Yesterday marked day one of my second Whole30. If you do not know what that is, basically it is 30 days where you restrict a lot of foods and eat very healthy, "whole foods". I completed one in 2011 and as a result, I decided to completely change the way that I eat and for the last four years or so I have avoided gluten and dairy and most processed foods. This process has not always been easy but I truly believe that it is worth it, not only have I seen the "paleo" way of eating change my life, but it has changed many of my friends and family members lives as well!
So how do I really feel being on a Whole30? This should be easy for me, right? I have a few friends who do not even notice when they are doing it, they feel like it is the simplest thing for them to do. It is NOT that way for me... But I suppose my picture use for this blog post has given me away. To be honest this isn't the first time I have attempted a Whole30 since 2011. #thetruthcomesout Yep, I failed (twice).
The reason why I failed in the past was due to my own decision to throw a (small) tantrum about my restrictions. I missed my red wine and dark chocolate and my gluten free bread. It seemed unjust that I should have to give up those things when I know that they do not bother my stomach. Theoretical foot stomping occurs for a few days and then I slip up and decide that it "does not really matter if I am strict, I am happy when I am not so why I do I have to be so black and white about it oh there is some chocolate bye bye self control see you later maybe next year". Not only is that thinking a dangerous run on sentence, it is also dangerous for the way I live my life. Unfortunately, the metaphor of sticking to something tough (or giving up) applies in a lot of life's situations . While I don't believe that my ability to finish a Whole30 will define my life, it could potentially either have a growing affect or a negligible effect on my self-control and discipline.
Knowing that I failed in the past has its effect as well, but sometimes knowing how our past failures played out can give us power over them in the future. Acknowledging that I failed and that I gave up actually gives me the power to be honest with myself about how difficult it is for me to stick to a 30 day plan. Through my failure I can see what was missing from me to be successful and I can take the steps to fill in the gaps.
That is the power of failure, when I can be honest enough with myself to say that I screwed up, I can pick up the pieces and look to see what was missing. Being brutally honest with ourselves is a painful step in the process to healing from our mistakes. If you are able to accept that you had a miss, powerful things can happen when you make a shot at it next time.
I do not know how this Whole30 will turn out, but I feel confident that I am better prepared. Failure is still an option, but it is a little more distant from me now.