Why I'm Doing The Whole 30

I've made it clear to family and friends that I'm doing the Whole 30 starting January 1st come hell or high water. 

WHY??????  Is the typical response that I've received although the questions have varied.

WHY would you give up all those things for 30 days?  Just cut back....moderation is better.

WHY are you starting January 1st?  That's still a holiday!

WHY would you do that?  It's not a sustainable way to live.

WHY Whole 30 and not something more mainstream like Weight Watchers or tracking calories?

Here's my WHY....

My health and fitness history is long and varied.  I've lost and gained hundreds if not thousands of pounds throughout my life.  I've done Weight Watchers, I've tracked calories, etc.  Seriously, if there's a diet, I've done it.  I don't want to do them anymore.  The Whole 30 is not a diet.  It's a reset.  I'm giving up dairy, grains, alcohol, soy, legumes, sugar, artificial sweeteners, sulfites, carrageenan, etc. not because of some sort of self flagellation for overdoing it over the holidays but because these are problematic foods for A LOT of people.  I already know from my vast dieting history that most of them are a problem for me.  However, knowing this has not been enough.  I've lacked consistency and the Whole 30 is a means to change that.  While I definitely hope to lose weight over the course of the next month it's not my why....at least not in and of itself.

I'm doing the Whole 30 for me.  I'm doing it for my general health and well being. I'm doing it for more energy.  I'm doing it to improve my digestion.  I'm doing it to increase my patience with stressful situations and to be forced to find ways to handle them without food or alcohol.  I'm doing this to lower the inflammation in my body that leads to other diseases like cancer and high blood pressure.  I'm doing this to improve my sleep.  I'm doing this to improve my relationship with food and to get completely past the diet mentality.  If you eat what your body needs (and only what your body needs)....you no longer need to diet.  Well, at least that's what Melissa Hartwig seems to say and she's pretty freaking fit.  She says it's about completely changing the way you look at food and I know I need to do that once and for all. 

I'm doing this to show that I CAN do it.  I'm doing this because I feel ready to create long term changes.  The Whole 30 is the catalyst for these changes.  Oh, and WHY am I starting January 1st?  Because I want to do this with support and the Whole 30 January starts on January 1st.  That's when this train pulls out of the station and I'm not gonna get left behind! 

After 30 days, I will be able to reintroduce various things although truth be told, I know I'm better off not reintroducing much (or very often).  There's no point in anyone doing the Whole 30 if their plan is to immediately go back to their old habits.  The point of this is to change your habits for life. According to the Whole 30 Day by Day: Your Daily Guide to Whole 30 Success, 88% of 8,000 surveyed after a 2016 Whole 30 said it changed their life. I'm definitely ready for that.

I've experienced a lot of loss in the past couple of years.  In fact, yet another old friend died way too soon yesterday morning.  It was cancer, it was fast, and she was exactly my age.  She wasn't overweight, she didn't smoke, the doctors didn't know why she would get such a rare and aggressive cancer.  The sobering fact is that the older we get the greater our chances are of getting a disease.  I want to fight getting one as hard as I can.  I'm not trying to live forever but I want each day that I have left to be full and rich from experiences which require a lot of energy.  I don't want to feel sick, tired, bloated, inflamed, and full of regrets wishing I had taken better care of myself.  I'm in midlife, but I'm not really interested in feeling like it. There are many people far older than I am living vibrant, active lives and I want to be among them. 

Photo by Saz B on Unsplash

Maybe you are wondering if you can or should do a Whole 30 (or make other positive changes for your health in a way that is sustainable for you).  Maybe you don't think you have the discipline or aren't ready to make such a big commitment.  Maybe you know you aren't ready to change.

Maybe you should still try. 

What's your why? 

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