Whole30: What to Expect (Part 1)

One of the biggest challenges of starting something new, be it making a new friend, traveling to a new location or participating in a new sport, is the fear or anxiety associated with not knowing what to expect. (That, or with the latter example, the fear of objects flying at my face. I once split my lip open while playing ping-pong, but that’s a story for another day. #NeverSaidIWasGraceful)

So today, as I approach my start date of a new round of Whole60 (and for the first time have legit invited others to join me via Facebook group) I want to share a few points of “What to Expect” should you decide to join me on this journey.

(BTW: If you are just joining us, be sure to get the Whole30 Low-Down and Prep Tips.)

Whole30 What to Expect Point #1

This is going to rock your world– and your emotions, body and energy level– in ways that might surprise you. 

Don’t believe me? Well, the folks over at Whole30 created an actual timeline of what you will likely experience. (And yes, it happens like this. And no, it’s not all pleasant. But if you are like me and food is essentially a “drug” in your life, it kind of makes sense.)

I’m not going to get TOO detailed in the timeline, since you should probably just shell out the $18 and buy the book (which includes recipes!) from the Whole30 folks themselves. Plus, I think it says somewhere in the Bible that plagiarism is a sin, so there’s that.

Day 1: So what’s the big deal? Like with the beginning of anything new and empowering, Day 1 will probably be easy and motivating. Like #AMERICA, yes, I got this! Enjoy it. It’s a great feeling.

Day 2-3 (or more): THE HANGOVER. Yep, it’s a real thing. And has NOTHING to do with booze. As our bodies realize that we are no longer giving it the sugar and/or processed carbs that it typically uses for energy, it needs to readjust. You will likely feel generally BLAH. Possibly have headaches, zippo energy. And I love the way they say it on their website:  “And it is definitely true 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.” Hang in there. This too shall pass… Sure, it might pass like a kidney stone (or all those bad life choices we made in college) but this too shall pass.

Day 4-5: KILL ALL THE THINGS. Again, very true. You are telling your body NO to what it wants and so it starts to act like a two-year-old in time-out. Warn the lovely people in your household and *try* to be as nice as you can. But rage and “I WILL CUT YOU” Bon-qui-qui style is completely normal. #ThankGodForGrace

Day 6-7: I just want a nap. This is a continuation of the body reset experience. You will likely not have a ton of energy to dominate, well, anything, specifically if you work out. (I once tried to go hiking around this stage and it was an epic fail.) Get your steps in, but don’t expect to break any lifting or running PR’s. At least not until after day 14-ish. (This gets better I PROMISE!)

Day 8-9: For the love of Gosling, my pants are TIGHTER. Do. Not. Panic. I repeat, don’t panic. Again, just part of the body resetting all the things and how it functions.

Days 10-11: The Hardest Days. Are we having fun yet or what? Seriously. This the point when most folks want to flip over the table, throw a tantrum and go to town on a pint of ice cream/Chick-fil-a Waffle fries/bottle of wine. Don’t give in. The suck is about to end. And you don’t want to miss out on the awesome!

Days 12-15: Boundless energy! Now give me a dang Twinkie. Your body is working in new ways and you start to physically feel better, but emotionally– it’s still catching up. Expect to literally dream (in your sleep) about comfort foods. #BeenThereDreamtThat

Days 16-27: Tiger Blood! YESSSS!! THIS IS A GREAT MOMENT! This is when our body (and mind) finally realizes that all this hard work is a GOOD thing and we start to function/feel better than before. It can look very different for people, but I know here is when I start being nicer (than ever) to my family and start killing my workouts. (We are talking screaming “AMERICA!” while running through the streets holding an American flag awesome.) Also, the JOY I experienced. I remember on just a normal Wednesday, in the middle of my Whole120 in March, sitting in the commissary parking lot… and my heart was so full of joy I started to cry. Like, happy tears. And this was during a deployment when my husband was gone.

(Interlude) Day 21: I am so over this. Yep. We get food boredom. But don’t toss in the towel. Please. I beg of you. Distract yourself or cook a new fun (tasty) dish and remember the Tiger Blood that continues to build. (This is where the preparation and menu planning will save your tail.)

Day 28: 28 is as good as 30…right? NO. The answer is a big, fat, nopeity-nope-nope-NOPE. I don’t care if we were doing this February and it only has 28 days. We are in it for 30. The WHOLENESS of at least 30 full days. Don’t quit early. Hang tough.

Days 29-30: HolyOprahIt’sAlmostOverWhatAmIGoingToEatNow?!?!?! You see the finish line. But, if you are like me, you want to panic a bit. We don’t want to go back to our former lifestyle because we felt gross, but where’s the happy medium? What’s next? Never fear. Do some planning (and praying) to see about your next steps. (Check out the Whole30 website for reintegration tips… Or, if you are like me, extend your journey 30 more days… <wink>)

Day 31: Deep breathing. And maybe some ice cream. And then Day 31 clicked onto the calendar, we heard the angels sing and God said, “It was good.” Consider what “real life” looks like for you. I recommend consulting with Jesus on how to integrate the changes and things you learned about yourself and your eating habits into your everyday life.

Ok, friends… This post got a wee bit long… So I am going to continue “What to Expect” in a Part 2 here shortly. Until then, get pumped and start planning for a food-freedom journey that could very well change your life.

For His Glory,

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