I considered while chowing on my meat+oil lunch today (yes, there were veggies too but that’s not my point) that there is no way I will lose weight on this challenge. I don’t feel any lighter/leaner and, while I KNOW this is “against the rules” (which you know I am so fond of) I figured I’d peek and see if my suspicions were accurate. Sure enough, the scale tonight read almost 1/2lb MORE than when I started on Monday. Of course it does! Every meal I eat is protein-packed and heavy, there is always a drizzle of oil. And while I appreciate the food challenge for what it is and for what it will hopefully do for me and my family, I would be lying if I said I didn’t care about possible weight loss. Who wouldn’t be?
Whole30 is about changing lifestyle, about eating natural foods and removing all the harsh, processed, chemical-laden versions that are so easy to come by – the foods that could be making us chronically ill. I’m thrilled beyond belief to be doing the research, learning how to cook differently, finding where the local farms are to buy produce. I want every day past this one and past the next 24 to be similarly nutrient-rich. BUT. It is also hard to spend 30 days (hard to spend 6 days!) without chocolate, without bread, without yogurt, without honey – without things that can be pretty wholesome and pretty natural. People I tell about this “diet” all commend me for my willpower, all shake their heads thinking they could never (would never want to) do it, and then all assume I will emerge from this thing looking like a stunted Heidi Klum. Shouldn’t I get that reward for the “hard work”? Why shouldn’t I want people to see me and think, “whatever she is doing, I want to do it.” Or at least, “whatever she is doing, it must be hard!”
I do want the ultimate prize being dangled – to feel my best, for me & my husband to be relieved of our various ailments, to be on path to a healthier and longer future. Of course that is paramount. I believe in the time frame (though hard) to reset our bodies and to really see afterwards WHICH of those aforementioned foods can be reintroduced and WHICH should be banished for good. But I also am feeling a little discouraged that for all this prepping, shopping, cooking, learning, children-ignoring and chocolate-avoiding that there is no obvious sign yet that my body is the least bit happy about it.
The one other time in my life that I actually tried a diet was South Beach – meant to be 2 weeks of similarly restrictive menu. Now, I was childless and in my 20s then, so take this with a grain of salt. But I had to stop after one week because I had lost *too much* weight too quickly. I remember vividly feeling that energy burn, like my body was just flying through food. It was great and made me feel really alive and healthy, with a strong metabolism. This food challenge? Six days in and I still feel a bit bloated and heavy, still am having trouble being hungry for meals and wondering when it is going to change. And tired of feeling a little foolish when I have to refuse the birthday cake, explain why, and then get an “up-and-down” look that says, “well, I guess you just started.”