Whole30 Week #1 = Failure
Winston Churchill once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” I think we have been taught from a very early age to fear “failure.” When we are in school, we fear failing tests or classes. When we are at work, we fear missing deadlines and budgets or not getting promotions. As parents we fear failing at raising our children “right.” We don’t take chances because we fear making mistakes and “looking dumb.”
I think about this a lot as a teacher. I stress the importance of grades over the importance of the learning process. This could be because this is how it was when I went to school, or because this is how I was taught to be a teacher, or because this is how my students have been groomed long before they enter my classroom. Any or all of those reasons are true, but the real truth is, I know that this isn’t how life works, that I should be encouraging my students to take chances and risks and learn from the things that don’t turn out. But, how can my students do all of this if their grade is at stake? And these grades matter to them, to their parents, to their teachers, and to their future college choices. And these grades matter to their self-esteems.
It’s a catch 22, really.
Why I failed in the first week of Whole30
While reflecting on how well I achieved goals this past week, I found myself deeming myself a “failure” at sticking to my Whole30 plan. Why? Because we went out to eat on Wednesday to celebrate Emily’s 15th birthday, and I WANTED the cheesecake. I mean, who goes to the Cheesecake Factory and not orders the cheesecake??? And since I was getting the cheesecake, I figured I might as well go big and order the macaroni and cheese burger too. The food really was delicious, but it wasn’t worth the after effects.
I felt painfully bloated and in need of a long nap before we even left the restaurant. The next morning when I went to wake up at 4:00 for my workout, I didn’t want to get up; I felt hungover with an upset stomach and headache. And I was very grouchy.
And then it was hard to start again the next day. I didn’t have much food on hand since we had spent all of last weekend traveling to and from Gatlinburg for Emily’s soccer tournament. Starting Whole30 was a last minute decision, and I just jumped in feet first the very next day.
Not sticking to the plan and then not restarting the next day made me feel like a failure because I didn’t do it “right.” According to Whole30 rules, if you break one itsy-bitsy rule, you have to start over with Day #1 no matter how far into the program you are.
But here is what I learned from my “failure”:
- I need to be better prepared with food this week in order to be successful. I didn’t have near enough tantalizing food prepared for the week.
- I need tantalizing food or I will not stick to the plan. I found myself bored with my lunches and then because I wasn’t emotionally satisfied at lunch, I developed and gave into cravings later in the evening.
- Being hungry will lead me astray. “Hangry” is just not a good place for me to be.
- Indulging in the moment is enjoyable, but the after effects are not. The indulgence + my guilt are not worth paying the price.
Whole30 Week #2 Plans
Since I technically “failed” Whole30 last week, I plan to restart on Monday, but this time, thanks to my failure, I know what pitfalls to avoid. I will start the week more prepared with better food choices because I will spend time this weekend finding delicious recipes and prepping some of those in advance. Plus, it doesn’t help that I have NO planned outings to tantalizing restaurants.
Some Whole30 Resources for You
Want to learn more about Whole30 (I do not make $ off of these…)? Check out the Whole30 website where you can read up on all the rules. The website is chock full of all kinds of helpful resources too!
The creators of Whole30 also have a book that explains in detail how and why you should do a round of Whole30. Check that out here: The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom
And if you are interested in learning in more detail about WHY you should avoid eating the foods Whole30 wants you to avoid, I found It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways by Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig (the creators of the program) to be very insightful. In fact, it is from listening to this book during my 1st (successful) go-around with Whole30 that I decided to transition to a mainly Paleo diet.
Melissa Hartwig, co-creator of Whole30, has also just recently released a new book called Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food. This book essentially guides you through what to do AFTER you have finished Whole30, and I plan on reading this book very soon!