I just wrote about how much I do not like proselytizing.
There’s a chance what I wrote below might come off as trying to sell you, but that’s not my intention.
I intend strictly, exclusively, to tell you why I feel so darn good at this exact moment in time,
in a way that doesn’t take me 408 hours to explain.
A few years ago, I changed my eating habits after a serious, months-long health scare following exposure to environmental toxins.
With doctors unable to help, I fell asleep every night praying I’d actually awaken each next morning … until one on-call doctor told me it sounded like I was experiencing rampant inflammation. He recommended Aleve for short-term relief.
Aleve actually helped, so–tentatively hopeful–I began looking into inflammation. Alone in the theater during a crappy Tom Cruise movie, I searched Amazon and found a book that suggested its recommendations could help heal systemic inflammation.
I decided to give it a shot. I had everything to gain and nothing to lose.
While the diet wasn’t a cure-all, my health improved dramatically (times a million; “dramatically” alone isn’t nearly strong enough) during my 30-day Whole30.
After that Whole30 ended, I continued to eat according to most of its guidelines. I felt great by doing so.
I’ve eaten guided by Whole30 principles since then, but found it harder during my stressful last year.
I tried and failed through a dozen false starts, hoping to feel long term good but unable to sacrifice short term good tastes to achieve it.
With my older son inspired to give up something for Lent this year, I decided this might be a chance for me to succeed in resuming my healthier ways. I aimed for a Whole40.
I usually feel the magic within a week or two of starting. This time, the magic was less magical and more “mildly pleasant,” so that I knew some other problem required address.
I ditched coffee two weeks ago. Doing so helped me see I had a serious coffee problem, and made my now withdrawal-laden Whole40 feel a hundred more times difficult.
Still, I told myself I had to do the whole 40 days. Anything else would be a failure! I mean, who proudly touts running 24 miles of a marathon?!
Since giving up coffee, I’ve felt deprived. I’ve thought constantly, “In only [x] hours, I’ll be drinking beer and eating chocolate and it will all be OK!”
This does not feel healthy. I don’t see ongoing self restriction for its own sake as meritorious or worthy, and I’ve struggled with whether to stop early in light of new circumstances or continue because I said I was going to go 40 whole days, dammit.
Today I talked at length with my husband, who’s–bless him–reading a book on stress management with me to help effect changes impossible by diet alone after living with chronic stress. I decided that stopping a few hours early of a Whole40 isn’t giving up at the 24-mile mark, but stopping running a few miles after the finish line in recognition that I could keep running for its own sake … but that it might not be the wisest thing for me, right now.
So I had a Cadbury Egg, which contains as much caffeine as I see in my future for a long, long time.
I’m savoring a beer and my family now. And I’m thinking not, “Oh, gawd, I failed!” but
“Check me out, learning not only to listen to where I’m at,
but actually trust it.”