actions. A reset period allows our mind and our will to be reestablished as the primary motivator of our bodies. In many major world religions, fasting or the giving up of certain foods or activities is part of the process of spiritual growth. That’s not an accident or a coincidence in my opinion.
I survived 30 days of the Whole 30 program. I didn’t die. I felt fine. Actually, I felt better than I had in awhile. My brain fog was almost gone. I didn’t get as moody or anxious throughout the day. I learned to rewire patterns of soothing my stress with certain foods, or reaching for an easy sugar pick me up. Most of all, I learned to listen closer to my body and what it needed.
Things to consider with any dietary change
Are you feeling that some foods you are eating aren’t the best for you? Are you curious about how you may feel without dairy, or gluten, or sugar? Do you feel that your body would benefit from some extra love and a chance to heal by supporting it with nutrient dense and gentle foods?
If yes, or even “maybe?” I would suggest that you may learn quite a bit from an elimination reset diet experiment. Even more, I suggest you do this experiment under the guidance of a book, health coach or medical provider who has shown proven results and is grounded in good dietary theory. Not all “cleanses” or “diets” are good for you. Some can actually be harsh and stressful to your body.
Do not be at war with your body
An elimination diet, reset or cleanse should be grounded in eliminating substances that are harmful to your body and building up habits that will nurture your health. This experience should not be one of control or to push your body into submission to lose 10 pounds fast. Colon cleanses, juice only fasts, limiting calories to the bare minimum of survival will only stress your body out.
When the body is stressed, it goes into survival mode. If you starve the body, it thinks that it is in a famine or time of scarcity. So what’s your body going to do when it gets fuel? Store it in the most efficient way… which is fat.
Nurture your body. Make your elimination experiment be also about encouraging rest, relaxation and healing and you will see better physical and emotional results. I prefer to call it a reset and recover experiment.
Discover a clear “why”
It is important with any change that you identify a clear “why” for yourself. This will help keep you motivated and also help direct your curiosity. Do you want to see if cutting out dairy will minimize your bloating? Do you want to explore more vegetarian sources of protein because you feel that is more environmentally responsible?
I would submit that losing weight is not a sufficient “why” on its own. You have to go deeper into your motivations. And its important to remember that you can improve your health without losing weight.
With a reset experiment you are going to need support and accountability to help you be the most successful. If you are cutting out sugar, you WILL get cravings for sugar. You need someone who can cheer you on, remind you of your “why” or give you tips for how to get through the cravings.
Make sure that your family is aware of what you are doing. They may not understand it, or want to do a diet change with you, but it is important to ask for their support. For example, if you are eliminating alcohol and then your spouse signs you up for a wine tasting tour… minor problem…
Can a reset & recover diet be fun and easy?
Do you believe that you can do a reset diet that is simple and easy? Do you believe you could go on this journey with support and a community that would actually be FUN and increase the joy in your life? most of you are probably laughing that I would put the words “fun”, “easy’ and “diet” in the same sentence. I was right there with you.
But in my experience, it is possible. I was surprised how with the right support and mind frame, letting go of foods that are not serving you well be a fun and joyful experience. I gained great insights into mu own personal health and wellness. I reminded myself that I can do hard things. And I finally, loosened my death grip on my beloved cheese quesadilla.
Interested in seeing what a Reset & Recover experience can do for you? Let’s chat by email or a message on social. I offer complimentary Discovery Sessions when we can get some clarity on what you want for your health and future. I can’t wait to help you in this journey! Set up your own Discovery Session HERE.