Though I failed my first Whole 30, the effort wasn’t in vain. I learned a lot about myself and habits through the process. Here are my top four lessons.
My true pleasure foods aren’t sweets. If you had asked me about what foods I thought I’d struggle with giving up for W30, I would have said sugar in my coffee, cakes and cookies and freshly baked bread. In reality, the foods I craved were Fritos, corn chips, potato chips, sour cream and cream cheese. In other words, I realized that if I’m trying to watch what I’m eating for whatever reason, I’m better off saying no to sweets and yes to salty and rich.
Planning matters. I’ve known this for years, but realized it more than ever while attempting W30. While on W30, I had to make a plan for cooking since I couldn’t cook many of my normal go-to recipes. And, it was fun to experiment with new recipes and cooking styles by cooking through a cookbook.
I’m an abstainer, not a moderator. Giving up something completely is far easier than trying to moderate myself. For me, it’s easier to not eat any cookies than to eat just one. Like Samuel Johnson said, “Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.” Wondering if you’re an abstainer or a moderator? Check out this post from Gretchen Rubin.
I don’t control my body. My call is to steward my body, not subdue it. W30 made me confront what I believe about my body and how I idolize controlling it.
Virginia Woolf wrote that “one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” W30 taught me a lot about dining well, and I’ll continue to benefit for years to come.