Getting clear on the WHY


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On the weekend, my MIL kept asking why I'm doing this, hinting that it's not healthy and that I should be checking my vitals weekly since it's basically Atkins and Atkins is unhealthy and only for losing weight.

Last night, my husband told me that even though I told him I'm not doing this for the weight, he's asked around and everyone says it's for the weight, that this is the reason people do the Whole 30.  Then he asked me why I'm doing this, since I'm healthy already so saying it's for health doesn't make sense to him either.

Both of these exchanges bothered me tremendously, and I see now that it is because I didn't have a clear answer for them (or me) as to WHY I'm doing this.  So here is my attempt to sum up why I chose to do a Whole 30, and why on Day 16 I remain committed.  I will come back to this list when I wane in motivation, which is sometimes hourly :-)

1)  Connecting with my food connects me to the earth and to what is really important for me.  Choosing to eat only whole foods for 30 days nourishes not only my body, but my mind and spirit as well.

2)  The Whole 30, for me, is a celebration of how far I've come with food.  I have a history of eating disorders (which may explain why my family is concerned), but I do not feel at all that my Whole 30 is about losing weight (which I don't need to do).  It is about celebrating food, eating when I'm hungry and as much as I need to feel satiated, eating lots of fats, and eating animal protein and being ok with that after various failed attempts to become vegetarian when in my heart I knew it just wasn't for me.

3)  The Whole 30 is about saying YES to me, and kindly being firm with others when they try to tell me what to do (in overt or subtle ways).  I have always been a people-pleaser, and while I already know sugar, white flour and alcohol are not good for me, I often partake because it's the social thing to do or because I know others will feel better if I have something with them (my mom - sweets, my husband - alcohol).  This time is all about ME, and asserting that I don't have to eat or drink things I don't really want to to make others feel better.

4)  The veggie, protein and fat combo is delicious and satisfying.  I've been trying Whole 30 recipes at home and the whole family loves them.  I have discovered new combinations of foods, new foods altogether, and rediscovered foods that I had overlooked (hello tahini and shredded coconut!)

5)  I recently made a big decision in my life, choosing to step down from a management job and stay at a more comfortable job in order to have more space and time for myself, my family, and my passions.  Doing the Whole 30 at this time feels like a RESET.  Starting fresh, becoming new again, recommitting to the things that are most important to me.

6)  It is only 30 days.  I do miss whole grains and the occasional sweet, but I know that soon enough I will be able to partake if I really want to.  Yet it is more than 30 days.  Getting so crystal clear on what my body needs and likes will help me be more conscious of my choices going forward.  I love Melissa's questions around whether to eat something post Whole 30 - something like - Is this a special occasion?  Will it make me feel terrible after?  Do I really want it?  Do I really want it is key for me, and will help me make good food decisions going forward.

7)  The community.  I love the book, the website, the Forum!  I feel like I've connected with like-minded people who are committed to good food, to taking care of themselves, and to working for something they believe in despite of what others may think.  It's all about tuning in to what is right, and to working with others to help you see that when it is not clear.

8)  Although I feel I am now a normal eater after many years of eating disorders, I still fall to sugar, white flour and alcohol when I am stressed or depressed, and was falling into that habit again before Whole 30.  The Whole 30 is a good way to just stop those bad habits and remind myself that the short-term pleasure is not worth the lethargy, low mood and negative thoughts that I fall into when I'm back on a daily sugar hit.

9)  On Day 16, I've hit Tiger Blood.  I feel connected, refreshed, energized, and able to make good decisions about food and life.  Having an experience like this reminds me of what's possible, and that happiness is an inside job.

10)  Last year I went off anti-depressants, and good food was a big part of that.  Kelly Brogan's book, "A Mind of Your Own" uses food as the first way to reconnect with yourself and heal depression, and her dietary guidelines are very much aligned with Whole 30 - lots of good quality proteins and fat, lots of fruits and veggies, no sugar, flour, alcohol.  When Dr. Brogan works with patients, she has them do a 30 day food reset eliminating grains, legumes, white potatoes (resistant starch), and processed food, so doing this is something I had been thinking about, and I'm already seeing improvements in my mood.

So there you have it!  My top 10 reasons WHY I'm doing the Whole 30.  I will send this to my hubby :-)

What about you?  Why are you YOU doing the Whole 30?

Lots of love,


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love this! You expressed so many of the things I have thought but did not take time to explain to people or put into words.  My father has pushed similar 'unhealthy' comments to me but, I merely let them know that I want to see what foods are affecting my sleep, skin, and moods, so I'm experimenting.  When they think it's temporary they back off for a bit. 

