The Whole30, Week 1

If this is your first time reading This will change your life, welcome! To bring you up to speed, I’m trying the Whole30 diet to see if it will live up to its promise to change my life. Read the first post about it here.

Day 1: I stepped on the scales to find out my ‘before’ weight. Weighing yourself is banned on Whole30, so this would be the last time in 30 days I’d know my number. I almost wished I hadn’t done it. It wasn’t good.

The thing is: I believe that we shouldn’t be slaves to the scale. I believe that we shouldn’t be subject to ridiculous pressure to be thin and beautiful. I rarely even notice if other people gain or lose weight. But when it comes to my own weight,  I do care, which makes me feel like I’m betraying the feminist cause. A double dose of feeling crappy: one for not having the same BMI as Kate Moss, and another one for betraying womankind. I’m not alone in feeling like this: there is an excellent article about it here.

Putting the scales away for a month felt like it could be a relief from this. Maybe.

Day 2: There is a Whole30 timeline that tells you what you might expect at different stages of the programme. It warns that things might get worse before they get better and that I will probably experience a hangover-like state on Day 2, despite the lack of alcohol. Perhaps it was just my body/brain being contrary but I felt fine. Perhaps a bit ’empty’, like I had forgotten to eat something (despite eating lots of food. Lots and lots of food).

Day 3: I went to the supermarket, again, because you need a LOT of fresh vegetables on the Whole30. I felt quietly smug looking at my insanely healthy shopping basket, especially when the people behind me at the checkout put three super sized packets of Doritos on the conveyor belt.

Day 4: I was walking through Covent Garden when a woman stepped on my toe outside The Lion King. The noise I made was halfway between a roar and a screech. Shortly after, it starts to pour with rain. The Whole30 Timeline describes this as the ‘Kill All The Things’ phase. I think they got that one right.

A photo posted by Kate Brennan (@katebrennan) on

Day 5: I could feel my willpower improving. I went to a conference about behavioural science, which I LOVED. They had a bookshop full of amazing books, many which I wanted to buy. But for some reason, I didn’t. I added some of the books I wanted to my Amazon Wishlist instead because I’m starting a Masters soon and changing career and I need to save money (I included the link just in case a generous stranger wants to add to my bookshelf or buy me a Roomba).

I was expecting to find doing a Whole30 difficult, but so far I had been unfazed. The side-effects weren’t too bad. I kind of missed Diet Coke and Hellman’s mayonnaise. But I was starting to feel better overall. It felt worth it.

Day 6: I was TIRED. Despite the fact it was Friday night and I should have been in a pub somewhere, I went home to sleep. I felt a vague impulse to go to the corner shop and buy ice cream, which I ignored. I was asleep by 8:30. Rock and roll.

Day 7: It was Saturday and I had a weird wobble. You see, I decided recently that I wanted to make a lot of changes to my life (hence the blog). It’s involved a lot of hard work, and a huge amount of putting myself out there. And there’s going to be a lot more hard work ahead. My to-do list was ENORMOUS and I had nothing to distract me from the fact my future is looking very unclear.

Normally I would make myself feel better by eating something sugary and delicious, or carby and delicious. But this was not an option. All I could do was talk it over and wait for the uncomfortable feelings to pass. I know that I will get to where I need to be, with or without chocolate.

Have you tried the Whole30? If so, how did it feel for you? If not, would you try it yourself?

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