For the last twelve months I have been physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. Overwhelmed is an understatement to adequately describe how I feel about this stage of life I find myself in. I read stories all the time about how a healthy diet, more sleep, and less toxic relationships can transform a mind, but the list of reasons why it's impossible to make the lifestyle change goes on and on. I've decided to give it a try. Why not spend 30 days cleansing my life of all the negativity? (I'm talking literally and figuratively).
I have now completed 30 days of paleo/holistic eating and I feel incredible. I have been sleeping full nights, waking up completely energized, and lasting the entire day without a nap - unless I really want to take a nap. I have discovered new recipes, healthy snacks, and the nutritional value behind it all. I have been exercising more and focusing on myself and my personal health.
But it wasn't easy.
The first week was rough. My sleep patterns weren't stable, my body felt weak after exercising, and my motivation was lacking. By the second week, when the cravings are supposed to be slowing down, I was still dreaming of eating cheeseburgers and chocolate. It wasn't until week three that I started to feel a little more comfortable with this new lifestyle change and started seeing it as that - a lifestyle change.
This isn't something that I did for 30 days to drop a few pounds and sleep a little more. This is something that I wanted to shape the way I eat and live for the rest of my life. I've always been skeptical of those who have these drastic changes when they change their diet. But I'm seeing that first hand. It's not a myth. It's not just for some people. It's real - changing what you eat can completely change your life.
I learned how to grocery shop, cook nutritional meals, scramble eggs, make intentional choices when it comes to what I eat, and take the time to care about my mental health just as much as my physical health. I spent more time with my family and ate meals at a dinner table. I drank fresh smoothies (with no milk) and took my vitamins. I felt happy. I simply started caring about myself and my health - and it made a huge difference.
I was wondering how I would make it a full 30 days and now that I have, I can't believe it's over. It was so much more than weight loss or fitting into jeans I haven't worn in years. I feel like a completely different person. This was the exact pick-me-up I needed.
I made it through the Whole30. In fact, after I reward myself with a piece of chocolate cheesecake, I'm starting all over again for another 30 days of the strict Whole30 plan to train my body and mind.
*The Whole30 Plan is available for free online and I strongly encourage you read it before taking this challenge on. It helps you understand exactly what you are about to do, but more importantly, why you are doing it - what the benefits are to cutting out the foods you will be giving up. I'm a big thinker and it makes it easier to eliminate foods when you understand truly how terrible they can be for your body - not just the "what" but also the "why."