Whole 30 is a reset for your body, a chance to identify allergies, habits, addictions. Essentially, it’s 30 days of no sugar, dairy, grains, soy, corn, and legumes. You can read more about it here. For me, Whole30 wasn’t a crash diet, a fad, or an attempt to lose weight. Instead, I needed to know that I could cut my emotional ties with food. I had seen in myself for over a year just how much comfort I found in food and how destructive it was becoming. Sometimes it was a hard day or sometimes the end of a busy week. Whatever it was, food had become the ultimate comfort. I was no longer finding rest and solace in the Lord. I had turned my back to seek the easiest and quickest fix. I could feel it building and building, yet I chose to ignore it. I made excuses for why it was okay or how I was too busy to try and throw another thing into my routine. Yet, I kept feeling that nudge and small whispers from God. Did I love him more than whatever I was currently craving? Did I want to seek him and know him more than I wanted to spend a morning at Onyx drinking a latte? I knew it had reached the breaking point. I couldn’t run away anymore.
Part of the reason Whole30 appealed to me is the fact that it’s all or nothing. There are no cheat days, no half-way doing it. You’re either in or you’re out. I talked to Taylor about it and we decided to start the following Monday. It was an incredible 30 days of learning. I saw how hard it is to find foods that don’t contain sugar and how much bad stuff is in the everyday items we consume. I learned how to better read labels, how to fill myself with GOOD food, and to say no and be okay with it. There were really, really hard moments. About a week in we went to a birthday party and it was pretty miserable. At one point I had to leave and walk around the neighborhood and pray out loud because I was so frustrated and just wanted to be able to eat what everyone else was. I was mad at Taylor for keeping me accountable and I was mad at myself for how badly I wanted to give in. On that walk I just kept hearing, “For man does not live on bread alone but the very word of God. For MAN does not live on BREAD alone but the very word of GOD".
Our culture is so strongly tied to food. When we are sad or when we are celebrating, food is involved. In 30 days we went to a birthday party, two weddings, and four community groups. We had to say no to lunches out and several times had to bring our own meal to eat separately from the group. And as hard as it was, by the end I felt amazing. I didn’t realize how bloated I’d been until I stopped feeling that way. My stomach rarely hurt and I didn’t want to nap in the middle of the afternoon. I felt GOOD. And by the end, my cravings were mostly gone.
Where are we now? Learning how to make better choices about what we consume. Dairy and gluten are still in our diets (for now) but I can tell a significant difference from how good I was feeling. I miss that and I know that something has to change permanently. I can better identify the bad habits when they start creeping back in - eating out of boredom, the snack monster showing up, or just craving something sweet for the sake of having dessert. I'm learning how to balance better and to say no, not because I have to but because I want to. I'm learning how to truly enjoy and savor. God gave us taste buds and we can worship him in that. But I don't want to want those things more than I want him. I learned a lot about discipline and saw how hard it is, which I think is exactly the point. I had a love/hate relationship during Whole30 but I'm so thankful for it now. I would encourage anybody to do it and stick with it. It's only 30 days and I guarantee you'll learn a ton in the process. Whatever it is you've been putting off, I hope you decide that today is the day. No more making excuses.