December 19, 2012 by Max
A Whole30 feels a little like rowing a 2k (except without the burning, all-over pain). I’m probably making it worse for myself because all I can think about is sugar (so mentally torturing myself) but also possibly because my diet right before the Whole30 was 100% sugar/pasta/grains/dairy etc. This is why this feels like a 2k to me:
There’s the first 500m/week of Whole30:
The challenge you were dreading feels laughably easy; what were you so scared of? This is simple, and easy, and feels like a massive win already. Finding new recipes to shop for and create is fun, and the food tastes great. The Whole30 rocks!
Then there’s the second 500m/week of Whole30:
Uh oh. The legs and lungs are starting to burn already and fatigue from planning meals and cooking food is starting to set in. You can’t just buy breakfast or lunch at work – everything has bread or grains or pasta in it, unknown quantities of sugar and other additives, and if you don’t eat all day, you’ll end up binging on chocolate at some point. Plus, the sugar cravings are intense and something akin to mental torture. The Whole30 is hard. But you’re hanging on in there.
The third 500m/week of Whole30:
You’re through the halfway point, and right now, all you can hope to do is hang in there until you’re in the final 500m and can race for home. Just keep going; you’ve made it this far, do NOT quit now and lose the race. Keep doing what you’re doing. It may be boring or painful (mentally only, I hasten to add) but there are reasons you’re doing this. Repeat what you did the first two weeks! That’s all you need to do.
The final 500m/week of Whole30:
The end is in sight! You’re going to complete this thing and win! You find a new strength, and renew your enthusiasm for creating new meals and preparing food that complies with the challenge. As you near the end, the whole thing seems worth it, and once you’re done, then comes the evaluation of your goals. Did you achieve what you wanted? How did you do? Can you improve it next time? What will change in your diet going forwards?
At least, I really hope that’s what happens in the final 500m; I’m in the third 500m and it’s the hardest.