The time has come.
The day I turned 40, I promised myself that things would get better from there. I was a couple years out of graduate school and slowly starting to piece my life back together.
“Every day will be better than this day,”
To be fair to myself, I’ve made pretty good on that promise. As I look around at my life, things are 100% better than they were when I turned 40. I have a lot of new because I looked around my life and slowly started chipping away at the things that had run amuk: I have a new mattress and, eventually, a new apartment because I couldn’t find true rest with what I had before; I have a new car because my old one broke; I have a dog who has truly restored my belief in soul mates and the power of companionship; I’m lifting really heavy weights and loving it. These are just to name a few. I’ve been undergoing a slow but radical transformation.
The one thing I’ve worked on consistently but that has never transformed is my feeling in my own skin. I don’t mean in a new-agey way. I mean that I feel like an athlete on the inside but I feel like my body is betraying me in some ways. I carry a lot of extra weight despite every measure I can take to control it. My skin is a disaster. I’m always tired and just “heavy” feeling, like I walk around with a weight vest on every limb, every day, forever. I’d love a little pep now and then.
I’ve known for a long time that a solution to this will likely be elusive like the White Rabbit is to Alice chasing after him. There’s myriad reasons for this: nutrition is more an art than a science, especially for those “problematic” types like me, doctors disregard this discussion altogether, and it requires a really systematic, patient approach to really nail down some answers and, frankly, I hate that.
Nevertheless, after two years of trying every eating style I can scrounge up to isolate which systems or foods might be an issue and after taking a food sensitivity test that came back with so many hits on it that I may never be able to eat real food again, I’m finally doing something really sensible: I’m doing Whole30.
This diet is amazing in its basicness. The rules are pretty straightforward: eat reasonable portions of protein, vegetables, some fruit, few seeds and nuts, and enough pure fat sources to keep you satiated during the day. That means you eliminate all the awesome comfort of 1) grains, 2) legumes, 3) dairy, 4) added sugar, 5) most certainly donuts and everything in its dessert genus and 6) alcohol.
If it sounds severe, you’re on the right track; the trick is it’s intended to be only for 30 days and you’re absolutely not starving yourself, vigorously restricting food, or obsession about the scale or measurements…so honestly, I’ve been more severe in the past…
I’m taking the tent with me on Whole30 because I need both accountability and a regular place to whine about…well, no wine. Or anything that I’d kill someone for right now…like the world’s most awesome donut.
My hope is that everything about all of these physical issues will reset a little. If I’m dealing with Candida, it should clear up sufficiently at least to get me down the road on a detox; if sugar is destroying me, I’ll clear it out; if alcohol needs to go, at least I’ll know. After the month + reintroduction is done, I’ll take the food sensitivity test again and see how it goes.
Come on along. I’ll need some witnesses…and probably some shoulders to cry on when the going gets tough which it surely will. If you’re curious about this experience or have been on the fence about trying it yourself, watch what happens next.