Whole30: Week 1 – Alive and Well

Well, the good news is I’m still alive and well enough to write this blog post. Just kidding, just kidding. What a 9 days it’s been on this Whole30 journey. I know, only 9 days, but 9 days is a lot when you’re venturing down a brand new path of enlightenment.

I say “enlightenment,” because if you didn’t read last week’s post, I’m doing the Whole30 for many different reasons – and the majority of those reasons go far beyond food. I hit a point in life recently where I said to myself, “I need to change my life.” And thus, the Whole30 ensued (amongst other drastic changes which have already helped my emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health).

So, here’s a recap of the last 9 days on the Whole30:

Days 1 + 2

These days weren’t too shabby. I was excited for what was to come, and it was a Saturday and Sunday, so I had plenty of time for rest, relaxation, and meal prep. I spent a lot of time writing, reading, and doing all of the things that make my soul happy. I was secretly excited when I turned down offers to go out and do things I usually do that are not Whole30 approved (*ahem* going to breweries). And I spent a lot of time alone, which is on my list of things to do during this adventure.

Here’s what I found (and yes, it’s only the first couple of days). I get real introspective when I’m not busy running from here to there. Which, as a creative, is a pretty good trait to have. Art bursts forth from introspection, self-study, and questioning. Although, I think I took it too far. Spending the weekend alone, meant spending the weekend thinking and writing and thinking and writing… and not bouncing these ideas off of others. By the time Sunday evening rolled around, I was bursting with excitement when my roommate showed up after a weekend away. I NEEDED HUMAN INTERACTION.

Here’s what I ate (obviously, I didn’t capture everything. Food blogging is not on my list of strengths.):

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Days 3 + 4

I was nervous about these days (and the upcoming week), because I knew I’d be at work. What if I felt tired? What if I was tempted to go out to eat? What if we celebrated someone’s birthday and I had to say no?

Eh, none of that happened these days (or this week), so I dodged any of those bullets, but here’s what did happen:

  1. I was SO tired. So extremely tired that I could’ve slept all day long. And I kept saying to myself, “Did I really eat so crappy before this that my body is detoxing hard enough to make even the most Type A personality want to sleep all day?”
    1. The answer is, “Yes, I guess so.”
  2. I was SO cranky. Ask my roommate, ask my poor friend Ben who took me car shopping, ask my coworkers. I felt like a hermit, holed up in my office, ready to pounce at anyone who disturbed me.
    1. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but I was definitely way crankier than I ever thought I would be.
  3. I was SO hungry. I found myself at 10 PM one night eating plantain chips and almond butter… licking the almond butter off of my fingers, as if I had just indulged in a Netflix and tub of ice cream binge (I wish).

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As you can see, I’ve been eating a whole lot of the same stuff. Meal plan FAIL.

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Here’s a picture of my run club, because they’re wonderful and the best. This run wasn’t terribly hard, but I’ll expand more on workouts in a bit.

Days 5 + 6 + 7

Alas, as the week went on the hunger subsided (a bit), but the crankiness seemed to get worse. And it wasn’t just crankiness, but it was also anxiety, which I found incredibly interesting.

In starting this journey, my hope was it’d help ease my anxiety a bit. I mean, I wouldn’t be putting sugar or alcohol into my body, so that should help, right? Instead, I found myself in a semi-constant state of worry and/or planning. It made it difficult to focus at work and during conversations, and I was at such a loss as to why it was getting worse.

Here’s my conclusion: Ya take away a girl’s means of relaxation (going out to eat or to drinks with friends) and she’ll work her life away.

Or, at least, that’s what I was doing. With all of my free time, I was spending more and more time working – on my day job, on my blog, on my run club, on planning for the future – and I wasn’t spending time relaxing. Mindless relaxation, like reading a light novel or watching a TV. Nope, this girl was working and working and wouldn’t shut it down, so in turn, I had heightened anxiety.

Here’s my other theory. Whole30 is a detox (I did not realize this at first, but learned real quick). And when all that junk is leaving your body you experience headaches, fatigue, lethargy, other gastrointestinal issues that I will not go into, and in my case, some anxiety.

To ease my anxiety, I practiced mindfulness, wrote a lot, tried to run, and simply told myself, “It’s just anxiety because of this detox you’re putting yourself through. It’ll pass.” In other words, I did my best to practice self-care.

Here’s another thing. My workouts were, to say the least, poor at best. I was tired and my legs felt like they were going to crumble underneath me. I wasn’t too worried, because I read in the Whole30 book that’s normal. Plus, my body could use the break anyways.

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So I spent the majority of my workouts taking selfies.

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Days 8 + 9

Ah, another weekend. I spent this weekend doing a lot of the same things I did last weekend. Reading, writing, talking with friends, running, church, working, the usual. I meal prepped and planned, and to be honest, I’m feeling pretty great and this has been an easier 9 days than I thought I’d ever see.

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But all this talk about me is boring…

I want to hear from you! This has been a journey of exploration for me after coming to terms with the fact that I wasn’t living a life conducive to my true authentic self. Have you ever experienced something like this? An awakening and then a subsequent journey of sorts? Or a moment in your life that caused you to alter how you live your life now?

Share your stories in the comments below or feel free to email me at runningmyselftogether@gmail.com. 

And if you have ANY advice on the Whole30 please, please throw it my way. I feel like a baby deer learning to walk… for lack of better terms.

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I overcame an eating disorder, anxiety, and depression with the help of this wonderfully amazing thing called running. And that's why I'm here - to share my story and to help those who are going through what I've already gone through. On this blog you'll find running tips, mental health tips, and lots of joy. Join me as we piece life together one run at a time.

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