“This is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Fighting cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”
And with that, we have the opening lines to the Whole 30 guide book. This book will become like a Bible of sorts, to me, in regards to my next “12 Months. 12 Resolutions.” challenge. The Whole 30 is a month long (well, 30 days) process of cleansing your body and ridding itself of all sorts of toxins and wasteful fats. And carbs. And anything else that may be doing long term damage to your organs and overall health.
Would you be interested in sleeping better? How about having more energy, for extended periods of time? Performance? Just feeling better about yourself and having zero guilt about whatever you eat? Then this is something worth trying. It is, after all, only 30 days.
Attempting the Whole 30 Diet would also be the most difficult thing I’ve tried since… no alcohol back in January.
To see what that was all about, click on the link provided here: January Resolution: No Alcohol.
Do you see a theme evolving in my writing? Good. Because it’s intended. Every month I will be challenging myself, to better myself really, with something I have never attempted before. Or in some things, to just get back to doing them and creating a lifestyle that I can be happy with, inside and out.
Food, has always been a way of coping for me. Alcohol was, too, but with my career in funeral service, being a funeral director with on call nights and weekends in rotation, I don’t always have that “free night” to drink. Enter, food… in my mouth. And my belly. And a lot of it.
I am that guy who will go a day without eating (due to being too busy at work) and as soon as he gets home devours an entire pizza. I am also that guy who will not buy chips, soda, cookies, ice cream, but then as soon as I visit a friend or my mom, just go nonstop on all of that. I mean, let’s face it, EVERY mom has those goodies waiting for you. And you just don’t say no to mom. It’s even worse because then she sends you leftovers or “things I just bought at the store, here, you take this bag of sugar and saturated fat.”
I appreciate it though, mom. Free food is free food.
No. I had to finally be the bad guy and say no. In the month of March, I made my intentions known. To my family, to my friends, to my fellow funeral directors, to the world. Everyone. I put my intentions out there on the interwebs, via Facebook and Twitter and even Snapchat, oh my!
And for the most part, I received support. I also got a few raised eyebrows and people throwing shade, with comments like, “Oh so now you’re going to starve yourself?” “That seems stupid, just eat less.” “You aren’t out of shape, you’re tiny.” Let’s keep eating ourselves into oblivion, shall we?
Heaven forbid we become healthy humans and give a shit about our bodies, am I right?
I assure you, I am a big boy. And I think society is still on their kick of, “just because someone doesn’t weigh a lot that he must be completely healthy.” I used to drink a lot. And in turn, I would have days of binging on bad food. I never really bought anything that was considered bad food, but I would eat food at an alarming rate. Instead of one omelet, I’d eat too. With a lot of cheese. Or, I’d make myself a sandwich with whole wheat bread, and then follow that up with two more. I can eat with the best of them.
The support I had throughout this very challenging month is what got me through it. Two people I have to give a shout out to. My friend Matthew Moore (follow him here: @MrMattyMoses) and his wife, Rachel. They have both been through it. To Sugar Hell and back. Rachel was actually in the midst of doing it when I started mine, so that was really helpful. We would bounce ideas off once another (actually it was her telling me what NOT to eat). We would send each other pics of what we could come up with (her meals always looked better than mine). We would just encourage one another too. Total support.
I could not have done this without them. They carried me on days when I wanted to give in, but I knew letting them know, by holding myself accountable, they would talk me off the kitchen counter ledge. This month’s challenge MVP goes to them. Thank you.
It all started by getting rid of anything non compliant within the Whole 30 Rules. I tossed a bunch of food that I know I would have eaten if it was there. I just had to. I didn’t want to leave myself any outs. I knew if I didn’t bring a lunch or snacks to work that I would be forced to overpay at the local grocery store or just not eat until I made it home. Not ideal, to skip eating, of course, but it sure beats cheating. Take note ladies, I’m not a cheater.
This month was the toughest yet, because not only was I changing my eating habits entirely, but as per the Whole 30 Program Rules, no alcohol is allowed. So now it’s the double whammy. I just went the longest I have gone in over ten years by not drinking for a month (January challenge) and now I have to do it all over again, and eat basically rabbit food? Here goes nothing…
March 1, 2018 – It was my mom’s birthday, so I had one more blowout day to just eat and drink whatever. This would be my last day for the next 30, because there are 31 days in March, so it still counts! I had a few Spotted Cow beers, some vodka and cranberry’s, and the food was simply amazing. Egg rolls (tex mex, avocado and cuban), fried macaroni and cheese, quesadillas and red velvet cake. Yeah, I felt pretty gross after this.
March 2, 2018 – I am so ready for this to begin. Last night was way too much of an indulgence, and I’m ready to cleanse my body of all this processed garbage. So let’s not eat like this for the next 30 days, ok? I was still feeling full so all I ate was some salmon and hard boiled eggs all day.
