People are funny creatures. When I turned 50 my ‘midlife crisis’ was to become vegan. I maintained that lifestyle for four years. Doing Whole30 reminds me a lot of those days. Avoiding dairy and sugar certainly bring back memories. I liked the adventure of it. I enjoyed the challenge of finding foods and recipes that were vegan. It literally took me to new places and I learned how to order differently in restaurants.
The thing was, I was enjoying myself but the people around me were freaking out. I can’t count the number of times I was asked about protein. But I remember one incident so clearly. A woman very militantly demanded to know where I was getting my protein from. It wasn’t a casual inquiry. It was an in-your-face moment. It caused me to wonder why no one questioned my protein levels when I was existing on Cheetos and Pepsi.
Cheetos were a staple of my diet – diet as in what I was eating – prior to beginning Whole30. I love Cheetos. I haven’t missed them at all. I haven’t even thought about them prior to this blog post. But I would identify them as a trigger food. If I were done with Whole30 and ate one my fingertips would soon be covered in bright orange cheese dust. That’s one food I won’t reintroduce when we’ve finished our Whole30. Finding out they’re full of MSG makes it doubly easy.
I was surprised by the number of people who were upset about ending their Whole30 experience. They fretted about what they should eat now that the plan was over. Frankly, in the beginning, I thought that was a bit silly. At the end of 30 days you eat sensibly. Now that we’re near the end of our Whole30 + 10 we’re right there with them. Can you believe that? It will soon be time to start reintroducing food groups to our diet. We’re hesitant to do so because we don’t want to impede our progress.
I am coming to believe that it’s going to work itself out. There are specific guidelines for reintroducing food groups. You stay on the Whole30 eating plan but you add back one food group for one day. For us it would start with legumes. For the next two days you return to the original Whole30 plan while you evaluate any response your body has to the ‘new’ food. Then you reintroduce the next food group and repeat the process. This phase lasts at least two weeks.
Our concern with the reintroduction phase is gaining back any weight we may have lost during our Whole30 + 10. I’ve been on enough diets to know that water weight is the first to go. Would any weight lost be sustainable? I talked to sister and told her we should extend our Whole40 to a Whole60 and then start our reintroduction phase. After that we can decide on how to continue. In my way of thinking, after two months the water weight issue should have resolved itself.
Our original plan was to do Whole30 for Lent then switch over to the South Beach Diet. We’ve been on that before and know that it works. But it was that whole thing with the scale and being caught up in the numbers that was my downfall. I wasn’t seeing the numbers move and was convinced it wasn’t working. It was all about the scale. Emphasis on tossing the scale is something I appreciate about Whole30. Weight fluctuates. Having somewhat overcome the ‘need’ to run weigh myself, I can see the wisdom of not doing so.
I admit that the closer it gets to day 40 the more curious I am about what the results will be. The scale isn’t calling but the tape measure sure is. I am finally seeing signs of physical evidence in the mirror, noticing change in the way my body moves and sits. And gets up. Sister asks if I feel lighter. Not that I’m conscious of but something is happening. Something positive.