What I Learned from Starting and Failing the Whole 30

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by Emily Tackett

A few weeks out from New Years Eve, the day when people resolve to create better habits nationwide, my friend group decided to try the Whole 30 together. It was a promising endeavor at first. We had a support group text where we would console each other through hangry phases and share Whole 30 approved recipes. The first week was almost flawless, until birthdays and snow days reminded us of festive celebration food we couldn’t enjoy—like cookies and hot chocolate. I never realized the bizarre associations I adhere to with food and occasions. Eating an apple in lieu of cake at a birthday party not only feels wrong, it also feels irredeemably lame. Our resolve wasn’t strong enough to maintain the diet and eventually we all caved to grains and sweets. But it wasn’t an entirely useless experience. I did learn a few things:

1.     Don’t do the Whole 30 if weight loss is your end goal. You’ll most likely loose weight, but Whole 30 is designed to cut out foods and slowly reintroduce them to see what your body can and can’t deal with. As a weight loss regimen, it unnecessarily cuts out too many food groups.

2.     It encouraged balance. I usually eat fairly clean during the week and then go nuts on burgers and beer on the weekend. Being on the Whole 30 for a short time made me appreciate striking a better balance. I want to eat well overall—not as an excuse to eat horribly on the weekend.

3.     Everything is better with friends. We may have collectively failed at Whole 30, but I know I lasted 200 times longer because I had support. So now I’m applying that principle to help me stay active. I’m doing yoga and indoor soccer with my buds and it’s never been easier to get motivated to work out.

So thanks Whole 30. You were way too hard. But very educational. 

Lark ReelyComment