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"Pre-introduction" before start date?


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Hi, all.

(Kinda long, but I feel like I have to explain a lot for context).

I am a first-time Whole-30er, set to start in February (going through a divorce and waiting until I am moved in to my new place, so I can start from scratch with a totally empty pantry, buying only compliant stuff). However I am spending most of January planning, strategizing, and preparing so I can ensure success on my program when I do start. So I have been reading the books and looking over recipes and kind of "big-picture" planning. 

I am a semi-professional athlete but due to life (mainly the divorce and the events leading up to it), I have taken a year off of training and my diet has been in the pits. When I am training I am usually on a hybrid paleo/Mediterranean diet that I designed myself based on lots of experimentation, research, and food journaling. It works great for me, but since the hiatus from training I have been really eating poorly (disastrously!) and am looking forward to starting my W30 as a reset to get back to good eating and back on my training program. I am also a confident cook and have an incredibly busy life (don't we all?) -- juggling semi-professional athletic training with a full-time job. So I have been a little scared to start my W30 as I will be adjusting to a lot at once -- returning to a conscious way of eating (but a new one for me), living on my own for the first time in 20 years (i.e. not being able to rely on my "wasband" anymore to help with meal prep, groceries, etc.), becoming the sole caregiver to my dog, and managing a 45-minute one-way commute each day. I have been anxious about how I will manage that all, so that has been kind of my excuse for eating poorly ("Oh, I haven't started my W30 yet so I can eat whatever").

I was feeling terrible (obviously) and then I finally realized, hey, I ~know~ how to eat well. I have eaten really really well for most of my adult life until things fell apart. Just because I'm not planning to start my W30 until I am moved out, doesn't mean I can't at least eat well, use what I know, and kind of try out some of the W30 recipes and practice a little with meal composition starting now, and do some experimenting with W30 concepts just to build some basic habits. So right now I am trying some of the recipes, but with shortcuts for now (i.e. jarred pre-minced ginger, or soy sauce, which are not compliant, but it's what is available in the house and I don't want to buy all new compliant stuff if I'm only here for another couple weeks) -- knowing that when I officially start, those are things that will need to change.

This has helped me a lot with the feelings of nervousness about how I will manage all the changes that are coming. I call it my "Half-assed 30" :) or my "Pre-introduction" (almost like a reverse re-introduction phase). :)  When I am moved in to my apartment (last week in January), I will officially start with full compliance. I have chosen Feb. 3 as a start date. 

I'm not counting this "pre-introduction" towards my 30 days but it has helped immensely in helping me feel better about how I will manage this change on top of everything else, and reminding me it's not that far off from how I was eating before (I had abandoned wholesome eating and consistent athletic training for so long I was afraid I would never find my way back), and also it's giving me some hands-on experience with the recipes so I can get a feel for how long they will take, which is aiding in my meal planning given my commute. Also once I start back to my athletic training, that will quickly ramp up to 20+ hours per week, which will require a lot of planning as well, to stay compliant. So it's serving as a reminder to me that I have what it takes to manage this, and that it's doable. And it's making my body feel better, to boot. "Half-assed 30" is certainly better fuel than pasta with pre-packaged pesto (hey, I said I had gone WAY off the wagon). :) 

In essence I am giving myself a little practice/preview period, mostly as a "you got this" to myself. :) Super excited to see how I feel once I am on full compliance for the full 30 days, starting Feb. 3!

Has anyone else tried this? Thoughts/ideas/comments? I'm feeling good/positive about it so far.

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