What 259 Days of Whole30 Taught Me about Me

 Left: October 2017  Right: July 2013 -- in this photo I am over 400lbs

Left: October 2017  Right: July 2013 -- in this photo I am over 400lbs

I began Whole30 on January 6, 2017. Whole30 is an elimination diet. The diet eliminates alcohol, sugar, legumes, grains, and dairy for thirty days. Following the thirty days, you reintroduce one food group at a time to see how food affects your body.

I ate this way, without the reintroduction phase, for 259 days.

On September 21, 2017 I ate a meal, by choice, that was not Whole30 compliant. The reason? My son was getting married on the 23rd and I wanted to enjoy the food that was part of the celebration.

During this intentional pause, I chose to have four days of Food Freedom, as it is called in the Whole30 culture. Food Freedom is making choices to eat food that was not compliant with the plan.

I learned these five lessons after 259 days of eating compliant with Whole30 and with four days of food freedom:

My relationship with food changed

During my Food Freedom, I ate reasonable portions. I enjoyed the food choices I made. I enjoyed these choices without guilt. But, with over 250 days with the elimination of certain food groups, I learned, food is not the problem, I am.

My understanding of food changed

I love to eat. I love the flavors, textures, and the cultural experiences associated with food. Whole30 helps me understand I can say yes or no to food. The food does not choose me. I choose the food.

Temperance makes my will stronger.

Temperance reveals addictions. In my spiritual walk with God, I practice temperance from alcohol. Whole30 showed me the need for temperance in my eating. Why should Pizza hold me hostage? I can eat a slice or two and not a whole pizza or two and still enjoy the experience. (Don’t judge)

The Unintended Role Model I Portrayed

I heard a transformational truth more than a half-dozen times from friends and acquaintances from across the globe. The essence of what they said troubled me. “You stand in the pulpit and speak of growth and self-control in spiritual matters. But, where is your discipline at the dinner table?” This was an unexpected lesson. I knew people listened to my sermons and read my writing. I never realized they were looking at me and could hold a view that I was a poor role model. Whole30 helped me learn this.

Good Food choices lead to other good choices and results

Since January 6, 2017, including my Food Freedom and one week of being back to Whole30 compliant eating, I lost 50lbs.

My A1C has remained 5.8 for nine months.

I have walked almost 1400 miles, so far, this year.

What can you do?

Pray for me as my journey on Whole30 continues.

These books helped me learn whole30.

What have you learned about yourself while on a diet?