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Proud of My Friends


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Today is Day 31 for me, Collette, and Kim.

It started like this: On August 9, my friend Kim announced, seemingly out of the blue, that she was ready to give the Whole 30 a try.

Maybe it wasn't so out of the blue. She had watched my eating change over the past year and a half. She has eaten plenty of delicious paleo meals at my house and observed me on the one Whole30 I had done before, in January. Sure, I've lost some weight and a couple of sizes over the past year and a half, but it's one thing for a "reasonably-fit" person like the pre-paleo me to become a skinny person. It's another thing entirely for a morbidly obese person to look at that skinny person and say, "okay, I'm in."

But that's what Kim did. And so of course, I said, "I'll do it with you."

Turns out Kim meant what she said. The very next day, she picked up It Starts With Food at a bookstore and announced over lunch that we would be starting Monday. Our unsuspecting friend Collette was with us at lunch and piped up, "I'll do it too!"

Kim had been thinking about this for a while. She shared some frank thoughts with me that weekend -- thoughts about her health, her hopes, her fears as she approached her 47th birthday. She was frustrated with finding herself driving through for fast food, again, when pressed for time. She was ready for a big change.

Collette, on the other hand, had no idea what she was getting into.

We all made it. Today is Day 31. I'm testing dairy today -- finally going to figure out what causes my occasional eczema flares (those little patches of eczema on my palms used to be chronic, but only reappear occasionally on a "mostly-paleo" diet.)

Collette lost 2 inches off her waist and 15 pounds off the scale. But she GAINED much more: she learned to take control of what she eats, DESPITE having a husband and a houseful of teenagers counting on her to feed them. She GAINED some confidence in the kitchen, as Kim -- Kim! -- has been coaching Collette in her from-scratch cooking.

Kim gained a whole knew way of eating. Frankly, she had way too much fun with this. "Collette & I shared our curry chicken lettuce wraps with 4 coworkers" she would text me mid-day "everyone loved it." Or I would call her after work and hear, "Oh, it's TOO BAD you can't come by tonight! I have the curried sweet potatoes in the oven and am almost done making these salmon-stuffed mushroom caps!" Kim has always been a fantastic cook, but somehow the focused challenge of eating Whole30 brought out the best in both her artistry and her coaching skills, as she fed herself and helped Collette to do the same.

Last night I asked Kim if she could imagine driving through for fast food now. "I could imagine that it would make me sick," she replied. I suggested, let's not find out.

Kim and Collette have agreed to make it a Whole Thirty-THREE, to keep this up through Kim's doctor's appointment this Friday. That's when she'll get the blood pressure cuff wrapped around her arm to tell her whether she needs to resume blood pressure medication. That's when she'll get the blood drawn that will tell her whether she needs to start cholesterol medication, which her doctor warned her was close last time. That's when she'll next step on a scale.

Maybe I'll have an update to post then. But in the meantime, I love my friends dearly and am SO proud of both of them for persevering, for sticking with it, and for making the radical changes they have made.

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