They mean business when they say days 10 and 11 are the worst! For me, day 10 was definitely bad, I felt rotten, cranky, tired, and hungry. Just so hungry. I feel like I ate my weight in cashew butter that day. Not recommended, not buying it again, I obviously cannot be trusted with it in the house.
By day 11 I was feeling much better. The raging hunger was gone, and I felt clearer and more energetic. I felt fantastic yesterday, very focused. And today, I'm feeling really good, too. My hunger is very minimal, which is to say, I'm hungry when I'm supposed to be. I'm also sleeping and pooping like a champ, and my pain level is down. I'll be interested to see how my low back fares at work tomorrow, since it's been feeling fantastic. My anxiety levels are super low, which feels amazing. (Anyone who tells you food doesn't affect mood is a damn, dirty liar.)
My focus is returning, which makes me so happy. I'm a reader, I love to read. I typically read 10-20 books a year, not as many as my friend Jen, who reads like 150 books a year, but, it's something I enjoy. This year, I have been so brain-fogged and unable to focus, that I haven't been able to get past chapter seven in any of the books I have started. Disappointing. It's not the books, it's me!
My copy of Food Freedom Forever, by Melissa Hartwig arrived yesterday. She's the co-founder of the Whole 30 program and this follow up book is worth the read. My focus is back, and I read a book! I read most of it yesterday, and just about finished it up this morning. I have a couple of chapters left. It focuses on the how to customize a "reset" if you don't want to go balls out with a Whole 30. I like the emphasis on the re-introduction phase and why it's important to do it carefully and calculated. Like if you go out for cocktails, and pizza, and ice cream on day 31 to celebrate the end of your 30 days. You wake up bloated, with diarrhea, a breakout, and joint pain. How will you know what caused which? Was it the alcohol, the sugar, the dairy, the gluten?
Melissa has chapters devoted to mental strategies on how to break the cycle of diet/binge/depression that comes with our attachment to certain types of food. I know I'll be referring to these chapters again and again, because it's a fresh approach, no-nonsense, and enough tough love to really make you look long and hard as to why we engage in certain food behaviors and why it's so hard to stop them.
I had epiphany yesterday while reading this book. While an elimination protocol as strict as the Whole 30 might seem like a exercise in self-torture, it's really doing the body and brain a kindness. Removing foods that give the brain and mouth pleasure is hard, and the rebellious reaction to it is very telling. Why are we so dependent on the things that we know harm us? Something worth thinking about, I suppose.
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