My “perfectly imperfect” Round 4 of Whole30 (January 10th-February 8th, 2017)

For the New Year (2017) I (along with every other human in America) wanted to do a post-Holiday cleanse due to my lack of self-control and complete binge eating spree I had participated in over Christmas break. I already have known since 2014 that my body cannot handle a lot of foods (such as gluten, dairy, soy, and sugars) and for the most part-I have stayed the true course and stuck to a “fun Whole30 lifestyle”. But for some reason from October 2016 to December 2016 all my “learned knowledge” about how to take care of my body just went out the window. Is it because I am a newly wed and it was my 1st Married Christmas? Is it because I was so focused on travel season at work and had no real-time to focus on meal planning + being a newly wed + other responsibilities which were piling around me? Was it because I was under a lot of personal pressure from past anxieties that were slowly building up and the only “relief” I found was in comfort foods, despite how they made my body feel in the negative after effects? Was it because I took Ty to India for the very first time, and I didn’t want to be on a disciplined meal plan and I wanted to eat ALL.THE.FOODS. and introduce him to all my Indian comfort foods? Or is it because I just put my self-control and assertiveness over my own will-power aside and just pretty much destroyed my body for 3 months straight? HONESTLY I think it was a combination of ALL those things really. But because of my lack of self-discipline to really take care of myself with a balanced lifestyle, I gained some embarrassing LB’s, AND I started experiencing a weird lower back pain (every time I ate horribly) AND I also started having a stabbing sensation of what felt like a knife being in my stomach every time I ate without thinking. Now, you would think I would use my common sense and correlate that eating badly were causing the negative side effects of all that physical pain (yes, I knew it was because of that, but I honestly just wanted to have “fun” and not really think at all for those three months). By the time December 27th had rolled around, I was completely fed up with myself.  Thankfully I have a very supportive husband who patiently listened to me as I cried/complained and even sobbed about the state of my mind and body. But every-time I started to talk negatively (and meanly) about myself, he would stop me in my tracks and try to help me reframe what was going on.  What was going on is that I just wasn’t dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety that had been building up over time, and honestly I just didn’t want to deal with thinking through and navigating through my negativity that was building up inside me. But I knew I needed to because my lower back pain, my constant stomach pains, and my mounting stress was too much (and I honestly didn’t want it to take a toll on my sweet husband).

SO my game plan at the end of December was to retrain my body to get back into eating clean consistently, be good to myself (no negative self-talk), and try new ways of incorporating overall health and wellness into my busy schedule and lifestyle.

I’m not going to lie, Whole30 in January WAS hard (not just because I was coming off of the emotional HIGH of the Holiday season) but it was incredibly hard because I now am training for a new position (still at Lipscomb University) but I am juggling that new training + still being full-time in my current position. It has been a highly stressful month for me because when I am learning something new, my tendency is to want to know all the things at the same time and to be perfect at executing everything. Well, this new job is definitely going to be a learning curve for me because it involves many different facets of working with International students (some of these concepts I have NEVER heard of and I know it is going to take at least a full year to digest my new job with its roles/responsibilities). Thankfully I have a great support system here in Nashville (and outside of Nashville too) and I know that God will lead me through this new chapter of my professional career  (I just have to be patient and afford myself some grace).

 I mentioned my new job training + transition (while currently working in my full-time job) in this blurb because I wanted to point out that I realized that I have so many emotions attached to food. The longer I have been training with this job, the more I have been day-dreaming about how much I want a Five Daughter’s Donut, or a cookie, or even an entire pizza with a gallon of ice cream. Ridiculous, I know. But I just want all those things mostly because I am stressed out and when I am stressed and feel sad, I usually reach for the closest food around me to help calm my nerves and make myself feel better.  But the past 30 days I haven’t been able to reach out for those foods, so I have substituted other foods in their place (i.e. Larabars b/c they are ‘Whole30-ish’, or Fries-b/c they are ‘potatoes’, or even Chocolate Almond milk because ‘it’s almond milk’) So, this round of Whole30 wasn’t as ‘perfect’ as it should have been, but in my mind I have tried my very best because in my stress I at least reached out for those ‘healthier options’ and not for junk food.

I wanted to create a day by day documentary of photos about this Round 4 journey (mostly for myself) but also to share with others to show that I’m not that perfect when it comes to clean eating, and that I am pretty repetitive with certain food groups. But on a positive note, I also wanted to share my not-so perfect journey to encourage others to try to stick to a healthy eating plan (even if some days are not perfect or they feel like a total FLOP) keep on pushing yourself!!!!

I hope this can help encourage some of you out there who are also in the middle of something stressful (like maybe a new job transition like myself, or maybe you are in a new chapter in life, or maybe facing a valley in life) whatever it may be, I hope this encourages you to find some boldness to continue to focus on whatever task is in front of you and to continue to push yourself (despite your stress and despite any negative self talk). If you are in the middle of a Whole30 yourself, continue to keep on trying (even if sometimes you cheat with a Larabar or with dried fruit…because gosh-darn it…we just need a quick sugar pick me up!) Just pick yourself back up and continue to strive to eat well, and learn how to eat healthier options when all you want to do is eat pizza, ice cream, waffles and cookies (i.e. me pretty much).

I feel like if I can do it, anyone can do this (but that’s just what I think!)

Anyway, enjoy my quirky not-so-perfect 30 day journey of my 4th round of Whole30. The most rewarding thing I have gained from this round is that I now know how to cook Cauliflower Rice and I actually enjoy eating it! So I’m def going to stick to eating that more often than eating real rice-which is a win in my book!

My Whole30 Journey (pictures, recipes, and quotes) (January 10th-Feb 8th,2017) (NOTE: starting January 29th, my church (ETHOS) started a church-wide Fast so my husband and I decided to participate in some form/capacity. I decided to give up my dinners for the month of February and use that time to spend either in prayer or in quiet time because I need that time with God and I want to grow more in this discipline. I realize that some readers may strongly be opposed to the idea of Fasting (and that’s okay) but this is a new discipline that I want to participate in, and I want to really take my walk with God deeper. Anyway, I share that all just to say, that is why a lot of my ‘dinner’ photos are missing from the last 10 days of Whole30)

(Oh, and I have to give a shout-out to my January 2017 Whole30 Support Group who also journeyed with me and participated in Whole30.  Stoney, Laura, Jesse, Vernon, Amy + Grace, you all rock and I am so happy I had you all by my side! Your daily encouragement, GIFS, occasional outbursts of cursing, and daily dose of recipes was exactly what I needed to push myself through these 30 days! Thanks guys!)



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