As I write this, Kyle & I are on Day 16 – Just past the halfway mark! I am officially as far as I’ve ever made it on a Whole30!
At the start of Week 2, it seemed many of us who are doing this together this month were having cravings, but somehow were able to turn that into motivation to push through even stronger!
Navigating Work Lunches
Last time, one of my biggest downfalls was not preparing well enough for what I was going to eat when I worked longer shifts over mealtimes. Starbucks does not have a single food item that is Whole30 approved.
I ended up not really having enough time to really get every detail planned for extravagant packed lunches which didn’t need heated. So I became a master at snack packing!
Instead of packing what would appear to be a full meal, I grab a small handful of pistachios, a tangerine, and pre-wrapped pack of carrots, or a hardboiled egg, Lara Bar, and banana.
At work, I’ll snack only as much as I’m actually hungry for on my 10 minute breaks to make sure I have enough to get me through my other breaks without feeling famished. At my lunch break, I get a Protein Bistro Box and eat the hard-boiled egg, apples and grapes, and add in another packed snack if I’m still hungry. Plus drink as much water and unsweet tea as I could get in.
Many times, I leave work with some of my snacks still intact. And if I don’t have time to grab the snacks before I leave or am particularly hungry still, I’ll get a bag of the One Potato Two Potato kettle chips from Starbucks or run to Jimmy John’s for an “unwich.”
Beginning to See Progress
The biggest thing I’m liking so far is how well I’m understanding my own hunger and what it means. I think I’m getting better at controlling my appetite, not in a way that’s retraining, but in a way where I stop eating when I recognize I’m full. And I love that!
A couple of times I’ve felt very full after sloppy joe baked potatoes or a big roasted chicken and veggies meal, but I have yet to feel stuffed to the point of discomfort like I often feel when I’m not eating Whole30.
I’m also starting to recognize better why I eat when I’m not hungry. This sounds cheesy, but it’s helped me a ton! If I’m really wanting to eat, I’ll ask myself why: is it just because I’m watching TV and eating is what I always associate with watching TV? Is it because I’m bored or not preoccupied with something else? Is it because, before Whole30, the way Kyle and I would always celebrate anything at all was to splurge financially and nutritionally on our favorite foods or restaurants? Or is it because I’m actually hungry?
Most of the time it doesn’t actually have to do with being hungry. But when it does, I feel good about eating instead of feeling guilty or mindless. Not that any of the other reasons are bad in and of themselves – but it wasn’t being conscious of how we would actually feel afterwards (literally, some of our favorite things or the portions of those things literally leave us feeling sick afterwards).
Now I feel like I’m turning into some sort of weirdo, but I can’t deny how great I feel from beginning this mindfulness! I’d love the take the newfound mindfulness and apply it to other areas of my life besides eating, too!
Why I’m Ultimately Doing This
It’s a different reason for everyone, just like everything is. But I wanted to do Whole30 to begin to feel better.
I wanted to feel healthier, but not just like the health-craze that’s all over our culture right now.
I don’t want to keep feeling discomfort or sometimes even pain after overindulging. I want to know more about nutrition and my body and how it makes me feel and live (I’m generally extremely bad at linking things going on in my body to what I eat or how I feel).
I want to start feeling more energized – more positive! I want to experience less stress and sleep better.
And so far, I’m enjoying the results!
I can’t wait to see what the second half is like!