I want to start off by saying Wow! Thanks to everyone for the response on my last blog post. I was pretty amazed to see so many Facebook shares over the first couple days, and now I’m featured as a “Freshly Pressed” blog on the front page of WordPress! So, I guess what I’m saying is, thanks for paying attention to something that I feel is very important in the fitness world. You guys are the best! Also, welcome to all of my new readers. So glad you all have decided to stick around for a little while, hopefully I can keep you entertained.
I also want to reiterate that the point of that last post was not to criticize or judge certain athletes/bloggers/models for being too lean, it was to criticize social media and the fitness industry for making us feel as though we all need to look that way.
Some of my friends are in the middle of a Whole 30 right now, and many of my friends have done them in the past. For those of you who don’t know, the Whole 30 is essentially a 30 day challenge of extremely strict Paleo eating (no grains, added sugar, dairy, alcohol, beans, legumes… did I miss anything?). I’ve said about 5 times that I’m going to do a Whole 30, and I always seem to find a reason not to do it. “But I have a wedding that month”. “But there’s a holiday that month”. “But it’s summer… enough said”. It seems like I’m just making excuses so that I don’t have to torture myself, but I’m not so sure that’s the case.
No, I do not want to give up my greek yogurt for breakfast. No, I do not want to give up my weekly bowl of oatmeal. No, I do not want to give up rice, or stinky cheeses, or (god forbid) peanut butter. Notice though, that everything I’m complaining about having to give up for a Whole 30 is, in my eyes, healthy. So why is it necessary to give it up for 30 days?
My hesitance to do a Whole 30 definitely is part fear, but it’s also part thinking that the whole plan just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Do I think it’s worth it to give up added sugars and alcohol for 30 days? Absolutely, and I’m more than willing to take on that challenge. Do I think that it’s also necessary to give up all grains and dairy for 30 days? Of that I’m not so sure. When it comes to most things health and diet related, I’m a firm believer that there is no one-size-fits-all equation. Not everyone has to be dairy free. Not everyone has to be grain and gluten free. I’ve done 3 weeks completely dairy free before (as I was medically advised, due to GI issues in the past), and I realized that dairy doesn’t really make a difference in how I feel. When I avoided it, I felt exactly the same as when I added it back in, so why remove it from my diet again? Grains, as a whole, are not on my black list just yet. The jury’s still out on gluten, but having rice with dinner is more than just ok in my book, it’s encouraged.
So again, I ask, why remove these things from my diet? Just so that I can say I did a Whole 30?
Maybe it’s so that I can say that I completed the ultimate diet challenge? I don’t know. I’m not saying I’m not going to do one, I’m just undecided about whether it’s worth it or not. I feel very compelled to do a 30 day trial of no added sugar, alcohol, or gluten, which would be a challenge in itself. But I guess then I wouldn’t be in the Whole 30 club, and I might be shunned by the non-dairy eating Paleo elite. Maybe I’ll just have to call it a 3/4 30, or a 70% 30, or something like that.
I truly believe that Paleo has an excellent base to it, and that the ideas supporting it are very sound. Eating whole foods, avoiding processed foods, avoiding excessive sugar, appreciating food and natural nutrients, these are all things I can get behind, and things that I do practice in my daily life. But can’t there be a gray area? Do we all have to be “all Paleo all the time”, or can’t we just be healthy? (Jake touched on these questions over at JJ strength as well. Check out his thoughts here.)
How many of you out there have successfully completed a Whole 30? Can you encourage me to do one in 3 sentences or less? Do you think I’m just making excuses because I know it’s going to be hard? Go ahead, tell me what I probably don’t want to hear.
Again, a big Thank You to WordPress for featuring my last post, and an even bigger Thank You and Welcome to my new readers! Happy Friday everyone!