March 3, 2018 – I worked a long funeral today, got home and then realized I had no food. Except more eggs. This is going to get old real quick… I immediately went grocery shopping, only to be called into work halfway through, so I had to stop and just pounded a couple Lar-A-Bars on my way. They are Whole 30 compliant, so it counts!
March 4, 2018 – I keep seeing people post pictures of bloody mary’s and tacos all over Facebook as per #SundayFunday. This is not good. I have to throw whatever vegetables I can together and call it a salad. And then drink this La Croix, which is pretty nasty. Do not like. I would do this multiple times today.
March 5, 2018 – My first big test, as I went to WWE RAW in Milwaukee, WI. So much cheese and beer and just greasy food everywhere. I was pretty hungry, and was willing to pay $20 for a water and some brats, without the buns of course. I loaded up on relish and onions and mustard though. It did the job.
March 8, 2018 – For lunch I had a Subway salad, with oil as my dressing. It was pretty good. I’m going to start adding meat to my salads, as I’m always hungry again within an hour or so after eating the salads I make. Snacking on pistachios and almonds have become a regular thing as well.
March 9, 2018 – My second big test. Going back home to my mom’s house. This one worries me, as mentioned above, she will be cooking and/or have all kinds of non compliant food. I better stock up. I made a smoothie over there with what she had. Luckily my sister also drinks almond milk, so that helped a little.
March 14, 2018 – Almost halfway there? You bet! Going grocery shopping again, as the fresh food as been devoured, and I’m eating a lot more. But, it’s food that is good for you, so it really doesn’t matter as much for how often you eat, but WHAT you eat.
March 17, 2018 – St. Patty’s Day. I’m on call this weekend, so I can’t be going out drinking anyway. Still, I could go for a green beer and a reuben sandwich right about now! I was able to make some green scrambled eggs and steak though. That was pretty delicious, I must say.
March 18, 2018 – Everytime I open my fridge I say to myself, “There’s nothing in here.” I just went grocery shopping a few days ago and my fridge is full. Have to keep eating the healthy stuff. But it’s funny how quick we are to just go to junk food or something with substance, but is bad for you. When we see healthy foods, we just ignore it always.
March 19, 2018 – I went over to Matthew and Rachel’s house, and man was that good eating! She was just over the Whole 30 and was telling me how she really has no desire to go back to the “bad eating” and a lot of what she learned is sticking with her. I kind of thought differently, but I am starting to notice, I don’t really need cheese or bread with EVERY meal.
March 22, 2018 – There is chocolate at work, and I want it. BAD. I love chocolate. I can never get enough of it. Absolutely in my top 5 foods that I can never say no to. Until now. I’m doing it, and it’s hard, but it’s becoming a revelation in how strong my willpower is becoming. Not just for the Whole 30, but for all of my challenges every month so far.
March 23, 2018 – My family went up to Green Bay and I joined them, as there was also a poker tournament I wanted to play in. I ended up taking 6th for $330, and then joining them afterward for dinner at Red Robin. I stayed within the rules though and had this amazing chicken salad, with virgin olive oil dressing. The rest of the weekend was breakfast food and snacking on more almonds and pistachios.
March 29, 2018 – I went to the movies and this would be my final test, although it really wasn’t, because I knew how close I was. I didn’t get any popcorn or nachos or anything at all, actually. I stayed the course and just had my water.
March 31, 2018 – I did it. I fucking made it. Tomorrow, when I wake up, I’m going to have this sense of relief. I can also tell things will change for the better. Despite tomorrow being Easter, and the Whole 30 being complete, I don’t have this great desire to gorge out on anything foodwise. Yes, I’m sure there will be chocolate I’ll eat, but otherwise, this is a totally different feeling. Rachel was right, I have no desire to go back to how I used to eat.
My hardest month yet, and I pulled it off. The first week is without a doubt the hardest. There is so much label looking and trying to find compliant ingredients, it feels like you’re starving yourself, but you know you’re eating all the time. As for the weight, I did end up losing 14 pounds! Just crazy to me. This was not for losing weight, but regaining some of my health back and trying to gain an entirely new perspective in how I eat. The weight is just a byproduct of that.
As I end this, I just want to say, it’s “only” 30 days, even though it might seem like 300. I look back on it and am so glad I did this. It was brutal, I can’t lie. I wanted to drink a couple of times and didn’t. I wanted to pound some taco bell after a long day, but kept driving. I wanted to just eat cereal even, but I just kept on keeping on with eggs. Which, by the way, if I never have another egg anything for the rest of the year, I’m ok with that.
For more insight and tracking on my daily life; follow me on Twitter, add me on Facebookor even like a pic on Instagram.