Good morning! Happy Monday.
So we’re one week into the Whole30, and overall I’m pretty happy with how it’s going. The Good: I’ve not experienced strong cravings for eliminated foods, and for the most part, my meals are keeping me feeling full and satisfied until the next meal. I haven’t quite overcome the emotional/mental need to snack in the afternoons at the office, but I’ve had compliant foods ready and waiting in these cases and have not obsessed over it or considered it a “failure”. Also it turns out that it IS possible to prepare brussel sprouts so that they DON’T taste like dirt. The Not-as-Good: I missed one workout these week due to mild digestive issues, and I had a mild breakout on my chin in the middle of last week, but I know that both of these incidents are perfectly normal.
So how do I shape up vs. the expectation, via the Whole30 timeline? Let’s see.
Day 1: So what’s the big deal?
Yeah, that’s about right. Because I have the benefit of a partner who is managing the entire grocery and cooking processes I don’t have to do much on this plan except eat what’s given to me and pay attention. I can’t tell you how much easier this makes things for me. We are so busy right now, with concert readings and rehearsals and my full time job, I really don’t know how I’d be able to maintain compliance without him.
The program warns you not to be too deluded by the confidence of making good food choices on the first day brings you. I had an avocado egg salad the first day (and almost every day since) that made me feel like I could eat right for the Rest of My Life!! But I know from others’ experiences and from reading around that the danger zone will be later in the program, when the shine has worn off and just one ginger ale will start to sound amaaaaazing. It’s important to keep that in mind when you’re just starting out because there are a lot of people out there who will also tell you it’s super easy and you’ll never have cravings and everything in your life will be fixed from eating clean for thirty days. Thank those people, and then come back to earth, okay?
Days 2 – 3: The hangover.
They say that the “amount of suck you experience in this phase is directly proportional to the amount of crap you consumed before you began the program.” Luckily, because we had just returned from an all-inclusive resort vacation, we spent the week before we started the program eating like relatively health-conscious people. So this phase what not so bad for me. I already drank my tea without additives and the only non-compliant foods I had the day before we started were two cans of ginger ale, a handful of pretzels, and a Lean Cuisine pizza (and really who knows if that is even considered food). So my hangover wasn’t that bad.
This was, however, the time frame in which I saw my therapist, and I wasn’t sure if she was going to advise me to scrap this program and focus on self-acceptance instead (not that that has ever been how therapy works, but you know: anxiety and stuff). However, she listened, asked good questions, and in the end, she said that it seemed like this was more of an information-gathering exercise than a “This Is Going To Fix My Life” effort and that as long as I was paying attention, she was curious to see how it went. I sent her a link to the program (which is free, by the way, in case I haven’t mentioned that) afterward so she could get a better idea of what it was all about. (www.whole30.com)
Days 4 – 5: Kill all the things.
I think I went through this phase, but not at all to the degree in which they warn you of, and much earlier than days 4 and 5, so I am uncertain if it was related to the program. They admit that no one knows why this phase happens, but apparently it’s consistently reported enough to put it in the timeline.
I had a mini-meltdown at a rehearsal on Tuesday night, which was only Day 2. My partner at the office has been on vacation and was out all last week. Monday was a super-busy day, including a 3:45 request for a custom book by the end of day (don’t worry, I maintained a boundary with that and kindly asked the offender to adjust their expectations) and I was all on my own. That late request made it impossible for me to be on time for our 6:30 rehearsal, which would have been a terrific challenge for me to get to under the best of circumstances. By the time I got there I’d already missed my only scene in the act, but I wasn’t dismissed until 8:40. It wasn’t a total waste of time — another actor and I went into a different space and ran the scene ourselves for about forty minutes — but it wasn’t the best way to end a super stressful day. Then on Tuesday, the plan was to get home after work, workout for half an hour, have a nice compliant dinner, and then go to our 7:30 call for that night’s rehearsal. But, my bus broke down in the incredible heat and I stupidly took the longest possible route to the nearest train stop, where, checking my email I learned that our call had been changed to 6:30, only we were just hearing about it for the first time. Of course it came with a caveat of “if you can’t make it at 6:30 we totally understand!” but I was hot, tired, it was getting too late to work out and eat and everything else, and I just started to feel like I was going to cry. Instead, I rescheduled my workout for Wednesday night, got home, had dinner, and got to theatre as soon as possible.
At the end of the night, we were told that we would be picking up where we left off (which would be the at same scene I had missed on Monday night) promptly at 6:30 the next day — and then a lot of other stuff was said that I didn’t hear because I just lost it. I immediately started pleading with the stage manager NOT to be called at 6:30 anymore because I had to leave work early to get there on time and my partner was out this week and blah blah blah. She seemed (understandably) annoyed with me and asked me to just wait until the director was done talking. At which point we discussed it again, with FAR less anguish, and we went home. About half an hour later we got the final schedule by email, and I wasn’t called until 7:30. At which point the tension pretty much washed away.
So that was it, my big Kill All The Things evening, two days earlier than planned. I couldn’t tell you how much of that was just life circumstance in the moment and how much was the Whole30, but I lean toward life. At any rate, I’ve felt much more calm and patient in the days since.
I also experienced the mild digestive issues and face breakout during this phase, which is said to be expected during the first two weeks.
Days 6 – 7: I just want a nap.
I don’t know — there’s a part of me that always wants a nap? We both feel like we’re sleeping heavier since we started, but I imagine this is stronger for my husband, who is a regular Diet Coke drinker, and I don’t usually have any caffeine after 10 am on any given day. I had one night of not being able to fall asleep right away, but for the most part I am waking up less, and able to fall back to sleep easier when I do. Oh and yesterday I did take an unplanned nap around 7:30 in the morning, which threw off my schedule a bit but was probably for the best since yesterday was packed with stuff and our dining schedule was off by an hour or so.
So that’s where I am at right now! The program still seems imminently do-able even though we’re heading into full-time rehearsals for our next show. And here’s a sneak peek of what we have to look forward to, per the Whole30 timeline:
Days 8 – 9: For the love of Gosling, my pants are TIGHTER. (I pulled these titles from the site; I cannot take credit for the Gosling reference). I kind of think I am ahead of the timeline, for whatever reason. Either that or wildly behind? My clothes were definitely feeling tighter last week, and then yesterday, they didn’t. Today they don’t. Today I’m starting to feel more like me (whatever that means). Have I actually lost weight or inches? I have no idea. You’re not to weigh or measure yourself at all on the program. Not that I would have anything to compare it to, since I don’t regularly weigh or measure myself anyway.
Days 10 – 11: The hardest day. These are the days when most people quit. I can understand it. I’ve had fantasies creeping in about ice cream, and I seriously miss the honey in my tea. We went to the movies yesterday (see Ghostbusters, it is super-fun and for female role models you simply cannot do better) and had to basically run past the popcorn/soda line. They warn you that these are the days when “you really start to experience the psychological hold that your food habits have on you”. So. Both looking forward to that…and not looking forward to it. Trying to keep in mind that my job is to stay compliant and pay attention, that whatever I FEEL about maintaining compliance, I don’t have to DO anything to fix it. Wish me strength!