Today, dear Sparklers, is officially DAY 30 of my Whole30(+5 = Whole35)! A huge milestone worth celebrating, as making the decision to prioritize my health, invest time/energy/love in myself, and set the foundation for my food freedom for 30 days is a VERY big deal. If this were a traditional Whole30, on day 31 I would be activating the next steps in this process. Traditionally, Day 31 would include shouting my non-scale victories from the rooftops, weighing/measuring my body and diving into my reintroduction strategy to ensure that I was gaining all the knowledge I could after making this amazing investment of time/energy/love in myself for the past 30 days.
While I will continue to shout all my non-scale victories (NSVs) from the rooftops, I will not be weighing or measuring my body, and won’t focus on the reintroduction strategy quite yet. The plan for my 35th birthday was to begin this year, which I am calling my #YearofIntuition, with a Whole35 (35 days instead of 30, because I am nerdy like that). So, no matter what, I knew that I would be continuing this party for another few days after hitting the 30th day milestone. But again, day 30? TOTALLY celebration worthy!
What I didn’t expect, however, was that I would be embracing the idea of going beyond Whole35, which is exactly where I have landed. When I saw the #SeptemberWhole30 kickoff, I could feel a little FOMO kick in. I love the camaraderie that comes with exploring this process with others (the support, the jokes, the graphics, the MEMES), and while my Whole35 plan overlaps with the September crew, I wanted to be in that official club, too! So… I decided to extend through September.
Day 30 feels like a wonderful time to share my list of non-scale victories, which is ROBUST AF:
- skin clearing
- joint pain reduction
- increased clothing comfort (to get specific: I no longer identify with a sausage in too tight of casing when I check myself out in a mirror or button my shorts)
- reduced swelling in hands/feet
- incredible increase in my workout stamina (hello, adding a teensy bit of trail running into my daily hike!)
- super motivation to clean my kitchen while cooking and immediately following a meal (one of my unique, favorite, and random Whole30 NSVs!)
- restorative sleep
- consistent, balanced mood
- reduction of cravings and silencing of my (usually screaming) sugar dragon
- no sneaky hanger popping up
- no afternoon energy crashes
- sharpened attention span
- satisfying daily bowel movements (another top NSV for this Digestion Enthusiast)
- increased comfort in my skin and general confidence
- significant reduction in belly bloat
- increased levels of creativity in the kitchen
- increased sense of adventure in exploring new physical activities (if I can do this, I can do anything!)
- HUGE HUGE HUGE reduction of my often very intense compulsion to numb out with food (specifically, my drive to binge is taking a vacation)
- To sum it up: an overwhelming increase in my joy, vitality, and SPARKLE
This NSV review also included my reflection on where I was when I began this particular Whole30 round. As a person spouting sparkle and wellness 24/7, it can be really hard to admit that maybe I had let my sparkle dull a little bit. It can be tough to realize and accept that I was no longer living in food freedom. While I was still way healthier than where I was when I began this wellness journey so long ago, I had quietly shifted back into some old unhealthy patterns.
(Cue the guilt and shame!)
2017 has been an incredibly wild ride of a year for so many people, myself included. As I keep saying to my friends, it feels like the **full human experience**, meaning all the ups and downs and all arounds that life can provide. So far, this year has included plot twists and story shifts ranging from unexpected employment changes to loved ones’ health scares to moving across the country to intense homesickness to trying to forge my new (less traditional) path following dreams. All of the recent features of my **full human experience** gave this food addict approximately one million excuses to say F*** IT and eat the gluten free cupcakes (or tortilla chips & queso or Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers or red wine paired with dark chocolate covered raisins…) or any other food with no brakes that I know in my heart IS NOT WORTH IT. Over and over and over.
Thankfully, this **full human experience** has also provided me with so many tools (including Whole30) to untap my sparkle. Once I recognized some sneaky patterns popping up, admitted that I needed to make some shifts, and shifted back into my wellness foundation, it hasn’t taken forever and ever to get back to being my sparkly self. I am awestruck when I realize that the more I embrace and allow myself to FEEL this **full human experience**, the more I find sparkle.
Which leads to the biggest non-scale victory included in this Whole30 round so far: I have been able to watch myself transition smoothly away from my old unhealthy (AKA **full human experience** numbing) patterns right back onto the path of my food freedom and sparkle.
Now that I have had a taste of that sparkle returning after it had faded, I know I need to stick to the habits that guarantee it shimmering and shining to solidify them for awhile. This self-awareness has led me to again re-evaluate my Whole30 timeline further. While Whole30 is not meant to be Whole365, for some of us, staying on longer than 30 days can strengthen the healthy habits that we know will help us live our best lives in food freedom before reintroduction begins. My food freedom has always been something that I have had to consistently FIGHT HARD for, so to continue to support my current sparkle, I am officially committing to a full Whole60.
I am so grateful that I have so many options to untap my sparkle, including this program, tools, rules, and community to lean on.
Are you ready? Let’s sparkle together.