My journey began on a playdate with a mother of a boy in my son’s preschool class last spring. We were sitting in her kitchen getting to know each other in the usual way, telling our stories of how we met our husbands, what brought us to Charlotte, having our kids and how we “had to get ourselves back in shape somehow”
She began telling me about this boot camp that she attended and how much she loved it. She told me she was semi-possessive of it, loving it so much that she struggled with wanting to shout it from the roof tops or tell no one so her perfect little world wouldn’t be disturbed.
I already knew she was a very healthy eater, the tales of salmon and avocado in her two year old’s lunch at preschool were legendary next to our gummies and goldfish…
She was explaining it to me and then told me briefly about a program she followed called Whole 30. She asked me if I had ever heard of it, and it I knew about clean eating…
If you mean cleaning my plate eating, then “yes! I know all about it.” I had a favorite meal deal at every fast food place you could think of. My breakfast was anything I could grab or whatever one of my four kids didn’t finish. Lunch was much the same story and dinner was pretty well rounded though far from “clean”. I was not even close to a clean eater, I was a terrible eater!
My new friend convinced me to join her one morning at 6am in the dark and put my body through a shock it had seldom experienced. But she also introduced me to about six women that changed my life- two in particular!
Why I went back, I don’t know… Something about these women appealed to me and I was very ready for a change. And on that day in April I too became strangely possessive of Four Fit’s boot camp and people. At the beginning of boot camp you meet with Stephanie and Kathryn to discuss your goals and they, in turn, help you shape a plan to help you meet those goals.
Mine were no different than most women with kids and 40 approaching rapidly- to get in shape and lose weight. They again brought up Whole 30, but explained the science behind it as well- That peaked my curiosity, written by people with auto immune diseases, this interested me as both a nurse and someone with a significant history of Crohn’s disease.
I went home and purchased the book, “It Starts With Food.” Which outlines the Whole 30 program, the science and plenty of references. I proceeded to read it very quickly and was hooked.
Both of my parents were deceased by the time I was 34. I have a personal and family medical history that would make most doctors faint. While my family wasn’t completely non-compliant with their personal and medical care they, like most of us, did have their flaws. While I am truly a stronger and better person for the lessons I have learned from my years of struggle these are not lessons I want my children to learn. There are easier and better ways to be a kind, good and healthier person without so much heartache and pain, but I am the one who had to take control of that.
I did want to lose weight, but I wanted to become healthier and be around for my children’s children.
I’ve tried them all, the cabbage soup diet, weight watchers, south beach, Atkins… you name it. They worked but always end the same way- back at the start. Whole 30 was different
I loved the way it starts:
“It’s only 30 days.” I thought about how many things last longer than 30 days and how much harder they are then not eating something. I thought about other things they say like “ it’s not cancer, its changing your eating,” or “your sister’s wedding is not going to be ruined if YOU don’t eat a piece of cake,” and, “make sure you look at your life before you start and realize if it’s the right time for you,” also, “don’t sabotage yourself before you start” – Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, “It Starts With Food.”
It really also occurred to me about how much eating can be about peer/social pressure. Other people may want you to eat the cake because they feel bad about eating the cake, so if you EAT the cake, they won’t feel so bad. So much in our life is peer pressure even as adults. I decided to take control of my decisions and just try it. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy at the beginning I hit my wall around day 8-10, but after day 10 I turned a corner I will never go back around.
Here I am 9 months later, 40 pounds lighter and healthier than I’ve been since I was 18. My daily headaches are gone, joint aches- gone, exhaustion- better ( I do have four kids under 8) my stomach pains- extremely rare. I still eat “whole 30” because I love the way it makes me feel and I am scared to go back!
This really is a way of life. I’ve become that person I was previously so annoyed by, touting Four Fit and Whole 30 like I am paid to do so. Though even if offered, I would never take any money for what I’ve been given, my life back.
I told Stephanie and Kathryn I felt like that woman in a commercial I saw once who says “I finally look like the person I feel like inside”
I also was so encouraged by the people around me and that is a key point too. One dark morning one of my cohorts was talking as we ran and told me another piece of gold. She said, “I refused to let each age define me, I decided I’m not my best at 20, at 30, at 40… I’m always going to keep trying to be a better me”
Every woman in that first group and each subsequent group has been so positive, so encouraging so supportive and they literally don’t even know me!
We all have excuses, we all work, we all have husbands, kids, families, hair to wash…. But all they really are is excuses. Which in the end is actually really great because if she can do it, than so can I. I do think everyone needs to have their own ah-ha moment but lots of times they are buried under these things we invent. Its like they say “just do it”
Tips on my success:
Supportive people!: You can never have enough people to talk to, encourage you, go through it with you.
Keep it to yourself for the most part: You get a lot of strange looks and comments from people when you tell them about it. Talk to the people who know, and when you feel the effects for yourself and are grounded in it, then you can tell the world. Sometimes when you share your goals they become harder due to others judgments
Realistic goals: If there is something going on that you know is going to interfere, don’t start yet
Read the science behind it: When you read the WHY of it, it makes so much more sense
Don’t cheat!- its only 30 days!!!!! That’s 1/10th of a pregnancy! Many of you have done much harder… i promise.
Read blogs and boards! There are TONS of resources out there for you, people with tricks and tips and solutions you never considered
Just try it, I promise you will like it. Put YOURSELF first, just this once, you won’t regret it.
I am living proof.