But in my mind, I do not want this to be temporary. I want a better relationship with food. I feel physically better when I eat this way.  I feel emotionally better when I eat this way and less guilty and stressed.  

I haven't hit Tiger's Blood yet, I'm only on Day 4 (and ironically, today, I want to KATT but am adding to the forum to keep myself calm), but am already feeling positive effects and keeping the WHY top of mind will certainly help!! 

Today you should be on Day 24? 25? How are you feeling?  

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Hi Amyrotella,

I am done!  I finished yesterday!  (You can check out my log if you like where I set out some of my challenges and successes, and also a post on finishing in "success stories" that I did yesterday).  Good for you for staying strong and getting clear on why you are doing this, you will benefit not only in your food but in your life.

Now that I'm in the reintro phase, it is even more important to stay clear on what and how I'm eating and why, and I think it is even more so when we move into daily life.

Best of luck with your journey!

Lots of love,


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I think it's funny when people tell me "It's basically the Atkins diet."

My response: 

Do you eat meats? So do I.

Do you eat veggies? So do I.

Do you eat fruit? So do I.

Do you eat fast food? I don't.

Do you eat Packaged foods with lots of ingredients you can't pronounce? I don't.

Do you make all of your meals at home with fresh whole ingredients? I do.

Do you drink 8+ glasses of water a day? I do. 

Do you avoid harmful ingredients? I do.

Do you know every ingredient that you put in your mouth? I do.

Do you eat foods that contribute to nutrient absorption, liver cleansing and better body detoxification without it being in a pill or powder form? Well, I do.

Do you have amazing Bowel Movements? I do.

Do you sleep 8-10 hours per night? I do.

Do you feel healthier and happier every day that passes? I do.

So... what's the problem with my way of eating? 



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On 5/29/2017 at 2:17 PM, Namaste2017 said:

Love it, Rhonda!

I think people tend to form quick judgements or assumptions. 

Atkins diet, if I remember right allows eating of all kinds of meats that we don't eat... filled with strange ingredients and sulfates.

Also I don't remember because I never did Atkins but I don't think our diet is merely "cutting out all carbs".

so when people only hear that we cut out grains they immediately pass judgement because they didn't listen.

this is why above I never mentioned grains..

instead I spelled it out: ingredients we can't pronounce and only ingredients that promote health.

I think it's clearer as to WHY. 

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@Namaste2017 and everyone in this thread, and beyond:  Thank you for this stellar conversation.  It is crucial to know why we do things, to know ourselves in relation to those around us.  This program was presented to me at a perfect time in my life.  I studied and adopted many food habits over the years, starting in the 70s with Macrobiotic (curiosity killed the cat).  By the late 80s I knew I wouldn't accomplish anything until I quit drinking alcohol, and that was a 100% no-question full resistance realization.  From there, I had to quit smoking in order to hear what my body was saying.  Then I juiced according to the teachings of (the late) Jay Kordich with my Juiceman Junior.  Then I had to focus on an adrenal burn-out recovery, which I am still at the tail end of.  In the interim, I tried South Beach, Digest Diet, RAW everything, Blood Type and the latest nanotechnology micronutrients by Nuskin.  From all of these I learned.  Finally, Whole30 is helping me respond most completely to what my body has been saying; Blood Type helps me further thin out the items that cause me allergies of sorts.

I was 80-95% compliant during the 2 weeks I took to plan and prepare, during which I experienced fast beginnings of NSVs.  After start date June 1 I was compliant for 3 days but developed issues in my esophagus at its base, a stricture that has been intermittent caused by acid reflux x many years and taking a lot of supplements.  I have to continue the 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking to nourish my body and to keep the hormonal energy at rest (it kicks in muscular energy).  Otherwise 30 grams of solid food kicks in the stricture; it is just too much food.  So I will continue along and start counting at a later date.  But I am as compliant as I can be.

I do not miss sugar, grains, legumes not at all, or dairy; a lot of this went out the window with Blood Type, so it's easier for me.  There is enough delicious food available to live without.  I am using HempPro70 protein drink in the a.m. which could be compliant except that the second ingredient is not broken down, and simply reports, "Natural plant extracts".  I have written to them with no response.  I wonder if this is even legal.

A major breakthrough for me on what would have been day5 was a long walk from a parking lot to a building and for the first time in years I could feel all the muscles around my back and hips engaged in the activity, and without any pain or feeling of exhaustion.  

Thank you again, Whole30 and forum participants.


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