I had a thought today, a memory, actually. When I was pregnant for the first time (23 years ago), I remember being astonished and dismayed that women were desperate to tell me their labor and delivery stories. Not all women, just the ones who had had a 36-hour labor which only ended because they were rushed into an emergency C-section. I also remember telling myself that I would not be one of those horror story tellers. If my labor and delivery were rough, I would not tell pregnant women about it. As it turned out, both of my labors and each of my deliveries were quick, and only one did I have any pain killers. So, whenever I hear someone telling a horror labor story to a pregnant woman, I wait my turn to tell my story, look her in the eye and say, “My labors were both quick. The first one, I didn’t even need any drugs. It happens that way, too.”
This is how I feel about Whole 30. (Is that a weird segue?) A famous blogger/author/speaker posted a miserable picture on her Facebook page this week, lamenting how miserable she was about doing the Whole 30 program. It hit me wrong immediately. I know her words were funny, and even acknowledged that natural, healthful food that God made is a gift. But, she was being publicly miserable for attention. She has been public about her body issues and food issues in ways that are really important for women to hear – but then yesterday kind of broke that for me. She talks in important ways about her privilege and using it well and doing hard things – but today, she said, “Poor me, I’m doing this thing I don’t have to do,” and it was a bummer for me to see. Now, she doesn’t have to do things that please me. That’s not the point of this. The point is this:
If you are reading this blog because you are “pregnant” with thinking about doing Whole 30, and you read how hard it is, how miserable people are without their cream and sugar in their morning coffee, then I am looking you in the eye, saying, “It is Day 9. I do not feel deprived. For 9 days, I’ve been nicer to myself emotionally than I have in a long time. I’m eating wonderful food. I’m learning so much! It happens that way, too.”
Here’s how I feel about myself today. I’m not a selfie taker in general. But, today, my body feels strong. I’m not physically strong. Really, I’m just not. I get winded climbing stairs, and my arms got exhausted yesterday when I tried to french braid my hair. But, I notice that I just feel better, maybe even stronger. I started dancing unloading the dishwasher today. It felt good in my legs to be moving and bending. And when I saw myself in my full-length mirror, it occurred to me to take a picture. That never happens. I actually don’t know if I have lost any weight at all (and that’s not really the point of this). My jeans might feel looser – more likely, I haven’t washed them this week, and they are comfortably stretched out! But Day-9-of-Whole-30 Me took a picture of her whole self today…and somehow, that feels like a victory.
I also did a weird restaurant thing. I’m not sure it’s even legal, since they are responsible for the safety of all the food in their restaurant. My friend, Daniel, wanted to go to Bibs, a fantastic BBQ joint in Winston-Salem, for lunch. I reminded him of Whole 30. He was there for the hamburger patty and broccoli lunch last week, so he knew all about it. I told him if we went to Bibs, I would have to bring my own salad, dressing, etc. But, I would buy a drink, so I was patronizing the business at least a little. So, while he ate his BBQ chicken and fries, I ate my delicious salad. (I left a big tip, so our server wasn’t cheated just because I’m on Whole 30.)
Tonight, I’m working on the sofa on which the dogs are allowed to sleep, so my girl, Roxy, has her head on my lap the best she can while my lap is full of laptop.
One more thing before I head to bed. Yesterday, all day, I had this strong desire to weigh myself. I won’t weigh myself until the 30 days are over, but I really wanted to yesterday. When I read the Whole 30 daily email at the end of the day yesterday, this was one of the article links they had! Since tens of thousands of people have done Whole 30, now, they have lots and lots of feedback. And obviously, lots of people have reported that they really wanted to weigh themselves on Day 8. It feels good to have the scaffolding there, the many who have gone before with lots of advice.