I have a confession to make.
A few weeks ago, I shared with you that Zach and I were starting a Whole30, even though our life was basically in shambles at this point. Great shambles; adorable, baby shambles. But, shambles none the less. It seemed like a good time to start, when life was at its most unusual and most stressful and most challenging.
I made it 7 days.
Yes, you read that right. Seven days. Seven days of Whole30 eating. Seven days of no wine. Seven days of no sweets or treats or cookies or brownies. Then, I caved.
I thought our life was in shambles before, but during those seven days our little one was extbuated, scoped, resected and intubated again. He was struggled to breathe and fought and was eventually taken back for a procedure that he needed but that would be a huge change to our life. Things got more shamble-y than I could have imagined.
And, according to the rules of Whole30, I cheated.
Over the weekend, I baked cookies and enjoyed a glass of wine with Zach and just relaxed. We celebrated our little one and mourned the life we thought we would have and looked forward to what this meant for Jackson as far as developing and growing and getting home.
I made the conscious decision to enjoy those things and the choice to eat them. I didn’t slip. I didn’t mess up. I didn’t mistakenly eat something that was off plan or not on our ‘diet’ or was against the rules. I mindfully made the choice to eat something that I enjoy in a way that I wanted to, with people I love in a situation where I could enjoy them. And that got me thinking: why had I started the Whole30 in the first place?
Zach and I had been in a food rut, making the same meals day in and day out. Chicken, veggies, rice, repeat. And after dinner, I would pull out the roll of cookie dough from the fridge and mindlessly heat, cut, bake, and eat, often barely tasting anything as I watched television instead of paying attention to the food in front of me. The food we were eating was ‘healthy’ and the treats we were indulging in were ‘paleo’, so was I really attempting to change the type of food I was eating, or was it something more?
We started this Whole30 to change our relationship with food, not to change the food we were actually putting in our bodies. And those seven days made that extremely apparent.
So, I’ve changed my mind. I’m deciding against the Whole30 for right now. I’m giving up.
But, not in a bad way. I decided to change my focus for the next 30 days and, instead of focusing on what I can’t have through the Whole30, I want to focus on enjoying what I do have – a Mindful30. Does this mean I think Whole30 is bad? No way. I actually think its a great tool for people who need a little help focusing on whole, unprocessed foods and finding out what foods may cause symptoms they are experiencing. But, I realized that wasn’t what I needed right now. I wanted to reconnect with food, find joy in cooking, and experience new options. And that’s what I’ve been doing.
I’ve been baking more. I love to bake. I bake like a cook, with little attention to measurements and rules and with more of a focus on creativity and expression. It relaxes me. I find pride in baking. Taking that away for thirty days felt more like a punishment than a step forward.
I’ve been trying new foods. This week, I’m making lamb. LAMB. I have never cooked with lamb and I’m excited to try. We bought the new Whole30 Cookbook and are trying something new every night.
I’ve been enjoying my food. I’ve stopped rushing through meals and started enjoying my time eating with the people I’m eating with. And it’s great.
So, I do have a confession to make. I quit our Whole30, and it was definitely the right choice.